I had a surprise this evening.
Now, statistically, I can say "I hate surprises more than you" and be right almost all of the time. I *really* hate surprises.
This surprise came in the form of a phone call from an employee at a local hardware store. The Lady in Charge™ wants the living room carpet replaced most ricky-tick, and the gentleman calling us was available to measure our living room floor.
Totally understandable; I've worked in retail before, and I wouldn't trust anyone to measure their own floor and report it to me either. I'd get "Well the internet says my phone is X length, and it took about 40 of them by 42 and a bit, so let's just say ..." Shudder.
I just prefer an appointment for this kind of thing over "Hey I finished this other job early and can make it to your house and back to the store before my shift ends, want me to come now or next week?" Since he called her instead of me, that was an acceptable answer.
So what did I do? You're probably assuming it has something to do with self-defense, since it's in the "blog" portion of a gun-related website. The answer: I put on two faces.
I usually open carry at home, but I don't like presenting valuables to people I don't know, so I took off my holster and put a trigger guard holster on my gun. Then I held it under my left arm, where it's mostly hidden. I did this while on the phone with the local hardware store, getting the man's name.
When he arrived, I was on the front porch waiting for him to ask his name. He thought I meant the name of the customer, but I eventually got his name out of him. And *then* I let him inside with a "Come on in out of the rain."
He never saw my left side. I shook his hand and thanked him when he left, not even 3 minutes later.
So let's talk about those faces.
If he's a man on a job for a local hardware store, he saw the face of a cautious but friendly man.
If he's a man who takes note of valuables in people's houses for a side enterprise, he saw a friendly but cautious man.
Think about the faces you present to people, in person as well as online. How someone perceives you is more dependent upon them than it is you, but there are still steps you can take to influence that perception.
I gave a couple here, and I believe the readership of this blog is smart enough to chime in with a few in the comments. So, share some of that knowledge in the comments, share this blog post if it's interesting to you, and stay safe out there.
The chances of being caught in a terror attack or mass shooting event are somewhat less than being trampled to death by a cow despite what Moms Demand wants you to believe. Seriously- you’re more at risk from one of Ben & Jerry’s bovines than a mass shooter or terrorist.
With that being said, there is some information I can impart that can help you survive such an encounter should you find yourself in one, and since many of us travel, I will include tips for overseas as well.
Prior to leaving on your trip, peruse news sources in the country you are going to. Do NOT rely on American news for information about foreign countries. Get LOCAL news. Have someone translate or use web based translation services (not always 100% accurate) to read what is going on where. Upon arrival speak to locals about what neighborhoods to stay out of (this applies to US cities as well).
When out in public avoid persons dressed out of season. Someone with a heavy coat on during the summer, for example. Watch for people carrying unusually heavy bags or backpacks- rifles, magazines and grenades are heavy, especially in combat loadout quantity. Look for the tells that someone is wearing body armor such as a “tuck under” of the shirt just below the belly button or the shoulder straps (usually padded) printing through a shirt. Should you notice any of the above, clear out of the area and alert a nearby police officer or call 911 (or other appropriate emergency number).
At public events, cinemas, or even at the restaurant (as in the Paris massacre) you should always opt for seats that give you good unobstructed vantage points and quick exit points. It’s the reason I still combat park (back in to a space) in my driveway and in public lots and sit with my back to the wall near a kitchen or back door when I’m eating in a restaurant. Make it a habit, and in a few months it will come naturally.
In the unlikely event shit hits the fan, your response should be three-fold.
Run / Hide / Fight
Run if possible. Run to cover and not concealment. Concealment hides, cover hides AND protects. It’s the difference between hiding behind a couch or a concrete wall. It's quite obvious but you may not think of this when bullets are buzzing around. It is better to keep your eyes wide open and to act instead of huddling in the open and waiting for first responders, as they typically arrive too late.
Once the attacker's attention is elsewhere- beat feet towards the nearest exit point. This does not have to be a door- it can be a shot out window, jumping out of a second story window, or even a hole in the building in the event of an explosive attack. When you are boogieing out- zig zag like a running back. A moving target is ridiculously hard to hit, even for a very experienced shooter.
Hide if escape isn’t feasible. If there is no clear path for you to evac the building, hide. Find a room with a solid door if possible, get inside, and lock & barricade it. Silence your cell phone. If there are others in the room advise them silence is going to be the key to survival. If possible call 911 (or the local country's emergency number) and advise police quietly of everything you saw and your location. Find improvised weapons in whatever room you are in, in the event you have to...
Fight if necessary. Fighting back is a last resort for most people. When the time comes however, use whatever is at hand as a weapon and use it to KILL whoever is trying to harm you. Do not hold back- if you have located a fire extinguisher, strike for the head/neck with enough force to crumple a skull. You’re the Bambino going for the left field fence with the attacker’s cranium. If you have a utensil like a fork or knife- go for a throat strike and bury it into their neck. Advise anyone you are with to arm themselves with whatever is at hand. If it's a broomstick, crack it in half and ram the sharp end upwards through their belly and into their rib cage. If it’s a bunch of you, swarm the SOB and do not stop hitting him until he is either unconscious or dead. Yes it is brutal... but this is your life and it will be them or you. I'd prefer it to be them.
If you have a firearm, engage the attacker center of mass and do not stop firing until the attacker is down. If center of mass shots do not have an effect, the person may be wearing armor. In that case seek a head or pelvic shot. A pelvic shot should be followed up with a headshot once the target is down. This is not a mugging, or even someone simply trying to kill you. This is someone bent on killing as many people as possible and disabling them will not remove the danger to you and others. You do not, in this case, shoot to stop. You shoot to stop, then you kill. A wounded terrorist is still a dangerous terrorist.
Don't try to be a hero. With all my combat experience, for all the times I engaged in MOUT, my plan is to run if possible, hide if necessary and as a last resort fight. Of course I carry everywhere and will drop an attacker if he is between me and the exit, but I am not going to start hunting Tangos. Having my firearm gives me an edge over those who are unarmed, not an edge over dedicated teams of trained killers with automatic rifles.
In the event of a grenade attack there are several steps to increase your ability to survive as well. If the grenade lands within 6 feet or so of you- immediately seek cover (behind a concrete wall for example). Contrary to Hollywood, a couch or flipped over table isn't cover- grenade fragments won't even be slowed down. If no cover is available take a few large steps away and hit the floor with your feet pointed towards the grenade. Lay flat, cover your ears, close your eyes and open your mouth. Once the grenade has detonated- run in a zigzag pattern to try to effect escape or seek a place to hide.
Again, I do realize that the chances of being in the midst of one of these events is so slim you have a better chance of hitting the lottery. The above is just to inform you so if you do find yourself in the midst of one, it may help you get out alive.
- Mr. Decker
Well it seems I’m going to be the one to get everyone riled up today so hang on- this is going to be a bumpy ride.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, the inevitable happens. Gun control advocates start screaming for more gun control because… well I have no idea why they want to ban semi auto rifles in the US when a country that has completely banned semi-auto rifles is attacked with fully automatic rifles… but it’s what they do. Gun rights advocates in return yell out that if people had been armed then the attacks wouldn’t have been successful.
It is at this point I would really like everyone to chill out. Seriously. Have a drink, rub your earlobes, meditate on the meaning of life, attempt enlightenment… whatever you do to center yourself and make everything right with the universe, do it now.
OK- are you ready?
Even if France allowed its citizens to carry firearms, the outcome would not have been appreciably changed as a whole.
Told you that you needed to chill out.
This does not mean that I do not think citizens carrying arms cannot have a very positive effect on criminal actions. An armed teacher can effectively defend their class against a spree killer. An armed citizen can thwart a robbery or rape. An armed homeowner can stop a home invasion. Armed citizens could have stopped the Charlie Hebdo attack. There are reasons that the above statements are truthful. Armed citizens DO stop crime. A lot of them. Every single day. Crime usually involves a small number of relatively lightly armed individuals who really have no desire to die. Even the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices involved just two people.
What happened in Paris was not crime. It was warfare. Pure and simple.
There is a reason that those who serve in the Armed Forces are issued rifles to go into combat. Rifles can engage targets over longer distances. Rifles are inherently more accurate. Rifles are fully automatic allowing for covering fire. Rifles allow fire teams to engage in fire & maneuver. While many members of the Armed Forces are issued handguns, these people are normally support personnel who will not see combat unless something goes very wrong. Even if it does, the handgun serves to give the individual a chance to fight their way to a rifle.
The events in Paris involved teams of battle hardened fanatics, with no fear of death, armed with actual Kalashnikovs (not just semi auto lookalikes) and grenades. They were operating in confined spaces packed full of innocents. Handguns in general are inefficient compared to rifles at ending a fight.
I am damn skilled with both handguns and rifles. I have seen combat, and taken life. While I do not claim to be some high speed low drag dealer of the blackest death, I can and have held my own in firefights and lived to tell about it while my opponents have not. I speak with the utmost sincerity and honesty when I say I would not have had an appreciable effect on the Paris attacks.
I know this is a hard pill to swallow, especially for us. We stand up every day and (rightfully so) say that armed citizens save lives. Armed citizens are preventing harm every single hour of every single day. As I type this, an armed citizen is having a defensive gun use. Whether that DGU is drawing a firearm causing a robber to choose a different target or putting firing pin to primer in a last ditch attempt to stop a threat to their life- it is happening RIGHT NOW. We want to believe that a couple people with pistols could have taken on and shut down these attackers. While anything is possible, we must, if we are intellectually honest, realize that in this specific case an armed citizenry may have taken out one or two of the assault team before dying in a withering hail of automatic weapons fire and grenade fragments.
These terrorists took out 4 members of one of the best counter-terror units on the face of the planet. GIGN is just as good as our Operational Detachment Delta and Germany's GSG9. The photo attached is the ballistic shield used by GIGN during the retaking of the concert hall.
Do not get me wrong- had I been there I’d have done my best to take down as many as I could. I imagine every single person reading this article would too. How well I would have managed is a different story. Dark open space, loads of terrified innocents running everywhere, confusion… even the best on the planet know that this is a recipe for failure.
I support the right of people EVERYWHERE to be able to defend themselves with the most effective tool available- a firearm. I am also honest enough to say that not every situation can be handled effectively by a couple citizens armed with handguns. A concerted complex attack by a well trained and combat tested fire team armed with automatic rifles and explosives whose goal is martyrdom is not the same as a school shooter or a home invasion. It just isn’t. Pretending that it is is nothing more than intellectual dishonesty of the level heretofore achieved only by the likes of Shannon Watts and Ladd Everitt.
By saying “If France allowed citizens to carry this wouldn’t have happened” is no different than Moms Demand Action saying “If only guns were banned mass shootings wouldn’t happen”. We aren’t like them, nor should we strive to be.
- Mr Decker
Have you noticed that gun owners and Second Amendment supporters seem to be the favorite target of relentless politicians, Hollywood elitists, and the news media as a whole these days?
Ever stop to wonder why?
Well, there is a reason why the Second Amendment is currently under attack like never before in American history. And, quite frankly, the reason may offend some people.
I'm going to say it anyway.
The Constitution of the United States of America, the Second Amendment in particular, was not written for the weak, spineless, overly sensitive, eternally offended, freedom fearing, pseudo Americans which the media (in all its forms) caters to today.
It was written by strong, principled, fearless men as a way to ensure, for themselves and their families, their very lives, and the freedom that they had fought long and hard to obtain. Having just been hailed victorious through a long, bloody, and brutal war against those who would dare to come to disarm them, they penned these words.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Those words were written for those who would stand tall and unflinching to proclaim, "Give me liberty or give me death." It was written for those who believed with every fiber of their being that, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
It was not written to bend to a fickle society's whims and trends. It was not written to coddle and pacify a nation of children who refuse to take personal responsibility for themselves.
Freedom is a messy, scary, thing to those who haven't the fortitude to respect, protect, and defend it.
To those who still believe in personal accountability, responsibility, pursuit of liberty, and who believe themselves to be, above all, free men, I say thank you. I stand with you. Together we will continue to defend the principles that define America, the great Constitutional Republic which we hold dear. And, in so doing, we will weather this storm of busy bodies, nanny government, and political correctness.
Our unalienable rights were not given by our government. They were however, enumerated and are protected by the document which was penned by those who did not take freedom for granted.
How good it is to know that same spirit is still alive today.
Hey folks it's Lonewolf here once again bringing you another tactics and responsibility article. Why do I write these types of articles the most? It's because I find that as a gun owner and aperaon that carries not only while wearing digital tan with a kevlar helmet and 30+lbs assault pack but with a badge and vest too, that you must be trained and continue to train to produce results.
So what does this mean? It means that as a firearm owner, conceal carry, or even open carry, that you MUST DO THE FOLLOWING:
In conclusion, these are just a few of the things I follow as a firearm owner, carrier, professional user in my job fields, and instructor, husband, father, brother, uncle, etc. Train to win and train to live and overall, TRAIN!
Stay safe, stay alert, and always carry.
That isn’t the point of this article. Rather the point of the article is to educate those who think this would be a good idea of the true cost of abandoning the soapbox and the ballot box for the cartridge box, from the point of view of one who has spent a large chunk of his adult life in an area with an active insurgency.
For starters- 40% of the people you know will be dead within the first 90 days. Period. Assuming you have 10 people in your extended family & assuming things kicked off today, 4 of them will be dead by New Years. This is the life of an insurgent- and you will be an insurgent. Should you take up arms, you and your entire family become targets simply for being related to you. Your circle of friends and acquaintances become targets. The Constitutional rights you currently enjoy will evaporate as the government struggles to hold onto power. People you know will be disappeared, never to be heard from again. The percentage will, of course, climb the longer there is an active insurgency.
Bulk transportation will grind to a halt. Rail lines, pipelines & refineries as well as interstate highways will be cut and/or destroyed. There will be a scarcity of fuel available for the use of the everyday populace. Most resources available would be channeled to government forces for their usage with the general population getting a trickle compared to be insurgency levels- with prices rising accordingly. $10.00 per gallon would be the norm. Food supplies will disappear rapidly- look at the impact Hurricane Sandy had- and that was a minor event.
There will also be a massive impact on those not actively involved. Infrastructure will break down, water service and electricity will be almost non-existent. Modern cities will devolve into chaos as food is no longer shipped in and people start to get hungry. Those population dense areas will become no-go zones as will the surrounding suburbs as starving and desperate people look for food they can take. Countries like Iraq and Afghanistan have been able to continue the fight because they are primarily agrarian, the United States is not. Add in the ability of western individuals to consume contaminated/dirty food & water (darn near non-existent) and both you and the general population will be pretty miserable. Famine, drought and starvation would become the new norm.
Medical care would be similarly affected. American doctors are not used to performing under primitive conditions. Our medical infrastructure is dependent on electricity, one of the first things that would be affected. In addition those wanted for participation in the insurgency by the government would be well advised to stay away from urban centers where most hospitals are located. Just as cops today track people down who have been shot during the commission of crimes, the government would do so during an insurgency. Minor injuries will become life threatening under such circumstances. Get a case of cholera or e. coli- you’re dead. Gash your leg on a burned out car- say hello to sepsis and the Reaper. Catch a round in the gut- enjoy a very painful death over the course of a couple days. Disease outbreaks such as dysentery and cholera will become common in urban areas and those suffering chronic illness will be handed a death sentence. The elderly and the very young of course will be the hardest hit.
Basic services like fire departments, police, EMS... even the most mundane like garbage collection will also essentially disappear. In the event of natural disaster like flooding, tornadoes, earthquake and hurricane there would be no help forthcoming. As garbage piles up uncollected, disease vectors such as rats will multiply out of control spreading disease as mentioned above. The dependency on basic services is more of an urban/suburban issues, but this is where the bulk of the population lives and the impact would be catastrophic.
Communications would also become non-existent, at least for one engaged in the insurgency. Satellite and cell phone comms are not secure. Even throwaway cell phones aren’t truly an option as they can be tracked as well. Email is similarly a no-go. Even using something like Tor does not guarantee anonymous and secure comms. In order to communicate, runners would need to be employed with verbal messages memorized, not written. Even al-Qaeda and the various Iraqi insurgent groups realized early on that communicating with each other tended to lead to things in their immediate vicinity going boom.
Then of course there is the consideration of the life you will have to lead. The deep personal impact your choice will have on your psyche and your well being. You will live a life of isolation, associating only with members of your cell. Anyone outside your immediate circle is not to be trusted as they could be a government agent or a snitch. Once society breaks down and the 47% of the population who depend on outside assistance to survive go feral, you will need to become even more isolated as a reasonable well fed individual is a target. You’ll be spending your life looking over your shoulder if you operate in an urban/suburban environment or looking to the sky if you’re operating in rural areas. Everybody and everything becomes a threat. Your stress levels will skyrocket with the attendant toll it takes on your ability to be mission effective.
Perhaps the worst consequence will be the total evaporation of ALL of our rights. Expect random warrantless searches, indefinite detentions of masses of people, no right to own or carry firearms, the press being restricted, suspensions of habeus corpus, renditions to 3rd world countries for interrogation, restrictions on the right to travel… every single bit of the freedoms we enjoy today would be gone. Not in a theoretical sense, not sometime in the future, but the minute the balloon goes up.
As a student of military history along with having been a Counter-Insurgency advisor to the Iraqi military, I am fully aware that no modern insurgency has ever been defeated. From the Israeli insurgency in British controlled Palestine to the various factions still operating in Afghanistan the rule has been proven time and time again. There has however been one hell of a butcher’s bill to pay for all concerned. The questions you should ask yourself is this: “Is the risk and cost worth the reward at this point in time?”
Please do not take this as me saying that the option should never be exercised. I cannot predict the future, but I can predict that our government will continue to amass power to itself. That is what government does by its very nature. Having an armed population is a check against the government pushing too far. There have been times since the founding of our country when American citizens have successfully taken up arms against their government when all other options have failed.
Those 6 last words are key- “When all other options have failed”. Just like a defensive gun use, all other options should have been exercised. Taking up arms against one’s own government WILL lead to untold suffering for all concerned. In my opinion, we still live in a country where both the soap box and the ballot box work and the time to resort to the cartridge box has not yet come.
I also pray constantly that time never arrives, as I have seen the results of doing so first hand.
- Mr. Decker
So while I write this article I do so with personal experience once again. Like all others' articles I will not mention any names for protection of individuals' identities. However I would like to talk about the recent switch in people that I have begun to notice especially since I personally work in a gun store, train people in self defense and hand gun use, and also train daily myself not only in my military tactics but physical self defense with physical fitness. It is the rise in Anti-Gunners mindset beginning to occur.
Recent events have shown us that some of society's darker people targeting soft targets or as I refer to them, easy prey, such as schools, churches, restaurants, banks, etc. The media shows us nothing but guns as evil tools used by evil people to attack those weaker than them. Its no wonder that people are beginning to take up arms and receive professional training so they can be prepared to defend themselves and their families.
I know a lady personally that near her, what used to be a quiet community, where everyone knew each other's names, there has been an increase in break-in's, assaults, rapes, and even two meth labs were found there. After growing up as an anti-gunner, being taught guns were evil, guns kill people, it was always to blame, etc, her thinking has changed.
Now between being advanced in age and experiencing those events happening in her community, she is going to be attending my training and looking to get her first and only sidearm for self defense. She now fears for her life and doesn't know how to trust anyone in her area since those events.
Another personal event occurred at work when I was asked by a single mother about purchasing a sidearm for concealed carry and a long gun for home defense. She had been in a situation where she was lucky enough to escape because a nearby citizen was carrying and helped her. Even though the individuals were stopped it still scared her to death.
Again she too had been taught guns were evil, kill people, guns were to blame for people dying, etc. Until that event happened. She then realized that she had a child and that she needed to protect them and herself at all cost. She too will be attending my training, conceal carry course, and she's going to be signing herself along with her child up for physical defense classes.
So why is it the media and politicians are trying to show more "gun violence"? It's because they are losing! Also they are creating more criminals by showing the murderers' faces, talking about the numbers, talking about easy prey areas....but people are waking up and saying enough is enough and that their lives are now in their hands because the police are not always there!
I personally know a guy that married an anti-gunner and he is heavily pro-gun! After almost ten years being together they both now carry, train together, are happily in love, and even have a kid. She didn't become pro-gun until she too was in a life threatening situation and her husband wasn't there and now that she's a mother, she trains daily with her husband.
So again there's been an increase in Anti-Gunners becoming pro-gun but sometimes it takes the media and a life changing event to make them understand the rules to life and having the will along with the means to fight back.
Stay safe, stay alert, carry daily.
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.