YOU Set the Example

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 7.24.39 PMAs a gun owner and active participant in your safety and security, you no doubt are aware that there are many out there, to include some in the political arena, who don’t particularly agree with your right to keep and bear arms.  While there is zero evidence to support their claim that more guns means more crime, it doesn’t do our cause any good for otherwise law abiding gun owners to do stupid things.  As a gun owner and concealed carry practitioner, YOU set the example for the rest of us and you must set a good one.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just go to Youtube and watch people doing dumb things with guns.  Trust me, there are numerous examples.  Not only do these people do dumb things, but they put it on the internet for the entire world to see.

Guns can be dangerous if not properly handled and they tend to be very unforgiving.  Accidentally discharge your firearm and bad thing are bond to happen.  If you are lucky you will only end up with a hole in your wall, if you are not, you may end up in the hospital or worse.  Even though there might not be a video of these kinds of things if they happen in your own home, there will most likely be a police report which is publicly available and if you go to the hospital, there is no telling who is gonna find out since the hospital staff no doubt will report to their friends and family how dumb you are.  You might as well have put it on Youtube.

I suppose there are all kinds of stupid things people post pictures of them doing, but if you get drunk and fall on your face, or you try to do a backflip off a diving board and fail, it usually just gets a laugh and nothing further.  But when you do stupid things with a firearm and post images or videos of it, it can have negative implications for not only you, but the rest of the gun owner in America.  That, and a gun isn’t a toy and should not be treated as one.

So, be cognizant of the fact that as a gun owners, you and I are under the microscope of people who would love to do nothing more than take our God given rights away from us.  Don’t think it could ever happen, don’t be so stupid.

Don’t just survive, thrive!


Armed Citizen Stops Attacker at Home Depot

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.22.43 AMMarch 25, 2014 –  Roseville, Michigan – While trying to put a cordless drill under his coat, 26 year old Joshua Silva was confronted by a Home Depot security officer.  Silva began to fight with the security officer and during the fight, retrieved a syringe from his pocket and began to stab the officer.  An armed citizen with a concealed carry permit witnessed the attack and pulled his handgun and challenged Silva to get onto the ground.  The armed citizen held Silva on the ground at gun point until police arrived and took him into custody without further incident.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin commented after the incident that he was putting the citizen “in for a citizens citation.”  I’m thinking a Home Depot gift card might also be in order.

This story illustrates two important points.  One, not every armed encounter ends in somebody getting shot or needs to.  Courts have ruled in the past that if you assault somebody with a needle or bodily fluid that is contaminated with AIDS, it is considered assault with a deadly weapon and the assailant can be charged with attempted murder.  It must be assumed in a case like this that the needle was contaminated with AIDS or Hepatitis making this a deadly force situation.  The armed citizen would most likely have been justified in shooting Mr. Silva, but made the choice not to.  In this instance, that was the correct decision.

And second, when seconds count, police are only minutes away.  Responsible armed citizens in the community, as illustrated in this example can do more than just protect themselves and their family, they can also provide protection for the community at large.  The odds that something bad will happen in the presence of a law enforcement officer are slim at best, but odds are significantly higher that bad things will happen when an armed citizen is around to respond.  The case is made in this instance that more guns make use all safer.

Don’t just survive, thrive!



Condition Yellow

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 10.03.30 AMI’m sure you have seen videos on the internet before like the one below (you know, when you are at work watching funny video’s instead of working) which shows a girl looking down at her cell phone and not paying attention to where she is going or what is going on around her.  Had there been a steep cliff in front of her she would have fallen off and not had a clue what happened as she fell to her death.  Fortunately for her it was just a fountain and not a cliff or a bad guy waiting to rape or rob her.

Too many people today walk around in an introverted manner trying to keep to themselves by listening to music, or texting or calling or reading an e-book.  It seems to be the nature of who we have become in our electronics driven world and I think with respect to our personal safety, it is detrimental.

During my firearms training classes, I harp on the point that the best way to get out of trouble is to not get into trouble in the first place.  If you want to survive a gunfight, don’t get into one, because when the bullets start flying, anything can happen no matter how highly trained and dialed in you think you are.   To stay out of trouble, you must be ultra-aware of your surroundings and to identify potential trouble before it happens.


On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace


What I am talking about is often referred to as being in a state of yellow alert at all times.  I equate it to defensive driving, a term that most of us are familiar with from driving school.  (And a practice that is certainly becoming a lost art based on the idiot drives I encounter everyday along the highway.)

Defensive driving means that you are always scanning for trouble so that you can react to it before it happens.  For instance, as you approach a busy intersection with a green light, don’t just assume that traffic on the cross street is going to obey their red light, or that the pedestrian waiting to cross will do so only after the crossing signal says it’s safe to do so.   By scanning you see the cars waiting to enter the intersection and you can prepare mentally for them to do so and formulate a plan should they do so before it is safe.  The same type of thinking needs to be employed during your everyday life, be it while driving down the street or walking to your car from the grocery store.

In the above example, you see potential trouble in the form of cars waiting to turn into your lane and you mentally prepare to take evasive action if they do.  As you walk out of the grocery store, you should be scanning looking for potential threats and prepare to take evasive action should you see it.  In most cases, just making eye contact with a potential bad guy will be enough to send a message that you are not the person he wants to mess with.  It sends a message to him that instead of trying to rob you, he should go rob the girl texting while she walks across the parking lot oblivious to the world around her.

Part of being an armed citizen is to be a responsible citizen, and paying attention to your surroundings and staying alert for potential threats is all part of the deal.  The same level of alertness should be assumed whether you are walking across a busy street or walking through a seemingly deserted parking lot.  Avoid a red alert situation by assuming a yellow alert posture and get out of trouble by staying out of trouble in the first place.

Don’t just survive, thrive!


Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility.  You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life.  It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun.  Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.



Gas Station Clerks Fight Off Armed Robber in Houston

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 9.58.41 AMMarch 21, 2014, Houston, Texas – A would be robber entered a Phillips 66 gas station hoping to relieve the store of some of it’s hared earned money.  After demanding money from the clerks, the bad guy was greeted with not one, but two firearms and the fight was on.  The robber exchanged gun fire with both clerks and eventually found himself retreating to the back of the store where he began throwing merchandise all over the store and a standoff ensued.  After an hour, the bad guy emerged from his hiding place and was shot by the clerks.  Before the police could take him into custody, the bad guy started a fire in the store, eventually causing about $100,000 in damage to the store.  Neither one of the clerks was injured and the bad guy was taken into custody without achieving his goal of robbing the store.


Retention and Concealed Carry

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 1.31.55 PMWith the enormous increase in individuals practicing concealed carry today, a direct result of high crime rates during the 70’s and 80’s leading many states to pass pro-concealed carry laws,  there is no shortage of holster options to choose from.  If a gun can be hidden anywhere on the body, there is a holster made to accommodate it.  (I give you the bra holster for the ladies.)

One of the most popular forms of concealed carry has become the inside the waistband, also known as IWB.  Essentially, an IWB holster is secured to a person’s belt and sits between the person’s body and their pants, instead of outside.  Because of this, a traditional retention device is not needed.

Many people take their cues from law enforcement or the military when it comes to deciding which equipment they will use.  This is not necessarily a bad idea, but in the case of concealed carry, it may not be relevant, as most military and law enforcement personnel don’t employ concealed carry techniques or equipment.  (This is to say that while on duty, traditional holsters are employed on the outside of their uniforms.)

Most police departments encourage their officers to carry off duty because cops are never really off duty.  Because of this, and because most duty weapons are too big to conceal comfortably, most departments require their officers to qualify with an “off duty” weapon and require them to carry off duty department approved equipment.  And because most departments have not yet caught up with the current concealed carry standards, they require the same type of retention with an officer’s off duty holster as they do with his on duty gear.  Apples and oranges.

I’m writing this article for the benefit of those of you who do take your cue from the standards set by most law enforcement departments.  In doing so, you look for the same kind of retention in a concealed carry holster that most departments demand that their officers employ.  Because you do, you are missing out on the benefit of some very good gear because it does not comport with that of your local PD.  (I’m also writing this for the benefit of department managers who aren’t up to speed yet on the latest trends in concealed carry gear.)

A retention system on an open carry holster, like those utilized by the police, is absolutely critical because the gun is literally out there in the open and at risk of being taken by a bad guy, or of falling out of the holster.  When it comes to a holster worn inside the waistband, this isn’t an issue.  If the bad guy doesn’t know it’s there because he cannot see it, he can’t take it.

Most good quality IWB holsters are made specifically for an individual firearms dimensions, and because they are, the gun is held in place via friction.  If you were to hold the holster upside down with the gun in it, it should not fall out if it has the right fit and is made correctly.  Not technically a retention device, but it does serve to keep the gun secure from bouncing out of the holster.

Next, because it is worn between the body and the pants and belt, the firearm and holster are secure, again due to friction.  Essentially the firearm is secured without the need for a retention device.  And because the device isn’t necessary when carried IWB, it will only serve to slow down the deployment of the weapon in an emergency situation.

The other factor that adds to an IWB holsters ability to keep the firearm secure is that clothing will be worn over top of the rig.  This clothing will serve to act as a barrier between the bad guys hands, and your firearm.  It also acts as a barrier between your hands and the firearm, but it’s a fair trade in my opinion to ensure that the weapon is secure.

I carry every day almost exclusively IWB and have never had any issues with the gun falling out or almost falling out because the holsters I use are of sufficient quality to retain the weapon in place.  While many tactics employed by law enforcement can be used by the general public, the mandate of a retention device on a concealed carry holster isn’t one of them.  Eventually management will come around, but for now they are unfortunately living two decades in the past.  But isn’t that typical for government at all levels?

Don’t just survive, thrive!


Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility.  You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life.  It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun.  Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.