Category Archives: Concealed Carry

Should I Fire a Warning Shot?

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 3.08.38 AMWhen I teach new shooters the basics of everyday concealed carry, one point I make during my lecture is to always shoot center mass in an effort to eliminate the threat as quickly as possible. Almost without fail, a hand will go up and the inevitable question is asked. Dennis, why can’t we just fire a warning shot or perhaps shoot the bad guy in the leg or arm? Isn’t either of those two options better than shooting a man in the chest or stomach which could result in death?

Here is my response to both the warning shot and shooting to “wound” questions. No, and here is why.

Anytime you fire your gun during a self-defense situation, you are utilizing deadly force. I don’t care if you point the gun straight to the ground, death or grave bodily harm is always a possibility when a firearm is discharged around others. Firing a warning shot means you are either pointing the gun over the bad guys head and shooting a projectile aimlessly into the air, or pointing it down and firing it aimlessly into the ground. In either case, you cannot be sure that the bullet will come to rest in a safe place. Doing this is not acting in a responsible manner which can result in the death or grave bodily harm of another human being, one that may not be engaged in threatening you, but might just be innocently going about his daily business.

Aside from not being the responsible thing to do, firing a warning shot is actually a felony in some states and I will guarantee, you will have your firearm permanently confiscated by the government.

When you fire your weapon, be it at the range, on the street or in your home in a self-defense situation, you are responsible for each and every round you fire. Where that round goes is your responsibility whether you are shooting at the bad guy or just firing a warning shot. You must know your target and what surrounds it and know when you can and cannot shoot. A warning shot increases the chances that the bullet will end up someplace you didn’t intend it to go and it is bad tactics to boot. If deadly force is justified, and that’s the only time you should be firing your weapon away from the range, then aim for the bad guy and eliminate the threat as quickly as possible, don’t just try and scare him.

Now, for the shooting to wound scenario. I believe this has become an issue for two reasons. One, because Hollywood loves to depict its “hero’s” as being able to hit anything, no matter how small a target without even aiming during a gun fight. It’ looks cool on film to see a gun shot out of a bad guys hand, but the reality of the situation is that in the real world, that kind of thing doesn’t usually work. Statistics tell us that three quarters of the shots that are taken during a high stress armed encounter will miss the mark, even when the one making the shot is a trained law enforcement officer shooting center mass. The center mass of a person, even a small person is a pretty big target, especially considering the fact that most armed encounters occur at arm’s length or slightly farther. If you can’t hit a large target, how are you supposed to hit a smaller target like the leg or arm, especially considering that the legs and arms will be moving around a lot. From a tactical standpoint, shooting at anything other than the largest area of a target, in this case the torso during an armed encounter is just plain dumb and most likely will result in you coming out on the short end of the fight.

The other reason I think that some people would rather shoot for the leg or arm instead of the torso is because they cannot wrap their minds around the fact that there are times when taking the life of another person is justified. I cannot blame these people because taking the life of another human being is not a natural act. It completely goes against how we are wired. For most sane people, taking a life is a learned behavior. So these people say that they would rather shoot to wound than to kill. If that is the case, you should find another means of self-defense and not even bother to bring a gun to the fight. Odds are you won’t be able to fire it giving the attacker an opportunity to take it and use it on you or another innocent person. To arm yourself with a firearm is one that must be made by each individual based on their own abilities and moral compass. If you have not made up your mind to use your firearm resulting in the potential of another person losing his life, leave the gun at home.

So to wrap up, it is irresponsible to fire your firearm into the air in an effort to scare away a bad guy. Guns aren’t made to scare people, and shooting somebody anyplace other than center mass, also known as the torso is tactically a bad decision in 99.9% of the situations you might find yourself in. (A terrorist with a bomb is a good example of a situation when you will need to shoot in the head to shut down the brain fast.) Understand that taking the life of a bad person to save the life of an innocent person is justified, but if that doesn’t work for you, pepper spray might be your best bet.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

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.

 

When Should You Carry Your Gun?

Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 11.14.23 PMOne of the topics that comes up in all of my concealed carry classes is a discussion on when to carry a gun. There are generally a lot of different opinions on this amongst the students. Some will say only when going on long trips. Others will say only when out with the family. And some suggest that you only need to carry a gun when you are expecting trouble. I could not disagree more with all of those opinions.

Since none of us are clairvoyant, and thus can never predict when trouble will occur, the answer to when you should carry your gun is simple, and obvious. All the time.

I use the seatbelt analogy during my classes. I ask the students to consider a different question. Instead of asking when should I carry my gun, ask when should you wear your seatbelt? Well, lets change the question slightly. You will only need your seatbelt during a car accident, so the question isn’t when should you wear your seatbelt, the real question is, when will you be involved in a traffic accident? That is a question you will never be able to answer, so, since you can never know, it makes scenes that you would wear your seatbelt every time you are in a car.

Now back to our original question, when should you carry your gun? The answer is, all the time, because just like driving or riding in a car, you can never know when something bad will happen that will require the use of the gun. If you engage in the practice of only carrying your gun when you think something bad will happen, you are really gambling with your safety. And just like the lottery, the odds are far greater that you are going to lose, then they are that you will win.

So, ensure that the odds are in your favor and carry all the time. It’s the smart way to approach your safety and security.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

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.

 

The Most Neglected Aspect of Gun Ownership

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 12.53.05 AMHave you ever turned on your computer and not been able to access the internet for some reason?  Have you ever tried to make a call on your cell phone and not been able to get service?  How about having your credit card rejected at the register or had your car break down when you needed to be someplace important?  All these events happen to people everyday, but generally they aren’t catastrophic or life threatening.  But if you have to deploy your firearm against a bad guy hell bent on ruining your day, the last thing you want to happen is for something to go wrong resulting in a malfunction.

There are some things in life that are just out of our control, but more times than not, a firearms malfunction is the result of human error.  And the most neglected aspect of gun ownership which results in firearms malfunctions is a dirty and or dry gun.

During my firearms training classes, I make it a practice to inspect the firearms the student will be using.  In the vast majority of cases, even among police officer who depend on their firearms to protect themselves and the public, I find the the guns are dirty and either under or over oiled.  About 50 percent of those guns were not even cleaned after being last fired.  There is absolutely no excuse for this among professionals.

Outers Universal 25 Piece Gun Cleaning Tool Chest

If you are going to carry a firearm for protection, you will definitely want it to go bang instead of click in a life or death situation.  Reliability is desirable here.  A dirty gun is prone to malfunction resulting in a host of issues like failure to feed and failure to eject.  And the fix for these potential problems is so simple.  Clean and lube your gun regularly.

For the gun that is carried on a regular basis and not fired, you should clean, inspect and lubricate it once a month.  If you shot it, clean it afterwards.  If you get it dirty or wet, clean it and lubricate it.  The monthly cleaning and inspection should take 10 minutes and cleaning it after you shot should take no more than 30 minutes.

Also don’t forget to all some oil to the gun.  Your guns owners manual will provide guidance on where to apply oil.  Remember to not over do it because adding too much oil will attract dirt or could seep into the fire pin channel and eventually into the cartridge.  Oil in the cartridge could render it inert.

I harp constantly to gun owners that they need to be responsible.  Keeping your firearms in clean working order is part of responsible gun ownership.  The life you save just might be your own.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

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.

For tips on cleaning your firearms, check out this post on USA Carry.com.

Shooting on the Move

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 1.34.00 PMI have been talking recently about improving your shooting skills by utilizing targets that are more realistic and targets that are reactive.  I next want to address another important skill to master in order to come out on top after a gunfight; that being shooting on the move.

If you are faced with a bad guy with a weapon, any type of weapon, one of the worst things you can do is to remain standing in the same spot for the duration of the encounter.  You must be moving as much as possible to make yourself a harder target to hit and to be seeking cover and or concealment.  In fact, during a shootout, nobody is likely to be standing still for long.

If you are going to be moving, it might be a good idea to practice doing so while shooting.  Better put, you are going to have to practice shooting, while moving.  And if you have trouble hitting the target while stationary, hitting the target while moving is gonna be difficult at best, but it’s a skill that is vital to learn and one that can be mastered with some practice.

The most difficult part about moving and shooting is trying to keep the sights aligned to the target.  Even if you are moving in a straight line towards or away from the target, you will find your sights will be bouncing up and down in relation to the target because you will be bouncing up and down.  There is practically nothing that can be done to stop some movement, either up and down or side to side, but you can reduce it and or compensate for it.

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The first thing to understand is that you cannot take on a rigid profile.  Many people who are stationary target shooting try and make themselves as rigid as possible to minimize movement of the sights before the shot and to brace for recoil after the shot.  Being rigid while moving and shooting is the wrong approach.  As you move, your legs need to be acting as shock absorbers.  The knees have to remain bent and the legs flexible as you move. Next, you need to learn to walk heel to toe moving forward, toe to heel moving back and never cross one foot in front of the other as you move side to side.  This will help reduce the up and down movement of your upper body and keep you from tripping yourself.

Your upper body, in particular your arms also need to be more flexible while moving and shooting than they are if you are standing still.  You cannot reduce all of the sights movements with your lower body alone, your upper body, in particular your arms also have to take on some of the burden.  Image that the gun is floating in front of you on a cushion of air as you move.  Your elbows should be slightly bent and your shoulders acting as shock absorbers similar to your legs.

Trigger control is absolutely critical while moving and shooting. As you see the target appear in your sights, there will be a tendency to mash the trigger.  This will inevitably result in shots low on or missing  the target altogether.  It is important to practice good trigger control all the time, but while stationary, you can be slightly off with the trigger, while moving you cannot.  You should work on developing a rhythm in which you pull the trigger at the same point in your movements.  Generally a good rule of thumb is to pull the trigger while the heel of one foot is on the ground and the toe of the other is down.  This is usually the most stable portion of your movement.

Keep in mind that even the best shooters accuracy will suffer somewhat when shooting on the move.  Your grouping will not be as tight, and you should not expect it to be. But with practice, you will develop enough skill to put rounds on target consistently while moving.  The important thing to remember is you have to practice to get there.

Lastly, the best thing you can do in a gun fight is do your best to be stationary when you return fire.  As best you can you should try to move in between shots, either to cover or concealment and limit your shooting until after you get there. But as best laid plans of mice and men goes, that aint always gonna happen.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

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.

 

What’s the Real Threat?

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 3.08.38 AMWhen shooting, as it is when you throw a ball, it is critical to look where you want the shot to go.  This is especially true when point shooting, a procedure whereby the shooter doesn’t aim utilizing the guns sights, but rather by pushing the gun out towards the target and aiming by looking the gun into the target.  We will discuss point shooting in an upcoming article, for now, I want to focus on what it is you should be focusing on when engaging a target.

The target should be the bad guy, and not the tool he is employing as a weapon.  Remember the old adage, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people?”  Well, this is more than just some outdated expression, it’s a fact.  The threat you should be concerned about, and the one you should focus on and engage is the person behind the weapon, be it a knife, bat or gun.  Eliminate the person and the weapon becomes useless.

Why distinguishing between the human threat and the target is important is because as stated above, you have to look at your target in order to hit it.

I can remember the first time I participated in a gunfight with another human utilizing simunition rounds.  In the scenario, we stood about 10 feet apart with our guns holstered.  At the command to fight, both of us drew and fired our guns until the magazines were empty.  The objective was to stay in the fight and on target despite the fact that you were taking rounds from the other person.  Yeah, they were essentially paintball rounds, but at 10 feet, they hurt like hell.  (I cannot recommend this type of reality based training more strongly)

During this training, I was surprised at how often I was hit either in the hand or the gun itself was struck by the sim-rounds.  I was also surprised by how often I did the same to the other guy, especially since I was point shooting and not using my sights.  The reason, because there is a strong tendency to look at the gun in the other guys hands.  And when you do, you tend to shoot it because your gun follows your eyes.

It can certainly end a gun fight should you shot the weapon out of the bad guys hand, or you disable the hand, but it is by far the least practical option. Let’s say the guy has a knife in his hand and it is held out to the side.  If you look at the weapon and not the bad guy, you will more times than not miss.  Same holds true with a bat or pipe that is generally held out to the side.  Missing your first or second shot will most likely give the bad guy time to close the distance and get to you before you can get off more shots.

Looking at the weapon can also increase your level of stress making it even harder to get off properly aimed shots allowing you to eliminate the threat before the threat eliminates you.  It is far more effective and efficient to focus on the threat, and not the weapon.

During your training, utilize targets that depict images of bad guys holding weapons and practice looking past or through the weapon at the bad guy himself.  Practice focusing on the real threat, the human being and not the perceived threat, in this case the weapon.  Train like you fight and fight like you train.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

It is also worth noting that in a conflict where you are unarmed and the bad guy has a knife or a blunt object, it is just as important to focus on the human being and not the weapon.  Don’t try to disarm the bad guy, rather, take out the bad guy which will render the weapon useless.  That’s a topic for another discussion though.

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.

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!

Dennis

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!

Dennis

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.

 

 

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!

Dennis

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.

Stay in the Fight

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 10.46.23 PMOne of the best combat shooting drills I was ever subjected too involved head to head gunfighting with another student employing simunition guns.  This is basically glorified paintball, but involving very realistic guns and “paintball” rounds that closely resemble real bullets.  During the drill, two students stand about ten feet apart, and on the command to fire, both draw and shoot a magazine full of simunition rounds at the other guy.  What makes this drill so beneficial is that you get to shot a real person, who is in turn shooting back at you.

The point of the drill is to learn to stay in the fight, despite the fact that you are not only being shot at, but actually taking rounds to your body.  Now, simunition rounds won’t kill you, but they do hurt, and most sane people would rather not get hit with one, especially at a range of ten feet.  You would be surprised at how many people try to duck or stop shooting altogether once they start taking rounds.  This just makes them sitting ducks because now the other guy doesn’t have to worry about getting shot and can focus all of his attention on killing you.  And in this drill, the person who keeps shooing wins every time.  This type of scenario happens all the time during a real gunfight.

I have seen hundreds of police shooting videos, and in almost every single one, the officer spends more time ducking and running for cover than he does trying to eliminate the threat with a well-placed shot.  In the vast majority of the shootings, the first shot misses the officer and when the shot does happened to connect, it isn’t fatal.  In fact, it is generally the second and subsequent shots that turn out to be fatal.

Now I have never been shot and I certainly never want to be, but it’s important to understand that it is better to stand and fight while getting off accurate, well placed shots than it is to duck and jive trying not to get shot while the badguy empties a magazine in your direction.  Believe me, the whole situation sucks, and it sucks real bad, but when the shooting starts, the time to worry about the shit you have just found yourself in is over and the time to fight for your life has begun!

In his book, “Gunshot Wounds:  Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics and Forensics Techniques,” Dr. Vincent DiMaio, MD found that 80 percent of the places on the human body are not fatal to be shot.  Further he finds that if you make it to the hospital with your heart still beating, your chance of surviving a gunshot is 95 percent.  This illustrates the fact that you have a very high probability of surviving a gunshot, but the odds decrease drastically with each subsequent shot.

So this takes us back to the combat shooting drill involving simunitions.  The drill attempts to persuade the students that getting shot doesn’t necessarily mean you are doomed and the statistics Dr. DiMaio cites adds teeth to the argument.  Should you head for cover if and when you can?  Absolutely you should.  But the distance between you and the badguy when the shooting starts will most likely prevent you from immediately seeking cover.  Your only option at this point is to stand and fight.  It makes sense to do everything within your power to end the gunfight as soon as possible.  Odds are, the longer it continues, the more chance YOU have of coming out on the short end.

According to the FBI, who in 2012 completed a study involving 200 agent involved shootings over a 17 year period, 75 percent of the shootings occurred at a range of 3 yards.  At that distance, your only option is to stand and fight.  And now that you are armed with the facts that the odds are overwhelming that you will survive a gunshot, you can focus your mental efforts on eliminating the threat and winning the fight.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

P.S. – I do not work for or receive any compensation from Tim Larkin or his company.  I have looked into many self-defense systems currently being taught and I believe that what he and his team teach is superior to other systems.  With that said, don’t just take my word for it, do your own research and make an educated decision.

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.

 

Your Personal Protection Tool Box

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 10.04.17 PMMany people, me included at one time, believe that the only personal protection measures they need to take is to purchases a firearm and carry it with them all the time.  Some people who conceal carry have a feeling of invincibility because they think that the gun they have strapped to their body will protect them from any bad things that may come their way.  Many people who think this are in for a rude awakening.

A firearm is but one tool in an individual’s personal protection tool box.  As you live your daily life and go about your business interacting with hundreds of people each day, you have the potential to be confronted by one or more of the bad elements who live among us.  Not every situation will warrant a firearm being introduced and not every situation that does warrant a firearm will afford you the opportunity to deploy it.  It’s for these times that you are going to need other options.

Because discussing every aspect of personal protection isn’t feasible in one article, let’s focus our attention on situations where a firearm is necessary for your protection, but can’t be deployed for one reason or another.

Badguys don’t live by the same rules that you and I do.  Some are prone to extreme violence and they don’t care who, or how many people they hurt as a means to an end. If you are in a crowded theatre, or a store or a restaurant and are confronted by an armed individual, you may not have the option of shooting your gun.  Doing so could result in an innocent person being injured or killed if they unfortunately find themselves as part of your backdrop.  Badguys don’t care if shooting at you results in a child being killed behind you because they either missed or the bullet over penetrated the target.  We are law abiding citizens who care about the consequences of such actions so we must be mindful of our backdrop and if it isn’t clear, you cannot shot, no matter what.  (An active shooter changes things but that’s a subject for a different article.)

Statistics tell us that most gun fights occur at a range of 7 yards or 21 feet.  At that range, an average person can close the distance to zero in 1.5 seconds.  Can you draw your weapon from concealment that quickly?  What if the distance between you and the badguy is only 5 feet or 3 feet or arms length?  What then?  Well, drawing your weapon isn’t going to be an option so you will need to either find a way to increase the time it takes the badguy to get to you or find another way to defend against an attack.  You might have plenty of warning inside your home if somebody tries to break in, but out on the street, well it’s likely you won’t have any warning.  You are going to have to have a backup plan.

So what to do you ask?  First of all, you need to have good situational awareness.  This increases the time you have to react to bad situations, or better yet avoid them all together.  Next, you need to practice deploying your firearm from it’s concealed location.  Don’t just strap on a gun and think everything will be okay.  Lastly, you need to learn some kind of self-defense method that does not utilize a firearm, because as we have seen, your firearm isn’t always going to be available to you.

My suggestion, and if you do some research you will find many options for self-defense, is a system developed by Tim Larkin called “5 Second Survival.”  It’s an easy to learn system that doesn’t get all mucked up in spirituality or complicated physical maneuvers like martial arts do.  Not that there is anything wrong with martial arts, but they are more of a sport type method for fighting and not specifically design for self-defense. The methods Tim Larkin developed are easy to learn and don’t depend on a person being like Bruce Lee to master.  I utilize his methods and believe they are a fantastic complement to carrying a firearm for personal protection.

So if you are like some and believe that a firearm is the be all end all in self-defense, you need to change that way of thinking because the life you save just might be your own.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

P.S. – I do not work for or receive any compensation from Tim Larkin or his company.  I have looked into many self-defense systems currently being taught and I believe that what he and his team teach is superior to other systems.  With that said, don’t just take my word for it, do your own research and make an educated decision.

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.