Tag Archives: Concealed Carry Class

Glock 43 Review

7-26-2015 10-51-59 PMI don’t do gun reviews because, well, because I don’t do gun reviews. I generally don’t have the opportunity to get an advanced look and the latest and greatest products before they come to market so by the time I’ve shot it and write the review, 100 others have already done so. Plus, I focus more on the practical aspects of the armed citizen genre than which company makes the best gear for a particular application.

Well today I’m going to break a bit from tradition and give you my thoughts on the latest offering from one of the premier firearms manufactures in the world, Glock, in particular, the new Glock 43. The 43 is the follow up to last years G42 which is chambered in .380 ACP.

The G43 is a single stack, 9mm slim line semi-automatic pistol that looks strangely similar to its little big brother, the G26, also 9mm.  (Yeah, I know, all Glocks look the same.)  I have carried the G26, both as a primary off-duty weapon, and as an on-duty back-up. My primary on-duty, and the Glock model learned on, is the G21 chambered in .45 ACP. When my department finally decided to let officers carry a back-up weapon, I decided on the G26, which while on duty I carry in an ankle holster.

After running thousands of rounds through the full sized G21, I found it difficult to transition with any degree of acceptable proficiency to the sub-compact G26. After many hours of practice to include live and dry fire, I became very proficient with the small gun and have grown to like shooting it very much. With that said, for me at least, the G26 is at the lower limit of what I find comfortable to shoot and couldn’t image going any smaller for a self-defense firearm.7-26-2015 10-53-50 PM

My initial concern with the G43 is that it smaller size would make it difficult for me to accurately shoot and uncomfortable to hold. I really had no interest in shooting it because of this bias until a colleague of mine told me that he had just purchased one as a back-up and loved it. This colleague is will over 6 feet tall and north of 300 pounds with meat hooks for hands. I am of average size so I figured, if the big guy had no issues handling the new Glock, I should at least give it a shot. (Pun intended)

In short, I absolutely loved shooting the Glock 43. To me the gun handles like a dream with very manageable recoil, even when shooting duty rounds, and a crisp, familiar trigger pull that reminded me of all of my other Glock pistols. As far as accuracy goes, I found the G43 to be as accurate as anything else I have ever shot inside 15 yards. While I did not go beyond that range, my colleague did take it out to 25 yards and reports no issues with putting accurate, threat stopping shots on target.

I have shot several of the Glock models over the years to include the G18 in full auto (Yeah, it was friggin awesome!) and I would say that the Glock 43 is as good as any of them in every way. Where the G43 shines is in its concealability, especially with the ladies and as a back-up weapon.  It fits nicely in an ankle holster, purse or even your pocket.  While some will say that the 6+1 ammunition capacity is lacking, it is comparable to other single stack 9’s currently available and is one or two better than many revolvers of comparable size.  If 7 rounds doesn’t do it for you, toss an additional mag in your pocket.  The G43 magazine comes with a standard baseplate as will as an extended version to support your little finger, however, it does not add any additional ammunition capacity to the gun.

In conclusion, the Glock 43 is more than worthy to be included in the Glock Perfection lineup and fits in nicely with the other Glock pistols currently in use today. Glock has been extremely successful over the last 30 years by creating quality and reliable firearms that have been used all over the world to save lives. The G43 is yet another addition to the Glock line of firearms which will, I have no doubt, protect and defend many more lives in the decades to come.

Glock 43 SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber – 9mm
Ammunition Capacity – 6+1
Overall Length – 159mm / 6.20in
Slide Length – 154mm / 6.06in
Length Between Sights – 132mm / 5.20in
Weight w/Empty Magazine – 509g / 17.95oz
Width – 26mm / 1.02in
Slide Width – 22mm / .87in
Height – 108mm / 4.25in

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.

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Self-Defense Long Range Pistol Shooting

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 5.00.51 PMIf you have done your homework on self-defense shootings, be it the police or a civilian doing the shooting, you know that most armed encounters occur at close range.  In fact, the vast majority occur at what is commonly referred to as “conversational distance.”  Bad guys know, and it makes perfect sense, that getting in close before announcing their attack gives them a tactical advantage.  The bad guy gets close before he attacks thereby drastically reducing the time a vicim has to react and put up a defense.  Because of this, most of us practice our defensive shooting tactics at close range.

Now, I ‘m a big proponent of practicing defensive shooting tactics up close because while it should be easier to shoot a target at close range, it becomes more difficult to draw your firearm from concealment when in a hurry.  At close range you may only have a very short period of time to get the gun out of the holster and put an accurate shot on target, especially if the bad guy is so close that you are forced to fight him off with one hand while trying to draw with the other.

But what if the bad guy isn’t up close and personal, what if he is across the parking lot or down a long hall?  Im talking about a bad guy with a rifle who begins shooting 35, 50, 75 or even 100 yards away from you.  If you aren’t the intended target yet, maybe said bad guy is just randomly shooting people, you could turn and high tail it to safety and nobody would fault you for it, or, you could elect to try and put a stop to the shooting spree before it claims more lives.

What if the  bad guy isn’t your garden variety violent offender or nut job, maybe he is a terrorist with a bomb strapped to his chest.  In that scenario, you aren’t going to want to get up close to take him out, you will want to do it at the longest distance possible.  Unless you carry a rifle with you all day, a pistol will probably be your only option in either scenario.

A 100 yard shot with a pistol isn’t as easy as point shooting is from 3 yards, but it is certainly doable.  It’s also a different kind of shooting.  While any real world shooting, meaning, your target is a bad guy and is most likely shooting back,  should be considered “combat shooting,” at conversational distance you will most likely be point shooting.  At long distance, this isn’t an option.  Long distance shooting has more in common with target shooting than combat shooting.  This means you will have to take your time, line up the shot, control your breathing and press the trigger without disturbing the sights.

Typically, the longer the shot, the more time that is needed to make the an accurate shot and the more you need to be paying attention to your breathing.

A  long distance shot incorporates all the same fundamentals of shooting that you have practiced like trigger control and sight alignment, but with a few others.  Firstly, most of us will require a supported position to make a shot with a pistol that far.  The hood of a car, a table or the frame of a door will work.  Your trigger control will have to be spot on.  Any movement of the trigger that moves the sights, even a fraction of an inch can result in a miss.  At long distances, moving the sights will exaggerate an off target shot.  Move the sights slightly at 7 yards will generally result in a hit, at 100 yards, not likely.

Lastly, as a bullet travels from the muzzle of your gun to the target, the bullet will be affected by gravity causing it to drop.  Not at issue up close but depending on the distance to the target, it will be a big issue.  So it is important to know how far it will drop at a given distance and with a given ammunition.   Your gun, it’s caliber and the ammunition weight and makeup will play a role in how far the bullet will drop.  Oh, and don’t forget that the wind will also play a role, a major role in fact on the flight of the bullet.

Because there is a possibility that you may be called on someday to make a long distance shot with your pistol, acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to do so is critical to your success.  While I don’t do it on a regular basis, I do on occasion set up a target 50 or 100 yards out and practice making the shot with my everyday carry pistol.  In doing so, I know that I and my equipment are capable of putting hits on target at those distances.  Should I be called on to do so, I am confident that I at the very least have a fighting  chance at ending a gun fight or taking out a terrorist at distance.  Of course, at the range the targets don’t generally shot back or blow up.

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.

If you have doubts about hitting a target with a pistol at long distances, check out the video below of Instructor Zero hitting a target at 300m with a Glock 9mm.

 

Fit to Win?

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 11.40.13 PMThere are many aspects that go in to your ability to win a fight.  When we prepare our personal protection plan, we give a lot of thought to things like firearm selection, ammunition ballistics, holster construction and clothing that best conceals our weapon.  All of these things are important considerations, but unfortunately, one very important component is often forgotten, fitness.  Yes, fitness is a very important aspect to any personal protection plan and should not be overlooked.

Generally speaking, being physically fit means that you are healthy.  If you are the type who takes care of yourself by eating right and exercising regularly, you will have a tactical advantage over the person who does not take an active role in their health.  You will be stronger, more flexible, possess better hand-eye coordination, be faster, have more aerobic stamina and be less likely to suffer an injury during a fight.  In the end, your body will be able to function at a higher level than the average bad guy who may be an alcohol or drug abuser, a smoker or somebody who is generally lazy about physical activity.Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 11.48.37 PM

Most of your garden variety bad guys will fall into the category of poor health, however, more times than not, most bad guys will be young adult males.  Even without paying much attention to fitness, a young adult male is generally more physically capable than the average women or the average male in his 30’s, 40’s or 50’s.  Any added advantage you can get by taking proactive steps to improve your health will be to your advantage.

Without getting into the particulars, I suggest a mixture of aerobic and strength training as well as exercises to improve hand-eye coordination and grip strength.  Yoga and Zumba have their place in a good fitness plan, but adding strength training utilizing free weights is a must.  Yoga isn’t going to help you as you trying to fight off a bad guy long enough to get to your firearm.  Only strength training will.

So, as if you need another excuse to get off the couch and get moving, add surviving an attack by a highly motivated 19 year old male determined to take your life to the list.

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.

 

Use of Force: Home Invasions

9mm vs 45ACPA good portion of my concealed carry class deals with the proper use of force, more specifically, the proper use of deadly force. I believe very strongly that if you carry a deadly weapon for your protection, you must have a good understanding of the law as it pertains to employing that deadly weapon. We as American’s believe very strongly in the sanctity of human life. The taking of a life is a very serious thing and once it has occurred, there is no going back.

>>>Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense<<<

I am always surprised at the differing opinions people have when you ask them when the use of deadly force is justified. Generally people error on the side of NOT utilizing deadly force, such as when a bad guy is not armed with what would traditionally be classified as a weapon. For instance, many people don’t think that it is ever justified to shot an unarmed person, even if that person is on top of you and smashing your head into the pavement. Generally I can explain to them what disparity of force is and why deadly force can be justified, even if the assailant is unarmed. Usually after some discussion they come around and agree that the presence of a weapon is not always required. But, the harder argument to win is when discussing when deadly force is authorized should you find yourself the victim of an intruder in your own home.

My students, almost to a person believe that should anybody enter you home without permission, they have the right to shot them. This is simply not true. The same elements must exist whether you are in your home or in the parking lot of the local shopping center.

“A person my use deadly force to protect themselves or others from what they reasonably believe to be an immediate threat of death or grave bodily harm.”

Legal definitions vary from state to state, but essentially the above is the gist of what most states consider the only time when a person, be it a police officer or a civilian may utilize deadly force against another.

So, with the above definition in mind, if a person breaks into your house to steal your television expecting you to be gone, and upon seeing the home is occupied, flees out the back door, would it be legal to shot them as they leave? The answer is obviously no. Deadly force is NOT authorized in the defense of property. A human life, even if that human life belongs to a really bad guy is more valuable than your television, or your computer, or you grandmothers diamond ring.

Let’s take a minute and delve briefly into the criminal mind. There are generally two kinds of people, type “A” and type “B”. The former is more of the aggressive, go getter type with the latter being the more passive, laid back type. A type “A” criminal would be the kind that doesn’t shy away from confrontation. This type of person would most like commit crimes against the person such as robbery, rape or murder. A type “B” criminal doesn’t want contact with another person and thus picks crimes generally involving property like theft or fraud type crimes.

Understanding the type of criminal you are dealing with is critical to your use of force decision making. A person who is interested in stealing your television isn’t likely to break into your home when you are home because he isn’t interested in human contact. Many burglars are non-violent types who will wait for you to go to work before entering you home.

A person who would break into your home when you are there is a whole different kind of person. In fact, the crime he is committing is different. If you are home when the break-in occurs, even if they are only after your property, they are still committing a robbery because the property they are taking is under your control. It makes no difference if the property is a television hanging on your wall or the wallet in your pocket. Now, some would argue that just because a person is home when their home is broken into doesn’t mean a robbery has occurred. It is true that a robbery is the taking of property from a person through threats, violence or intimidation. I suppose a person could come into your living room and take the television off your wall without displaying a weapon or uttering a word, but the very act of entering the home of another while they are home, I would argue, is a threat of violence or at the very least intimidation. I cannot see any issues with somebody being able to articulate fear should this occur.

With the above examples of the differences between certain types of criminals, I believe that it is easier to articulate why you became in fear for your life and that of your family should you find yourself confronted by an intruder in your home. An intruder entering your home knowing it is likely occupied has no fear of confrontation making it likely that they are a type “A” personality with a propensity for violence. Most of the time, at least in my experience investigating home invasions, the assailant or assailants (Almost all home invasion involve multiple bad guys.) are armed. In fact, while I am writing this article, I cannot recall a time when I had a case in which the bad guys were not armed with a deadly weapon. Once in the confined space of your home, there aren’t any third party witnesses and there is very little likelihood that somebody will happen upon the crime that is being committed. In other words, the bad guys have virtually an unlimited amount of time upon entering your home and gaining control.   A lot can happen with an unlimited amount of time and no witnesses.

So to conclude, understand that the same legal standards apply when employing deadly force in your home and outside. Deadly force cannot be utilized in defense of property, but know that if you find yourself the victim of a home invasion, that is, your home is broken into while you are there, there is a very strong possibility that a violent act will be perpetrated against you or a member of your family. Take the appropriate measures and be prepared to defend your actions.

Dennis

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.

Use of Force: Disparity of Force

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 1.54.26 PMOver the last few years, there have been two self-defense shootings that have been front and center in the public eye, due in part to the 24 hours news channels and in part to the racial component that was made a dominant issue in both. The first one is the George Zimmerman shooting of Trayvon Martin and the second, and most recent, the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. Both cases are very similar in nature despite the fact that one involved an armed citizen on his way to the store and the other a police officer performing his sworn duty.

Perhaps the biggest similarity between the two cases was the fact that both Martin and Brown were not armed with a weapon per se, meaning, neither had a gun or a knife or a bludgeon type instrument. Both individuals were routinely described as being unarmed in what was an attempt by the media, and those who shamelessly benefit from pitting people against one another, to vilify Zimmerman and Wilson and classify them both a murders. Once the evidence was known, however, it was discovered that both Zimmerman and Wilson were completely justified when they employed deadly force, in this case a firearm to defend their lives.

In criminal proceedings conducted in the modern day judicial system, it is not uncommon for the jury to be ignorant of many of theScreen Shot 2014-12-23 at 4.32.46 PM nuances of the law. After all, the jury is made up of everyday people with busy lives who don’t always have the time to be an expert on all aspect of the law. It is the job of the attorneys and expert witnesses to educate the jury so that once the facts have been presented, a just verdict can be rendered and the rights of the innocent can be protected. Fortunately for Zimmerman and Wilson, that is exactly what happened.

For the armed citizen, it is just as important, if not more so to have a strong grasp of the law as it pertains to your right to carry a firearm for personal protection and your right to employ that weapon against an aggressor who is intent on causing you death or grave bodily harm.

Before I get into this any further, understand that I am not an attorney, but I have studied the laws governing use of force for many years. As a police officer, the potential to employ some type of force against another person exists every time I go to work so knowing the law is imperative. As a trainer of armed citizens, it is my duty to know the law governing use of force and how it applies to civilians and be able to articulate that during my classes on concealed carry. So I’d like to think that I’ve done my homework on the topic and am qualified to pass on what I know to everyone who will listen.

In the two above mentioned cases, both the aggressors were unarmed by all accounts, but in both instances, the principle of Disparity of Force applied. For the remainder of this article I shall attempt to explain this principle and why it applied in these cases and why the use of deadly force was justified in both.

One of the factors that must be present before deadly force can be employed is ability. The aggressor must possess the ability to cause death or grave bodily harm against an individual before deadly force is authorized. It’s easy for most people to look at an aggressor armed with a firearm and conclude that they had the ability to inflict death or grave bodily harm, but it can sometimes be harder when the aggressor is larger in stature than the intended victim or possesses physical abilities that trump those of the victim. Make no mistake about it though, it is not as hard as most people think to kill a person with only personal weapons, meaning hands and feet.

In the case of George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin was younger and stronger that Zimmerman and had engaged in street fighting for fun. Those three factors alone gave Marin a physical advantage over Zimmerman, but it did not end there. According to Zimmerman, Martin confronted him out of the shadows and surprised him with a punch to the face resulting in Zimmerman going down to the ground. Martin would end up on top of Zimmerman eventually punching him in the head and smashing his head into the pavement. Not only was Zimmerman physically outmatched by Martin, but he also found himself in a severe position of disadvantage once Martin was on top of him. No matter how you look at it, the principle of disparity of force was at play and working to Trayvon Martin’s advantage. If allowed to continue unchecked, it is highly likely that George Zimmerman would have died or suffered grave bodily injury as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.

In the next case involving Officer Darren Wilson, there was both a physical disadvantage as well as a positional disadvantage that factored into the eventual use of deadly force. The evidence supported by witness accounts says that Brown attacked Officer Wilson as he was seated in is patrol car and attempted to take his weapon. Brown, who was much larger than Wilson both in height and weight, struck the officer with a closed fist in the side of the head more than one time before reaching for the gun. The officer was at a position of disadvantage because he was still in his car limiting his options as far as going hands on with the aggressor. Just like as was the case with Zimmerman, repeated blows to the head by an individual who was physically stronger and in a position that afforded him a tactical advantage would most like result in death or grave bodily injury if allowed to continue.

In both instances, both men stated that they were in fear for their lives and in both instances the evidence would support that assessment. Both Zimmerman and Wilson believed that their only option was to deploy a firearm against their aggressors and under both Florida and Missouri law, both men were completely justified in doing so.

There a several factors that can create a disparity of force scenario. In the above examples, physical ability and a positional advantage created a tactical advantage for Trayvon Martin and physical size and a positional advantage for Michael Brown created a tactical advantage for him. There are other factors that can result in a disparity of force situation such as force of numbers, a male attacking a female, an adult attacking a child, a trained fighter vs. an average Joe, or a handicapped person being attacked by so called abled bodied individual.

If you carry a firearm for personal protection, you must know for your own survival that the aggressor doesn’t always have to be armed before you can deploy your weapon. There may be a circumstance when you find yourself at such a disadvantage that you will be justified in utilizing deadly force to stop the threat, even if the subject attacking you is unarmed. If you find yourself on a jury in which you must decide whether deadly force was justified for self-defense, don’t automatically assume that just because the “victim” was unarmed, he wasn’t a threat to do serious bodily harm or even cause the death to the other party. Listen with an open mind to the facts as they are presented and make up your mind whether or not disparity of force was a play.

 

Don’t just survive thrive!

Dennis

P.S. – In the example above involving Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson, I illustrated why the principle of disparity of force was applicable and why it justified the deadly force utilized by the officer. It is important to also recognize that once Michael Brown attempted to take the officers firearm, he essentially became an armed subject. One can only assume based on Mr. Browns demeanor that once in possession of the firearm, Brown would have turned it on the officer and pulled the trigger. This assumption can be legitimately made given the fact that it has occurred before in similar situations. For a good example of disparity of force which turned into an unarmed subject arming himself with an officer’s firearm, watch the Lundsford Incident video available an several places on the intent.

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.

Use of Force: Understanding Deadly Force

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 4.07.49 PMThe following should not be construed as legal advice and reading what appears below should not be a substitute for thoroughly researching the laws in your state, city or county. Every jurisdiction has laws and regulations unique to itself and it is YOUR responsibility as a lawful gun owner and practitioner of concealed carry to know what they are and how they pertain to you. Before you leave home with your concealed firearm, seek legal counsel from the proper competent authority.

There is nothing we in the United States value more than life itself. It is sacred and most people will go to extreme lengths to preserve it. When we discuss firearms, and their use as a tool for personal defense, we often talk at length on such topics as which is the best firearm to carry concealed, which caliber has the most stopping power and is it better to carry inside the waistband or out? While these are all areas that should be thoroughly thought out and discussed, they pale in comparison to the study of the use of deadly force.

So I ask you to give serious thought to this question, when is the use of deadly force authorized?

As a daily practitioner of concealed carry, it is crucial that you know when you can, and when you cannot take another person’s life, and when you can and when you cannot discharge your firearm. While the two may seem at times disconnected, they are for sure one in the same. When confronted with a self-defense scenario that prompts you to remove your weapon from its holster, and discharge it, you are accepting that fact that the bullet will most like strike another human being resulting in the death of that human being.  For this reason, it is crucial to have answered some very important questions prior to doing so.Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 4.32.46 PM

What is my target?  Do they pose an imminent threat to my life or personal safety or that of another innocent person? Am I lawfully to be where I am? Am I lawful to possess and use a firearm in the particular jurisdiction I currently find myself in? Is the use of my firearm the only option in order to protect myself and others?
Some of those questions, like what is my target, must be answered when the time comes, if it ever does, to use your gun. Some, like, am I allowed to be where I am with my gun can be answered in advance of finding yourself in trouble. But regardless of when they are answered, they must be answered correctly.

Most of the question are self-explanatory and don’t warrant much of a discussion. What does warrant a discussion, and a thorough one at that is when is it lawful to use deadly force? Let’s first answer the question, what is deadly force? Most police departments and legal scholars define it like this:

That force which is intended to cause death or grave injury, or which creates some specific degree of risk that a reasonable and prudent person would consider likely to cause death or grave injury.

If you shot a person, no matter what your intent is, it will be considered in the eyes of the law as deadly force, whether or not the person dies. If you kill a person with your firearm, you might as well take it to the bank that you will be on trial for doing so, and at that trial, it will be up to you to convince a jury of your peers that you were justified in doing so. Anything less than a trial, and consider yourself lucky.

During your prosecution, those questions I outlined above will be asked and the answers you give had better be the right ones. But the most important question will be whether or not your life or the life of another innocent person was in such peril, that taking a person’s life was the only option you had. Could you have called the police to intervene? Could you have talked your way out of the situation? Could you have run away? These, and many more questions like them will be asked. And the answers to some will be different depending on where you are. But the fundamental question will always be the same. Was taking another person’s life my only option?

When may an officer use deadly force? Here is how my local police department answers that question:

“An officer my use deadly force to protect themselves or others from what they reasonably believe to be an immediate threat of death or critical bodily harm.”

While most of you reading this are not police officers, the above statement on the use of deadly force surely applies to any law abiding citizen employing the use of deadly force, sworn police officer or civilian. Let’s take a look at this statement.

Reasonable and immediate are the key words to remember here. Is it reasonable to think that a person standing across the street holding a brick can do you much harm? No, but close the distance to a couple of feet, and that same subject holding a brick surely has the ability to cause you serious injury or death. Same badguy and same weapon, but different circumstances make the use of deadly force reasonable in one scenario, and unreasonable in the other.

Next, is the threat immediate? Again, a badguy with a brick yelling that he is going to kill you from down the block isn’t an immediate threat. Swap the brick for a pistol, and the threat now can be upgraded.

Those examples may not necessarily be the best, but you get the point. The situation will dictate when deadly force may be used. You must evaluate each situation to determine if the threat is reasonable and immediate.

You also need to evaluate every situation based on your own personal and distinct circumstances. A 120 pound grandmother may find it difficult to fend off a 150 pound, 20 year old hell bent on doing her harm, but a 180 pound 30 year old defensive tactics instructor would have no problem fending off this attacker. The grandmother will have a better chance of defending her actions should she decide to use her firearm, than the 30 year old man will. Now, give the 30 year old man two small children to protect, and fending off an attacker becomes more difficult. Again, every situation is going to be different, even with the addition or subtraction of small details.

In conclusion, if you are going to be a responsible gun owner, especially one who practices regularly concealed carry, you’ve got to become intimately familiar with the law and how it applies to the use of deadly force. Educate yourself beyond just reading this article by speaking with a trusted attorney or your local law enforcement officer. This is serious stuff we are talking about, it’s not only your life, but the life of other human beings that you will be interacting with. Being responsible is about protecting not only your life, but all innocent human life.

In part 2 of this discussion, we will talk about the three factors that must be present for the use of force to be authorized;  Ability, opportunity, and jeopardy.

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.

Just the Facts: What Really Happens in a Gun Fight

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 10.46.23 PMMost peoples perception of reality comes from movies and TV.  Unfortunately, neither is particular accurate most of the time in conveying any real facts.  Most of the time all we want out of movies and TV is to be entertained and most of the time we are.  But if you are relying on Hollywood to give you accurate information about what to expect during a gun fight, you will be shocked and disappointed should you ever find yourself involved in one.

So what really happens in a gun fight?  Kevin McGlouwski at the United States Concealed Carry Association gives you some insight.  It’s important for you survival should you find yourself in a gun fight to know what to expect.  Check out the video below to find out.

 

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

Bad Decision Plus Firearm Equals Dead Instructor

A recent video is making it’s way around the internet showing a 9 year old girl losing control of a fully automatic Uzi resulting in the death of her firearms instructor.  A horrific outcome that will haunt that poor little girl for many years to come, and it wasn’t her fault.

I preach constantly here on my website and during my firearms classes about the importance of practicing responsible gun ownership.  A firearm is a incredibly effective tool in the right hands, and an incredibly dangerous tool in the wrong hands.  This video clearly shows the power of such an effective tool put into the wrong hands.

There is much blame to go around for what happened to the instructor.  First, the range should never have had a policy that allows children that young to handle fully automatic weapons.  If you have never shot a machine gun, then you cannot appreciate how difficult they can be to control.  A 9 year old girl, especially one that is not experienced with firearms is not capable to controlling the recoil of a machine gun as is evidenced by the video.  She should never have been allowed to try.

Next on the list of those responsible, her parents or guardian.  Even if they were themselves not experienced with firearms, common sense should have said that you don’t let such an inexperienced shooter use such an advanced weapon.  I know that we aren’t talking about a ray gun or any some such advanced weapon, but an inexperienced 9 year old little girl should be shooting a .22 semi-auto pistol or rifle until she proves she can handle more power.  I can see from the beginning of the video that the girl isn’t sure what she should be doing.

Last on the list of those responsible for the instructors death is the instructor himself.  As a firearms instructor, safety is my number one priority.  Among many factors we must consider, one of the most important is to evaluate whether or not a person is capable of handling a firearm and to what level their abilities rise too.  I don’t care how persuasive a person is, I have never and will never take a new shooter out to the range and hand them a firearm that they are not capable of handling.  It’s not safe and it hurts the new shooters prospects of ever becoming a good shooter.  The instructor in the video should have known better.  I don’t know what he was thinking or why he did what he did, but his poor decision cost him his life and will hopefully serve as an example that will hopefully prevent a tragedy like this from happening in the future.

I regret having to even write an article like this because I can appreciate how a tragic event like this affects those involved, even those who had a role in causing the tragedy in the first place.  But it is critically important to stop things like this from ever happening again because the next time it might be the 9 year old girl who is killed.  Learning from the errors made here becomes a positive moving forward and will no doubt saves lives.

Lastly, it should be evident by now that there will be those who seize upon tragedy’s like this to try and take away our guns.  They will point to the gun as the problem because they are ignorant or just plain don’t care about facts.  The gun had zero to do with what happened.  It was the line of people who thought letting an inexperienced 9 year old pick up and shoot an automatic weapon.  It’s yet again another isolated incident that the anti-gun crowd will point to in an effort to take away my guns and yours.  We have to be smarter than we are or else they will be successful in their quest in making millions of law abiding gun owners into felons.

My heart goes out to those who have been affected by this tragedy and I pray that the 9 year old girl will be able to some day understand that none of this was her fault and she can move on without the weight of this tragedy bearing down on her.  And I pray that something like this never happens again.  Every gun owner has it within them to ensure that it doesn’t.

Don’t just survive, thrive!

Dennis

 

Gunlights: To Attach or Not To Attach

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 11.44.30 PMIn my last article I explained why it is important to have a flashlight if you rely on a firearm for personal protection.  Here I will try to answer the next logical question, should the light be attached to the firearm or of the handheld variety.

As with most tactics involving personal protection there are pros and cons to both attaching the light to the gun and carrying it on your person.  And like most other tactics, the situation will dictate your approach to low or diminished light situations.

<<<Fight At Night: Tools, Techniques, Tactics, And Training For Combat In Low Light And Darkness>>>

The advantage of affixing the light to the firearm is that it frees up your support side hand to do other things.  Generally that other thing is establishing your support side grip onto the gun.  Certainly holding a flashlight in your support hand and also gripping the gun with the same hand is doable, but it does take some practice to master before it will feel comfortable.

In addition to using the support hand to grip the pistol, you may need it to open a door, turn on an interior light, give a hand check to a bad guy or carry a child to safety.  In all those situations, having a flashlight affixed to the firearm is a real plus.  It’s also nice to know that if you need a light, it will always be there on the firearm.

Now, there will be times that you will need a light, but not the gun itself.  Your gun should never be brandished unless there is a potential that it’s lethal abilities may be needed.  So if you need a light to look for the keys you just dropped, using the one affixed to the gun while its still affixed to the gun is a huge no no.  Maybe you see what might be a potential threat heading your way in a dark alley or parking lot but you aren’t sure.  A handheld flashlight is your only option until you can say for certain that that shadowy figure heading your way is a threat.  If you are at home and you hear a suspicious noise, you don’t want to use the gunfight to identify it, especially if the suspicious noise was caused by a loved one getting a drink of water.

So as far as a handgun is concerned, my preference is to utilize both a gun mounted light as well as a handheld light that I keep in my pocket.  In doing so I am ready for any contingency and I maintain a degree of redundancy that is always a plus in any SHTF situation I might find myself in.

Should your choice of firearm for home defense be a long gun, be it a shotgun or a rifle, your only option is a gun mounted lighting system. I would certainly not ever elect to utilize a headlamp that is generally used for outdoors activities unless you want a beacon that serves as a giant bullseye on your forehead for the bad guy to aim at. Since you should be using two hands on a long gun, a gun mounted light is your only option.

Lastly, when deciding on what type of light to purchase, be it a gun mounted light or handheld, you should go with an LED over an incandescent.  If you need to use the light in short on off bursts for searching and you don’t want to illuminate your position more than needed, the incandescent light will give off a second or two glow after it is turned off.  This glow is sure to give away your position where an LED will turn off and not glow as soon as the switch is engaged in the off position.  There are tactics that can be employed with incandescents to minimize the glow the bad guys sees, but since LED’s are so readily available these days, to me it’s a no brainer.

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 Mandatory Accessory for all Gun Owners

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 4.16.25 PMIf you possess a firearm for personal protection, be it for everyday carry or home defense, a flashlight is a mandatory accessory.  Just like peanut butter and jelly, ebony and ivory and Abbot and Costello, a firearm and a light go together perfectly.

According to FBI statistics, 80 percent of police shootings occur in low or diminished lighting conditions.  And you don’t have to look at statistics to know that bad things generally happen at night because it offers a tactical advantage to the bad guy.  There are several ways to take away this tactical advantage, one of which is the use of a flashlight.

Even if you aren’t out after dark, you may find yourself in low light conditions during the middle of the day.  Pulling into your garage, walking into a basement or an interior room at work are just three examples of low light conditions during the middle of the day.  And all three put you, the law abiding citizen at a tactical disadvantage.

The right flashlight can also be used as a weapon, both as an impact weapon and as a means to temporarily blind or stun a bad guy by shinning it in their eyes.  The later can give you the extra couple of seconds needed to deploy another weapons system or retreat to safety.

A flashlight is also a must have even if you aren’t carrying a firearm or if the situation you find yourself in doesn’t warrant the use of a gun.  During the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, many of the surviving victims said that finding their way to the exists was a major problem, probably costing lives because without power, there was no light.  A simple flashlight in the pocket would have solved the problem and perhaps saves some lives.  And even if you don’t find yourself victim of a terrorist attack, low light conditions can be the result of a natural disaster or because of a simple electrical storm that knocks out the power.

The last critical use for a flashlight is target identification.  A responsible gun owner is responsible for every round that is fired from their gun.  And there is never, ever a circumstance when you should be firing your gun at a target that you have not yet identified as a threat.  In low or diminished light conditions, it becomes difficult if not down right impossible to do that without the aid of artificial light.

In a county not far from where I live, a police officer shot and wounded is own daughter when she set off the house alarm sneaking back into the house.  The officer grabbed his firearm when he heard the alarm and shot his daughter by accident.  His critical mistake was not illuminating the “target” to identify it as friend or foe.  Doing so would have prevented what was almost a catastrophic disaster.  And that incident is not an isolated one, I have heard similar stories in the past.

So as you can hopefully appreciate, a flashlight is an absolute must if you have chosen to defend yourself and your loved ones.  And  a light doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, a good one can be had for around 30 bucks so there is not excuse for not doing so.

In my next article, we will go into the types of flashlights available and whether or not you should choose a stand alone light or the weapons mounted variety.   Stay tuned.

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.