We live in times that could raise any American citizen’s blood pressure. The atrocity that occurred today at the Boston Marathon. A whacked-out martinet on the other side of an ocean threatening to nuke our country. No wonder so many of our neighbors are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
I’ve enjoyed Jack Spirko’s free Survival Podcast for some time, and my significant other is a huge fan of his show. Jack recognizes that it ain’t just a “Panic In the Year Zero” apocalypse scenario that justifies being prepared for bad things…it’s life itself that constantly reminds us we need to be so prepared. Whether you live in hurricane country, earthquake country, tornado country, flood country, or wherever, Mother Nature can deliver some nasty large-scale surprises.
In going on six and a half decades on this planet, I’ve learned that really bad things are most likely to happen to people who aren’t prepared for them. From medical emergency to a cutoff of power and food supply to self-defense, preparedness seems to downgrade bad things from “horrible disaster” to “memorable adventure you’d just as soon not have had to go through.”
If you’re not familiar with Spirko’s podcast, check it out. He strikes me as A Thinking Man.
Recently got home from the 2013 Polite Society event, a/k/a National Tactical Conference, in Memphis. A symposium like this allows you to recharge your batteries and remember what you fight for. There were roughly 150 attendees – 25 of them teaching – and damn near all of them were carrying loaded guns the whole time. The name of the conference comes from a Robert Heinlein quote popularized by armsmaster Jeff Cooper: “An armed society is a polite society.” One quick translation of that is, creatures with fangs and claws do not see other creatures with fangs and claws as prey…and unless it’s a mating issue or a turf issue, they generally leave them the hell alone.
There were too many fine presentations to relate here, though each is discussed on an upcoming ProArms podcast that four of our crew who attended were able to record in the car on the way home. Yes, the drive of eleven hours each way was more than worth it for what we got out of the conference. It is not “up” yet, but should be soon; patience appreciated.
Many of the presenters and attendees alike were cops or retired cops. Across the board, there was unanimous agreement that the current trend toward private citizen disarmament was deplorable and wrong-headed. Host Tom Givens, the founder of the program, made a telling point: real-world analysis of violent crime indicates about a one-in-thirty chance that any individual American will face it at some time in his or her life. (Virtually ALL of the presenters had come face to face with it already, one reason they were selected to teach.) Tom pointed out that over the years, sixty or more of his civilian graduates have been involved in lethal force encounters. All but two prevailed and survived. The two who didn’t prevail, died. Not coincidentally, those were the two who were unarmed when it happened. Tom reminded us all of the advice of Jeff Cooper’s acolyte Mark Moritz, a gun-wise attorney: “The first rule of gunfighting is, Have A Gun!”
The eclectic program encompassed emergency first responder trauma care for gunshot wounds, stabs and lacerations, and blunt trauma injury, taught by MDs. It included a veteran psychologist on one side and a homicide investigator on the other delineating how human predators think and act. There was hand-to-hand work, and knife awareness, and recognition of assaultive behavior cues. There was aftermath management: the blocs I taught revolved around lessons learned in some of the more recent homicide trials I’ve been involved in, including one a month ago, all of which were killings done in defense of self and/or others. (And yes, in each case the jury agreed.) The veteran cop who talked about “active shooter” scenarios deplored the fact that this has become the terminology, since human monsters such as those should be considered “active killers” or indeed, “active mass-murderers.” He had been involved in two such incidents himself, both of which ended in the quick death of the monsters as soon as they were confronted with lethal force resistance, and he quite pointedly noted that some of the cases under discussion were ended by armed citizens who saved countless lives.
Time with people who understand the ugly reality of having to stop murderers, is time well spent for those who may have to one day face such murderers.
And “those who may have to one day face such murderers” includes everyone reading this, and indeed, everyone, period.
Thanks to Tom Givens and his team for making this top-tier level of training available to law-abiding private citizens, as well as the many cops who were in attendance. Next year’s program will be held on February 21-23, 2014 in Memphis, and you can get more information from the Rangemaster Website.
The RangeMaster complex in Memphis had room to train 150 good people.
Jon Hodoway gave an excellent lecture on the survival capabilities that can be found in an ordinary smart phone.
Ever heard of SouthNarc? He’s retired from police work now, so I can finally publish his picture…and I’ve long recommended his street-wise training.
Here, I’m briefing the audience on lessons learned from recent homicide trials. On screen is the Ruger .45 used in a self-defense shooting.
So, the man a heartbeat away from leading the Free World – and who has eagerly taken the point on gun prohibition for his Numero Uno – tells us we don’t need semiautomatic firearms to defend ourselves from home invaders because if we just have a double-barrel shotgun and fire it into the air with live ammunition, it will scare the bad guys off. (Scroll to the 6:20 mark)
Yeah, that’s it…hose out into the air and render empty and useless the only thing that can save your life from violent home invaders. Ignore the fact that the ounce of lead you discharge with each pull of the trigger has got to come down somewhere…like a while back when a careless hunter emptied his muzzle-loader into the air, and the projectile came down and killed a teenage Amish girl far from the scene.
And, gee, if the purpose of defensive firearms is just to make noise guaranteed to scare violent, committed, homicidal criminals away, I guess all we need for ammo is blanks, huh?
Defending your home against (predictably multiple) home invaders with a two-shot weapon is rather like being forced into a boxing match alone against multiple opponents in the ring at once, and agreeing that you’ll stop punching after you’ve swung twice. And if you’re going to just use it as a noisemaker, the way the VP supposedly told his wife to do, it follows both your punches in that full-contact, bare-knuckle fight are gonna just have to be shadow-boxing “air punches.”
If our Vice-President has this to say about home defense, one has to wonder just how well-informed he is on other critical issues of the day.
The rush to gun prohibition is monumentally stupid, and the statement above by the White House “face of the (prohibition) movement” shows an appalling lack of knowledge by those driving the push to criminalize a huge percentage of our nation’s law-abiding citizenry.
Will the media make a mockery of Biden for his dangerously bad advice, the way they tried to do to Marco Rubio after he fumbled while reaching for a bottle of water when his mouth got dry during a speech? Somehow, I’m not ready to bet the farm on that…
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had a conversation with someone in the last few days who asked, “Why do ordinary law-abiding people need those semiautomatic firearms with magazines that can hold more than ten cartridges?” There are lots of sound answers.
For one thing, defensive firearms are meant to be “equalizers,” force multipliers that can allow one good person to defend against multiple evil people. To allow one good person to defend against a single evil person so much stronger and/or bigger and/or more violent than he or she, that the attacker’s potentially lethal assault can be stopped. History shows that it often takes many gunshots to stop even a single determined aggressor. Most police officers have seen the famous autopsy photo in the cops-only text book “Street Survival” of the armed robber who soaked up 33 police 9mm bullets before he stopped trying to kill the officers. Consider Lance Thomas, the Los Angeles area watch shop owner who was in many shootouts with multiple gang bangers who tried to rob and murder him. He shot several of them, and discovered that it took so many hits to stop them that he placed multiple loaded handguns every few feet along his workbench. That’s not possible in a home, or when lawfully carrying concealed on the street: a semiautomatic pistol with a substantial cartridge capacity makes much more sense for that defensive application.
In the last twenty years, we have seen epic mob violence in American streets. During the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, Korean storekeepers armed with AR15s kept their stores and livelihoods – and lives – from the torches of inflamed crowds because the mob feared their force multipliers. Read this, for a survivor’s account: http://www.seraphicpress.com/jew-without-a-gun/. There have been bands of roving, violent predators as lately as this year during the Sandy storm. And the “flash mob violence” phenomenon of recent years has left many urban dwellers picturing themselves as the lone victim of a feral human wolfpack.
And, if you will, one more stark and simple thing: Americans have historically modeled their choices of home protection and personal defense handguns on what the cops carried. When the police carried .38 revolvers as a rule, the .38 caliber revolver was the single most popular choice among armed citizens. In the 1980s and into the 1990s, cops switched en masse to semiautomatic pistols. So did the gun-buying public. Today, the most popular handgun among police seems to be the 16-shot, .40 caliber Glock semiautomatic. Not surprisingly, the general public has gone to pistols bracketing that caliber in power (9mm, .40, .45) with similar enthusiasm. The American police establishment has also largely switched from the 12 gauge shotgun which was also the traditional American home defense weapon, to the AR15 patrol rifle with 30-round magazine…and, not surprisingly, the law-abiding citizenry has followed suit there, too.
The reasoning is strikingly clear. The cops are the experts on the current criminal trends. If they have determined that a “high capacity” semiautomatic pistol and a .223 semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines are the best firearms for them to use to protect people like me and my family, they are obviously the best things for usto use to protect ourselves and our families .