Notes From The First-Ever PP Knowledge Capital Excursion
Are any of you familiar with this site? Absolutely great training by video. I’ve never disagreed with John’s tactical, legal, ethical, psychological, or spiritual insights about lethal self defense. I watch them all as they come out. If you own a gun and especially if you carry one on the street, I’d recommend the whole series to you as you have time.
Hi Evie, I will share with you. If someone carries and they are regularly around children then they have to be hyper vigilient about firearm safety. A little carelessness can be tragic. So I know women who selectively carry, sometimes choosing to have say, bear spray, wasp spray, dogs, tasers, or other deterrents handy. Our family joke is an elderly dog we call 30 seconds as she will allow us that much time to escape a bear or whomever and get to a weapon. Personally I know of several firearm accidents, no not accidents they were stupidity resulting in self wounding and the death of a child. On the comical side one was a distant relative by marriage of a guy who shot himself in the leg. A hysterical wife called 911 and the swat team showed up traumatizing the whole family. Apparently the message that the wound was self inflicted wasn’t clear.
Personally I feel safer knowing that there are a lot of people who carry up here in Alaska. It’s not just criminals who have guns it’s practically every hunter, fisherman and out-doors loving adventurer. Question – do you really need to every day carry? I think selective carry is wiser as people are then less complacent.
My 2 cents
http://www.corneredcat.com Kathy Jackson made this website just for you. Go to articles.
It is my opinion that you should go rent as many weapons as you can at a gun range while paying for a couple of hours of extra training. Kathy Jackson will help you choose the size to fit your needs, keeping in mind that smaller guns are much harder to shoot and clear. One exception to this might be the sigsauer p238. It is exceptionally easy to manipulate for a small gun.
I think selective carry is wiser as people are then less complacent.
I respectfully disagree.
If every time you handle your weapon you handle it slowly in the manner in which you would draw it or holster it(the reverse of the draw) in an emergency situation you will never become complacent. Handle it exactly the same every time no matter what your purpose of handling it. Slowly and with purpose. In an emergency your mind and body will absolutely speed this motion up to meet the need.
There are are no accidental discharges, only negligent ones where one or more of the five simple rules were not strictly adhered to.
The Front Sight folks teach 4 rules:
1 Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
2 Never let your muzzle cover anything you aren’t willing to destroy
3 Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
4 Be sure of your target AND what is in line with it
Every neglegent discharge they described in the lectures violated one or (usually) more of these rules.
Tyler, in a perfect world with concentious, thoughtful people I would whole heartedly agree with you but let’s take a look at this from a different perspective. A Dentist tells a person you need to floss daily and so they floss for several days in a row and oops they overslept, were running late, got distracted, twisted their ankle or any of a 100 other reasons to explain why their best intentions got interrupted. People get complacent not to mention lazy. Second, I know a couple of very intelligent, successful people who shot themselves, unintentionally, My point is people get careless, distracted and complacent. Plus, some people can barely chew gum and walk at the same time and there is no law that says only smart people can every day carry. So, promoting “selective” carry might not be a bad idea!
Doh! Yes 4. The fifth is my personal. 5. Only touch in one manner
I’m copying this over from the preparedness blog post area, because it belongs in this discussion as much as over there.
Just posted a link to an After Action Review (AAR) by an AMRRON ham operator who also resides in Wilmington, NC as your family member does. Despite being more preparedness minded than 95% percent of citizens he still had some lessons learned that those interested may find useful.
That was a fun read. A bit jargony for me, a non Ham Operator, but I loved the sense of agreed procedures and dedication that came through.
These two bullet points caught my attention:
- I’ve tested my generator during Hurricane Matthew and we only lost power for 23 hours. I was not prepared for a multi week long grid down scenario. Once we loaded the generator fuel went a lot faster than I had thought. We did not have enough fuel on hand and we had to find it. This hindered other duties where I could’ve been of more service.
- It’s been many years since I’ve been put in high stress, long duration, situations and with a houseful of family members. I didn’t anticipate the emotional toil and disruption of schedule it would take on everyone and this wore me out physically, mentally and emotionally. We also need to implement a schedule beforehand with assigned duties. It took a huge toll on me when I had to direct everything in real time.
The first learning is that you have to be prepared for the scenarios that unfolds. Since it’s impossible to prepare for everything, you have to pick your level of preparedness comfort.
It takes energy to source, maintain and replace your prep gear and supplies. It also takes a toll to be short a critical item at a needed time.
I think all one can reasonably hope to do is prep as best you can, learn from other’s mistakes, and try to keep the easy basic errors to a minimum. I know I’ve left batteries in electronics only to be severely disappointed later on when they’ve leaked and destroyed the items. That’s an easy mistake to avoid.
Much the same as in handgun training, where there are no accidental shootings only negligent discharges, poor preparedness practices will lead to predictably poor outcomes. Either the gun was loaded when you thought it wasn’t or your finger was on the trigger when it shouldn’t have been (or both). Proper training on robust procedures will correct that.
For instance, at Front sight, when the range instructor yelled “UNLOAD!!” everyone on the line performed these steps:
- With the muzzle safely down range, gun at the ready (45 degree angle at the ground), your finger is straight to the side on a known reference point on the side of the barrel
- A chamber check is performed (slight slide of the barrel to visually check for brass in the chamber
- The magazine is released and put in your mag holster (or a support side pocket if mag holster is full)
- The slide is racked and the ejected shell is caught and put in a support side pocket
- The chamber is visually checked again
- The mag well is checked by insertion of a finger to assure nothing is in there
- If the chamber is empty and the mag well check comes up empty, the gun is either decocked or placed on safe depending on the gun (glocks get neither as they have a safety trigger)
- The gun is holstered slowly and carefully using the exact same movements as you would after a gun battle.
I’ve been shooting long enough to be competent, but I never had a detailed procedure for unloading. Now that I do, I’m using it every time. The chance of my gun accidentally being loaded when I think it’s empty has dropped to very, very close to zero. I would say zero, but you can’t really ever say that, but as long as this procedure is followed every single time, the gun will always be unloaded.
The danger comes in me being sloppy, and forgetting to do these steps which, if that happens, I will now consider to be a matter of negligence, not accident.
A more subtle point, also made by Tycer in the Front Sight thread, is that in a crisis (or gun battle) your training is everything. If you are lucky (according to our range instructor) roughly 50% of what you trained up to will be used in that moment. Meaning about half of what you learned will go right out the window.
How good is your other 50%? That’s the point of always reholstering your weapon the exact same way, always loading and unloading the exact same way, etc. It’s to cement these basic building blocks to the point that they are retained and used because those are the only way you do these things. There is no bin of available methods and practices to rummage through.
If people really want to become prepared they have to practice on their preps. Period. First to cement the procedures into place, and second to find out where the weak points are. I know I need to do a lot more of this myself, and that’s what the PP skills events/experiences are designed to do.
As to the second bullet point above, a really important point was made that the mental and emotional toll was far higher than anticipated by the author. It’s important to know this going in, and to learn ways of managing stress and being able to self-soothe and reset your internal body responses at will. Those who can do this best will fare the best. Emotional resilience is perhaps the most critical.
During training, the Navy Seals (and other branch operators) for example put themselves into extremely high stress situations to push their minds and their bodies to the very edge and then operate from there.
I live a super comfortable life. I keep stress out of it as much as possible. I have a nagging fear that I will be unpleasantly surprised by how I operate under sustained stress and lack of proper sleep, nutrition, or down time. Honestly, I am probably best prepared for what we might call a ‘gentleman’s crisis.’
Again, this is where the PP skills series comes in. For those that want to up their game, and find out the areas where they can “pre-adapt” rather than on the fly, we’ll be delighted to arrange and then share in those experiences as equal and eager participants.
She briefly mentiones that she had “an incident” earlier in her life and “resolved that she would never be in a powerless position again.” She decided to carry regularly.
Yet she is also a caring person, and a product of our civilization that abhors violence and the paraphernalia associated with violence (like guns, knives and symbols). Yet she also came to understand that the value of protecting the innocent, including protecting her own innocence, demanded that she embrace a capacity for violence herself. She did so very consciously and thoughtfully. And skillfully.
In Spiral Dynamic terms, I would say she explains a transition from GREEN Meme type of “kindness” to a more complex and accurate YELLOW Meme “kindness” that understands force is required against the small but very damaging sociopathic elements that prey upon the vulnerable when an opportunity presents.
She explains a number of situations where being armed allowed her as a single mother to care for herself and children with confidence not possible to a powerless unarmed single woman with a child. In one, her car broke down on a rural road and she had to decide whether to accept a ride back to town from an unknown man who stopped his pickup truck. She accepted and was completely safe as the man turned out to be kind and respectful. But she violated a cardinal rule of the powerless, isolated, single woman: Never get into a car with a strange man.
A very thoughtful book. Many logistical issues of clothing and when not to carry. (doctors office, post office, airports). Also, how to hide ones weapon when church friends hug you–one handed hug, turned slightly to the side, hold an arm or bible over the weapon.)
Who should you tell you are carrying? Absolutely, no one. They will ALL have their thoughts and opinions and want to shape your behaviors to their values and beliefs. It is private. Like the color of you underwear. It is private. Period. Don’t talk about it.
With children in the home. The weapon is on your body in its holster or in the bedside safe. Never, ever any other location.
This book was very good for me.
Great job taking that “first step”!
Front Sight was the first professional, non-military shooting curriculum I ever attended, which woke me up to the need to do more skill building under guidance.
As you all move forward, learning to use the basics built there will serve you well, but there’s quite a bit of hyperbole tied up in FS’s presentations.
Their promise of being better than 95% of people who carry a gun for a living, for example. This promise lacks context, and isn’t relevant. It gives you some items from the “do” list, but none of the perspectives from the “don’t” list.
Marksmanship is probably 10% of the bigger picture, with the vast majority being intellectual (awareness, tactics, interpersonal communication skills – roughly 50%), with another 25% being bodily kinesthetic (physical fitness, physiological familiarity with the weapon). The remaining 15% is mental calm and nerve, which has to be reinforced through more advanced training, such as force on force or martial arts. Violence is the ultimate competitive sport, and as such, mindset and strength of will is important. This can’t be learned on the range.
Further, courses like this simply cannot introduce concepts to the students that force them into realistic decision trees. For example, what happens if shooting starts while you’re holding a child? What if you’re injured? What happens if you challenge a perp and they comply? Can you work your handgun while operating a disparate task with your support side hand?
How we understand violence is important, too. What’s applicable for a Navy SEAL probably isn’t relevant to an armed citizen, and often as not, their experiences with violence will be totally different.
The ultimate message here is that guns are about life and death. Similar to medicine, if you take up the art, you may quit, but you’ll never finish.
This curriculum is the “pre-reqs”. You have some habits now that if maintained will help facilitate greater skill building. The next step is learning to use them in context. I’m always available if anyone would like to discuss this more in depth.
I fully expect no one wants to hear this right now, but I promise… you’ll circle back to it if you stick with self defense training.