July 24, 2014

Run, Hide, Fight

Run, Hide, Fight

Imagine if the rules in games like dodge ball changed so that when someone was going to throw at you, you had to stand still, or in tag, when you were being chased you had to stop and wait to be tagged; in football, when you caught the ball you had to wait to be tackled by the opposing team.

Any hunter will tell you it is easier to shoot at game that is standing still versus game that is flying or running. Any decent self-defense firearms instructor will tell you to “Get off the X” before you engage in combat.

These are all pretty easy to understand concepts, are they not? Then why is it that we have schools whose only plan for an active shooter is to lock down? This is the case at the schools my kids have attended. We always told them that if anyone started shooting to run, even if the teachers said no. We also gave them a place to run to. This way they didn’t have to try and figure out what to do at the most terrifying moment in their lives; they just needed to react.

I don’t think any single self-defense plan will fit every situation. If someone comes into my company and starts shooting, what I will do is going to depend on what is happening. If the shots are coming from the lobby, I am in no immediate danger, so the option of running makes the most sense. If the best escape route is cut off, then hiding and hoping an opportunity to run opens up might make more sense. No matter what happens, I’ll be gauging the necessity of fighting.

Here is a video that teaches a concept I really wish every school would implement. Not only should your kids know it, you should too!

Pretty simple concept and one I think every adult should incorporate into their personal protection plan. I also think parents should sit down and explain it to their kids. Some parents might be concerned that the conversation might scare their kids and this might keep them from talking to them about this. Yes, it could cause some momentary fear in them. As a parent, I would rather cause some momentary fear, and know that if, God forbid, shots are ever fired at their school, they won’t be hiding in their classroom unless they think that is the safest option. If you’re concerned that you might scare your kids, use the examples listed at the beginning of this article. Kids know that if they want to win at dodge ball, they need to, well, DODGE, and that if they want to win at tag they need to run and not be tagged. Explaining that if someone starts shooting they need to run as fast as they can, just like they would in any of those games. Also, give them a place to run to; we told our kids to run to a church parking lot that is out of harm’s way.

As a last resort, I also showed my kids how to fight…no, I taught them how to fight dirty. I also told them that they only use the things I showed them if someone is trying to kill them, not just if they’re mad and not if someone is trying to steal from them. I taught them that they should only use dirty fighting if their life is in danger. Most kids are not prone to violence. In fact, many are afraid of using it. So we need to explain to them that it is ok and even a good thing in certain situations.

Summary

I think every one of us should implement this in our personal protection plans and teach it to our kids. If a shooting happens near us, there is no one surefire plan. Most of the time running is preferable; hide only when running is not an option and be ready to fight viciously at any moment.

 
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Infidel Body Armor

Infidel Body Armor

I’m excited to introduce Infidel Body Armor, one of the newest Prepared Christian sponsors! Body armor is one of those preps that I think is a very good idea, but is something I have put on the back burner, until I came across Infidel Body Armor’s FAQ page and saw this:

“What does “Infidel” mean anyways?

• Over in the Middle East, our soldiers are called Infidels every day. The Koran says that Christians are infidels: Koran 5:17, “Infidels are those who declare God is the Christ, son of Mary.” Our company is Christian-owned and we wear that definition of “Infidel” with pride. We claim the privilege of worshiping God according to our conscious and allow others to believe as they would- just don’t try taking away our right to worship how we want to.”

Ok, their being vocal about their faith isn’t the only thing that sold me. I was also swayed by the quality of the product and its features. I’m not going to get into specs. I’ll save that for an upcoming review. I do want to take a minute to tell you about two very cool things happening at Infidel Body Armor!

First:
They are having a Memorial Day sale; 10% off with code: 1776

Second:
They are giving away an AR-15, a to be exact. All you have to do is follow that link and sign up for their newsletter! This will run until the end of June. This is what Infidel Body Armor had to say about the contest:

“I’m a smaller company and the there’s a much bigger chance of winning a gun with me than with some of the other bigger companies due to the number of people that enter the contest.”

Some of you might be thinking, “Why would I ever need body armor?” Do you carry a firearm for self-defense? If you do, then you must believe that you might need to use it against someone with a gun trying to kill you or a loved on. Now, do you believe that if society begins to crumble, if even for a short time, that we could see increased violence?

I answered yes to both questions. If things fall apart I will feel much more protected with body armor, than without.

Stay tuned for a review!

Are Knives More Dangerous Than Guns?

We recently heard about the horrific attack by a student who used a knife to wound twenty people. I heard some people say “at least he didn’t have a gun.” Knives being used as weapons in mass attacks is something that has been on my mind for some time. I believe that a knife in the hand of someone willing to use it as a weapon is just as dangerous, if not more so, than a gun. Warning; this article will be more graphic than my usual.

Here are some obvious facts about knives that you’re likely already aware of but which bear repeating. Every home has kitchen knives, but if someone wanted an easier-to-conceal folding knife, one can be purchased at any Walmart, Target or host of other locations, without any kind of permit. Many states have banned certain types of knives, such as switchblades. Some states have limitations on the length of the blade, but I don’t know if there are any states that ban the carrying of knives altogether. A small folding knife can be just as dangerous as tactical one.

Knives are incredibly easy to conceal, hidden until a sudden attack. I carry a Glock 19, which is considered a “compact” handgun. The only place I can carry it that does not print (show a visible bulge) is in the small of my back, which is hardly the most ideal place to carry for me. I can carry a very large folding knife and it is impossible to tell it’s in my waistline or in my pocket.

In Haganah we practiced knife and gun defenses and in close proximity (within an arm’s length away), guns were always easier to defend against. This is obviously over-simplifying it, but we were taught gun takeaways in close proximity that moved you out of the way of the barrel. If the barrel isn’t pointing at you, the gun cannot hurt you. Often the takeaways put your hands on the gun as you move from the line of the barrel, which allows you to strip the gun away from your attacker. Below is one such takeaway. The person talking is the creator of Haganah, who has many years of martial arts training. I had no previous martial arts training and learned this takeaway in one session. Some of the other takeaways are a bit more complex, but I felt very comfortable with them after a few classes. I believe this is because the attacker has the gun trained on you, no matter how they’re holding it. The attacker knows that if the barrel isn’t pointed at you, the gun can’t shoot you.
 


 
Knife disarms are another beast entirely. Some of the defenses require a block. If your arm is not at 90 degrees, the attackers’ momentum can deflect the attack into another part of your body. In the video, you’ll notice that you have to pay attention to the angle, because it determines where you move to, and how you trap the attackers arm. I’ll admit I am not the most coordinated person. After a year of Haganah, I still fumbled on knife defenses. Unlike gun attacks, knives are more dangerous when the knife is moving, which inherently makes it harder to defend against them.
 


 
In knife defense, you obviously never grab the knife. Even if you trap the attackers hand or arm, he can still grab it with his other hand and continue the attack.
 

Tueller Drill

The Tueller Drill is a self-defense exercise created by Utah Police Sargent Dennis Tueller. The drill is used to show how little time one has to defend against a knife attack. I have done this drill at the range, standing back to back with another instructor, with yet another instructor keeping time. When the time keeper said “go”, the other man drew and fired twice at the target. At that same time, I took off running. I easily covered 20+ feet by the time he finished his second shot. All of this took 2-3 seconds. This drill showed me that 20 feet is not nearly the large safety zone I once thought it was.

In this drill, the shooter is expecting a whistle or other command that tells them when to draw and fire, and it takes most people 2-5 seconds to draw. If I am Joe Dirtbag, intending to use a knife to threaten or attack you, I am not going to start advertising it 20 feet away. No, I will get as close as I can and give you as little warning as possible. Even if I’m high on PCP and start charging you with my knife and you manage to draw and shoot me, my momentum will most likely continue toward you, giving me the opportunity to attack.

 
The Following

There is currently a television show about an FBI agent chasing down a man who has a following of homicidal cultists. These people go into public places (restaurants, book stores, train stations, etc.) and randomly stab people. The show is violent and shocking. I am a bit surprised we haven’t seen more of these types of attacks. One such mass knife attack in China recently by ten men armed with knives saw twenty nine people killed and 130 injured.

When I saw the recent school knife attack headline, I immediately wondered if the student who committed the horrific attack had watched The Following.

Granted, the show is drawn from someone’s imagination, but I think the public’s response during the attack is very realistic. There is no sound from the weapon. Often times, the attackers stab multiple people before screams draw attention to them.

When I watch TV or movies, I always try to think about what I would do in that situation. This is one case where always having my back to a wall and situational awareness would be crucial.
 

Training

Anyone who has fired a gun knows it takes some practice or training to get good at it. For instance, if you want to recover from failures or draw and fire from movement, it takes even more training and practice. Granted, someone could take a gun and some ammo and teach themselves the basics.

However, there is no training needed to use a knife to slash or stab. Unlike a firearm, there are no malfunctions. Under stress, people frequently miss their targets with a firearm, even at close distance. With a knife, there is no distance and while the attacker could miss their first stab, as mentioned above, they are most dangerous when they keep slashing and stabbing.
This is not to say I think using a knife for self-defense is a good idea because it takes no training. On the contrary, I think an untrained person wielding a knife for self-defense is quite possibly giving an attacker a weapon. Hollywood has glamourized knife fighting somewhat, with people coming out unscathed. The first rule of knife fighting, is you’re gonna get cut.
 

Closing

I would like to know how many deaths each year are attributed to knives versus guns. With the ease of attaining a knife, no training being required and the ease of concealment, maybe you can understand why I said I am surprised we don’t see more mass knife attacks.

If you see someone brandish a knife, please take it just as seriously as you would a gun.

 
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Protecting Your Neighborhood

Protecting Your Neighborhood

There were a couple of comments to a recent article about how to handle guard duty. This is something I have given some thought to, so I thought I would share it with you. There was some talk of how things have been handled in various prepper fiction books. I enjoy them and have gotten several ideas from them, but on this topic many of them are just that, fiction.

Let’s face it, if you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who is in tune with the fragility of the systems holding society together. This lends to you probably being apt to see things going sideways sooner than many, which probably means you’ll not find many people willing to help keep watch, at least in the beginning. Many of the prepper fiction books also have a force that repels Joe and his merry band of Dirtbags. You’ll also probably have few people who know how to stand watch, or who have the gear to do so.

These challenges don’t mean that we shouldn’t try. It just means we need to take an honest look at what is actually possible with where things are now and what the actual potential of our circumstances are.

 
Neighborhood Watch

Any neighborhood can start a neighborhood watch now. I think these are often made up of people who are open minded, knowing that bad things can happen near them. These are the people who will probably be the most willing to agree to stand watch or participate in guard duty when things go bad. There are several websites that can help you get started with a watch. Police departments are often willing to come and speak to your group as well.
 

Guard Duty or Standing Watch

I believe these are two different things. To me guard duty is someone armed to defend a position and watch duty is someone who keeps watch for danger and reports it. I think we would all like to have a mix of both but the truth is, the best we might be able to do is get a neighbor or two to join us in keeping watch and reporting anything hinky to the other families who’ve joined in keeping watch.

 
Guard Duty

A posted guard is a visible deterrent. In a short term situation, a guard post could be a car parked sideways blocking the flow of traffic. This gives the guard or guard’s concealment and a little cover behind the engine block. If a guard is posted to prevent passage of people into your neighborhood, they should only let people through who can have someone from inside the neighborhood come to the guard post and vouch for them.

I would have to place three of these types of positions in a “T” formation to limit traffic for a few blocks. As you can guess, this could limit the flow of traffic but would take between three and six vehicles, and people to guard each location. I would not just put this type of guard post up on my own. I would get a consensus with others in the neighborhood first.

In a prolonged situation, it might be a good idea to have a hardened location to offer more cover. This could be done by removing the tires from the vehicles, and filling the cars with dirt. The tires could then be used to build berms filled with dirt in other locations.
 
Standing Watch

As I said above, to me, a watch is just that; someone who watches. There are a few different types of watches. A posted watch is someone who is in a set location and reports activity. A roving watch is either someone who roams between posted watches, or just walks a set path.

It is very possible that in the beginning of a situation, there will not be much interest in having a neighborhood watch. It might just be you and your spouse taking turns in case the need to defend your home or bug out arises.

A person on watch generally doesn’t want to bring attention to their position. Therefore, keep sound and light discipline. Don’t have anything that smells different than what is expected. For instance if you are cold and drink a hot cup of cider, the smell can give you away. Light from a flashlight can help you see but is also a dead giveaway of your location. If you use a red lens or color a clear lens with a red marker, it doesn’t provide quite as much light, but is much harder to see at a distance. It also has the benefit of not taking away your natural night vision.

A roving watch can obviously be more visible. They can be used to keep an eye out for things going on between locations. They can also be relief for posted watches who need to take a break.

 
Reality

The reality is, your watch might just be you and your spouse or maybe another family or two. If it’s just you and your spouse, keep watches to 4 or so hours. If there are more families, rotate the watches to give people an uninterrupted night sleep as often as possible.

While we don’t want to be forced to flee, the goal of having a watch posted might be to give enough time for you to do so safely without engaging an armed force. Because of this, have a fallback plan in place, a designated place where people should meet if needed.

 
Ideally

I think the more time that passes by, or the worse things get, the more people will open their eyes and be willing to join in the watch. When this happens, consider using the buddy system. Each guard post has multiple people, as well as the roving watch.

A command center stocked with coffee or other caffeinated beverages to assist the sleepy and help those taking a break refresh is a good idea as well. This could be the garage of someone in a central location.

If you have this many people, there should be training on how to stand a watch and on firearms if they’ll be carrying them.

 
Communications

You’ve probably seen the FRS radios that advertise 30+ miles, which is only in a flat open area. The real range in the average suburban house is probably closer to a mile or two, and even then things can be static. A second option might be DB, which would be more than sufficient in these ranges, but is more expensive. Yet another option would be MURS radio. These also have motion sensors, which can trigger an alarm at the base of the radio. None of these options require a permit to operate.
One idea I’ve come up with is using air horns for alarms. If you have three guard posts, define them one, two and three. If a situation develops at a guard post, they could let one blast for post one, two for the second post and so on. This could let everyone know there is a situation and where.
 
Rules of Engagement

The rules of what to do in various situations should be clear. If it’s just your family, you might want the person on watch to simply wake everyone else. If you have a guard posted at an entrance into your neighborhood, it should be clearly defined what to do when people demand that you let them in, as well as what to do when someone brandishes a firearm or makes threats.
 

Gear

You’re just not going to have enough gear for everyone. You can buy some extra affordable items now. You’ll need to make a judgment call if you share your firearms with others who stand guard duty or a watch.

I recommend having some less than lethal options available. You can buy a large can of pepper spray that is meant to deal with crowds. I’ve seen paint balls adapted to shoot pepper spray as well.

 
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Become More Proficient With Your Gun Without Firing a Shot

Before I get to today’s article I have a quick personal update. I am having arthroscopic surgery to correct an impingement on my left hip early tomorrow. I have no idea how I’m going to feel the rest of the week. If there isn’t another article this week or an email response or if I am slow to respond to a comment or email, now you know why.
 

Become More Proficient With Your Gun Without Firing a Shot

Even though ammo prices have come down some, shooting can be a very expensive hobby. Being proficient with your gun involves more than just shooting. Today I am going to give you some exercises you can do for free or with minimal investment in the safety of your home, without firing a single shot.

For the sake of safety, I recommend you practice these things with an unloaded firearm. Be sure to double check.
 
Dry Firing

Dry firing simply means that you practice all of the mechanics of firing a firearm with either an empty chamber or some type of snap cap, which is a plastic dummy round. Dry firing is fine with most firearms. Check your manufacturer to be sure. I know you should not do so with a .22, as it can damage the firing pin.

The benefit of dry fire practice is that it can help correct bad habits, such as anticipating recoil. If you anticipate the loud bang and the gun bucking in your hand, you can pull down and left (for right handers). If there is no loud bang, you can practice steady hand control, and do it enough times that when you do go to the range you are in the habit of not pulling down and left.

Another way to find and correct bad habits is to stack a few pennies or dimes on top of the slide. If they fall when you squeeze the trigger, you can tell if you’re pulling one way or the other by the direction and timing of when the stack fell.

Yet another way, this time with a cost, is to buy a laser. Nebu Preotec lasers are fairly inexpensive, at around $50. The one I have now is accurate enough to use for aiming at something I actually wanted to hit. It is very easy to tell if you are pulling one way or another.
 

Drawing From the Holster

It’s a fact, many ranges will not let you draw from the holster. The problem with this is that if you’re ever out and have to draw from the holster, you’re going to be much clumsier under stress than if you had practiced.

If you combine this with dry firing, you can practice an entire self-defense cycle. I know some people love the buzz timers for practicing and I think that is great if you’re practicing for IDPA or another competition. I don’t like the idea for self-defense training though. If you’re out on the town and you hear a loud noise, you’re not going to pull your gun and start shooting. No, if you hear a loud noise, you’ll orient yourself to the direction of the threat, look to see what is going on and then you’ll determine if you need to draw or not.

Instead of a buzzer, use a TV show or a movie. Since no one in the show is actually going to be a threat to you, pick a character, and every time they come on the scene draw and fire. Or pick one color shirt, say red, and every time someone comes on the screen wearing a red shirt, you draw and fire. If two people are wearing red shirts, scan and dry fire at them.

If you get a new holster this is something you should do. For instance, my gun sits very differently than I was used to in the Crossbreed holster I got last summer. Also practice re-holstering without looking. If you are ever forced to shoot, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the attacker and the ongoing scene without looking for your holster.
 
Drawing From a Concealment Garment

Drawing from the holster is great, but make sure you add in doing so with the clothes you wear when you are carrying it. If you use a CCW purse, practice with it.

Adding in the one extra movement, that of clearing your garment before you can draw, can really foul things up and slow you down.
 

Practice Without Looking

As I explained in Changes in the Body During a Critical Incident, many people experience time distortions during a critical incident. For this reason, I recommend you learn to reload without looking. The reason for this is that if you look at your hands, you may perceive that you’re reloading much to slow, and then speed up when you were going at normal speed. The problem is that if you speed up, you might make a mistake.

Do you have any tips you can give that can help us be more proficient without firing a shot?

 

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Changes in the Body During a Critical Incident

Changes in the Body During a Critical Incident

When under the extreme stress of a critical incident, there are numerous physiological changes that take place to enable our fight or flight response. Knowing these changes exist and training with them in mind can greatly increase your chances of surviving an armed critical incident.

The points I’ll cover today have been widely known of for some time. However, over the last ten or so years, video footage from dashboard cameras, security cameras, and footage from military conflicts has clearly shown how the human body reacts when startled. Also, great strides have been made in neuroscience that have clarified the changes that take place under the stress of a critical incident.

The information in this article is what I have decided to include in the Minnesota permit to carry courses that I will eventually be teaching. I am only adding the information pertinent to the physiological changes. This being the case, some areas such as legal implications or some training techniques that can aid in achieving some maneuvers without looking won’t be mentioned. If you would like that information, feel free to come take a class!  If you are interested in reposting or republishing this information in any way, please contact Chris (at) preparedchristian (dot) net.
 

External Changes – The Flinch Response

The external things that the body does when startled are instinctual, they take the short path through the brain bypassing any cognitive thought. These instinctual reactions are often called the flinch response; made up of lowering ones center of gravity, orienting towards the threat and moving ones hands in the line of sight relative to the threat.
 

Lowering of the center of gravity

When startled or threatened, we lower our center of gravity by bending at the knees and leaning slightly forward at the waist. This action takes place before one can process the reason for the action. By bending at the knees we are now ready for quick movement making us better able to flee or to fight. In any sport, you can see athletes lower their center of gravity before jumping, running or just about any other movement.
 

Orientation to the Threat

When startled or threatened we reflexively turn our attention to the threat. This allows us to take in more information about the threat.
 

Hands Moved to Line of Sight

This is often described as moving hands up, but in truth, the hands are moved relative to the position of the threat. If the threat was from a snarling dog you would put your hands in your line of sight downward. This has a survival bonus, as we’ll discuss below. Blood is pulled from the extremities and pooled in large muscle groups and in the core. The benefit of this is that if your hands move to your line of sight, and you are deflecting a dog bite, a knife or any other implement that can cut, it will bleed much less.
 

Internal Changes

Blood is what brings energy to the body. In a critical incident, there are several changes in blood flow. This increases the body’s ability in many ways but also decreases it in others. There are also several other chemicals released that cause various changes as well. Simply elevating your heart rate and then trying to train is not the same as having an elevated heart rate under a critical incident.
 

Increased Visual Acuity in the Center of Vision and “Tunnel Vision”

In a critical incident there are things that take place to allow the brain to take in more data. First the eye has two types of sensors, rods and cones. Cones are concentrated in the center of the eyes’ field of vision and are responsible for detail. Rods are more densely distributed on the edges of the eyes’ field of vision, and are more sensitive to motion.

The second thing that takes place is that the thalamus filters out non-critical input. By filtering out information that is not critical, we can bring in more critical information in a shorter amount of time. The thalamus filters out non-critical information, which includes anything not in the center of our vision.

Because of the physiological changes in the eye, and the instinctive orientation to the threat, the threat stays in the center of our vision, where the vision is in far greater detail. Coupled with the thalamus filtering out non critical data, you could lose as much as 80% of your field of vision, but what you do see could be in incredible detail.

Because the thalamus is filtering out data from the rods, our vision is decreased, so you probably can’t track multiple targets. Tips on scanning for targets will be offered later.

Because of our decreased field of vision, it is important not to take your eyes off the threat, not to reload, clear a malfunction or for any other reason. It does take some practice to do these things without looking but for several reasons, it is important not to take your eyes off your target. Practicing clearing of malfunctions and reloading without looking can be done at home, either with snap caps or with empty magazines.
 

Distortion of Time

In Law enforcement studies, 70% of officers involved in a shooting reported experiencing time slowing down. Twenty percent of officers experienced time jumps or things perceived to go faster than they are.

As we learned, the physiological changes in the brain and the changes in the eye allow the thalamus to bring in critical data faster but the temporal lobe, the cognitive part of the brain, isn’t processing this information any faster. For this reason, the cognitive thinking part of your brain is processing twice the amount of data, so it seems like time has slowed down.

You might be wondering why this is important. It is for at least three reasons.

1. Since time distortion and memories might not be credible, don’t provide that information to police right away. Discuss it with a lawyer first. They’ll understand that sometimes memories and recollection of time can be off.
2. If we change the center of our field of vision to our gun, to watch as we reload, we will bring in more data. The cognitive portion of our brain is going to make us think we’re going too slow. If we speed up to compensate, we may make a mistake we wouldn’t have otherwise.
3. If we take our eyes from our threat, we most likely lose focus due to tunnel vision. When we try to find the threat, if our brains have perceived time to have slowed down or sped up, coupled with tunnel vision, chances are good that the threat has moved and we will lose precious seconds relocating it.
 
Auditory Exclusion

Auditory exclusion is the thalamus filtering out auditory data. In law enforcement studies, this occurred for 85% of officers involved in a critical incident. Sometimes all sound was diminished and in others just the sound of the gun shots was diminished.

Selective auditory exclusion is something we’re all familiar with. It is simply the thalamus tuning into one signal over another. Two examples of auditory exclusion in daily life are the ability to carry on a conversation in a noisy restaurant, and children not hearing that they need to clean their rooms.

There have been trainers who have taught that you should occasionally practice without hearing protection. In a critical incident the thalamus protects the ears, this is not the case outside of a critical incident. This is reckless advice that could permanently damage your hearing.

 
Memory Distortions and no Memory at All

Because of how the senses and brain function during a critical incident, it is possible for there to be memory distortions and even false memories. For instance, an officer reported that the assailant was down a long hallway when in fact there was no hallway at all.

There have been numerous cases where a police officer has gaps missing from a shooting or no memory at all. An article published for the journal of the international association of law enforcement instructors in 2001 states that it is common within the first 24 hours to recall roughly 30% of the occurrence, 50% after 48 hours and 75%-95% after 72-100 hours.

Memories are made differently when formed under extreme stress. There have been cases where a thought enters into the mind during a critical incident and the person believes the thought actually happened. For example, there were two officers involved in a shooting. One officer believed his partner had been shot. When the suspect was killed, the officer still believed his partner had been shot and began to search him looking for the bullet wound to make sure, despite the other officers argument that he was not hit.
 

Loss of Fine Motor Skills

Under stress, vasoconstriction occurs. As the heart rate rises, blood is pooled into the core and large muscle groups, draining blood from the extremities. This results in a loss of fine motor skills. This means that the ability to efficiently manipulate a slide release, rack the slide and reload a revolver or drop a magazine will be diminished.

Because of loss of motor skills, I don’t recommend you use the slide release to bring the slide forward. Instead, rack the slide with your weak hand, not using your finger tips to do so.

I also think that guns that require a lot of manual dexterity to use are not the best self-defense guns. If you have a firearm with a safety, clumsy magazine release, or any other feature that requires fine motor skills, you will need to practice those actions a significant amount to turn those movements into “muscle memory”.

 
Scanning

There is a chance that there is more than one threat. Once the primary threat has been removed, you need to scan for other threats. Remember you’re most likely going to have tunnel vision, so you’ll need to scan thoroughly. There is also a chance you’re effected by auditory exclusion and may not be able to hear verbal threat, or commands from law enforcement.

Don’t just swing your head back and forth. Look at people. Look at hands. Are they armed? Are they coming at you? Is anyone talking to you?

Once you are sure there are no further threats, re-holster and call 911.

 
Physiological Changes and the Police

There is a school of thought that says if you have to shoot in self-defense, “never talk to police” afterward, or just tell them you need your lawyer. I don’t agree with this. Let’s face it, the person lying on the ground bleeding is a pretty convincing victim. If you don’t give police enough information to tell them “the attacker did this” and you were “afraid for your life” and had to use force to defend yourself, they have no choice but to treat you as the attacker.

Don’t misunderstand, if you must use deadly force, the police most likely are not your friend. They are there to collect information for the prosecutor. After you tell them that you were the victim, and what the attacker did to cause you to be afraid for your life, stop talking.

Why? When looking back over all of the physiological changes that take place, it does not take much to believe that your perception of what happened could be quite different from what actually took place. Any statement that you give police will now be on record and could make you look guilty, or like you may be hiding something.

Instead, tell the police that you know this is very serious, that you will give a statement after you have had time to calm down and speak with your attorney. I also recommend finding a lawyer that is aware of the physiological changes and can guide you through the statement to police.

For this reason, many police departments force all officers to undergo between 12-72 hours of downtime before they speak about the shooting.

I hope this helps shed some light on the body’s response in a critical incident and has given you a few ideas on how you can modify your training to go along with what your body will do during the process.

 

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Police Over Reaching on Gun Rights

Before I get too far into today’s topic, I want start out by saying that I think the vast majority of law enforcement are good, upstanding people. There are a few exceptions, some of which I want to bring to your attention today. I also want to give some thoughts on dealing with law enforcement when the officer is less than a stellar civil servant.
 

Dighton man sues town, police chief after cops suspend his firearms license, seize his guns

In this article we’re told of a law abiding 19 year old named Mathew Plouffe. He obeyed the law, obtained a firearm Identification Card (FID) and purchased 2 shotguns and a rifle. He was pulled over because his car matched the description of a vehicle that was being sought for a recent crime. The officer noted that there was an unloaded and locked shotgun in the vehicle and let Plouffe go without a citation.

The police chief learned of an incident where Plouffe had been shooting with minors, with their parents’ permission. This caused the chief to question Mr. Plouffe’s maturity. Police went to Plouffe’s home and confiscated his FID, two shotguns and rifle.

Plouffe is filing a law suit claiming infringement on his second amendment rights. As the article notes:

“The only reason you can’t get that license or it should be taken away is if you are disqualified for statutory reasons, convicted of crime, or confined to mental institution, or are addicted to alcohol or controlled substances, or you get a 209A restraining order against you,” Trask said.”

My Take:

This is absolutely ridiculous and an obvious overreach by the police chief. I think Mathew Plouffe handled this in the correct manner and I really hope he wins his case. I also hope that an example is made of the police officers involved.
 

Cops Accused of Forcing Woman to Delete Video of Husband’s Arrest Sparked by ‘Unloaded’ Shotgun and Trespasser on His Hunting Property

This article is a bit longer and a bit more of a head shaker. Father and son are on their 10 acres hunting; the son with a crossbow, and father with a .410. While hunting, the pair find a man trespassing, riding a dirt bike on their land. They escort the man to the house and the father asks his wife to call the DNR to report a trespass.

When police show up, the man still has the unloaded .410 in hand, holding the shotgun in one hand, and the shell in the other to declare the firearm was unloaded. One of the officers demands the man put the gun on the ground. The officer then places him in cuffs and lays him on the ground.

The wife then starts the following recording.

You can tell the officer is uncomfortable being filmed as he fumbles to say what kind of gun the man was holding, and while he tries to find the words to explain to the wife why her husband is in cuffs. The officer then tells her to stop filming and tells her to give him the phone, as he is taking it as evidence. She says “no” and the officer threatens to place her under… the video ends, but the wife says the last word was arrest. According to The Blaze, the officer deleted the video and gave the phone back before they left. The family was able to recover the video with software, the Blaze has an explanation including pictures of the process.

The husband was charged with a felony for pointing the .410 at the trespasser; a claim made by the trespasser that the father claims is untrue. He was not charged for having the gun in hand when the police arrived, nor is it mentioned in the arrest record.

My Take:

In some states it is illegal to record either visual or audio of law enforcement. It must not be in Michigan or they would have done more than erase the video. In either case, the video and pictures really add to the land owners’ case.

Even though the carrying of a firearm in public is not against the law and even though he was on his own land, he probably would not have had any issues had he not been holding the gun when the police arrived. I have read several accounts about police who don’t like civilians owning or carrying a firearm. My guess is the officers involved in this case are two more. If you’ll notice, the husband of the woman filming is cuffed and lying on the ground while the man who was trespassing is cuffed but sitting in a chair.

The trespasser doesn’t appear to have been charged as the claim was made that the land was not properly posted. If you look at the pictures from the link to The Blaze’s article, you’ll see that it is posted, though those could have been added after the fact (I doubt that).

Like I said, even though they were not breaking the law and not charged with a crime with the gun as far as holding it when the police showed up, it probably would have gone better for him had he not been holding the gun.

I hope they counter-sue. Unless The Blaze missed something, it looks to me like this is another case of law enforcement overreaching.


Final Thoughts

When it comes to law enforcement and guns, it is always best to err on the side of caution. I use these two stories today to make a point; second amendment rights are under more attack now than ever before. As time passes they will be even more infringed upon. We have veterans who have been stripped of their second amendment rights with a letter from the VA, because they may have PTSD. We’ve got people losing their rights because of a picture posted on facebook.

Have you thought about what you might do if your rights are infringed upon? Do you know the name and number of a good second amendment attorney in your local area?

As a side note, here is an article I found very interesting. It explains Why So Many Police Chiefs Favor Gun Control, When Most Sheriffs Don’t.

In short, it says that police chiefs are appointed by the mayor and if they have a mayor who is anti-gun, and they want to keep their job, they support the mayor’s position. Meanwhile sheriffs are elected by “We the People”, and they tend to vote more for individual freedoms.

 
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Food Stamp Cuts Starting November 1st

Food Stamp Cuts

Not long ago, I posted an article called Nine Meals From Anarchy; a Food Stamp Melt Down. In it I explained that there has been looting and small outbreaks of violence in the past when there have been problems or delays with the food stamp system. I also made the point that I think the reason violence and looting were not sparked into large scale rioting was because of “nine meals”.

I mean “nine meals” both figuratively and literally. Figuratively in the sense that, to date, the problems with the food stamp system have been corrected within a day or two at most. Literally because when people go hungry for three or four days in a row, they tend to act on it.

“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,”

That is a quote from Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, in an article from Salon.com. The article goes on to say that:

“Purvis said that the looming cut would mean about 76 million meals “that will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families” in NYC alone – a figure that outstrips the total number of meals distributed each year by the Food Bank for New York City, the largest food bank in the country. “There will be an immediate impact,” she said.”

In the last five or six years we have seen civil unrest and rioting due to the price or unavailability of food and the cutting of government entitlements in the following countries; Bolivia, Egypt, England, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, Spain, Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

You might be thinking that the people in those cultures are different that the American citizenry. I disagree! I think people are people, hunger is hunger and entitlement is entitlement.

The following video from Fox News says that the government is spending $80,000,000 to prepare for potential riots related to the cutting of food stamps. Here’s a thought; money is tight, so we have to cut food stamps, but we’re going to spend $80 million to prepare for possible riots because of this cut.


 

What Can We Do?

For starters we can remain calm and wait to see if anything does happen. Just in case, prudence might dictate that you get any grocery shopping you might need done before Friday. Keep in mind that we very well might not see any unrest on November 1st but we could see situations later in the month, when the realities of the cuts are felt.

I have covered what civil unrest might look like in What Does Civil Unrest Look Like and How Can You Stay Safe Near It? If there are riots, keep a safe distance and be prepared to defend your family. Also be on the lookout for the police response. I covered some of how the government has been gearing up for civil unrest in Government; the Good the Bad and the…What are They Planning

We can donate food to local food shelves or churches to help them meet the needs of the destitute. This is a much better option than giving the food out yourself.

Above all else, we can pray. Pray for those who are in legitimate need and will now not have food to put on the table. Pray that those who might be taking advantage of the system would change their ways. Pray for one another, that we may be blessed with wisdom and knowing God’s will as we prepare and navigate our future.

 
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Three Security Tips Worth Knowing

Over the last couple of weeks I have come across three security/tactical related tips. They impressed me enough to add them to our security plan and I thought you might like them as well.
 
 
Tactical Breathing

The book I am reading now is On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace, written by Lt. Col. Grossman. While it is geared more for those in the military or law enforcement, it is chock full of wisdom for anyone who carries a firearm for the potential to stop a violent attack.

Tactical Breathing is something that Lt. Col. Grossman has taught to police officers, military, Special Forces, college students and athletes. It, quite simply, is a means to reign in fear and anger, which can manifest in an accelerated heart rate and the effects related to it, such as loss of fine motor skills and tunnel vision, to name just a few. This breathing technique has been used to help steady the aim for life and death shots by law enforcement officers, calm students with test anxiety, calm players at the free throw line and aid mothers-to-be with the breathing techniques taught in Lamaze classes.

Tactical breathing as it is described in On Combat is simply:

Breathing in through your nose to a slow four count, which expands your belly. Hold for a four count and then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of four. Hold empty for a count of four and repeat the process for a four count.
The entire process would look like this:

In through the nose deep, deep, deep. Hold, two, three, four. Out through the lips deep, deep, deep. Hold two, three, four.
In through the nose deep, deep, deep. Hold, two, three, four. Out through the lips deep, deep, deep. Hold two, three, four.
In through the nose deep, deep, deep. Hold, two, three, four. Out through the lips deep, deep, deep. Hold two, three, four.
In through the nose deep, deep, deep. Hold, two, three, four. Out through the lips deep, deep, deep. Hold two, three, four.

Lt. Col. Grossman states that some people might need to tweak things to work better for them, like using a five count, for instance. I have used the technique to help me relax since reading about it and I can say I have noticed a sense of calm afterward. This being the case, I can believe it would work even better in the midst of a critical incident or other very stressful event. If you have a child who has test anxiety, this might be worth teaching to them.
 
 
Tactical Parking

This tip comes from the Sheep Dog Tip of the Day facebook page, which gives quotes from Lt. Col. Grossman’s various works. This tip is taken from The Bullet Proof Mind seminar (paraphrased)

“Combat park, with the front of the car towards the street. When seconds count, you’ll be able to get out of the parking spot faster. It takes the same amount of time to back into the parking space and back out. The warrior does it on the front end. It can also reduce accidents”
… Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

This makes perfect sense to me. We back into the garage for similar reasoning. If you need to make a fast exit, backing up is much slower and clumsier than pulling right out and going on your way.
 
 
Please Don’t Hurt My Family

One of the shows we watch is a police drama called “Blue Bloods”. During a recent episode, Joe Dirtbag is holding a gun to the head of the assistant district attorney who is prosecuting him. The assistant DA happens to have a brother who is a police detective named “Danny”, and has his gun drawn on Joe Dirtbag.

Danny is talking to Joe Dirtbag, and says, “Please don’t hurt my family”. His sister (the assistant DA) immediately drops to the ground and Danny shoots Joe Dirtbag. In a later scene, we learned that this phrase has been taught to four generations of their family for just that type of incident but had never been used until now.

Fellow Prepared Christians Kurt and his wife were watching the episode and were reminded of the article I wrote called “Preparing Your Family for Combat”. They turned to each other and said “Prepared Christian”. I thought that was pretty cool! Thanks to Kurt for sharing!

I have now added this phrase into our security plan as well!
 
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Terrorists Making Dry Runs on Planes

Terrorists Making Dry Runs on Planes

I read an article on article on October 11th that points out that terrorists are making dry runs to test airline security and procedures. The article points out that investigators obtained a memo that talks about recent probes or dry runs. From the report:

“A group of Middle-Eastern males boarded in DCA. Shortly after takeoff, one got up and ran from his seat in coach towards the flight deck door. He made a hard left and entered the forward lav, where he stayed for a considerable length of time! While he was in there, the others got up and proceeded to move about the cabin, changing seats, opening overhead bins, and generally making a scene. They appeared to be trying to occupy and distract the flight attendants.”

The article also says that investigators confirmed the incident with US Airways and the TSA, but that the TSA stated “the matter requires no further investigation at this time.”

The article goes on to say that several Air Marshals have said that the incident described above is serious, and that there have been several dry runs on other flights, but that “the TSA doesn’t want the flying public to be aware of the problems with terrorist probes.”

The article ends with a statement from an Air Marshal and industry insiders saying “We’re waiting for the next 9/11 to happen, because it’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.”


What Can We Do?

I believe that terrorists are practicing dry runs to see where vulnerabilities are. I also believe that they would love to use planes in another grand attack. So what can we, the average person, do if we believe there is a terrorist dry run taking place on a flight we are on? I won’t tell you what you should or can do. That is for you to decide. I will just say what I will do. I will step in and help the flight attendants.

If we look back to the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber, they were stopped because passengers acted. If we go back to 9-11 and flight 93, because those passengers acted, they saved lives on the ground.

Sure, ideally there would be a police officer nearby every time one was needed to stop a violent attack. It would also be ideal if an Air Marshal was on every flight that had a dry run or an actual attack on it. Since that isn’t reality, I take personal responsibility for my safety and the safety of my loved ones.

Now I’m not saying to get physical with Middle Eastern travelers. In fact, I don’t believe racial profiling works. I do believe, however, that behavior profiling does work. I practice the Cooper Color Code on land and will continue to in the air. If I see people acting in a coordinated effort in a manner that passengers normally don’t act, I will be ready to act if the flight crew needs it or if I believe my safety is at stake.

I like to be as prepared for a violent confrontation as I can be. Sometimes this means I carry a firearm and sometimes, for various reasons, I can’t. Obviously, I can’t on an airplane. The TSA has limited what can be carried onboard, but there are still some options.
This link is to the Prohibited Items list on the TSA site. You’ll notice that most of the items listed must be checked, but some items that are allowed are:

• Scissors – metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed, but blades longer than 4 inches are prohibited
• Tools – Wrenches/Pliers/Screwdrivers (seven inches or less in length). It might draw attention to board a plane with just one screw driver. Consider getting a small toolkit.

Some items that are not listed but should be perfectly allowable to carry onboard are:

(A disclaimer from the prohibited items page: It’s important to know that even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane. Also, please note that some dangerous items below are illegal in certain states and passengers will be subject to state law. It is a passenger’s responsibility to be aware that origination and destination cities may have local laws prohibiting the possession of these items.)

• Walking cane
• Flashlight; I would not try to bring on a “tactical” flashlight because of the disclaimer above. It should also probably be less than seven inches.
• Solid writing pen. Again I wouldn’t try to board with the tactical type pens.

If you bring a cane, you should probably be using it. I carry a flashlight often, if questioned about why I have it, I will give my honest answer; if something happens on board, I want to be able to see. A good solid pen with a notebook should not draw any undue attention.

If you decide to travel without any of the above and must use force, remember that if you’re in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

I pray the Air Marshals and the industry insiders are wrong. I pray there is never another 9-11. However, like I said above, I believe the terrorists would love to have many more. It could fall to the passengers on board to stop it.

 
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