Several years ago I wrote an article about Crime Definitions You Should Think About, talking about the definition of “Aggravated Assault” (as opposed to “Attempted Murder”) and what it meant—and how often it happened. If you haven’t read that, please take a moment to do so, because it describes the definition of aggravated assault, and why that definition is important. It’ll make the next part a lot more clear.
Each year, states (and divisions within that state such as county and city departments) are required to report crime statistics in various ways. One of the most important “indexes” of crime are “Part I” crimes, which include (among other things) the various categories of “Violent Crimes” which are: Criminal Homicide, Rape, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault.
Most often, people (when talking about armed self-defense) discuss the criminal homicide rates in their various areas, touting those areas as “safe” or “dangerous” in various descriptions based on those rates, most of which are misleading at best, and downright wrong fairly often.
In a past post, I talked fairly bluntly about how if you don’t have any education, training, or experience in a technical area, you don’t really have a right to an opinion in that technical area.
Unsurprisingly in this time of “everyone is equal and their thoughts are all equally valid, even if they are clueless,” lots of people grew angry about the idea. It probably would have gone better had if I said it differently, but what I was REALLY thinking was “…your opinion is worthless.”
And I wasn’t wrong.
So how do you get to a point where your opinion is valid in a technical area such as self-defense? Answer: Education, training, or experience. (And preferably, all three.)
Let’s start with education (this will be the first in a set of three posts). Continue reading
Awhile back, someone asked me why I keep making match videos. It occurred to me that from the outside, it probably just looks like I’m posting them so people can watch me shoot–and that’s very much not the point. (Quite frankly, there are a number of stage attempts that I’d rather people didn’t see!) Continue reading
I’ve been meaning to write a couple of articles listing a number of the useful gadgets and accessories I’ve picked up over time that help me when I’m out shooting. I use these things, and I feel they have really helped make my life easier—whether practicing, competing, or carrying. In a later post I’ll also talk about what I’ve found that you should NOT use. Continue reading
For me, the answer is “pretty frequently,” especially if you consider dryfire to be effective practice. I dryfire my competition gun frequently, and a percentage of that time I also get in some reps with my carry pistol. When doing live fire practice for competition shooting, I do the same–I generally start each practice session with a drill using my carry gun from concealment, cold, then put it away and practice with the competition gun. When I’m done, I then end the session with some reps with my carry gun. That’s in addition to various dry/live fire sessions with only the carry gun. Continue reading
As is normal, at the beginning of each new year I make myself some goals–some shooting skills/practice goals, some informational/conceptual goals, and some self-defense training/practice goals. As part of that, I also print out a copy of my dryfire practice report, to get myself ready to track everything.
For 2018–I failed badly on most of my goals. Continue reading
A couple of years ago, an acquaintance of mine put up on Facebook a question about “As a firearms/self-defense trainer who teaches courses, if someone came to you knowing (for certain) that they’d have to use their firearm as a lethal-force response to a self-defense threat tomorrow, would you teach them any differently?”
I said: “Of course I would!”
Whereupon I got jumped all over by lots of people who claimed that as firearms instructors, their classes were all completely focused on teaching REAL self-defense, and that if I had to change my class, it was an indicator that my class just wasn’t very good.
Which just goes to show that like any other group of people, “firearms instructors” contains all kinds, a significant proportion of which are idiots who have no idea what they are talking about.
Why am I right and they were idiots? Continue reading
You are a consistent follower of Rule One, so you always carry a gun. And since you are not merely a gun owner, but instead are actually prepared to defend yourself, you also follow Rule Two, and have trained sufficiently (and have kept in training sufficiently) to have at minimum a solid grounding in the fundamentals of shooting and gun-handling while also acquiring the requisite knowledge of the law with respect to use of force, and use of lethal force.
So what’s the third Rule?
It’s quite simple, really, even though this is the situation where the largest number of people will create the most ridiculous rationalizations to defend their emotional investment in a piece of equipment.
Rule Three of Concealed Carry: Carry the most effective tool that you can.
At the start of 2016, I posted an article about one of the things I was going to try to do to get better at shooting throughout the year, which was attempt to dryfire every day. While I didn’t manage to meet my goal of dryfiring every day, I did certainly dryfire much more often than I had in the past, and it made a difference to my shooting. (I made excuses for myself on some days later in the year, rationalizing not putting in the work. The excuses weren’t valid, and it isn’t like the extra 3 minutes I got instead of practicing ended up being useful to me. One of my goals this year is to not make excuses for not doing the work.)
It is December in Nebraska–30 degrees (Fahrenheit) out, with nice gusty winds so that the weather folks say it actually feels like 20 degrees out. Obviously, it is a good day to shoot the FBI Firearms Qualification outdoors!
I decided to do this for a couple of reasons:
- I haven’t shot this in awhile, and I’ve never shot it on camera while freezing, so I thought it might be interesting to see how I’d do, and how much the cold would affect me.
- In my last article, I talked about how this is a good qualification to run for “court value,” which is something that Greg Ellifritz mentions in his article, linked above. As such, it seemed like a good idea to show what it looks like for those who don’t know the course of fire.
It was so cold I couldn’t talk correctly. My face was numb, and I was having problems forming words correctly. No, I don’t have a speech impediment, but you couldn’t tell that from how I was talking….