Concealed Carry Articles
Bruce is a contributing editor for Concealed Carry Magazine where he pens the Armed Senior Citizen column in each issue. He is also a weekly contributor to Guns & Patriots. Below are some of his articles, with the most recent at the top of the list. Click any title for more information.
There is no question that gun crime is a serious problem in many big cities, such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At a time when Police Departments have been forced to downsize and prioritize due to severe budget cuts, law enforcement have been stretched to the limit. This could be one factor in giving violent criminals more bravado.
However, many politicians of the Democratic party persuasion have co-created and jumped onto a political soap box which they call “reasonable gun control legislation”. What makes this platform a soap box is that it based on faulty premises, built on emotional appeals as opposed to logical reasoning, and held together by falsehoods and lies.
When was the last time you sat on a train, or a bus, or in a restaurant, club, or movie theater, and worried that you might be attacked by a knife-wielding madman? There are some people who don't want to think about such things, and might want to give you a mental health diagnosis. Yet a recent episode of a crazed knife-wielding murderer wilding through the streets and subways of Manhattan once again drives home the fact that it could happen to you. So, how do you process the possibility?
As we become increasingly fragile, we lose defensive options in the event of a physical assault. The disparity of force in favor of the attacker widens as a function of our physical disadvantages. Given the inevitability of the age related decline in our physical abilities, how can we keep safe in the face of violent crime?
There are no easy answers. As our physical abilities decline, we may have a more restricted range of defensive options. We probably cannot run away fast enough, if at all.
“A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked (3) in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. declared in Brown v. United States on May 16th, 1921 in a case that upheld the “no duty to retreat” maxim that “detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife.”
In a recent letter to the editor, a thoughtful reader’s comments got me to thinking about the differences between combat shooting and all other types of shooting, specifically as these differences relate to defensive handgun training.
In this installment, I will reprint this reader’s comments along with my response as a lead-in to my thoughts about training for a gunfight. Specifically, this reader took issue with my recommendations for training in (or developing a habit of having) a crush grip or hard grasp on the handgun.
This is also true when you are just sitting in your vehicle, including when you are stopped at a light or in traffic. Less likely, you can even become a target while you are driving. Predators look for victims who are distracted, otherwise preoccupied or trapped, and all of these apply in all of the above vehicular situations. This is compounded if you are a senior citizen, as we elderly fall into a “more often picked by predators” category.
It boils down to the dictum, consumer beware! As in the martial arts world, in the shooting community, there are many instructors and shooting schools whose main agenda is to sell their system of combat shooting. Often a lot of ego is involved. The problem for every student of defensive handgun shooting lies in choosing the right school and instructor for him or her.
Even a right must be exercised responsibly, and carrying a gun is a grave responsibility. In previous articles, I have discussed my belief that carrying a gun is not for everyone. If you carry, you should do so intelligently. If you go armed and act stupidly, you may lose your right (or privilege) to carry. Make intelligent choices and carry responsibly.
Five Do's of Intelligent Concealed Carry:
Over the years, numerous students have come to work with me to learn advanced defensive shooting techniques. In many cases, initial evaluation of their shooting skills revealed that they were terribly incompetent with a handgun and often unsafe as well! In almost every case, these people had never gotten the basics down. This is remarkable given the fact that many of these students reported that they had attended multiple tactical shooting schools before coming to me. This phenomenon left me wondering how they had missed the boat.
If you carry a concealed handgun for self protection, you need a secure, stable and safe way to carry it. That is the purpose of a holster. In this article, we shall focus on senior citizens, since many seniors, such as yours truly, have special needs that call for a holster designed to meet these needs. But first, let’s get two things out of the way: number one, I am a holster enthusiast. I have tried a lot of holsters. I own a lot of holsters that I don’t use. For years, I searched for the “perfect” holster. That leads us to number two: I have not yet found the perfect holster! Actually, I don’t think it exists.
For those of us who think going armed makes good sense, carrying one or more reliable handguns is comforting. However, if carrying those guns is physically uncomfortable and tiring, human nature being what it is, we will find excuses to leave home without our weapons. The problem of going armed is further compounded by the necessity of effectively concealing one's carry guns.
Sometimes the little things in life can brighten your day. It could be the Dunkin Donuts counter clerk’s pleasant smile at 5:30 AM, or a helpful and polite customer service representative at your wireless phone carrier. On the objects’ side of things, I really appreciate well made clothing, tools, and equipment. This particularly extends to my emergency rescue tools and accessories—my guns and holsters.
You hear many clichés in the gun community. For example: An armed society is a polite society; Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six; A gun should be comforting not comfortable; Don’t draw your gun unless you are going to, or intend to, use it; Keep it simple and you’re not stupid; etc. However, here is a fact: A cliché is just a generalization and generalizations are oversimplications. Nevertheless, we all have our moments.
Small handguns work for me. I shoot them well and enjoy shooting them. They pack comfortably practically anywhere I want to stow them. I am confident that at least one of my pocket pistols will be where it needs to be--in a holster in my pocket with my hand on the grip--if I need a gun right then and there. Can you honestly say that with complete confidence about your big heavy blaster?
We all have inherent limitations no matter what our age. After all, we are all human - well, at least the majority of us. Limitations refer to such things as inherited physical traits, fundamental personality traits, cognitive and physical talents and abilities, age, gender, and cultural background. These are factors that cannot be changed, and therefore, these limitations need to be acknowledged and accepted. Acceptance is the first step in personal improvement. Once we accept our limitations, we can compensate for the restrictions they impose.
Wyatt Earp disbursed many a lynch mob with his resolute demeanor standing behind his Colt .45 six shooters or a shotgun. Was his threat overkill? I don’t think so! It worked and usually, not a shot was fired. Check that thought. What about a “flash mob?"
Are they less or more deadly than what Earp encountered? And do you have the reputation of a Marshall Wyatt Earp?
Have you been looking for a powerful and reliable, very affordable, high capacity defensive pocket pistol--one that you can not only carry in your pocket, but also clip inside your waist band? In this installment, we take a look at such a gun.
It has been on the market since the 1990’s and has been reviewed elsewhere, but not by me. The first pistol designed by George Kellgren, the founder of Kel-Tec Firearms, it is the innovative but inexpensive 9mm Kel-Tec P-11.
Stowe and go
Small caliber guns are easy to insert into a pocket holster and throw into your pocket. This takes much less time than strapping or clipping on a belt or inside the waist band holster, holstering a compact to full size pistol, and finding and donning an appropriate cover garment to conceal the piece.
The question is often asked, “what is the best handgun for concealed carry?” There are many valid answers to this question and they usually begin with, “well, it depends on a number of factors.” However, in my humble opinion, there is one universally valid answer, and that is, “it is the gun that you have on you when you need it.” With that said, the purpose of this brief article is to make you aware of twelve handguns that are so easy to carry, that there is no excuse to ever go unarmed--never ever.
Small, thin, light weight pistols are in. That is because carrying them hidden is more comfortable and easy than carrying thick heavy ones. However, conventional wisdom used to say that such pistols would kick too much and be too difficult to control to deliver accurate shots. So, up until the last 10 years, serious shooters and concealed carry practitioners avoided them. Then, a relatively new company introduced a polymer .32 little wonder gun dubbed the P-32. That company was Kel-Tec.
Concealing a substantial handgun on your person is not easy. It requires forethought and commitment. While concealed means out of sight, if your piece prints through your clothing, it is not out of sight, but instead is a clue that you are carrying. You may not be breaking any laws when your firearm prints through your clothing, but you have just given up the element of surprise which is the reason to carry concealed. So, what do you do if it is difficult at best to effectively conceal a handgun on your hip or inside your waist band?
There is no perfect concealed carry gun or holster. Everything is a trade off and what works well for one person may not work well for another. In choosing the right concealed carry gun and holster combination for your specific circumstances, you need to consider your mission, your capabilities, and your limitations.
Personal defense is a lifestyle. If you haven’t thought about what you’re going to do when the bad guys come for you, you will most likely be going with them. So, now is the time to think about what you will do if you are selected to be part of someone else’s food chain. What skills and tools will you need? The answer is that it depends on the situation.
If all you have is a hammer, everything will look like a nail
If all you carry is a gun, then what will you do when less than lethal force is required to defend yourself?
Hoplophobia is defined as an irrational fear of weapons, including but not limited to firearms. There have been a number of attempts by mental health professionals, who are not hoplophobes themselves, to explain the underlying psychology of gun haters.
Hoplohobic defense mechanisms
These theories essentially boil down to the idea that hoplohobes’ behaviors are driven by several conscious and unconscious psychological defense mechanisms.
As we age past 40, the lenses in our eyes begin to lose flexibility. Thus, our ability to view distant objects and then refocus our eyes to see near objects declines sharply. This condition, a result of the aging process, is known as presbyopia or “old eyes” and it affects more than 90 percent of the population by the age of 50. To my knowledge, bifocals are the only successful way to help people who are both nearsighted and farsighted to view things clearly both close in and at a distance. The problem is that when you are wearing bifocals or progressive bifocals, you need to move your head to transition back and forth between visually focusing on objects within arms length and objects at a distance.
Given all of the conversation and buzz that my previous week’s article, “Who Should Not Carry A Gun,” generated, I thought it appropriate to address this week the topic of Who Should Carry A Gun to set the record straight.
A number of folks raised legitimate concerns about how my article could conceivably be used by card carrying and Machiavellian anti-gun rights people.
Certainly gun banners could pervert my words and use them to achieve their own ends. After all, I am a clinical psychologist and a “gun guy.”
With power comes responsibility. With greater power, comes greater responsibility. If you carry a gun, you carry the power of life and death. That’s a lot of power. Such power raises your level of responsibility such that you must be diligent in avoiding social conflicts that could escalate into serious violence.
You must avoid road rage incidents and the like. This is because if you are in a violent physical confrontation, by having a gun on you, you are introducing deadly force into the equation.
I attended the SHOT Show in Las Vegas this winter. It was a great show. I met up with a lot of gun people. I met old friends and made new ones. Many of these folks did not have Nevada gun permits, but they were carrying anyway.
While I fully understand this, and toyed with the idea myself, I just have too much to lose if hit with a felony for carrying a firearm illegally - such as my psychologist License, my NRA Police Firearms Instructor License, and my gun rights. To continue reading this article, click here.
(We encourage you to take a look at this insightful article below from USA Carry explaining why it's so important to get multiple state carry permits like those offered in our classes.)
"The first thing that every American (who is able to) should do is go get their concealed firearms permit. Even if you never plan to carry, or don’t carry often, at least once you get your permit you have the option to protect yourself. And, if you happen to be one of the poor souls who lives in a state that has unfriendly gun laws and you can’t get your CCW, then move. I’m very serious about that..." To continue reading this article at USA Carry, click here.
If you were to admit that you did that yesterday, some people, especially those who suffer from hoplophobia, and who don’t want to think about such things, might want to give you a mental health diagnosis. However, the most recent episode in February of 2011 of a crazed knife-wielding murderer, wilding through the streets and subways of Manhattan, drives home the fact that such a thing could happen to you. To continue reading this article, click here.
In order to develop into a competent, defensive shooter you must master the fundamentals of marksmanship. The good news for those of us who have physical challenges such as arthritis is that there is no such thing as “advanced marksmanship,” because all marksmanship is basic. Advanced combative handgun techniques are the application of the fundamentals at an advanced level in different situations. Mastery of the fundamentals of marksmanship forms the basis for advancement as a combative shooter. This requires commitment and smart training. To continue reading this article, click here.
If you carry a concealed handgun for self protection, you need a secure, stable and safe way to carry it. That is the purpose of a holster. In this article, we shall focus on senior citizens, since many seniors, such as yours truly, have special needs that call for a holster designed to meet these needs. But first, let’s get two things out of the way: number one, I am a holster enthusiast. I have tried a lot of holsters. I own a lot of holsters that I don’t use. For years, I searched for the “perfect” holster. That leads us to number two: I have not yet found the perfect holster! Actually, I don’t think it exists. To continue reading, click here.
Trauma can occur in the form of a single experience or it can occur cumulatively as a result of repeated or ongoing horrors. Some examples of single traumatic events are motor vehicle accidents, physical or psychological assaults, rapes, molestations, and harrowing surgical experiences. Some examples of ongoing trauma are the aftermath of natural disasters, life altering physical injuries or diseases, war, genocide, and ongoing sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Trauma can also result from the loss of loved ones. To continue reading, click here.
In this column I shall discuss how learning to be a responsible gun owner is both therapeutic and survival oriented, hence the term “gun therapy.” However, there is a caveat. It is not possible for everyone to become a responsible gun owner. Unfortunately, not everyone can benefit from gun or any other form of therapy! There are some people who should not be permitted to own firearms—violent criminals and sociopaths constitute the group that immediately comes to mind. To continue reading, click here.
There is a famous old saying that brought up to date goes something like this: “God made man and woman, but Colonel Sam Colt made them equal.” In other words, a violent world without the legal individual ownership of firearms simply favors the physically big and strong over the physically small and weak. The right to keep and bear defensive firearms makes it possible for the small and weak to equalize the playing field. The purpose of this article is to discuss the implications of this well established fact in light of current training trends. To continue reading, click here.
As we all know, the elderly are considered easy prey by violent criminal predators. This is because typically in a fight there will be a notable disparity of force between a younger, stronger person and an older, weaker one. So, if an elderly and physically challenged person is attacked by a younger, stronger person and the older person believes they are in imminent deadly peril, this disparity of force may justify them deploying a deadly weapon--such as a handgun--in self-defense. To continue reading, click here.
Be aware of your surroundings. One of the places where we need to be especially aware of our surroundings is whenever we are entering and exiting our motor vehicle. In Florida, at least, where there are a lot of senior citizens, crime around vehicles and in parking lots is rampant. Vehicles can be like Venus Fly Traps. Don't be a fly! Be prepared. Every day, senior citizens are attacked (i.e., “mugged”) as they go about their business of entering and exiting their motor vehicles in an unaware state of mind. To continue reading, click here.
Here in the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is tasked with overseeing airport security. The result is that everyone is treated as a potential terrorist. Unfortunately, the real terrorists continue to look for ways to defeat airport security measures. Therefore, if you fly “the friendly skies” you should think about what you would do if a terrorist incident unfolded on your flight. To continue reading, click here.
If you are a senior citizen, staying sharp refers to more than just looking good. It means cultivating a healthy mind and body that will help you remain aware of your surroundings, prepared and ready for any eventuality. Bad guys select their victims based upon their assessment of signs of weakness, frailty, timidity and fear. If you look confident, observant, oriented, decisive and active, bad guys will probably not want to mess with you. To continue reading, click here.
While going to the gym can be relaxing on days when you choose to engage in mild exercise such as walking at a comfortable pace on the treadmill, wading in the pool, or sweating in the steam room, going to the gym to work out is work - hence the expression "working out." If you want to stay in shape, you need to work out. Similarly, if you want to be able to defend yourself, you need to train. But how? To continue reading, click here.
Many of us who are old enough remember times when life was much simpler and friendlier—no cell phones, iPhones, Blackberries, computers, email, internet, podcasts, YouTube, Twitter, Google, instant messaging, Microsoft, AOL, MTV, CNN, MSNBC, and so on—and minimum gun control!
Fast forward to the late 1990s during which the evolving complexity of modern society became turbocharged as the mainstream media, computers and the internet achieved domination over our lifestyle. To continue reading, click here.
Because we are human, we have a limited attentional capacity or focus of attention. Our conscious mind can only attend to a finite amount of information at one time, even though our unconscious mind can subliminally process many things simultaneously. As we become old geezers, for most of us, our attentional capacity tends to become even more limited in scope. Without training and practice, it becomes harder to focus on more than one thing at a time. To continue reading, click here.
The argument grew into a melee, and security guards threw everyone out. Afterwards, in the parking lot, three men from one of the groups jumped one man from the other group who was trying to leave the angry and violent scene. The three men beat, kicked and stomped the other man to death. By the time the police arrived, it was too late. The victim suffered severe head trauma and was pronounced dead right there by medics. All I could think of after reading this headline news story in the Philadelphia Inquirer was that if the victim had a gun on him, he might have been able to save his life. To continue reading, click here.
The world doesn’t seem to be getting any safer. In addition to the usual crimes, we now have an American city that is the number two kidnapping capital in the world, plus a real threat of middle east-style domestic terrorism. Our law enforcement departments are the thin blue line that protects Americans. At fifty-five, I may be too old to start a new career as a cop, but I can still serve by becoming a Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor. I’ve been a firearms and shooting enthusiast for more than seventeen years, I’ve attended numerous shooting schools, and as an NRA instructor for more than five years I’ve taught classes and coached police and members of the public to learn to shoot and prevail in a fight. To continue reading, click here.
A long time ago, in 1974, I was a senior in an upstate New York college, living off campus. My roommate owned an old Colt Model 1908 .25 ACP vest pocket pistol that had once belonged to his grandfather. Created by famed firearms designer John Moses Browning, this diminutive pocket gun was a hammerless, striker fired, single action pistol equipped with a slide locking safety catch and a grip safety. At the time, fear of violent crime on and around the campus was virtually non-existent. One night, someone broke into our neighbor’s house and stole some valuable personal items while the student occupants were asleep. To continue reading, click here.
A fit, elderly couple was walking, as they did every morning, in a local park not far from where they lived. Both were suddenly attacked by multiple violent criminals armed with baseball bats. The man was beaten to death, and his wife was raped and beaten. She was left for dead, but survived with permanent injuries and physical disablement. She recovered enough to recall that the (two or three) attackers emerged suddenly from a parked van. It is of interest that both victims were CCW permit holders, but neither was armed at the time and place of the fatal attack. The deceased male victim was a decorated, retired Special Forces soldier with training in hand-to-hand fighting! To continue reading, click here.
People with varying levels of firearms experience register for our classes. We instruct people who have never touched a firearm before as well as people who have been around guns since childhood and who have been shooting for years. Students run the gamut from those who do not even own a firearm to those who own numerous firearms. Many of our students have never taken a handgun safety class, while others have taken defensive handgun courses taught by big name instructors at big name schools. To continue reading, click here.
As we all know, the elderly are considered easy prey by violent criminal predators. This is because typically in a fight there will be a notable disparity of force between a younger, stronger person and an older, weaker one. So, if an elderly and physically challenged person is attacked by a younger, stronger person and the older person believes they are in imminent deadly peril, this disparity of force may justify them deploying a deadly weapon - such as a handgun - in self defense. To continue reading, click here.
I own Glock pistols in most calibers, and I believe there is a place for each of them. In the same way that Glocks are reliable, no frills, survival tools, there is a line of holster products on the market that also fits the same category. These holsters are simple, functional and reliable rigs for your Glocks, or for practically any other make and model of handgun that you may own. To continue reading, click here.
Trust is not cheap. It can cost you your life! The elderly woman had just been telling her daughter the day before how much she trusted her cleaning lady, how nice she was. Nevertheless, her daughter advised her not to leave the cleaning lady with her keys. She did anyway. To continue reading, click here.
When I teach concealed carry permit classes, I seldom fail to be surprised by the numbers of students who demonstrate inadequate, faulty, and even dangerous gun handling skills. People with varying levels of firearms experience register for our classes. To continue reading, click here.
Pepper spray is possibly the best tool on the market for a less than lethal conflict resolution (excluding tasers and stun guns, normally wielded only by law enforcement officers). It is light, easy to use and requires little training to master. To continue reading, click here.
If you go to shooting school or study with a qualified firearms instructor and learn a basic set of good marksmanship, gun handling and tactical skills, you need to practice a lot to imprint those skills into your subconscious and into your muscle memory. Then you have to keep on practicing regularly in order to maintain those skills and keep them sharp. To continue reading, click here.
Ease of carry or comfort is a big issue for all of us who carry, but especially for senior citizens. Many seniors have back problems and other physical challenges that make it painful or stressful to lug around a 1 ½ - 2 pound handgun all day long. To continue reading, click here.
As senior citizens, we need all the help we can get in the judicious use of emergency rescue equipment such as the defensive handgun. In this article, I shall discuss two types of equipment that are prudent to employ with your personal defense handgun: laser sights, specifically Crimson Trace Lasergrips, and hollowpoint bullets. To continue reading, click here.
Given the fact that I am physically challenged with neck and back pain, arthritis, and spinal inflexibility stemming from some injuries, I am often asked how I keep my shooting skills intact--that is, how I regularly train. In this article, I shall address this question. I will discuss several skill maintenance exercises that I have learned over the years for both live and dry fire practice. Keeping in mind the old adage, "use it or lose it," I incorporate shooting skill drills into my lifestyle. To continue reading, click here.
When would the use of deadly force by a private citizen against another human be considered judicious, sensible, prudent, cautious, careful, justified, or well thought out? How can a private citizen be authorized to kill another human under his or her own summary judgment? The very simple answer is that deadly force is recognized as a last resort for when you need to use it to save your life. To continue reading, click here.
Dr. Bruce Eimer wants to be clear about one thing: Guns are dangerous. That one simple truth is the backbone of the concealed-carry classes Eimer holds once a month at shooting ranges in and around Philadelphia. To continue reading, click here.
Two inch barrel length revolvers are commonly known as "snub noses" or "snubbies" and are the least accurate of revolvers at distances over 21 feet. They are colloquially called "belly guns" because they are well suited for close-up work. They lend themselves to deep concealment. Given their favorable ratio of power to size, their rounded, pocketable shape, and their robust reliability, they may in fact be the ultimate concealed carry handgun. To continue reading, click here.
Do you have a clear view of your defensive and security needs? Your personal safety depends on it. If you are too paranoid, you may become overly focused on perceived threats to the exclusion of all else. If you are not paranoid enough, you may walk into an ambush. The world is a dangerous place, and you don't want to become some scum bag's lunch, but you do want to be able to enjoy your own lunch. What is the solution? To continue reading click here.
We can only speculate about the outcome had the intended victim been unarmed and unprepared. In this case, he was armed and hopefully prepared to use his handgun to defend himself if he had to. Fortunately, he didn't have to. His would-be attacker probably decided that his would-be victim wasn't going to be an easy target and wouldn't be worth the trouble. To continue reading click here.
As a senior citizen, when you go to purchase your first defensive handgun for concealed carry, you may find yourself feeling nervous, confused, or "out of your element" at the gun shop. If this is what you experience, join the club! We've all been there and done that! After all, you've experienced a lot of things in your life, but this is a new experience for you. Know that this is where the value of a truly concerned and dedicated professional can shine through. That would be the gun shop sales person from whom you decide to buy your first gun, or second. To continue reading click here.
Winning a fight for your life and surviving depend on both psychological preparedness and well practiced fighting skills. In this article, I shall focus on psychological preparedness for combat survival in the context of self defense. It encompasses four key elements and I shall discuss each of these: Situational Awareness; Positive Self-Talk; Fear Control; and Mental Rehearsal. When you are psychologically prepared for survival you are tuned into reality, and the reality is that the world is a dangerous place. In the real world, unawareness of an imminent threat, lack of preparedness to effectively deal with it, or denial of its presence mean not surviving. So let's keep it real and survive. To continue reading click here.
Beginners at concealed carry often ask the question, If I carry my handgun loaded with a round in the chamber, how do I prevent an accidental discharge? The answer is that you have to have good equipment. The heart of your concealed carry package consists of your handgun and your concealment holster. Both should be quality. To continue reading click here.
As an individual that carries concealed weapons, when you seek defensive handgun training, what are you going to look for? Ponder this question for a few minutes, then read on. To continue reading click here.
Let me be up front. I am going to begin this brief report by admitting that I like Ruger firearms. They make great single-action and double action revolvers, centerfire pistols, rimfire .22 caliber target pistols and carbines, such as the Mini-14, Mini-30 and the PC series in 9mm and .40 caliber. The company's integrity and emphasis on safety and customer service in the law enforcement and civilian markets, reflect the values of the company's founder, the late William Ruger. To continue reading, click here.
The 1952 movie, "High Noon," was about a lone marshal (played by Gary Cooper) who chose to stay in town and take on the bad guys while his friends turned their backs. When the shit hits the fan and we are in a life or death struggle, there will be no time to wonder if we have the right equipment to get the job done and survive. We need to be prepared. Those of us who carry a concealed handgun need a holster that conceals well, that is comfortable and that is at the ready, should we need quick, unimpeded access to our gun. To continue reading, click here.
If you carry a gun, it is for self-defense. As a responsible gun owner and concealed carry permit holder, the last thing you ever want to do is to have to use your defensive handgun for self-defense. The last thing you ever want to happen is for someone else to use your own gun on you or on anyone else! Both horrible scenarios can be prevented through proper equipment selection, the judicious and tactical use of well rehearsed avoidance and disengagement strategies (Farnam, 2005), and learning some basic weapon retention skills. To continue reading, click here.
One of our writers just finished co-authoring a book and asked me to do a review for the magazine. I told him to send me the book and if it was any good I’d consider it. After reading the book, I will tell you that Bruce Eimer and Steve Rementer have done an outstanding job putting together a valuable and very readable book. To continue reading, click here.
Defensive shooting is all about training to fight with a gun, and the key word is fight. This is very different business than competitive target shooting. Recently, I had the opportunity to take John and Vicki Farnam’s Defensive Handgun Course. It was reality-based training at its best. John and Vicki are the principals of Defense Training International, Inc., a mobile, tactical, firearms, training school. What follows is an overview of their defensive handgun course, a preparatory course on how to survive in a real fight for your life, and how to avoid one if at all possible. To continue reading, click here.
Spare keys, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, electronic security systems, flood lights, cellular phones, first aid kits, flashlights, safety matches, butane lighters, candles, knives, hammers, and axes are emergency rescue equipment. All these tools go together as part of an emergency rescue system, and no well equipped home should be without any of them. Defensive firearms are also emergency rescue equipment. However, many folks who choose to own a defensive firearm do not realize the necessity of coupling it with other essential defensive tools as part of their defensive, emergency rescue system. To continue reading, click here.
When is it right to kill another human? That is just one of the questions that are studied at the Lethal Force Institute (LFI). To my knowledge, LFI is the only defensive shooting school that spends as much time addressing the judicious use of lethal force (the legally armed citizen’s responsibilities) as it does concentrating on combat shooting skills and tactics. When you carry a gun, you must subscribe to a higher standard of care in exercising your rights of self-defense. This is because with greater power, comes greater responsibility, and a person with a gun holds the power of life and death. To continue reading, click here.
This time, I am writing about the scope of the problems faced by the armed senior citizen. Actually, I am writing this article for my 83-year-old mother who lives in Florida. She’ll only do some of the things that I suggest. Hopefully, I can have more influence on some of you. To continue reading, click here.
No matter how far liberal relativists twist reality, there are still some reality-based absolutes in this world. One such absolute is that if you're going to sit and pose for a photo shoot on the back of a Bengal tiger, chances are good that you're volunteering to be his next meal. Likewise, another absolute is that if you're learning a new skill, or practicing a learned one (like shooting), you'll progress faster with corrective feedback than you will without it. To continue reading, click here.
We are all responsible for protecting ourselves - knowing that education is power and power is the first thing that the criminal intends to take away from you! The responsibility for acquiring knowledge of defensive measures lies strictly where it belongs and that is with you and your immediate family. Outsiders can be great communicators, but very often they do not and cannot share your own personal risk profile. Therefore, they cannot know the optimal protective measures for you and your family. To continue reading, click here.
More often than not weapons save lives. However due to the fact that our media is so often antigun, the positive aspects of self-protection often go unreported. The scholar, John Lott, wrote a data-based, honest book about this curious phen-omenon of selective news reporting, entitled, "More Guns, Less Crime". Nevertheless, the literature published by various firearms presses and sometimes unfortunately, self-interested magazines, often does describe situations where civilians have successfully defended and saved themselves or others with a firearm. To continue reading, click here.
With violent crime on an upswing and the advent of terrorism, every adult should be prepared with a personal defense plan. People today are looking for answers to the question of how can I keep my family and myself safe? As an instructor, you dedicate yourself to finding the answers if you do not know them. It cannot be a "me" or "I" ego game. It has to be a "they" or "us" mission. It doesn't matter what socio-economic or ethnic background the student or client comes from. The fears, questions and experiences are usually very similar. Breeding confidence is probably the best accolade that any instructor can receive. To continue reading, click here.
Having to use a wheelchair to get around is no reason to be without personal protection and defenseless. You may look like a target of opportunity to Mr. Bad Guy, but your physically challenged "getup" can be your cover, just like "Sergeant Granny" of the Police Department’s Decoy Squad. Furthermore, being in a wheelchair does appear to widen the disparity of the strength and force gap between you and Goofy the Goblin. This article is about taking the appropriate measures to reduce that disparity, so you’re empowered to defend yourself. To continue reading, click here.
You may have your favorite guns for concealed carry and home defense, but these firearms certainly do not have their favorite owners. It bears keeping in mind that all firearms are dangerous, inanimate objects that do not forgive oversights or mistakes. They are weapons designed to kill two-legged, four-legged, many-legged and no-legged creatures! Being the dangerous tools they are designed to be, firearms, just like poisonous snakes and spiders, are ready to bite the first person who handles them carelessly. Thus, all gun owners must always make firearm safety awareness their first priority. To continue reading, click here.
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? So, we pose the question of combat preparedness. If you are not prepared, even the Good Lord won’t be able to save you. So, in this installment, we continue from a previous installment on mental rehearsal. Herein, we will tackle the issue of coping with disabling physical injuries in concealed carry and defensive handgun training. To continue reading, click here.
Recently, a reader of this column e-mailed me for any help I could provide in explaining the process of visualization specifically as it relates to training in combat situations. He stated that he is a former firefighter and that he recently suffered some physical injuries that ended his fire fighting career and left him unable to function in the manner in which he was previously accustomed to functioning. He stated that his injuries had severely limited his physical abilities and that he felt he was also suffering from a mental block in trying to help his body heal. He wanted help in "clearing the blockage" from his mind so he could "convince" himself to perform physically in order to heal his body. To continue reading, click here.
Follow-through is important in every endeavor. Many folks hold professional politicians in disdain because politicians have a reputation for not following through with doing what they said they were going to do once they get elected. People like other folks to be consistent - that is, to say what they mean and mean what they say - to follow-through and do what they say they’ll do. Being consistent is important in many venues of life-teaching, socializing and disciplining children, dealing with employees, managing relationships, legislating, governing, enforcing the law, fighting and so on. To continue reading, click here.
There are "no second place winners" in a gunfight.
(Bill Jordan, 1989).
These words were written in the 1960’s and they are no less true today. In fact, today, with the proliferation of material on technique, this reminder becomes all the more important. In a gunfight, the person who puts bullets into their opponent first is usually the winner. To continue reading, click here.
For starters, I carried a snub revolver in my weak side pant pocket. After I shed the sling, I moved to strong side pocket carry. Boy, am I glad that I have logged thousands of rounds with my snubby and that I am used to carrying one in my pocket. To continue reading, click here.
Given the common maladies of aging, such as arthritis, which affect hand strength and dexterity, old geezers like myself who carry a handgun everyday for self-defense want something reliable, that’s easy to operate and simple to maintain. Amongst big bore, defensive, semi-automatic pistols, that spells G-l-o-c-k. To continue reading, click here.
Anyone who would want to shoot somebody is either extremely naïve or insane. Once the trigger is pulled, the consequences are grave and irrevocable. Bullets cannot be taken back. Using a gun as a social problem-solving tool in a non-war environment is a very last resort for the gravest of extremes. Therefore, because the potential for petty conflict in today’s society is high, carrying a firearm for self-defense requires that you adhere to a higher standard of care than if you were to go unarmed. To continue reading, click here.
Who knows what the world will be like five years from now, let alone in twenty years? The only thing we know for sure is that change and uncertainty will continue, and that those who know how to adjust to change and uncertainty will live more comfortably and successfully. Unfortunately, the life skills you need for coping with change and uncertainty are not taught in school. To continue reading, click here.
People choose to own a handgun and carry one for many different reasons. Some folks simply want to exercise their Second Amendment rights, and that’s just fine. Others want to feel a sense of empowerment. Many folks shoot competitively as a hobby or to get practice using their handgun in IDPA, IPSC and other matches. Some folks, like me, believe and feel strongly that owning firearms and carrying a gun just make plain sense in today’s unpredictable and dangerous world. In addition, having the tools and the preparation to defend ourselves and our loved ones in the home is a big priority. To continue reading, click here.
What would you do if... you saw a stranger in your shed, that stranger had just dragged your granddaughter or your wife into that shed, you were attacked, someone tried to carjack you, someone began to beat you up, or someone broke into your house? People usually answer with, "I really don’t know... You really have to be in the situation to know how you’d react... I’d probably freeze." Such lack of preparedness is not conducive to survival. To continue reading, click here.
I have had the fortunate opportunity to train intensively with Robin "Brownie" Brown who teaches his Integrated Threat Focused Training System (ITFTS) that has evolved over the past 26 years. As I described in my previous article, "The Need for Speed", "Brownie" is a firearms, edged weapons, hand to hand, and stick trainer whose background includes being a former United States Marine, former special police officer, former executive bodyguard, former PI, and the owner and maestro of the threat Focused Forums. To continue reading, click here.
In my previous column, I addressed five simple solutions for coping with personal defense uncertainty and mastering your fears of the future. These included: accepting uncertainty as part of life; learning to think tactically; staying present and aware; managing your negative moods; and improving your tolerance for frustration. A more detailed exposition of these concepts (but less personal defense oriented) is available in our book, Coping With Uncertainty: 10 Simple Solutions (B.N. Eimer and M.S. Torem, 2002). In this column, I am going to address five more simple solutions to the problem. To continue reading, click here.
Most in your face, social confrontations and conflicts do not need to escalate into violence if they are managed appropriately. In order to preclude violence, it is necessary to take control by using some tried and true social psychology. The fact is that everyone uses social psychology whether they are consciously aware of it or not. It’s better to be consciously aware and have a plan. Think out your defensive actions and be deliberate. After an incident, analyze what you did right and what you did wrong, so it can be a learning experience. To continue reading, click here.
Many of the people you see modeling stances with a handgun are young, flexible model types who have not had too many bones broken and do not have other joint issues like arthritis. They can model themselves into a classic Weaver or Isosceles posture as many of us have been indoctrinated is the ideal or only way. Then I try with my arthritis and all the other ills the flesh is prone to, and it really bothers me that my postural profile departs from the ideal I get from reading this stuff. So what to do? To continue reading, click here.
The other day, I was eating breakfast at my favorite diner, and I observed an interchange that inspired this month’s column. A "seventyish" year old "senior citizen", who I knew to be a retired Philadelphia cop, was putting on his coat when an elderly couple seated nearby complimented him on his coat. He responded, "Thank you, but you wouldn’t like what’s in the pocket". That really drew my attention! To continue reading, click here.