Dr. Eimer's Personal Defense Tips
From time to time, I send out personal defense tips to members of our PDS mailing list. Here is an archive of the tips I've sent out so far. Simply click on the date to go right to the tip.
- Tip #11: March 11, 2011
Choosing A Pocket Pistol
- Tip #10: February 11, 2011
It's The Ammo That Kills
- Tip #9: February 3, 2011
33-state Utah Concealed Firearms Permit
- Tip #8: January 28, 2011
On The Decision To Carry A Gun
- Tip #7: January 17, 2011
Finding Competent Training
- Tip #6: January 5, 2011
Personal Defense For Non-Martial Artists
- Tip #5: December 28, 2010
Attitude & Values
- Tip #4: December 22, 2010
Mindset Is Your Most Dangerous Weapon
- Tip #3: December 14, 2010
Don't Be In A Bubble
- Tip #2: December 7, 2010
Obtaining A Multi-State Non-Resident Carry Permit
- Tip #1: November 28, 2010
On Flying Safely
Choosing A Pocket Pistol
Carrying a pocket pistol, for many CCW Permit holders, is the optimal concealed carry solution. Pocket pistols conceal well and are usually comfortable to tote unless they are either too heavy or too large for your pocket. If you decide that pocket carry makes sense to be your main every day carry or EDC, you must choose a pocket gun. Nowadays, the choices are many. This week's tip presents a list of considerations:
1. What kind of clothes, especially slacks, do you wear? Different slacks have different size pockets and different types of pockets. If your slacks are loose fitting and have large pockets you will have more latitude in your choice of pocket gun, unless you choose to custom tailor your own pockets.
2. Are you going to carry in your front or rear pant pocket, or in your jacket pocket?
3. If you work in an office, or you have to visit different work sites, you probably have different carry needs.
4. Are you a physically large, medium sized, or little person?
5. What type of a handgun do you shoot best with?
6. What type of handgun can you comfortably tote with you all day in your pocket?
Snubnose ("Snubby") Revolvers:
1. These are almost always a good choice. Beginning with .38 Special, you get good stopping power with the right load and good shot placement.
2. If necessary you can shoot right through your pocket if your snubbie is not holstered. For this purpose, the ideal set-up is a revolver with an enclosed or internal hammer that will not snag, such as a Smith & Wesson Centennial or Bodyguard model.
3. You have to have sufficient hand strength to work the revolver's trigger and its controls. If not, the snub revolver may not be your best choice.
4. You must practice going to the range with your revolver to develop accuracy and speed with it.
5. Even with their round cylinder, revolvers carry surprisingly comfortably in the pocket, as long as your pocket is big enough.
6. You need a good holster that covers your revolver's trigger guard, and that, when you draw the gun out of your pocket, stays in your pocket. You do not want the holster coming out with your gun! That's a bad surprise!
7. Snubbies are great choices for casual jacket carry in your casual jacket side pocket without a holster.
There are a lot of choices here. Whatever you choose, remember that a gun on you is better than one or five at home. Also remember that caliber is an issue, but shot placement and your comfort level and ability shooting and operating your gun choice is paramount. I do not think one should get too caught up in caliber issues. However, the thing is, your choice should be influenced by the range of control around you (in terms of feet or yards) you want to have. Small caliber mini-pistols give you less of a range of command control. Most importantly, choose a RELIABLE pistol with a good track record. Here is a list of some excellent and reliable pocket semi-autos in different calibers and sizes: REMEMBER: Choose a caliber and a gun you can shoot well. Try before you buy!
Top Pocket Pistol Choices
|CALIBER||SIZE||MAKE & MODEL|
|32 ACP||Small||Kel-tec P-32, Beretta Tomcat, NAA Guardian, Seecamp .32|
|380 ACP||Small||Kel-tec P3AT, Ruger LCP, Seecamp, NAA Guardian, Sig Sauer P238|
|380 ACP||Medium||Walther PPK and PPK/S, Sig Sauer P232|
|9mm||Medium||Ruger LC9, Kahr PM9, Kel-tec PF9|
|9mm||Larger||Kel-tec P11, Glock 26, Walther PPS 9mm|
|.40 S&W||Medium||Kahr PM40|
|.40 S&W||Larger||Glock 27, Walther PPS .40|
Make sure you carry in a good pocket holster!
Invest in a quality pocket holster--one that will last and that will protect your gun's trigger guard, and stay put in your pocket when you present your gun. Some excellent choices are manufactured by Alessi Gun Holsters, Don Hume, and Gould & Goodrich and also, for Personal Defense Solutions. You will not go wrong with any of these brands. [Return to top of page]
TIP #10: February 11, 2011
There are two ways that bullets and edged weapons stop or neutralize bad guys:
1. Switches: These when shut off, shut off the attacker. They are the nervous system and connective tissue.
2. Timers: These are circulatory and respiratory.
Massive trauma operates like a shut down switch. Effective bullets reach vital organs, nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue and cause maximum upset to the nervous system while causing blood loss. Effective bullets create such a massive wound chamber in the body that the body cannot deal with the shock trauma created by the damage and shuts down. This was explored in depth and discussed by Evan P. Marshall and Edwin J. Sanow in their classic book, “Street Stoppers: The Latest Handgun Stopping Power Street Results”. While other experts, such as Dr. Martin Fackler, disagree with different aspects of their theory, the importance of massive internal wounding as a key element in stopping a bad guy is not a point of disagreement. However, we do have to factor in the psychogenic aspects as well. Being a psychologist, I can definitely validate the idea that minimal internal physical disruption is not a necessary ingredient to stopping someone who psychologically believes that they have been stopped (e.g., Oh my God, I've been shot, and drops dead). However, with determined bad guys, the psychogenic piece is usually not an active variable.
With many modern bullet designs including the classic Full Metal Jacketed bullets, over-penetration is a real hazard. We want a bullet to stay in the target and concentrate all of its destructive energy in the target as opposed to exiting the target after entry and continuing to fly. Frangible rounds were invented such that they break up into small, less harmful, pieces upon contact with anything harder than they are. This maximizes the round's transfer of energy to the target/object and minimizes the chances that pieces of the bullet will exit the object at dangerous velocities. Each of the small fragments quickly loses energy and therefore poses less danger to any secondary targets. This means that full-power frangible bullets can be shot at a target all the way up to muzzle contact with minimal worries that the bullet or case will ricochet and potentially hurt either the shooter or others. This aspect allows the defender to utilize his firearm at extreme close-quarters, in which most self-defense situations occur. Frangible bullets are also designed to break apart when they hit walls or other hard surfaces to prevent ricochets during close-quarters combat.
As explained by Robert Mullins of Extreme Shock Ammunition, "frangible ammunition represents the first viable revolutionary change to firearms science in the past 100 years. Frangible ammunition is a relatively recent development in bullets, presenting a departure from the standard projectiles in use for both range shooting and personal protection. With the advent of modern hostage rescue tactics in the 1970s and 1980s, military and police agencies began to look for ways to minimize over penetration risks. One widely-accepted solution was the frangible round."
When choosing a round for defense or tactical applications, safety is a major concern. We cannot afford dangerous over-penetration which can miminized the effectiveness of the bullet on the intended target and create collateral hazards. Personal Defense Solutions is now offering Extreme Shock personal defense ammunition. Please click here for details on the qualities of this ammo. EXTREME SHOCK represents the ultimate in safe and efficient bullet technology. EXTREME SHOCK ROUNDS are frangible, lead-free, non-toxic, no-ricochet, and no-shoot through. [Return to top of page]
TIP #9: February 3, 2011
PDS Tip: Acquire your 33-state Utah Concealed Firearms Permit now!
The Utah Non-resident Conceal Firearms Permit Permit is popular because it is recognized by 33 other states - the most of any state permit - so owners can carry guns in most places nationally with just that one certificate. It is relatively easy to obtain – applicants must take a required class (sort of a condensed version of the NRA Basic Pistol and Personal Protection Inside and Outside the Home classes). This class must be taught by a Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Instructor. However, elements in the Utah state legislature are trying to pass a bill that would require applicants to first obtain a permit from their home state, if available. The key is if available. In addition, at this press time, the word is that this requirement would only apply to residents of states that have reciprocity with Utah. Discretionary and non-issue states such as New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Wisconsin, will NOT be affected. So, no worries there.
On the other hand, residents of gun rights friendly states such as Pennsylvania and Virginia will need to demonstrate that they have applied for or already hold a CCW permit from their home state before they will be granted a Utah Permit after taking the required course and submitting the application to Utah’s Department of Public Safety.
It is expected that current out of state holders of the Utah CCW will be safe (i.e., grandfathered). Their Utah permits should remain valid. As stated by Ms. Laura Gayler, Instructor Program Coordinator of the Department of Public Safety of Utah’s Bureau of Criminal Identification (Phone: 801-957-8620), they at her unit who coordinate Utah’s CCW Permit program, are not sure if this bill will pass, nor are they sure of the language of the bill at this point.
Utah has had elements, who are essentially anti-gun rights, who in the past, have tried to garner support for passing laws that would cut out the continued issuance of non-resident Utah CCW permits. They have been soundly defeated by clear-thinking Utah citizens. Ultimately, in addition to the gun rights issue, what might end up defeating this proposed change is the issue of money. If Utah were to pass this new law, it would deprive Utah of millions of dollars of needed revenue.
Our next Utah Non-resident Concealed Firearms Class is to be held at Ready Aim Fire in Bristol, PA on Saturday, March 19th, 2011 at 12 PM. This class is given after our Florida and Virginia CCW class which begins at 9:00AM. If you wish to take the Utah class and get your Utah permit before this new law potentially passes, the class is open. If you wish to take the Florida/Virginia Permit class you need to be there at 9:00AM. You can pre-register on our website for the Florida/Virginia class, but for the Utah class, you would just pay the $150. tuition at the class. If you already have your Florida and Virginia CCW permit, you can just show up at 12:00 PM for the Utah Class. For more information, you can email us, or call us: 215-938-7283. [Return to top of page]
You either carry a gun because you want to be prepared to defend innocent life, or you should not carry at all...
TIP #8: January 28, 2011
Carrying a gun is not something that should be taken lightly. When you carry, you assume a serious responsibility. As stated by noted trainer and author, Massa Ayoob, with greater power comes greter responsibility, and what greater power is there than the power over life and death?
If you choose to carry, you should be prepared mentally and physically to employ deadly force in defense of your life, or those under the mantle of your protection, only under the gravest of extremes. If you have to present a gun because someone is acting towards you in a way that puts you in lethal jeopardy, AND you didn't start or escalate the confrontation, just because you are in presenting your firearm, does NOT mean you have to discharge it. The majority of defensive firearm presentations deter attackers from continuing their attack. They decide to find something else to do, and they do not need to be shot. As a civilian you do not have the right to arrest someone at gunpoint. If they choose to turn around and leave, you must let them.
Are you ready to employ the gun or guns you carry in self defense? Readiness requires the right combative (or defensive) mindset (i.e., being "willing"), being acutely aware of your surroundings so that you are not surprised, because "action is faster than reaction", and preparedness in terms of having an an adequate skills set and good equipment (handgun, spare magazines, concealed carry holsters, etc.).
Taking a required Concealed Carry permit class is not adequate training. Taking a good defensive or combat handgun class is imperative. As I've discussed before, some folks learn better in a class, and some folks learn better with private individualized instruction. And some folks benefit from both types of learning venues. Some folks get lost in a class of 10 people or more because they need more attention or require less pressure to learn effectively.
Private Defensive Handgun Instruction
Your time is valuable and you deserve your instructor's full undivided attention and focus. Unlike when you take a class with other students, private shooting instruction greatly reduces distraction, performance anxiety, and wasted time.
Give me a call (215-938-7283) or email me if you are interested in discussing setting up a half day or a full day of private instruction with me to learn defensive handgun. We will discuss your needs so you will learn at your own pace and devote more time to what you need to work on the most. Schedule your defensive handgun or shotgun personal training session with me for a time slot convenient for you. [Return to top of page]
TIP #7: January 17, 2011
FINDING COMPETENT TRAINING
Breeding confidence in one’s students is probably the best accolade that any instructor can receive. Too many firearms instructors are more concerned about getting their egos massaged than providing training that meets their students’ unique individual needs. A good defensive firearms instructor utilizes his or her own experiences, training and imagination to understand, interpret, build up and solidify the individual egos of his or her students and clients, in addition to helping them develop their defensive skills.
I specialize in working with beginners and teaching “the basics”, therefore, how I do with my students has a significant effect on the type and extent of their future training. And we are talking about really important stuff. What you learn in “gun school” may or may not save your life one day. However, many folks get lost in a big class because we all have different learning styles. Therefore, it is important to identify your learning style, because for you, private, individualized instruction may be the best way for you to learn, and make the most of your time and money.
Adequate hands-on training by a qualified defensive firearms instructor is essential for learning how to safely operate and rely on a handgun as a self defense tool. This cannot be obtained from a book or magazine article. However, learning how to shoot a handgun is only one part of the total picture. There is a body of knowledge and techniques that must be mastered before one can safely make use of a handgun in one's personal defense plan. I will repeat my friend Louis Awerbuck’s funny but apt line here; “What good is a loaded handgun if the gun owner has an empty magazine between his ears?”
Seek out competent training by shopping around and conversing with prospective trainers and perhaps even their students. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable after speaking on the phone, or emailing, with a prospective instructor. If you do not, that person may not be the best instructor to meet your individual training needs. You have to feel comfortable to absorb information, ergo, to learn. You will learn best from an instructor whom you believe is genuinely concerned with your survival besides having a full working knowledge of firearms, defensive tactics and life strategies.
In order to get to the point of having "instinctive training", you have to really work at it. Conscious and deliberate repetitive practice eventually makes skills automatic, subconscious and instinctive, so that you really own them and can use them to keep you and your loved ones safe. [Return to top of page]
TIP #6: January 5, 2011
PERSONAL DEFENSE FOR "NON-MARTIAL ARTISTS"
Nowadays, there appears to be a disturbing trend raising the standard that people who own firearms for personal defense must also learn “martial arts”. Unfortunately, this trend appears to be setting up expectations that are not realistic or reasonable for everyone who chooses to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for personal defense. Perhaps defensive firearm instructors need to recognize this in their objectives and training curricula for non-warriors—people who either are too physically challenged to learn martial arts, or who simply are uninterested in devoting the necessary time and effort to study various combative disciplines. Recognize that the whole point of having a gun is to be able to defend yourself effectively against persons who are bigger or stronger, armed or unarmed, and who would use their greater size or strength to terrorize you or do you harm.
I know Grand Master martial artists who still carry two guns. The fact is you can never be too prepared. God made men and women of all sizes and strengths, but Old Sam Colt evened the disparity. So, carrying a defensive handgun is insurance. The gun is a piece of emergency rescue equipment. Today's point is that, if you carry a gun, make that gun a part of you. Know your carry gun or guns. A gun without a trained owner; well...it's pretty much worthless. In fact, it is a liability. My friend and one of my teachers, Louis Awerbuck (www.YFAInc.com) says: "What good is a loaded gun if the person carrying it has an empty magazine between his ears?" So, get trained. Train, train and train with your defensive handguns.
Special $10.00 e-Coupon Savings
Anyone receiving this email who orders my two-DVD set, Basic Defensive Handgun, within the next 7 days will get $10.00 off the $39.95 regular price. Simply enter e-coupon code DVD1611 in the "Redeem Coupon" box at checkout and the store will charge you just $29.95. And if you order multiple copies, you'll save $10.00 on each one. This offer expires at midnight on January 12th, so order now and save. [Return to top of page]
People who carry a firearm are held to a higher level of responsibility because with greater power, comes greater responsibility...
TIP #5: December 28, 2010
ATTITUDE & VALUES
You should wake up every morning thanking the Lord that you are here to see another day. To honor this gift of life, adopt the attitude that you will never let anyone take this gift of life away from you or from someone you love. Tell yourself, “No matter what happens, I am not going to die today!” Imprint into your brain that you will never give in or give up if you have to fight a bad guy, and that you will never give victory to the bad guy. Carry your head high and tell yourself, “I will never be a victim. Victory is mine to take.”
I am a “gun therapist” and I practice gun therapy. Gun therapy is not about using a firearm to coerce or force a client into getting better! It is not about teaching people how to use firearms to threaten or intimidate others. Those behaviors are both illegal and immoral. Gun therapy is the art and science of teaching people how to take responsibility for their own personal protection. It is about teaching principles of personal defense, how to be responsible gun owners, and self-reliant and responsible human beings. It is all about self improvement. It is about teaching people how to communicate, negotiate, move, shoot, and employ less than lethal as well as lethal force when necessary. It is also about teaching people good manners. To borrow a phrase from Robert Heinlein, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
If you carry a gun, you should also carry pepper spray, a non-lethal force option. Remember that you probably will not need a "hammer" to solve most social problems. Our product, Spitfire, packs a real wallop! Spraying an attacker in his face and eyes will temporarily blind him and create the opportunity for you to get away so that you hopefully do not have to use the final option.
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TIP #4: December 22, 2010
Effective defense training must begin with a proper mindset. The combative or defensive mindset is a triad. The three components are:
(1) Awareness: a high level of awareness of what is going on in your immediate environment and in the world around you.
(2) Willingness: the willingness to do whatever needs to be done to stop an assault on you and the people who are under your protection.
(3) Preparedness: Preparedness means having the skills to do what needs to be done and the proper equipment to do it.
Readiness: Having these three components in place makes you ready to deal with dangerous social confrontations.
A good book to read about this is Colonel Jeff Cooper's classic Principles of Personal Defense.
Recognize that few violent criminals fear the gun or other deadly weapons. I have never heard of a hoplophobic violent criminal! However, jailhouse interviews reveal that many (though not all) violent criminals do fear the resolute person holding the gun. A resolute senior citizen or woman holding a gun on you to defend his or her life is someone to fear. It’s like a cat backed against the wall. You’re going to get hurt unless you back off. What does the cat have to lose but his life?
Join our free Defensive Handguns online discussion forum. Our online community is the place where everyone interested in armed self defense can learn and share their knowledge.
Dr. Bruce Eimer and Personal Defense Solutions wish you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. [Return to top of page]
As you go about your business preparing for the holidays, such as doing your holiday shopping, don’t be in a bubble...
TIP #3: December 14, 2010
A woman in a bubble mentioned to me the other day, "I am anti-gun...in other words, I think the 2nd Amendment should be repealed and that all guns should be outlawed, including for law enforcement. I know that's considered a very extreme view in this country, but it works just fine in England." I did not even feel like responding! She's a lost cause. But, you know there is evil out there. That woman wants to deny reality. You know better. So, be prepared mentally and physically.
Recognize there is no down time when you are being sized up or attacked by a violent criminal predator. You need to be ready, willing and prepared to act decisively and do whatever you need to do if you are selected as a potential victim. Therefore, it makes sense to always be armed and to carry a gun everywhere. You can never know when you will or will not need your piece, so you always need it! It's insurance. If it's your time, you'll really need it.
Recognize that a defensive firearm is an emergency rescue tool like a fire extinguisher. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it--just like insurance. If you are attacked, you must take the offensive aggressively and viciously back to your attacker. Put your attacker or attackers on the defense. Prepare yourself by, among other things, telling yourself; "If I'm attacked, I will win the fight that I did not start, and I shall claim victory for myself and for those who love me."
That being said, of course it is in your own best interest if you can safely avoid having to fight for your life. So, don't be in a bubble; be prepared. Be aware of your environment. Watch your 360. However, if you are attacked by one or more persons who have the ability, opportunity, and intent of causing you grievous bodily harm such that your are in imminent jeopardy of loss of your life or limb, that cannot be avoided, then you have no other choice but to employ deadly force against evil.
It just might be time for you to take a class that focuses on perfecting your skills in using a handgun to save your bacon should the need arise. We have such a class scheduled for March 22nd and 23rd, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA. Combat Focus Handgun with Rob Pincus of I.C.E. Training. Combat Focus Shooting is an intuitive shooting program designed to help you become a better shooter in the context of a real deadly force encounter.
If you are resident of one of the three states that allow concealed carry without a permit, or you live in a state such as New Jersey where getting a concealed carry permit is practically impossible, it is a good idea to take a reputable CCW course that will make you eligible to obtain a non-resident CCW permit from a state (such as Florida, Virginia, or Utah) whose permit is recognized by many other states. Why do this you may ask? Because if you travel outside your state of residence, you will be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in those states that recognize the multi-state CCW permit you've applied for and obtained.
When you obtain the multi-state non-resident CCW permits for Florida, Virginia and Utah, you will be able to legally carry in up to 33 states. That is pretty awesome. Unless you hold such multi-state CCW permits, you are limited to carrying in your state only, if your state allows concealed carry, or in NO states, if your state does not allow CCW. Recognize that if you are caught by a law enforcement enforcer carrying without a valid recognized CCW permit in a neighboring or distant state, you will have a legal problem that can end up costing you thousands of dollars in legal expenses to avoid stiff fines or jail time.
There is another reason to consider getting at least one non-resident, multi-state CCW permit. In order to be eligible to apply for such a permit, you must take a CCW course. Now, if you are unfortunately involved in a lethal force incident, even if you are in a state that is anti-gun, you will be standing on much firmer ground in terms of your legal defense if you hold proof of training AND an out of state gun permit, as compared to holding no permit at all.
Our PDS multi-state non-resident CCW classes cover self defense law, deadly force laws, and firearm safety, among other topics. Having a Certificate of Completion for one of these classes will serve you well as a gun owner and concealed carry practitioner by documenting that you have had training in these essential topics for gun owners.
Our next two classes are on December 18th, 2010 and on March 19th, 2011 at Ready Aim Fire in Bristol, PA. For more information about our upcoming classes, please go to our website.
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As you wait to board your flight, look around for potential allies. Look for strong and able bodied people with whom you can jointly act quickly and decisively in case of a terrorist emergency. Make friendly eye contact and possibly initiate a polite conversation. If a terrorist strikes, you will need brothers and sisters in arms. Despite the serious looks of Too (many officers) Standing Around (TSA), because we senior citizens typically appear non-threatening, we are more likely to go unnoticed by other passengers. This relative cloak of anonymity is an asset for those of us who live an aware lifestyle. If you are not a senior citizen, it behooves you to work on blending in so that you can go unnoticed. Be noticed when it counts.
Also, if you are checking a handgun with your luggage on your flight, you'll want to have a look at our V-line Compact Gun Safe. It fulfills all of the TSA's requirements for checking a firearm.
V-Line Compact Gun Safe
- Five button mechanical lock for quick access with 1081 possible combinations.
- Top opening security case with classic slim design.
- 3/8" thick steel lock block welded to cover guides and adds strength to the lock bolt.
- Elongated hole in the back allows a cable or pad lock to be used to secure the case to most any surface enabling the case to be transportable.
- Foam lining on top and bottom.
- Sturdy fabricated steel construction with pry resistant clamshell design.
- Available in textured semi-gloss black powder coated finish.
- Continuous hinge is welded on one end to prevent pin removal.
- Accented with gold tone pinstripe and logo.
- Order online now