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SARC: a proactive way to deal with school attackers.

In the midst of the debate about whether teachers should be armed, a pragmatic approach has been quietly gaining attention. It's focused on giving students and teachers ways to fight back against attackers on school grounds, ways that don't rely on politicians and contentious fights over "guns in our schools." It's called the
School Attacker Response Course (SARC).

It was borne in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school murders. Rob Pincus knew that there had to be a better way for schools to handle these kinds of events, so he took his police and SWAT experience, along with his martial arts training, and came up with some novel yet plausible and effective ways to counter the school attacker.

The School Attacker Response Course teaches students that there is an alternative to "duck and cover" - the Cold-War-era method of cowering in fear under desks. This tactic has been regurgitated for the 21st century in an attempt to keep kids safe not from Russian bombs, but from spree killers. It was silly then, it's silly now, and the School Attacker Response Course aims to change it.

The course, available free to any school administrator who requests it, doesn't talk about arming teachers at all; instead, it shows how teachers and students can fight back and escape should the unthinkable happen in their classroom. It emphasizes that these kinds of events are very rare, so it doesn't stoke children's irrational fears, and then talks matter-of-factly about what they can do if by chance it does happen.

The SARC just graduated its first class of volunteer instructors, and more are on the way. If you're an administrator who wants to really keep kids safe, or if you're interested in teaching this course in your local schools, go to the SARC website to learn more.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Practical responses to school attacks.

Since the horrific school murders last week it's become clear that our collective responses to these attacks is insufficient. The reports I've read indicated that it took police 20 minutes from the initial call to arrive; that's a lot of time for a madman to be loose in a victim-rich environment - no matter what he's armed with.

While the national debate rages about gun bans and mental health records, there are some logical, plausible, no-nonsense things that we can do right now to help keep our kids safe.

I'm going to ask you to watch these two videos by Rob Pincus about unarmed responses to a spree killer, and then to share them with everyone you know.

The first is from a
Personal Defense Network video on the subject:

The second is from a seminar that he taught just yesterday to a group of kids. (You can't get more timely than that!):

This second video features excerpts from a 30 minute course presented to a group of children ages 7-17. The topic was practical responses to an attacker in their school. Rob, through his company
I.C.E. Training, is offering this seminar program, free of charge, to schools wanting to present their faculty and staff with options to be used in the face of a worst case scenario school attack. If you represent a public or private elementary, middle or high school and are interested in hosting a course, please check the link to his site and then email him for details:

Finally, Rob has offered to any elementary or high school teacher who legally carries, or will commit to legally carrying, the chance to attend a
Combat Focus Shooting course for free - that's right, free. Rob says “more teachers need to fight for the right to carry at work. I am willing to provide the training, but they have to take the first steps. I am interested in changing/causing the conversations and policy changes at the administration level in as many schools as possible.”

As a Combat Focus Shooting certified instructor, I’ll match that offer!
Contact me for more information.

There isn't any single thing that's going to make our schools safe. Instead, it's going to take a number of things working in concert to do that job. We need to consider an interlocking approach, including student's response and ultimately the presence of countervailing force, to do that. Let the politicians do the finger-pointing and hand-wringing while we - both gun owners and non-owners - get together and actually tackle the problem.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Some thoughts after a horrible week.

I can't begin to describe my sorrow after the events of last week. We dealt with our own Mall attack here in Oregon, only to turn around and witness the same event - only with more horrific results - in a Connecticut school. My heart grieves for the families, friends, and community of Hook Elementary School.

There is a lot of activity swirling around this event, and frankly it would take me weeks to write enough to cover it all completely, so I'll limit myself to some brief commentary about various aspects.

- There seem to be a lot of British busybodies filling the comments on news sites and Facebook with their sanctimonious hand-wringing. Myopia appears to be even more endemic to their country than poor dental hygiene, and it's ironic that those who chide us for being ignorant about the rest of the world are themselves incredibly ignorant about the gigantic failures of gun control in their own little island cesspool.

- It came out last week that our Mall killer here in Oregon broke off his attack because
a licensed concealed carrier drew his own gun in response. The bad guy made eye contact, saw a good guy's gun pointed at him, and ran like the coward he was.(*) I think this stands in stark contrast to the killings in Connecticut, where the school staff could not avail themselves of efficient protection. The drastically different outcomes are of course due to many factors, but it's plausible - and even likely - that a legally armed teacher could have done what Mr. Meli did in Clackamas Town Center. This is a story you need to share, because the mainstream media is “conveniently” ignoring it.

- After any such attack there are always emotional appeals for more gun control. I'm seeing a lot of people on news sites and Facebook arguing the topic, and I'd like all of those who support the Second Amendment to tone it down. When you're dealing with someone whose opinion is based on emotion, arguing with them - either from an emotional or an intellectual basis - usually results in a strengthening of their resolve. However, I've also found over the years that most people become more rational after time has passed as long as they haven't cemented their initial emotional reactions into a decision. In other words, if you argue with them now, when their heads are hot, you won't be able to change their minds later. Let them vent now, and once tempers have cooled you can go back with the rational arguments and stand a better chance of making a change in their opinions.

- When the teleprompter readers in the media go off-script it's painful. I've heard too many comments from on-air bimbos of (both sexes) about mass murders becoming "more common these days" - comments which are repeated by their viewers and listeners across the country. As it happens they are most assuredly becoming neither more common, nor more deadly.
A story in National Review debunks the idea.

A true family story of mass murder from Robert Farago. It has a direct parallel to today.

An analysis of the psychosis of the recent Arizona attacker; there are some parallels with the Clackamas Town Center killer, and it will be interesting to see if there are any with the Connecticut murderer.

- Some sort of draconian gun control measure will definitely be introduced in Congress, and will probably make it through the Senate (the House is another story.) Remember what I've been saying over the last few months about welcoming shooters who don't necessarily tow your party's line? Remember what I said about having Democratic friends of the Second Amendment in Congress, and how important they might be if we got into a serious fight for our rights? In light of what we're going to face come January, don't you think
today might be a damn good time to tell divisive people like Cope Reynolds, the owner of Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, Arizona to shut the hell up?

- There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, but ultimately we have to remember this: when people have free will, sometimes they will choose to do something bad. That's the other side of freedom of choice, and if you want to have a free society you can't eliminate all risk. This is a truth which seems to be lost on so many people (particularly our British friends.)

-=[ Grant ]=-

( * - I suspected this was the case when I listened to a Deputy Sheriff answer some questions in a news conference right after the incident. It wasn't what he said, it was how he said it that made me believe this had happened. I shared this information privately with a few people, and was gratified to find that I was right!)

Task fixation in critical incidents.

One of the concepts that we talk about in
Combat Focus Shooting classes is that of task fixation: the diversion of attention to a particular sub-activity during an attack. We discuss this specifically relating to looking at the gun while reloading.

The concept is clearly illustrated in this video of a very dynamic simulation during a Craig Douglas ECQC class (one of the few on my "short list" of classes to attend.) Note that the gun fails to fire and suddenly the defender's entire attention is diverted to getting it running again, rather than dealing with his attackers. Craig even mentions that to the student at the end of the exercise, and the student admits to a fatal task fixation.

Many trainers maintain that the best place for the gun is in front of the face so that you can see both it and the threat while you reload. I don't believe that's a rational expectation when the body's threat responses have been activated, and believe instead what will happen is the task of reloading will divert attention completely from the threat in the way that a malfunction did for this fellow.

In the couple of seconds that any normal person is going to take to reload their pistol the threat can shoot or stab quite a few times, or cover a lot of distance to bring himself into contact with the victim. During that time it's more important that you avoid being shot/stabbed/beaten than it is to get a small (and theoretical) advantage in reloading speed. The first order of business is not getting hurt or killed in the process of defending yourself! That sounds silly, but the popularity of techniques that increase your exposure to danger rather than decrease it make it necessary to point such things out.

Instead of looking at the gun, we teach making the reload process a strictly mechanical activity that can be done with the gun out of the direct line of sight to the threat. (The specific ways to accomplish that are beyond the scope of this post, but it's not difficult to do for either autoloading pistol or revolver.) While the gun is being reloaded in that repeatable, mechanical fashion the defender is able to keep an eye on the threat and move, seek cover, or do whatever else is necessary to avoid becoming a casualty.

This is also why we approach the act of malfunction clearing similarly to that of reloading the gun, teaching a non-diagnostic approach to the problem which doesn’t result in the kind of attention diversion that happened in the video.

With the gun in front of the face, as some recommend, I believe (and this video supports my contention) that what will happen is fixation on the reload rather than on the threat. There are other downsides as well, some relating to the perceptual distortions that accompany the threat reaction and how they affect the “look at me” type of reload, but that’s another topic for another time.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Over-react much?

Over at the Schneier On Security blog, Bruce Schneier talks about the
concept of risk in relation to the Aurora movie theater attack. I found his analysis interesting, inasmuch as gunnies everywhere are talking about how they'd respond - and how they're changing their response preparation - to such an event.

Some of the blogs, Facebook posts, and some forum discussions I've seen in the wake of the Aurora shooting are almost comical. There are people who suggest that concealed handgun carriers change their ammunition, their carry gun, and their training regimen to reflect the possibility of facing a crazed gunman in a movie theater through thick smoke. Some are suggesting carrying extra backup guns to arm other movie-goers, some are recommending spending more time on long-range handgun shots, and some are considering trading in their "low capacity" guns for something that will carry 15 or more rounds - all based on an event which is extremely rare, even considering its conditional probability.

Remember that none of us has the unlimited time, energy, or money to train for everything that could
possibly happen; we have to make choices to most effectively apportion those resources, and not understanding the nature of risk can lead us to making inappropriate choices. The Aurora shootings may have slightly expanded the range of possible risks we might encounter, but it really hasn't changed the likely (probable) risks of everyday life.

Read Bruce's article, and remember that your chances of being mugged or car-jacked in the theater parking lot are still far greater than facing a lone shooter with smoke grenades bent on wholesale destruction. Prepare by spending your limited resources accordingly.

-=[ Grant ]=-

P.S.: I'm waiting for the first training facility to buy a smoke machine and include 75-yard shots in low light conditions as part of their "vital skills" curriculum. It will happen.

You'll never look at a shopping bag the same way again.

I'm not creative enough to be a criminal. Whenever I study their behavior, the ways that they invent to bilk or attack the innocent, I'm often impressed with their originality - and occasionally just a tad frightened that I didn't anticipate the tactic.

This is one of those instances. On Greg Ellifritz's blog this week he has
a primer on the ways that criminals can use shopping bags to conceal weapons, and the ways to spot them. It's definitely worth your time to read.

-=[ Grant ]=-

A self defense article for you to read.

I've mentioned Ohio-based self defense instructor Kelly Muir before. She's on the forefront of teaching self defense not as a series of barely related skills, but as an integrated response.

She's got a
great article up at the Personal Defense Network, one which I highly recommend that everyone read.

Her remarks about physical fitness resonated with me. Thanks to lots of heavy chores around the farm my strength level is pretty good, but because of my general lack of aerobic exercise (despite daily woodsplitting) my endurance isn't what it should be. According to my physician I'm also 15 pounds heavier than ideal, which is a lot on a short guy like me.

I think losing the extra pounds just became a higher priority.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Presented for your consideration. Again.

I've been pretty clear over the years about my belief in the myth of the 'clean shoot'. It's a phrase that comes up with amazing regularity in various forums and in gunshops all across the country: as long as your shoot is 'clean', nothing else matters.

As I've pointed out, the people who decide if your self defense act was 'clean' sit on a jury. Whether you think it was a 'good' shoot, whether I do, whether your instructor does, or whether the anonymous guy hiding behind a pseudonym on your favorite gun forum does, is completely irrelevant. The people who decide if you were in the right, if what you did and how you did it was reasonable, are the men and women on your jury.

The problem is that it can take a lot of time, money, and anguish to get to the point where they decide you're clean, time/money/anguish that could have been saved had you paid some attention to your situation ahead of time.

Yet another cautionary tale in how things can go from bad to much, much worse
comes from the life of one Gerald Ung. It's obvious that he did some stupid things, but according to internet experts all over those things shouldn't have mattered if his shoot was 'clean'. They did matter, and it took some time and money and stomach lining to get a jury to exonerate him.

Don’t be ‘that guy’.

(Another illustration of why I never take medical or legal advice from someone who won't use their real name.)

-=[ Grant ]=-

Wrong Woman now has a blog!

Kelly Muir at
Wrong Woman has put up a blog to discuss the unique aspects of this new self defense program. Called Power Play, I can already tell that it isn't going to be your average self defense blog: her third post talks about serial manipulators and the language they use.

It was a bit of an eye-opener for me. This is something men don't normally deal with, and thus I'd never really thought about such nuances of interpersonal conflict. I've read studies that put the number of sexual assaults where the victim knew her attacker at something on the order of 80%. Now I've got a little better idea of how that happens.

It's this kind of insight that's going to put the holistic approach of Wrong Woman on the map. Mark my words.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Comprehensive self defense is becoming a reality.

This is such an exciting time in the field of self defense study! More and more reality-based courses are being offered, and we're finally starting to see true integration of all the pieces of the defensive puzzle: armed and unarmed, lethal and less lethal.

One the newest and most innovative approaches comes to us from Columbus, Ohio. Kelly Muir, an accomplished martial arts instructor, has put together the first truly integrated and comprehensive self defense course for women. Called
Wrong Woman, it teaches intuitive skills across the entire range of response.

The course starts with a Fundamentals class, where the students learn the basics of intuitive skill development. From there they can choose to take classes tailored to their particular interests: unarmed response, use of chemical/electrical tools, and firearms. Many of the classes are offered in both basic and advanced form and there's even a class devoted to risk assessment and decision making.

It's a great new building block approach to personal defense, where everything that's taught has the same basis and progression. As the student's life evolves she can simply 'plug in' the course that best applies to her current or anticipated situations.

My wife, herself a longtime student of defensive shooting, is anxious to take Kelly's course and is just waiting for her to come to the west coast! Those who are fortunate enough to live anywhere near Ohio should get to Columbus and
enroll in Wrong Woman. Be sure to check out the Wrong Woman Facebook page, too.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Probabilities and perspective.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas weekend!

Despite the holiday (or perhaps because of it), I got a lot of email this weekend. One of them asked a question that comes up every so often, and my answer to it has changed over the years.

The question is usually something akin to "I'd like a gun for protection against dangerous animals (bear, cougar) while out hiking. What do you suggest?"

In the past I'd have answered with a run-down of the best calibers for use against large animals, but over the years (and particularly after a stint doing search-and-rescue work) my answer has changed dramatically.

What do I recommend these days? A course in wilderness first aid, a course in land navigation, and a course in multi-environment survival. Those are a far better use of your limited resources than a frickin' "bear gun"!

The fact is that attacks from dangerous animals in the U.S. are quite rare (and unprovoked attacks even rarer.) Inhabitants of suburbia worry about bears in the woods, but fatal bear attacks are incredibly uncommon in this country. According to, there were two in this country in 2009: one occurred when a woman intervened in a fight between a couple of cubs (gross stupidity), while the other occurred when a 'pet' bear attacked its owner (more stupidity.)

How about 2008? There was one: an attack by a trained grizzly against its handler. 2007? Two. 2006? One.

Cougar attacks in the U.S. are
even rarer: one in 2008, none in 2007, 2006, or 2005, one in 2004, none between 2003 and 2000, and one in 1999.

In contrast, there were 21 deaths due to lightning strikes
in just the first half of 2010! I'd be willing to bet that most of the folks worrying about 'bear guns' haven't yet learned proper behavior during a thunderstorm.

Your chances of getting injured or lost in the woods are much higher than the risk of being attacked by bears or cougars. Learning how to use a map and compass (your GPS is useless without charged batteries and a knowledge of how to use it) or how to survive a night alone in the woods is far more valuable than spending hard-earned money on a gun with limited purpose. Learning how to treat injuries in the backcountry is incredibly important, because what amounts to an inconvenience when you're near medical facilities can become life threatening when you're miles from your car (or a reliable cell signal.) Knowing what caliber will stop a black bear pales in comparison to knowing how to treat shock.

It’s a good bet that most (if not all) of the people asking the gun question haven’t yet attended to these more likely and thus more important things. SInce everyone's resources are limited, doesn't it make sense to spend yours preparing for the most probable risks?

Don’t let armchair fantasies dictate your priorities.

That's how I currently answer the question of the best gun for vicious animals. In the future I may start asking for a training resumé and a survival kit inventory before I answer!

-=[ Grant ]=-

Monday meanderings.

The Truth Is Out There: I've mentioned Kathy Jackson's CorneredCat site as the best resource on the web for those women who want to get involved in the firearms world. This week on the ProArms Podcast, Gail Pepin interviews Kathy about one of her all-time classic articles: "How to Make Your Wife Hate Guns." The interview is even better than the article, and is a must-listen for any man out there who wishes for his wife/significant to start shooting.

Guys, I'm not kidding - you need to listen to this podcast. Kathy's interview starts about 20 minutes in, preceded by Dr. Paula Bratich talking about concealed carry in Illinois.

Better Late Than Never: Prior to the SHOT show, The FIrearms Blog reported that Ruger was going to show a .357 version of the LCR. It was only slightly premature, as Ruger showed it off at last week's NRA Convention. Not for me, thanks, but I'm sure that there are those who will love it.

The Bad Guys Have An Advantage: An interesting article over at asks "Why do bad guys seem to do so well in gunfights?" Worthwhile reading.

-=[ Grant ]=-

A few thoughts about the revolver in self defense.

Regular readers know that, despite my (occasionally) bombastic promotion of the wheelgun, I'm the first to admit that it is not the perfect tool for all jobs. The revolver's suitability for self defense depends on the nature of the threat one expects to encounter.

The revolver's greatest weakness is its limited capacity, while its greatest virtue is its resistance to externally induced failures.

It is something of a trend among today's fashionable criminals to attack in multiples, i.e. more than one assailant. If each of the assailants is committed to the success of the attack, especially if each of them will have to be shot more than once, the revolver may in fact be at a disadvantage. Remembering that
there is no such thing as a magic bullet, if you have three assailants and only five rounds you may have some hard choices to make.

This scenario often plays out during home invasion robberies. In these types of incidents, a revolver for home defense may be sub-optimal; a high capacity autoloader may be a better choice.

While many may scoff at the idea of more than a single attacker, or believe the old saw "shoot the leader, the rest will run", this is a very real risk. This is particularly the case in areas with substantial gang activity (which is just about everywhere these days.) If you keep a revolver for home defense, this is a possibility you need to consider.

On the other hand, most assaults are still of the good ol' one-on-one variety, and those outside of the home tend to fit this profile. These are personal crimes, and the action tends to be close in, fast, and violent - conditions in which the revolver, being the quintessential reactive tool, shines. It is quick into action and is less likely to experience functional failure in a close fight; there is no slide to be pushed out of battery, or slowed to induce a jam.

That isn't to say an autoloader is useless in that environment, only that it requires a bit more management.
Gabe Suarez is at the leading edge of teaching close-in handgun deployment, and he's developed techniques to keep autos running in tight conditions. A revolver, though, is largely immune to the mechanical difficulties of fighting "in the hole", and remains a viable choice for that reason.

Is that a reasonable tradeoff for capacity? I think so.

-=[ Grant ]=-

A violent reaction.

First I must apologize for this entry being a day out of sync. My normal routine has been altered this week, and those things I normally do on Thursdays were bumped to Wednesday which means that I'm doing yesterday's stuff today. (At least I remembered to take the trash out this morning; thank you, iCal!)

I kept tabs on the concealed carry reciprocity bill that failed to clear the Senate this week, and the debates brought to mind comments I heard years ago regarding concealed carry proponents: "intelligent people have no need for violence." "We need to reduce the violence in this world, not increase it."

This reveals a fundamental ignorance regarding the place of violence in a civilized society. Violence, which is usually defined as an exertion of physical force against a living being, is a necessary part of human behavior. CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver are quite violent acts, and I doubt that even the most lily-white member of the intelligentsia would ever decree those lifesaving actions to be repugnant. Yet violent they most assuredly are, and a necessity if our species is to survive and thrive.

The same is true of violence used to save one's own life from the actions of another. If you carry a firearm for personal defense, understand this: you will be perpetrating violence on another. He will have already done that to you, and your actions will be in response to his, but it's still violence. Get used to that word, and become comfortable with it. If you recoil at the thought of being violent, if that word shocks and bewilders you, a necessary part of your preparations has been missed.

Violence is nothing more a tool, one that can be used for both good and evil. It's up to you to use violence for proper, useful and legal purposes, but also to remember that it's still violence - and there's nothing wrong with that. Don't let the misconceptions of others convince you otherwise.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Wednesday wanderings.

I've been collecting conspiracy theories for the ammo shortage, and I recently heard a great one that supposedly came from a local gun store: FEMA has been buying ammunition companies, then shutting them down to eliminate all civilian ammunition sources.

One needs an awful lot of foil for a tin hat that big...


Uncle and I have something in common: here in Oregon, our legislature also passed a "no texting" law. We went further, though - we added that you couldn't use a handheld cel phone at all. Then we enacted $2 billion of new taxes and spending in the state with the second-highest unemployment in the nation. We're number 49! We're number 49! Go team!


I'm really excited about the rifles
Savage has been introducing lately. I like this concept, though I'm not at all wild about the buttstock:

I'm more intrigued by
this one:

If it's as accurate as expected, I may have to own one. (Sure, I could build one myself, but I'm too busy doing guns for other people. Remember the parable about the shoemaker's children?)

Now, if we could just get them to cease doing business with H-S Precision...


Dr. Helen brings us the story of a woman who fought back against her knife-wielding rapist. Read the comments - some insightful, and some very amusing (in a train wreck sort of way.)


From the Irish Times comes news that the powers-that-be want to ban "practical" shooting (i.e. IPSC, IDPA.) The Irish Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, had this to say:

“It’s simply not in the public interest to tolerate the development of a subculture predicated on a shooting activity which by the liberal standards of the US is regarded as an extreme shooting activity." He said any cursory research on the internet showed that these activities were marketed as being at the “extreme end” of handgun ownership and were “anathema to the tradition of Irish sporting clubs”.

Hmmm...such preoccupation with America leads me to suspect his national pride is still smarting from the
shellacking his team took back in 1874.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Packing your training trunk.

There is a concept that, in order to properly teach the use of a firearm for self-defense, one must have been in a shootout. The term most often used to describe that state is "seeing the elephant." (I'm not sure how the phrase got corrupted to mean shooting at someone, but I am sure that I find it quite annoying.)

The assertion, of course, is that only those who have drawn blood with their weapon are in a position to talk about it, and anyone else isn't worthy of attention. This harkens back to the days of the warrior caste, when knights were the privileged class and could own mere peasants who weren't supposed to voice their opinions. The same dynamic is in play today, especially amongst a certain cadre of defensive shooting instructors.

I'll admit that I've gone through an evolution with regards to this. There was a time when I thought that only experience counted, but over the years I've come to realize that experience is just another data point, and one point may or may not be adequate to promote a conclusion.

Rory Miller, whose book "Meditations On Violence"
I've already gushed over, deals with this up front. As he correctly observes, all fights are idiosyncratic - one will not necessarily be like another. While there are some characteristics that are true of a large number of incidents, there are many more that vary from encounter to encounter. As he puts it, no one person can have been in enough fights to generate enough data to make generalizations. Experience is important, he believes, but not to the exclusion of everything else.

This was brought home to me in a recent
ABC News story out of Tampa. A woman was carjacked, and successfully ended the encounter with her own gun - but not in the way you might think. She punched the assailant in the forehead with the muzzle, which caused him to jump out of her car.

She did everything wrong (starting with her beliefs about the use of deadly force), and yet she came out on top. Would you want to emulate her in any way? I would hope that you answer "no"! Imagine this, though: she could start teaching other people how to defend themselves with a gun, claiming authority based on experience. How silly would that be?

If you didn't know the nature of her experience, and/or had no other reference with which to evaluate it, it wouldn't seem silly at all. It's only when you can put her performance up against the experiences of a large number of others can you gain the perspective necessary to draw conclusions. It's what we call 'research', and is just as important as
optical observation of the genus Loxodonta.

-=[ Grant ]=-

Guns are not magic wands.

There is a perception amongst a large percentage of the gun-toting public that guns are magic wands: one shot and the bad guy flies backward, landing in an unconscious heap at the bottom of a wall or tree.

Think I'm exaggerating? Spend a few minutes at a gun counter sometime. Random samples would tend to support the supposition that the majority of people carrying guns get their information from Hollywood, not

This incident from east Texas should serve to remind us that real life ain't like "reel" life.

There are, of course, a number of unanswered questions: was the good guy's gun not adequate for effective defense? Was he not able to draw and shoot in time? Did he make an effort to "get off the X" or did he simply "stand and deliver"?

We don't know. Sadly, we may never know. All we do know is that something went horribly wrong, leaving the good guy six feet under and the bad guy getting three hots and a cot.

Let's review how to avoid the same fate:

1) Select a gun and cartridge that are suitable for self defense. (At the risk of tooting my own horn,
read my series on this topic.)

2) Learn how to be aware of your surroundings (it most assuredly does not come naturally to modern man); study and memorize the precursors to violent attacks.

3) Practice drawing and shooting from your holster; don't carry your gun in an unaccessible place, and
carry it the same way all the time.

4) Break the habit of just standing and shooting; learn to get off the axis of a violent attack. (This is not the old "take one step to the side and shoot" exercise - it is far more dynamic. Love him or hate him,
Gabe Suarez has been preaching this for many years, and only now does the concept seem to be gaining traction.)

5) Understand that one shot is quite unlikely to do the job, and that the old "two shots center of mass, then evaluate" doctrine may just give your opponent the opening he needs. Learn how to quickly put multiple, accurate shots on target - while moving.

6) Understand that you can do everything "right", and still lose. This is a concept that seems to be lost to even the best instructors: luck plays a huge role in survival. Do everything you can to put as much of it on your side as possible.

Be careful, stay safe.

-=[ Grant ]=-