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Everything You Know Is Wrong

(Are you really ready for a gun fight?)

by Mike Straw

To ensure survival, you should draw your revolver, taking a good two-hand grip, and, adjusting your stance and closing your non-dominant eye, concentrate on the front sight as you slowly squeeze the trigger until you achieve the perfect double-tap on the well-lit static paper target twenty-five feet from your shooter’s box, right?

O. K., so it was a trick question: you’re also supposed to back up to make yourself a smaller target.

Wrong.

If tyrannical “government” is actually good for anything, it’s collecting statistics.

If we actually believe the reports of real-life shootings, we’ll discover that they bear no resemblance whatsoever to the way we need to train to survive, and as a matter of fact, the steps you’re required to accomplish in order to quality are guaranteed to ingrain deadly habits leading to your demise.

First, the firearm of choice for your erstwhile “defenders,” the mercenary proxy-guardian “police,” has long been the self-loading pistol, for several obvious reasons.

Clint Smith said, “A [legal defensive] pistol buys you time to fight your way back to the rifle that you should never have put down to begin with.”

Legal defensive pistols are useful if you’re surprised and have to mount a hasty defense immediately, with no preparation.

Steve Krystek advises: “Possessing the ability to quickly access and deploy a [legal defensive pistol] from a carry position is one of the most critical skills of modern pistol craft. This skill must be learned, developed, practiced, and ultimately conditioned into our mid-brain memory through thousands of perfect repetitions in order for the technique to be effective. [Legal defensive pistols] are… defensive, reactionary[, and are] …carried for the sake of convenience/concealment. If and when we need it, the odds are fairly high that it won’t already be in our hands. Thus, we must make it a priority to instill an economical and expedient method for presenting our [legal defensive pistol] from the holster.

There are two types of legal defensive pistols: legal defensive revolvers and legal defensive self-loaders, sometimes deviously referred to as “semi-automatics,” or intentionally treacherously referred to by conniving social fascists as “automatics,” a term explicitly calculated to conjure frightening images of machineguns in the tiny, feeble minds of vile extremist victim disarmament sheep.

Legal defensive revolvers are, by their nature, wider and typically hold less defensive ammunition than legal defensive self-loaders.

Compared to legal defensive self-loaders, they're slower to re-load, and they really aren't as “malfunction-proof” as some self-appointed “experts” will enthusiastically allege.

Under stress, with trembling fingers, you’ll have a hard enough time just slapping another box magazine into it, let alone try with shaky hands to line up each individual cartridge, or even a bulky speed loader, with the cylinder of a legal defensive revolver, emulating that well-known character from Grim Fairy Tales, Fumbelina, and anyone who says otherwise has either been doing it for twenty years -without being killed, or is deliberately lying, having never himself actually “seen the elephant.”

Don’t believe that the statistical “four shots” will save you, either.

Multiple threats are now the norm.

What did you plan to do with your trusty six (or five) -shooter against the North Hollywood bank robbers illegally equipped with machineguns and a trunkful of ammo?

Comparatively, a legal defensive self-loader is thinner and holds, on the average, more defensive ammunition than a typical legal defensive revolver.

Legal defensive pistols are made of steel, stainless steel, aluminum alloy, or polymer.

Steel rusts, stainless and aluminum pit and oxidize, and polymer deforms.

The paradox here is that the heavier a legal defensive pistol is, the easier it is to shoot, but the lighter it is, the easier it is to carry.

Which of the two do you plan to do more of?

Call me Claire Voiant, but I foresee a compromise coming.

At this point, purists will announce that, like learning first on a manual transmission, you must learn to shoot with a legal defensive revolver because they’re more accurate and have fewer parts to fail.

Sounds good, but the truth is, the first time you were introduced to an automatic transmission, your first thought was, “where has this been all my life!” Even drag cars use automatics.

I am, however, making the grave and sweeping assumption that you’ll be studious about your own protection to the point where you’ll learn to continually carry, consistently practice, and reliably maintain your own legal defensive firearms.

If not, you can put down this book right now and begin delicately coating yourself in mint sauce.

All pistols have several common features: a frame, a slide, a barrel, a grip, a trigger, and sights.

Frames come in long and short, and incorporate grips that are thin or wide.

Pick one that fits your hand -including all the fingers.

Slides cover barrels, provide a means to eject and load cartridges, and are where sights are attached.

The shorter the slide, the more concealable, the longer, the easier to sight.

The trigger can be close to the grip, or so close to the front of the trigger guard that you can barely fit a single finger -without a glove -into the guard, and are classified as single action, double action, or double action only.

Single action is typically characterized as having a relatively light, short pull.

Double action is typically characterized as having a comparatively heavy, long pull on the first shot, then a light, short pull on the remaining shots.

Double-action-only is typically characterized as having a comparatively heavy, long pull on every shot.

Exceptions abound, however, such as the Canadian-built Para-Ordinance “Light Double Action” series, which, although not a true double action, is closer than the Glock“Safe Action” incongruously declared double action by the corrupt ATF.

A true double-action-only would be the Heckler and Koch Universal Service Pistol series, with a pull of about four pounds.

Sights can be anything from a simple blade and notch to a nuclear-powered telescope -how much would you like to spend?

Suitable for legal defensive shoulder firearms, impractical for carry, battery-powered optical red-dot sights are common in “race” pistols.

For legal defensive pistols, tritium, a self-illuminating nuclear isotope, is recommended, but in a simple “bullet-proof” configuration.

Remember, “fancy” breaks.

Under no circumstances use “slick” Novak-style sights, because you must have the ability to utilize the rear sight as an auxiliary device to rack the slide one-handed, something impossible to do with so-called “non-snag” sights.

The practice of wearing your legal defensive firearm at all times psychologically reinforces the " Warrior spirit " and is the safest mode of storage for a personal legal defensive firearm.

The thirty-eight defensive ammunition you use in your “training” legal defensive three-fifty-seven won’t fit the legal defensive self-loader you end up with, so on the theory that you should learn only one system, I recommend a polymer-framed, short-barreled, large-caliber, double-stack DAO legal defensive self-loader, something on the idea of a Heckler and Koch USP Compact.

It has a four-pound pull and, with aftermarket magazines, will hold legal-maximum ten rounds.

XS Sight Systems Big Dot Pro Express tritium sights are the only ones I use, and Andy Sandford agrees with me.

Just align the vertical bar tritium insert rear “V” sight with the big dot tritium insert front sight, making an “i”, and viola, bull’s-eye.

What caliber?

The Thompson-LeGarde Study, Department of the Army Ordnance Board suggested: "The board reached a conclusion that the only safeguard at [threat management events] is a well-directed rapid fire from nothing less than a forty-five-caliber [legal defensive] weapon."

I don’t recommend a double action simply because it requires two different weights of trigger pull, and I don’t recommend a single action due to the liability issue.

Make sure your first legal defensive pistol is brand-new right out of the box.

There are so many parts that wear and fail on a legal defensive self-loader that you’ll never become proficient trying to figure out if the problem’s with you or the legal defensive pistol.

You’ll also go broke between parts and gunsmiths -who’re in no rush.

As you get used to your legal defensive pistol, it’ll be getting used to you: Bill Wilson advises that a minimum of five hundred rounds of the exact ammo you’ll be carrying must be run through your new legal defensive pistol before you can

even think about it being reliable, and by that time you’ll be well familiarized with its idiosyncrasies.

A superb four-tape series of training videos on legal defensive pistol are available through Bennie Cooley ’s Crisis Resolution Training Consultants called, “ The Fighting Mindset.”

"Jim Grover's" " Defensive Shooting Series" videos are available from Paladin Press , Clint Smith’s "Defensive Handgun" and "Handgun Tactics," Ken Hackathorn’s “ Basic and Advanced Handgun Use and Safety,” Lethal Force Institute’s “ StressFire Series Part One: Handgun” videos are all sold through Magill's .

Which draw technique proves most efficacious?

“Hock” Hochheim cautions that everyone should first learn how to draw in an adrenaline-charged close-quarters-combat environment where the threat is nose-to-nose.

Only after mastering that, should traditional modes and distances be attempted.

“Jim Grover” and Ralph Mroz concur: watch “ Situational "Self-Offense" ,” by “Jim Grover,” and “ Extreme Close-Quarters Shooting ,” and read “ Defensive Shooting For Real-Life Encounters ,” both by Ralph Mroz, and all available from Paladin Press.

Before initiating a presentation technique, our hands will be in one of five positions:

Hands down, naturally at sides,

Hands up, in open-hand protection position,

Handling some object,

Covertly indexing, where some part of the arm is touching the concealed legal defensive firearm,

Overtly indexing, using the three-finger firing grip.

What will you be doing immediately before actually drawing your legal defensive firearm in real life?

You’ll have to master all these presentations.

Use a ninety-degree draw: get a three-finger “crush grip”, keeping your finger so far OUT of the trigger guard that a person looking from the side will see daylight through the trigger guard, keeping your finger on the index, and with a high hand: the web between the thumb and first finger actually forms a flap; draw straight up so your thumb is touching your pectoral muscle, then pivot the legal defensive pistol ninety degrees (this is the defensive weapon retention position) and shove it straight out in front of you at eye level until your elbow locks, breaking the eye-target line with the sights, establishing sight alignment and picture, bringing your non-dominant hand into place over your dominant hand as you do.

John Farnam warns that thirty percent of officers “scooped” their [legal defensive firearms] (sometimes referred to as “bowling) while drawing.

A danger is that although you’ve habitualized your finger to remain out of the trigger guard, under startle response your hand reflexively balls into a fist,

causing the finger to strike the trigger, initializing a negligent -possibly deadly -discharge.

This can occur even if only your non-dominant hand forms a fist, due to a phenomenon known as “inter-limb response.”

Mas Ayoob suggests that instead of habitually placing your finger straight, leave the finger in the position of use, curved, but outside the trigger guard. This solves several problems.

A good landmark I like to use as a reference is to place my finger against is the slide release rod.

By bending my trigger finger, I index it behind and touching the slide release rod.

This is called a “felt index,” and becomes habitual with practice.

If your legal defensive firearm has no convenient point for felt index, create one with a spot of carborundum (skateboard) tape.

As you begin to grip -tightly -with your dominant hand, your non-dominant hand is at your sternum with the fingers together pointing straight ahead of you (this is the guard position), a position that’ll defeat an attempt to spoil your draw.

As your non-dominant hand begins to fold around your dominant hand, remember to point both thumbs forward, parallel with the barrel, with the fingers of the non-dominant hand pointing forty-five degrees towards the ground, and as your eyes pick up the front sight, bring your finger onto the trigger, and using the dominant hand thumb, wipe the safety off.

Mas Ayoob teaches that folding the first joint of the dominant hand’s thumb down will increase the strength of your grip.

Use the Ayoob wedge: leave the first finger of the non-dominant hand off until you apply the other three fingers, then force the first finger between the middle finger and the trigger guard, lifting and supporting the barrel.

Your forward leg is weight-bearing.

Your shoulders and neck should begin to crane forward; your torso leaning forward over your waist -a position Mas Ayoob lightheartedly describes as “the vulture.”

Demi Barbito, in his “ Killer Instinct” video, teaches that this is the default position when your legal defensive firearm is out of its holster.

He uses the “two second” rule: if arms are at full extension and you haven’t decided to fire in two seconds, they should be immediately pulled into a two-hand position against the chest, scan from left to right and check your “six” to defeat tunnel vision, then move.

When moving with the legal defensive firearm without a specific target in sight, it should be held in position Sul, as Bennie Coolie teaches.

As you squeeze the trigger, make it a smooth roll.

Don’t use the tip of your finger; use the first joint -the “power crease.”

If you can’t place your first joint on the trigger of your legal defensive firearm, buy a trigger that will allow it -or a different legal defensive firearm that will.

Don’t take a “preparatory step” and whatever’s in your hands must cease to exist -just open your hands and drop them -don’t fling them, that takes time, just let them drop.

If the threat attempts a disarm by grabbing the legal defensive pistol, just “dis-arm” or “un-hand” him.

Always scan left to right, check your “six,” then move and, without fail, reload before reholstering.

Next, the ubiquitous Weaver or isosceles controversy masks the obvious: statistically, better than sixty percent of confrontations occur in less than perfect light, so responsible unorganized Militia members will have their non-dominant hand filled with a defensive white light in order to ward off a probable lawsuit for negligence.

That leaves forty percent- I could still use a two-handed grip some of the time, right?

No .

First recalling Hick's Law, why would you want to train two different methods?

The remaining forty percent can be considered those instances when your non-dominant hand is occupied with a cell phone, grocery bag, briefcase or purse, door handle, or offspring.

Logically, the proper method of training will incorporate this dynamic and therefore concentrate on perfecting a one-hand-technique.

Stance should be incidental: you aim and fire from whatever position you happen to find yourself- any other technique adds precious time when you’re already behind the curve.

Trust me: on slippery surfaces such as ice, the last thing you’ll worry about will be stance.

Both eyes must be habitualized to remain open.

Aim is defined as the relationship of the dominant eye, the front sight, the rear sight, and the target in relation to each other.

An important caveat: under stress, you’ll lose up to sixty percent of your sight through tunnel vision: you can only see and focus on a cone of about five degrees.

You simply don’t have sufficient peripheral vision using only forty percent of your sight to detect tactically moving or additional threats.

Doctor Jean Williams of the University of Arizona reports that we lose up to twenty percent of our peripheral vision on each side simply from observing someone do two things at once!

Never close one eye while shooting.

You’ll develop an unbreakable habit that can get you killed.

You’ll naturally concentrate on the information provided by your dominant eye if you don’t let yourself get distracted by information provided by the non-dominant eye.

Just cultivate the habit.

Why?

What we ask the body to do through training will be over-ridden by instinct during stress.

As stress increases, our body automatically squares to the threat because our pupils dilate, rendering front sight focus impossible; the lens flattens and the eyes begin to move in a saccadic fashion: a rapid, jerky, irregular scan.

During saccadic motion, the brain can’t process information, so we see only in glimpses.

The only possible way to focus is through summation of two optical signals -both eyes must be open; you can’t close one eye.

Under stress at short distances, you’ll automatically focus on the threat instead of the sights, explaining why so many shootings result in injuries to the hand holding the weapon.

Under stress, especially when not habitualized, you’ll at worst, “yank” the trigger and, at best, “flinch” in anticipation of recoil, in either case spoiling the shot.

This is why a functioning legal defensive firearm is actually the worst tool to employ when attempting to habitualize life-saving techniques.

Believe it or not, a modern gas blowback CO2 BB replica firearm with removable magazine that doesn’t promote the bad habits inherent in an actual legal defensive firearm is the ideal choice as a component in a duty belt equipped with a defensive practice knife , training Taser , inert defensive pepper spray, padded defensive baton , Sure-Fire® flashlight , and dual ammo pouch, all items you should be certified in the proper use of by a duly-registered instructor willing to appear as a witness in court- along with your thirty or so classmates- to corroborate your proficiency.

Over the past several years, a new generation of inexpensive, high-quality BB guns has sprung up largely unnoticed by the defensive firearms community.

Modern Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms have the look and feel of their "real steel" counterparts, complete with slides that cycle for each shot and magazines that contain both projectiles and propellant.

Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms are excellent training tools for teaching defensive firearm safety to novices, practicing shooting, and defensive firearm handling skills and conducting force-on-force exercises.

Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms fire six-millimeter (twenty-four caliber) plastic pellets at velocities below three hundred feet-per-second.

The projectiles don’t have the power of traditional BB guns, lacking the ability to penetrate a soda can or inflict injury on bare skin at seven yards.

Over the past decade, Japanese and Taiwanese companies made significant improvements to the early models, developing gas-powered replica pistols, and electric-powered replica rifles that mimicked the look, feel, function and cyclic rate of real defensive firearms, complete with removable magazines.

u. S. “government” regulations require that all Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms sold in the u. S. have orange markings on the muzzle.

Often, the realism of Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms is so good that the orange mark is the only way to tell them from the original.

Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms have true semiautomatic operation.

Each time the trigger is pulled, the Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearm fires, the slide cycles and a new round is loaded.

The key to the Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms design is the magazine.

It contains plastic BBs fed by a spring mechanism similar to self-loading defensive firearms, and a small gas reservoir that’s filled from a large can of gas.

The most popular propellant is "green gas," which is an environmentally friendly Freon™ substitute that includes atomized lubrication.

Silicone is the only lubricant that should be used on Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms -standard gun oil will damage them.

Several different types of gas and lubricant are available.

Typically, the magazine has capacity equal to or greater than the original firearm model’s magazine, and holds enough gas to fire all the BBs in the magazine.

Many of the models lock back when the last shot is fired.

Some Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms can be fired without BBs in the magazine, allowing a form of dry firing where the slide cycles for each shot.

Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms mimicking a particular make/model can be used with holsters and Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms .

Presently, Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms are available in models that replicate popular designs from Glock, Beretta, SIG, HK, S&W, many 1911 variants, double and single-action revolvers

Some Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms models can be upgrad ed with metal slides, which increases the felt recoil and realism of the replica defensive firearm .

Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms models provide more realism for training purposes.

The newest Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms designs have a "hop-up" mechanism that adds backspin to the BB and improves accuracy.

As the gas level in the magazine drops, reduced velocity can affect accuracy and range.

Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms can be used in all levels of training, particularly those situations where students are first learning new skills and run the greatest risk of having a negligent discharge.

Many trainers use twenty-two caliber pistols, or larger-caliber firearms with twenty-two caliber conversion kits, in beginning shooting courses.

Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms can be used in the same way, with the added benefit that if a student has a negligent discharge with the Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms the projectile won't penetrate flesh or cause property damage.

At the more advanced level, trainers can use Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms when teaching how to draw, reload or perform any other firearm -handling skills.

Many serious shooters do dry practice at home to supplement live-fire practice.

With an appropriate BB trap and eye protection, Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms can be used by anyone to practice virtually any shooting drill.

Eye protection is essential because the hard plastic BBs bounce, even off of cardboard targets, soda cans, and plastic bottles.

Instead of doing dry draws, the shooter can draw, move and engage with multiple shots, run the replica defensive firearm dry, do a reload and re-engage the target all out in the garage or the backyard, with no noise, no recoil and low risk of damage if a stray shot misses.

Where Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms really have potential is in force-on-force training.

Force-on-force training comes in many forms, all using live opponents, and Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms .

Replica defensive firearms can be as simple as a pointed index finger, a non-firing rubber firearm , a paintball firearm , or an actual firearm converted to fire blanks or Simunition FX™ marking rounds.

Simunition® products are popular because they allow the user the most realism: the weight and feel of a real firearm, a slide that cycles, brass that ejects, and a projectile that hits the target.

The negatives are that the nine-millimeter FX™ projectiles travel at four hundred feet per second- faster than the accepted maximum velocity for paintballs of three hundred feet per second, and that Simunition® products can only be purchased by a certified instructor for use in “ law-enforcement or military training only.”

Additionally, the cost of the conversion kits and ammunition is considerably higher than their Airsoft® counterparts.

Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms provide a way for anyone to acquire the equipment to do highly realistic force-on-force training.

Why is that important?

Taking classes is an excellent way to learn new skills, but without practice, those skills can fade quickly.

If defensive pistol-craft is a martial art, then force-on-force is sparring.

Live-fire training is essential to learning and mastering shooting and firearm -handling skills, and there are many different target systems available to add realism to live-fire training.

No inanimate target, however, can substitute for a live opponent who thinks, moves, communicates, and fights back.

If simple safety procedures are followed and appropriate equipment used, Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms can be ideal training tools for force-on-force practice.

Part of the full-power, force-on-force training experience is psychological: standard paintballs and Simunition FX™ projectiles cause pain (and often welts and bruising) when they hit, particularly at realistic (think “contact”) gunfight distances.

Some trainers encourage students to use limited safety gear to increase the "pain penalty" and induce fear.

In my opinion, this approach is the equivalent of placing someone who has only punched a heavy bag into a full contact sparring drill with no pads.

While it certainly causes more fear and pain, it can also leave students overwhelmed and discouraged.

The impact of Airsoft® pellets is less painful than any of the marking rounds, making Airsoft® force-on-force training analogous to light contact sparring.

These low-powered Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms allow students to test basic skills such as deciding when to move, draw and shoot, or use cover effectively. In simple drills, the impact of the BB is soft enough to be tolerable for dozens of hits in a training day, yet hard enough to be felt through clothing.

The same equipment also can be used for more complex, full-speed scenarios.

A few common sense safety rules must be followed if Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms are used in force-on-force training.

Everyone in the training area must be checked for live weapons, head to toe.

All real weapons (firearms, knives, batons and pepper sprays) must be removed and stored away from the training area.

All training gear must be checked and verified by all participants before any shots are fired.

Anyone who leaves the area and then returns must be checked again.

Closed-goggle paintball masks, preferably those that provide full-face protection, are mandatory.

Neck and groin protection are essential, and long-sleeved shirts and long pants are best.

Hits on bare skin at close range are… unpleasant.

“Baseball-style” catcher chest protectors can be used to provide additional chest and groin protection.

Unlike paintball rounds, which break on impact, the plastic pellets tend to bounce off the target.

Although paintballs are available for the Airsoft® gas-blowback replica defensive firearms , experienced users claim that reliability and accuracy is poor compared to the harder pellets.

Trainer Gabe Suarez explains, “The five to seven yard envelope is where most real fights occur, yet where very little training is ever done.

No ‘target’ can ever replicate a moving, thinking, reacting human adversary. 

By training against a human being, you receive a much more realistic perspective about true gunfighting that you can never get simply shooting simulated human beings in any training environment. 

Learning read how a human moves and reacts, as well as developing a mental picture of what another man looks like in your sight picture are invaluable training evolutions that will be much welcomed when and if you ever need to, as Lieutenant Colonel ”Jeff" Cooper says, ‘shoot for blood.’

I believe that it is essential for every serious student of gunfighting to buy and practice with an Airsoft® replica of their carry [defensive firearm]. 

This training can take the place of live fire range visits for those who live in areas with no places to shoot, as well as those living in areas with untenable weather. 

Also, these can be utilized to great effect for integrating tactics, combatives, and shooting in a way that was heretofore deemed impossible. 

Models representing any pistol out there from a Glock to a 1911, and from Lugers to Pythons are available. 

My recommendation is to buy one, practice with it regularly in dynamic (not range type) drills and with interactive force on force training.

It will take your gunfighting skills to new levels.”

These are the tools available both to you and a thinking human opponent dedicated to your destruction padded up in Blauer High Gear® suits.

This promotes real-life, three-hundred-sixty-degree thinking instead of static, two-dimensional rote practice against inoffensive paper: instead of that empty well-lit static shooter’s box at the range, you’ll be in the middle of a crowded mall at rush hour with as many screaming people running at you as away- and what do you think the first thing terrified mercenary proxy-guardian ‘police” are going to do when they spot you with a firearm?

First, you’re probably not going to be able to even hit the bad guy due to stress-induced tremors: during practice, do you habitually grip your legal defensive firearm hard enough to induce muscle tremors?

Then in real life, how do you expect to survive?

I’ve qualified at four times qualification speed with my arm trembling so much I thought I was going to drop my legal defensive firearm.

The bad news is, you won’t hear or see them: audio exclusion and Tunnel Vision; the good news is, at least it’ll probably be happening in slow motion: Tachypsychia.

First, I’ll tell you that anyone you meet in an adjacent room could be an innocent child or other good guy, or a terrified mercenary proxy-guardian “police” officer with his fat finger negligently draped over a trigger, so you need to be very cautious, and then send you in.

Then I’ll tell your opponent that anyone he meets in an adjacent room is a bad guy and needs to be immediately taken out regardless of technique, then send him in behind you.

Just like real life.

Since, statistically, most threat management events involve multiple assailants, you won’t have time to fire two shots at each before one of them manages to get off the one shot that kills you.

More than two well-placed shots will have no further significant effect on a threat because of the medical phenomenon “shock.”

Psychologically, your first solid hit will “reset” his clock- make him start from the beginning of whatever action he’d anticipated- awarding you precious time to go on to the next threat.

Only when each of multiple threats has already been justly shot and- assuming, somehow, you’re still alive- you can return along the same axis delivering an additional well-placed shot to each threat again.

Now, of course, the threats certainly aren’t static, two-dimensional paper targets who’ll compliantly plant their feet (as you’ve been taught) and patiently allow you the luxury of lining up on them.

They’ll be bobbing like balloons in the wind (a good exercise) as they continue to randomly pop off shots in your general direction.

How often do you engage in conversations at a distance of twenty-five feet or more?

Of course not- conversations take place at halitosis distance: the distance a knife, stick, or fist can most easily disable you.

This is the other reason for learning a one-handed technique: your other hand will probably be fending, grappling, or grasping the threat, rendering your habitualized two-handed technique useless.

Unless you can instantly neutralize the threat’s assault, you won’t be alive to waste the one-point-five seconds it takes to draw and fire.

“Gain distance,” we’re warned: if I make myself smaller, in what way does that defeat your ability to trigger shots in the exact axis that just previously proved such a tempting target?

It’s much more difficult to align your sights on a threat moving in a lateral direction than in a fore-to-aft one.

Try it.

Worse, if the threat possesses anything but a firearm, “gaining distance” both places you squarely in the most dangerous part of his arc, and simultaneously conveys the idea of cowardice.

Conversely, by closing with the threat you’ve, at worst, blunted his ability to harm you and, at best, are now in the ideal position to disarm him while simultaneously conveying the idea of aggressiveness.

This, of course, assumes the nefarious mister Murphy happens to be taking an unscheduled vacation- an unlikely theory at best.

What’re you programmed to do when you righteously shove your muzzle in the approaching bad guy’s face and hear only a “click” when you mash the trigger?

Rest assured, mister bad guy isn’t going to be offering, “after you, Alphonse.”

Let’s see:

Is the safety on?

Is there a magazine in the firearm?

Is it loaded?

Is it properly seated?

Is the slide locked back?

Has there been a “stovepipe malfunction?

A double-feed?

Sorry, your time is up, please try again tomorrow.

This is why habitualization is so important: there must be only one universal response when the luxury of time is unavailable.

The technique has long been known as “tap, rack, bang,” because, regardless of failure, you firmly tap the bottom of the magazine to seat it, then rack the slide to prime the legal defensive firearm, then the last thing the predatory criminal should hear is the satisfying “bang” of your now-functioning legal defensive firearm as your rounds impact his center of mass.

I did that, and the firearm still isn’t functioning, but the bad guy’s still coming.

Got a white flag?

Not yet.

Have you ever taken CPR?

Not only should you have, but you should at least be a certified EMT-Basic: after all, somebody’s gonna have a bullet wound to patch up- what if it’s in you?

During CPR, how much should you compress the chest?

The answer is about one inch- and that’s only using your hand.

Do you think that the average jury would reasonably conclude that two pounds of steel impacting the bad guy’s sternum propelled at velocity by at least a hundred-fifty pounds of you might be construed as “use of deadly force?”

The technique is known as a barrel strike, and the good news is that the bad guy won’t be expecting it either.

It’s a tactic that employs the use of the legal defensive firearm barrel as an expedient weapon.

Holding the legal defensive firearm in the normal manner with the dominant hand, the non-dominant hand grips the slide and is thrust into the threat’s temple, eye, throat, or chest.

None of these “nuts-and-bolts” will do you any good if you don’t see it coming: your mind must be in gear before your feet start moving.

This is the most important component of survival training and is known as “mindset.”

If you peruse the vaunted FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, you’ll plainly observe that the “clearance rate” for “index crimes,” that is, the rate at which predatory criminals are identified, arrested, and charged with crimes such as robbery, rape and murder, has hovered constantly about the twenty percent mark.

That means that any predatory criminal has a statistical eighty percent chance of getting away with whatever mayhem he so chooses to illegally engage in.

No wonder mercenary proxy-guardian “police” fill their time merely writing out innocuous tickets and other mundane clerical endeavors: the FBI’s “report card” on them reveals by their truly dismal performance, that we’ve been unconstitutionally occupied by an army, not of heroic caped “crime-fighters,” but instead merely by glorified armed meter-maids; firemen with firearms who, by very definition can’t prevent, or even interrupt predatory crime, but will be quite happy, thank you, to draw the line around your cold, lifeless corpse, and then contentedly spend the rest of their careers, like O. J., belatedly searching for the guilty party.

Of course, you won’t be there to care one way or the other.

There are three unique categories of strategic awareness that will diminish the likelihood of predatory criminal victimization: predatory criminal awareness, situational awareness, and self-awareness.

When developed, these essential skills prepare you to assess a wide variety of threats instantaneously and accurately.

Once you've made a proper threat assessment, you’ll be able to judiciously choose one of the following six self-protection options: escape, feign, comply, de-escalate, assert, or fight back.

Hypervigilance and posturing are unacceptable options.

You also need to assess a variety of other important factors, including the threat’s demeanor, intent, range, positioning and weapon capability, as well as such environmental issues as escape routes, barriers, terrain, and expedient defensive weaponry.

The obstinate refusal by evil social fascists to consider their duty as unorganized Militia members to address their own personal safety, and those of their families, by obtaining a carry permit, replete with its attendant training and mindset, has allowed innumerable tragedies, needlessly tying up already-scarce community resources and costing untold millions of extorted taxpayer dollars on clearly avoidable instances of sheer neglect of the basic obligations of every citizens.

Those without the same mindset as one who’s perpetually legally defensively armed are those walking the highway of life with the traffic dangerously behind their backs, blindly trusting to uncertain luck that no drunk or distracted driver runs them over by sheer surprise.

Ask Steven King.

Having never carried, they never even took the trouble to become informed about Lieutenant Colonel “Jeff” Cooper’s Color Code of Readiness, nor of “Jim Grover’s” “Street Smarts” book, undoubtedly allowing total strangers to sneak up on them unchallenged.

As the majority of cattle aboard the September eleventh 2001 flights existed only in perpetual condition white, so most of us eagerly cultivate that deadly complacent “things like that never happen to me” attitude.

Psychologically, every brick of perceived “safety” that we tenderly cement into our delicate psyche is just another layer to collapse heavily upon us when the so-called “safety” wall comes unexpectedly crashing down.

I’m certainly not advocating a hare-brained paranoia that would have you poking under the bed with your legal defensive firearm to search for non-existent boogeymen, but on the other hand, how can you be certain of what’s under the bed unless you’re willing to take the extra time and expend the effort to search, under your obligation to justifiably safeguard those under your mantle of protection?

The mindset engendered by being constantly alert for all possible threats allows your brain to expand the parameters of what it reasonably perceives as threats, so if you’re consciously searching for a particular type of threat, your built-up sense of tactical imaging will automatically allow you to asses that, “hey, that floor’s wet -it might be slippery,” or “I don’t care If they have a red, I’m still looking both ways!” so the bad stuff, just coincidentally, of course, seems to happen less often to you.

Those who’ve made the calculated decision to travel the highway of life legally defensively armed are those who realize that no tool -mere inanimate objects -will keep them safe from harm perpetrated by those predators of evil intent, be they individuals, or those cowardly veiled behind the shield of tyrannical “government.”

Gates, dogs, alarms, doors and locks only serve to lull us into a very false sense of “security,” so when we’re rudely awakened in our comfy beds in the middle of the night by the threat’s knife illegally at our throat, our first reaction is one of an incredulous “how could this happen to me?”

Those who “live in yellow” survive, like actor James Woods, who starred in the movie version of Joe Wambaugh’s excellent documentary, “The Onion Field,” and who happened to be aboard a rehearsal for the Saudi terrorist attacks in August 2001.

He astutely observed the bearing and demeanor of four suspicious middle-eastern passengers and was so convinced that the aircraft was about to be illegally hijacked that he notified the flight crew. Better safe than sorry.

For examples of real-life situations involving the use of deadly force, you absolutely must read bothThe Best DefenseandGuns Save Lives“ by Robert Waters .

I can’t more strongly recommend these books -they should be required reading for all unorganized Militia members, a sentiment shared by Ed Lovette in the February 2004 issue of Combat Handguns Magazine: “…these two books are a ‘must read.’”

Simply read the few examples listed on these pages and determine for yourself whether the world is a dangerous place, suddenly turning fatal without warning, and whether the best policy is to accurately determine the degree of threat of each person within your forty-two-foot sphere before inappropriately assuming that no threat exists among them.

How do such irresponsible social fascists illogically respond to the obvious existence of such deadly threats to their very existence?

With inane platitudes like “When it's your turn, ya gotta go,” the poor cousin to “It’s God’s will.”

What loving God would place you in a situation where there was no hope of coming out alive?

Certainly not one intelligent enough to create a universe, everything in it, and then simply play with the precious lives of those He acknowledges as its most intelligent creatures.

Sounds more like mythology than religion, and not one I’d choose to believe in.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

Mysterious , yes. Stupid, no.

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