Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Is that Roscoe an Accessory or a Survival Tool?

Roscoe: noun; handgun, circa 1914

The handgun is a tool for limited hunting, sport, personal defense and/or accessorizing.

In Free America, the legal open-carry/concealed carry of handguns is ubiquitous.  I get civilian open-carry when in the woods or when you are not around a lot of other people. But if a human- predator focuses upon you, open-carry invites trouble. Inadequately concealing a handgun is no concealment at all and subjects the carrier to the same predator hazards as open-carry.

Practicing situational awareness and handgun concealment reduces the probability that others will assess you as the armed potential threat that you can be to a predator.  You do not want predators to know that you are armed and thus cause them to focus upon you, or target you to be taken-out, or to relieve you of your handgun.

Whenever I see open-carried or poorly concealed handguns, I do exactly what a predator does; I analyze how I can take that firearm, if I chose to do so. You cannot allow someone to take your firearm. Just having it seen by predators can get you killed.

That brings me to the title of this piece. Absent hunting, at a firing range, or relatively alone in the wilderness, if you don’t make the effort to carry your handgun in a manner that it can’t be detected or taken from you, it is a vulnerable accessory and not a survival-tool.  In short, you are ill-prepared to survive when targeted by human-predators.

There can be several reasons why someone would carry a handgun as an accessory.  I am guessing that the number one reason is because the person fails to understand the seriousness of handgun retention and/or concealment in a predatory world.  He sees the world, and his personal vulnerability profile, as mostly benign.  If the world is so benign, what is the necessity to carry a firearm with its attendant liabilities?  The flawed world view can be modified with appropriate training.

In some cases, the display of a handgun as an accessory is a false security or a conscious/unconscious public statement derived from delusional or self-serving motivations of power exhibition.

You do not have to be a warrior to be successful in self-defense.  But, why not act as one?  Warriors don’t treat firearms as accessories, and neither should anyone else. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Can You?

“Can you?”

“Can you what?”

“Can you kill someone?”

If you are advocate of the Second Amendment and you carry, you probably think that you can. And you say, “I am good at the range; punch holes in paper; make the metal targets sing.”

OK, do you think that you can shoot somebody?  If you are serious about self-defense, and preparedness in general, you better be able to do so. 

If Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Ret., is correct, and I think that he is, most people will fail when put to the test.  I did once.  Thank goodness, because a 16-year-old boy got to live another day, and he should not have. 

Grossman (psychologist, author and law enforcement/military training expert) posits that most humans have a built-in aversion to killing another human. Grossman’s insight is not predicated upon whether a person is Sheep or SheepDog.  I am unquestionably a SheepDog, and I failed a survival test.

Perceiving a threat and surviving an actual threat is two different things.

Kendrick Castillo is a SheepDog.  Unarmed, he did not hesitate to charge the shooter at the recent Colorado school shooting.  Because he is a SheepDog, he acted.  But, acting does not guarantee success nor survival. Kendrick did not survive his mission.

I survived because the perpetrator’s semi-automatic pistol was an exact look-alike BB gun. You could not know it was a BB gun until you held it in your hand and examined it. I perceived a deadly threat and failed to act appropriately to that perception.

Grossman’s position is supported by the dismal performance of American WWII soldiers.  Most enemy casualties were as a result of bombs and crew-served weapons.  Most individual American soldiers either never fired their firearms in combat or they shot over the heads of the enemy.

The problem was recognized by the U.S. Military and rectified during the Vietnam conflict using desensitization techniques.  Incidentally, the same desensitization to killing apply with the use of violent video games by youth.

Couple the inhibition with time consuming OODA factors (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) and you have a recipe for personal failure and disaster.  However, I assert that the inhibition can be overcome with the employment of muscle memory when properly embedded with shoot/don’t shoot training.

Shoot/don’t shoot training is really threat assessment coupling muscle memory to the correct decision to shoot. Upon a predicate act being perceived as a threat, muscle memory ignores the aversion and shortens the OODA response time creating a strong survival protocol.

Perception, as in “What would a normal man perceive?” is a strong, historic, legal standard.  It remains a benchmark in most of the country, but it is under attack from the left.  Currently, there is legislation in the works to change the standard in CA for law enforcement officers to a standard of “actual threat” for a defense in the application of lethal force. Such nonsense is social decay. Individuals must remain in a “perceived threat” mindset when determining the appropriate use of lethal force, if they wish to survive a hostile contact.

My original law enforcement firearms training in the early 1970’s, punching holes in paper targets, did not prepare me to overcome the inhibition and respond appropriately when confronted with a sudden, perceived threat.  Subsequent law enforcement shoot/don’t shoot training changed my behavior. Today, the 16-year-old would not survive the incident. 

To be most effective, shoot/don’t shoot firearm training must mimic actual life scenarios and be as realistic as possible.  My shoot/don’t shoot training was computer driven interactive video wherein you had to respond to changing scenarios depicted by real actors.  Your laser firearm had the feel and report of an actual firearm.

Overcoming the aversion in a sudden individual self-defense response is crucial.  Preparing for planned combat is a different kettle of fish, and Grossman’s “aversion” is still in play.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

“The Power of One is the Power of None”

“The Power of One is the Power of None”
(I borrowed the phrase for my title; the author is unknown)

There is no end to the number of written works and lyrics attesting to the survival power of “one,” (the individual) to do any number of feats. And, that’s true until you get down to extended survival wherein circumstances require the assistance of other humans.

The “prepping” community is all about preparing for and existing under conditions of self-sufficiency.  While “community” plays a significant role in the teaching and sharing of self-sufficiency techniques, the crux of self-sufficiency is the attitude of going it alone.  That is all well and good for you and/or your family when things are running smoothly.  What happens when you must reach out to other humans for help?  When the proverbial you know what hits the fan (SHTF,) how are you going to give and get information and/or assistance?  Who will you trust? And, what if that trust is misplaced?

You might think yourself to be well-prepared and ask, “What could go wrong?” Answer: a medical emergency beyond your abilities and equipment; running out of provisions; overwhelmed by a natural disaster; and violence from those who would take your life and stockpiled provisions. I suggest that it is the latter circumstance of which we are the least prepared to survive. And no, a husband and wife cannot prevail in defending the homestead 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A combat seasoned U.S. Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant, who is the foreman of a small ranch here in the Redoubt, advised me that he could adequately defend the ranch 24/7 with three squads of eight gun-fighters each. Accordingly, there are not many of us who can field an adequate team to protect our homes & property.  What good is all the self-sufficiency planning going to come to in a melt-down of societal order?  What we need is “community-sufficiency” in all circumstances.

A three-step program to developing “community” in terms of trusted networks is essential to survival of: low-intensity violence from social devolution; a natural disaster; or an EMP attack. The program’s steps include: actively engaging like-minded people and gaining their trust; developing a radio communications network utilizing HAM radio and the Channel 3 Project of the American Redoubt Radio Operator’s Network; and adding to or expanding upon the survival tool of firearm proficiency, firearm self-defense and group tactical operations.  Overcoming the inherent psychological component of human killing avoidance is a topic for another day.

The time for preparation is now!  There is always the possibility of a natural disaster.  The proliferation of nuclear weapons by third-rate nations increases the possibility of open warfare, if nothing more than the detonation of an EMP bomb.  American society is Balkanizing along value lines and there is an increasing probability of significant low-level political violence.  It is likely that American citizens may well be forced to make their way in an altered world without the immediate assistance of our customary first responders.

The crystal ball is certainly not clear, but current & former members of the Intelligence Community are projecting that things are looking dim for the future.  Citizens who adequately prepare themselves both mentally and physically have the best opportunity to survive whether it is a short-time natural disaster, a medium-term civil unrest, or an EMP attack that plunges us back to the Middle Ages for the long-term.