Pocket Protection.

There’s some really interesting ideas in this post from 2007 by noted terrorism expert John Robb.

“Cities have long maintained centralized police forces, but gangs can often overwhelm them. Many governments are responding with militarized police: China is building a million-man paramilitary force, for example; and even in the United States, the use of SWAT teams has increased from 3,000 deployments a year in the 1980s to 50,000 a year in 2006. But militarized police may too easily become an army of occupation, and, if corrupt, as they are in Brazil, they may become enemies of the state along with the gangs.

A better solution involves local security forces, either locally recruited or bought on the marketplace (such as Blackwater), which can be powerful bulwarks against small-group terrorism. Such forces may become a vital component in our defense against bioterrorism, too, since they can enforce local containment—and since large centralized services, like the ones we have today, might actually accelerate the propagation of bioweapons. Still, if improperly established, local forces can also become rogue criminal entities, like the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia and the militias in Rio de Janeiro. Governments need to regulate them carefully.”

I agree. A decentralized threat like terrorism or other non-government violent actor demands a decentralized response. Not only does it cost less and allows for more freedom, we know it actually works. The modern smartphone is nothing if not a decentralized and networked communication device, and we have other options for staying safe in an unsafe world that don’t require an often painfully slow response from state-approved “first” responders.

More thoughts on this over at Ricochet.com.

Just Another Good Guy With A Gun.

Eight people were injured last night in a stabbing attack at a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The stabber was moved to a permanently horizontal resting position by a quick-thinking and appropriately-armed off-duty cop.

St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson said the suspect, whom he did not identify, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer from another jurisdiction.

Oh, did I mention the stabber was asking his victims if they were Muslim or not before he attacked them?

Amish. I blame the Amish for this.

More importantly, this attack was stopped by someone at the right time and right place with the right skills and training to save lives. My more progressive friends will say “Ah ha, but’s he’s a cop!”, to which I say “So? I’m trained better than most cops. I spend weekends at matches that teach me how to make the shot in difficult situations. Cops should HOPE to be as well-trained as I am.”

The average beat cop never has to draw his weapon, which is a good thing indeed, but they also have to deal with dumb stuff like domestic violence calls and stupid people. I am more than willing to let them handle that stuff, as long as I can keep doing my job, which is keep my family and friends safe.


Thanks For Playing, We Have Some Lovely Parting Gifts For You.

I’ve taken a few classes from a few firearms instructors who flew in, taught a two-day class, then flew out of town. This is pretty much the standard for the itenerant teacher these days, and it’s a good way to get a good grounding in the instructor’s style and make it your own.

Or is it?

There is a LOT of information stuffed into a two-day class, and I’ve found, at least for myself, that if I take away two or three items that I can apply to my shooting style, the class, for me, was a success. This implies, however, that I can apply those items to how I shoot, because let’s face it, there is not many opportunities for people go out and practice tactical shooting. Access to outdoor pistol bays and backyard ranges is limited for most people, and so learning how to draw, move and shoot from a tactical firearms instructor means little if the students in the class have limited opportunities to practice what they’ve been taught?

So what’s the solution? Well the obvious one is to build more outdoor ranges, but that’s getting harder and harder to do. Another solution might be for the instructor to come prepared with lessons and practice drills that can maintain the student’s skills, but ones that can be shot in an indoor range that doesn’t allow for movement or drawing from a holster. Claude Werner’s got a bunch of them in his book, maybe you can steal a few and turn them over to your students.

Getting the students to practice lessons that can augment what they’ve learned in class has two advantages for the instructor: It improves the quality of the students that they’re teaching, and it builds brand loyalty: Customers who practice a teacher’s methods tend to want to take more classes from that instructor.

Do you want to teach a class one time, or create students for life?

The choice is yours.

A Quick Follow Up On Self Defense Insurance

I wanted this post to be as neutral as I could, and while I mentioned I was/am a member of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, I didn’t say why I joined up.

The ACLDN was recommended to me by one of the best self-defense lawyers in Arizona, a guy who teaches concealed carry, shoots USPSA and is a crackerjack lawyer as well. I figure he outta know what’s best.

And then there’s the people who are involved in the ACLDN. Other plans talk about their experts, but did you notice that the ACLDN is the only one who names names? Mossad Ayoob. John Farnam. Marty Hayes. Tom Givens. Dennis Tueller.

If the courtroom is a battleground, that there is the legal equivalent of SEAL Team Six.

And yes, while’s it’s true that the money the ACLDN pays out isn’t as much as other plans, if they back you, they back you all the way. They don’t assume you’re in the right because you have a concealed carry permit, they back when they know they have a good chance of winning, which means they’re not wasting money on defending morons.

And finally, they’re the training videos. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that the training videos alone are worth the price of admission, with Marc Macyoung’s DVD on pre-attack indicators being particularly good. You’d pay gazillions of dollars to train with him or Massad Ayoob or the other instructors on the DVD’s, so popping $135 for that instruction along with self-defense legal coverage seemed to be a pretty good deal to me.

I carry a gun to win the gun fight.
I carry a tourniquet because I want to win a battle against blood loss in myself or a loved one if I win the gun fight.
I pay for a self defense emergency legal assistance plan because I want to win the court fight after both of those are over.

Self Defense Insurance Comparison

With an increasing amount of people legally choosing to carry a self-defense firearm, there has been a number of high-profile court cases recently that have shown us what might happen if a person needs to defend their life with a legally carried gun.

By some accounts, George Zimmerman’s legal bills have totaled more than $2 million for his high-profile defensive shooting court case. While that is an extreme example of the possible financial burden, there is always the risk of arrest, trial and conviction after any defensive gun use.

Self defense insurance (or a similar policy) is one way to avoid financial ruin after you need to use lethal force to save your life or the lives of others. Here are a number of similar-priced insurance and member-based self-defense policies for you to review, make a comparison and chose the plan for your needs and budget. The descriptions for each of these companies were taken pretty much intact from each company’s website so as to give as neutral a view as possible as to what each of them provide for legally armed citizens.

Second Call DefenseSecond Call Defense

Second Call Defense provides training and education plus comprehensive legal and financial resources to help our members deal with the consequences after they have used a gun in self defense. Depending on the membership level, members have access to as much as $250,000 for damages for Civil Suit damage protection, $250,000 for accidental shooting liability, $50,000 Criminal Defense reimbursement and up to $1 million in Civil Suit defense protection.

law_shieldTexas Law Shield

If a member uses a firearm or any legal weapon in Texas under the Texas Law Shield Firearms Legal Defense Program, program attorneys will represent the member in any legal proceeding (criminal or civil), for zero additional attorneys’ fees. This includes all criminal charges arising from a use of a gun or any legal weapon. While our services are quite comprehensive, the following are not covered: expert witness fees, governmental fees of any type, investigator fees, or bail bonds.

usccaUnited States Concealed Carry Association

The USSCA Self-Defense Shield is a members-only, firearms liability insurance benefit that reduces the legal and financial burden of owning a gun for self-defense. The insurance-backed benefits include Civil Suit Defense & Damages Protection, which provides up to $1 Million if charges are ever brought against a member in civil court. Members are also eligible for a Criminal Defense Reimbursement, which offers members up to $100,000 to help cover the costs of criminal charges or proceedings which result from the use of a weapon in self-defense.

CCW SafeCCW Safe

CCW Safe defends its members against criminal prosecution stemming from a self defense incident and also defends members against civil litigation or administrative actions stemming from a use of force incident. If a member is involved in a use of deadly force self defense incident we provide the best defense attorneys in the U.S., expert witnesses, and investigators specially trained in use of force lawsuits and investigations. No limits or caps and no optional memberships or additional fees.

alcdnArmed Citizens’ Legal Defense Fund

The Armed Citizens’ Network Legal Defense Fund provides legal defense support to Network members after a self-defense incident. This support is supplied in two different ways.
First, the Network will forward up to $10,000 to the member’s attorney at the request of the member after a self-defense incident.
Secondly, if the member is charged with a crime or sued civilly and needs additional money for his or her legal defense, then the member can ask for additional funding.

sdaSelf Defense Alliance

The SDA exists because your homeowner’s coverage does not afford you the protection you need in a self-defense situation.
If a civil suit is brought against a member due to the use of a legally possessed firearm in conjunction with the act of self-defense, then Self Defense Coverage will indemnify the member, for the reasonable costs and expenses incurred, in the defense and settlement of the suit.

I’ve created a handy infographic that lists out what each plan costs, what’s covered, and what is not covered. Where no item is listed on a plan, that item is either not covered or is not clearly defined as being covered. I am indebted to Sabrina Karels of the Highmark blog for her initial work on this comparison, and in addition to her research on CCW Safe, Second Call Defense, Texas Law Shield and the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, I’ve  included similar offerings from the Self Defense Association and the Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network. I am not a lawyer, nor did I sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. This is not legal advice, do not take it as such or you’re probably screwed. (Click to make bigger).

self defense insurance comparison

This self defense insurance comparison should give you a better idea of what’s out there for the person who’s as concerned at winning the legal battle as they are the court battle. This is an update to a previous post I did on this subject and should not be considered as a definitive list of all your options: Several of the organizations have plans that cost more or less than what’s listed on the infographic, and I urge everyone to do their research and make their own decisions. As for myself,  I am a member of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network and an affiliate of the USCCA.

The Problem Just Showed Up On Our Doorstep.

Me, last year.

How long before MS13, La eMe, etc, figure out there’s as much money to be made from kidnapping middle class citizenry as there is from smuggling people and/or drugs into the U.S.?

Phoenix, Arizona, today.

A bank teller noticed a distraught woman withdrawing a significant amount of money and contacted police who then saved her from kidnappers.

Court records show that on August 26, a woman walked into the Bank of America near 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. She was reportedly visibly distraught and tried to withdraw $19,000 without a bank card. The teller “went to check if she could go that,” but instead alerted police.

Phoenix police report that they arrested 22-year-old Alonzo Daniel Cabrera who was with the victim in the bank.

The whole story has yet to be told here, so I’m willing to bet there was an illicit connection of some kind between the victim and her kidnappers. I don’t think this was a random kidnapping, but the amount of the ransom, $38,000, tells us that the bad guys out there are willing to roll in hot and kidnap people for ransom amounts under $50,000. This one probably wasn’t a random kidnapping, but the next one might not be.

Stay safe out there.

Outsource Your Security.

The personal empowerment brought about by the internet is changing the way society works. As I said earlier this year,

The world’s largest bookstore, Amazon, has no stores, and the worlds largest armed force, the American gun owner, has no generals, ranks or chain of command.

WISO-Wireless-Emergency-Whistle-Safety-AlarmSo how can the American gun owner self-organize into something larger than just one or two people? What would happen in a Ferguson riot if a shop owner had something like this, with a half-dozen or so respectable, committed, responsible gun owners in their network?

This wireless whistle instantly notifies your friends and family in an emergency. WISO uses a combination of Bluetooth technology and GPS tracking.

The whistle sends out pre-selected SOS messages to your friends or relatives via SMS or email. It also includes your current location and can even contact up to seven people at once. The whistle weighs only 12 grams and has batteries that last two months. WISO is available now and costs $51.

Would that help someone survive the riot or a flash mob? I think so…

The Unreality May Overwhelm You.


… so I post what I thought was a fairly innocuous question in a popular gun rights group on Facebook.

I’ve seen a lot of people showing off their carry guns and guns they carry in their vehicles, but what I haven’t seen a lot of is people talking about how they carry a first aid kit that’s capable of dealing with a gunshot wound or other trauma.
If we carry a gun because we know that the cops won’t show up when we need them, shouldn’t we also have a first aid/trauma kit because the paramedics won’t show up any faster than the cops do?

Reactions to this post fell into one of two categories:

  1. Why should I care about performing first aid on the bad guy?
  2. Sure! I got a nice big kit in my truck!

So people tend to see GSW’s and other traumatic injuries as something that will only happen to the bad guy, because, um, they just will! Apparently these people have never considered that a gunfight might be a two-way affair.

They also think that having a first-aid kit in their vehicle is being prepared to deal with a gunshot wound. Would they also consider themselves as being prepared to deal with a gunfight if their gun was in their truck when they needed it most?

Your Ideas Intrigue Me and I Wish To Subscribe To Your Newsletter.

A striker-fired LCP? Yes, please!

So, a little bird told me recently that we may see a new striker-fired Ruger LCP in the coming weeks.
Presumably, the company will follow the naming convention it used with the LC9 pistol by adding an “s” at the end of the LCP to indicate the new firing mechanism.
If the rumor is true, and we are going to see a new Ruger LCPs, I wonder if that spells the end of the hammer-fired versions of the tiny handguns.

If there’s one thing that all pocket .380’s have in common, it’s that their triggers really, really suck. The only exception to the rule are the ones based on the 1911 platform like the Sig P238 or Colt Mustang, and they have the added baggage of external safeties (not one of my favorite things on a defensive handgun). A pocket .380 with a decent (say, 6 pounds) trigger a la the Glock 42 would be a winner, and because of the ongoing struggles with my P3AT, I’d look VERY hard at getting one when it comes out.

What Caliber You Use Doesn’t Matter…. Until It Does.

An interesting reflection on .22LR as a defensive round, from Greg Ellifritz.

The reader asked me to explain why I considered the .22 stops to be more likely “psychological stops” as opposed to physical incapacitations.  That’s easy to explain…and it doesn’t have anything to do with the size of the muzzle.

There are only two mechanisms for physically incapacitating someone with a handgun.  The first is a shot to the central nervous system (CNS).  A bullet placed into the brain or the upper spinal cord will usually stop someone instantly.  Can the .22 do that?  Certainly, but I think a brain or CNS shot is less likely with the .22 than with a larger caliber.

Another fact that many people haven’t considered is the difference between police and armed citizen gunfights.  My friend Claude Werner often points out that when a criminal is involved in a gunfight with the police, the stakes are higher.  The criminal knows that the cops won’t stop until he’s dead or in jail.  That’s not true with a gunfight against an armed citizen.  The armed citizen just wants a break in the fight.  If he can cause the criminal to flee, he wins and stops shooting.

Take a look at this surveillance video from a Florida robbery a couple of years ago: Once one of the supposed “victims” starts to fire back, the bad guys beat feet, and quickly. In their experience, having a person fight back is as foreign to them as someone speaking Albanian at the McDonald’s drive up window is to me. When it happens, they have no idea how to handle it, and de-ass themselves from the area as quickly as they can.

The very definition of a psychological stop.

Now, am I will to bet my life and the lives of my loved ones on a crook running away when he’s shot? Nope. That’s why I carry something bigger and train I’m semi-competent with my gun of choice. However, the first rule of gunfight is still in effect: Have a gun, even if it’s a wimpy little .22.