Pocket Protector (Part Deux)

Pocket Protector (Part Deux)

Now that I’m gainfully employed and working in an office again, I’m back to wearing “business casual” from 9 to 5, so that means pocket carry.

I’ve changed a few things and added a few more since the last time I talked about this sort of thing, and so the current lineup is (from upper left)…

– An iPhone4 with a cracked screen. The iPhone5 can’t come quick enough for me…

A Boker AK-74 knife, clipped onto the weak side pocket

Sabre Pepper Spray, carried in the strong side pocket

– Spare mag with Hornady XTP’s, weak side pocket

Leatherman Micra, strong side pocket in the back of the holster

– Kel-Tec P3AT with a Crimson Trace laser, strong side pocket

– Money/cards/ID, weak side pocket

Photon Micro II flashlight, usually carried on the keychain

– Keychain, weak side pocket

On the phone there are the Flashlight, iTriage and Emergency Radio apps for emergency situations, and Angry Birds because, well, BECAUSE ūüôā .

While that seems like a lot of stuff to carry around (and it is…), all that disappears into a pair of flat-front khakis and a dress shirt pocket, but still gives me enough options to deal with 95% of the things I need to worry about. If all that stuff and my situational awareness and de-escalation doesn’t get me safely to my car and my get-home bag, I’ve made a big error in judgment somewheres along the way…

De-escalate. The Life You Save May Be Your Own.

De-escalate. The life you save may be your own.

Consider this video from an Indiana policeman’s dashboard camera.

Now this was the end result of a high-speed chase, (not something we civilians commonly engage in outside of video games), but could something like this happen with a road rage incident that spirals out of control?

You betcha.

The officer survided the shooting, and the suspect went on to die in a blaze of gunfire. You might not be so lucky.

It it just NOT WORTH IT. De-escalate. Walk away. Drive defensively. Stay safe.

On Second Thought…

On second thought…

Consider this account of an armed citizen’s defensive gun use, via Dustin Ellerman of Top Shot. (Initial report here).

Earlier this week in Brownwood, TX an armed citizen put his life on the line to stop a bad guy from shooting a police officer.

The crazy murderer killed two folks and dogs after arguing over dog poop in his yard.  Police arrived and a shootout ensued.

Vic Stacy, a self taught marksman, saw the officer’s predicament and came to his aid with a few well placed 165 yard pistol shots.

Vic displayed a great feat of marksmanship under intense life threatening pressure at a great distance.

That’s a heck of a shot and it helped end things in favour of the good guys.

But.

A very similar scenario was discussed in my NRA Instructor class, and as a class, we came down uniformly in favour of helping the cop.

But.

What if that disheveled ¬†“crazy man” was an undercover Internal Affairs officer trying to bust a crooked cop?

How do you know who’s the good guy in a situation that you just walked into? What are the consequences of you choosing wrong?

Am I Being Careful Enough?

Am I Being Careful Enough?

The Sig Sauer Academy has a class in “Civilian Response to Terrorist Threats”.

No, really.

“This one-of-a-kind course is specifically designed for the responsible citizen and will educate the student about Islamic Extremist Terrorism. The student will be taught the mindset of a terrorist, the methods and places in which we are most likely to be attacked and then the tactics and weapons skills that can be used to save the lives of their families and themselves. This training school is a balanced program that will not only give the student a wealth of knowledge but it will also teach and improve the student‚Äôs firearms and tactics abilities. The lessons learned from this school can be utilized not only in countering terror attacks but also in other deadly force encounters. The attendee will be given the latest information/intelligence available in regards to terrorism tactics, plans and methods of attack.”

Now, I don’t even own a Glock, much less one with a Bar-Sto barrel in .357 Sig, but I can see the attraction for such a course. And I can also see that my money and time would be better spent in other training courses out there.

Unless your business is getting paid to counter terrorist threats, you’re not going to be up-to-date on “the latest information/intelligence available” ¬†because that information is going to change the instant you leave the class.

For me and who I am, it’s much more important for me to have a skillset that is flexible to be adapted to a worst-case scenario like a terrorist attack or a mass shooting than it is to know what Al-Qaeada may be up to at this very moment.

One thing I learned as a photographer is how to improvise on the spot. If your location shoot is on hold because of a broken lighting accessory, a few A-Clamps, copious amounts of gaffer’s tape and a Leatherman on your hip are MUCH more useful than a big tool kit back in the studio.

A class in civilian counter-terrorism is the photographic equivalent of learning to light automobiles. Sure, it’s fun, and sure, you get some amazing results, but the fact is, the people who are good at specialized areas of photography tend to be good at just that area of their business, and no, you and your Nikon D70 will probably never be called on to shoot a bevy of supercars (Although I will say that having done such a shot in my career, they are a TREMOUNDOUS amount of fun and really push the limits of your logicstical and photographic abilities.).

Anyways…

Play the numbers. “Black swan” events like Aurora or Mumbai are horrible, but they are not likely (thank God!). Despite that,¬†there’s probably going to be a lot of people out there signing up for a class in counter-terrorism abnd they’ll probably have a rockin’ good time doing so, but that sort of thing is not my bag, baby. It seems to me that if you’re concerned about counter-terrorism, CPR certification, a CERT class and an alert mind will go a long, long way to keep your community safe, and leave the counter-intelligence to the pros.

For me and mine, I think some time on the range with Massad Ayoob or Larry Vickers would do me a lot more good than learning specific counter-terrorist techniques…

… at least until Mrs. ExKev finishes sewing that extra ballistics plate onto the back of my armored vest, that is.

Two Questions

Two questions

For those who think a CCW holder would have had no effect on the Aurora shooting: 

1. Would a lone policeman have made a difference in that theater? If so, why? *

2. What would be your best option for survival for you and your family in that situation other than huddling in a corner, praying you don’t get shot?¬†

I refuse to play the victim card and let life just happen to me. You may chose differently, but please allow me the right to defend my family’s lives, even if you chose not.¬†


* I’ve stood side by side on the firing line with a Maricopa County SWAT officer and a Federal Air Marshall and matched them shot for shot, and that was 2 years ago: I’m a MUCH better shot now. Tell me again how cops are better-trained than a CCW holder…¬†

Ugh.

Ugh.

Woke up this morning to grey skies and mud, thanks to last night’s dust storm haboob, and creaky joints and sore muscles thanks to¬†my dojo.¬†

3 gun ain’t happening today. Advil. Advil is happening today.¬†

It’s Not The Guns.

It’s not the guns.

The shooter in Colorado used an AR-15 rifle, a Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun and a .40 Glock pistol to further the needs of his insanity. The thing is, I’m going to use essentially the same gear tomorrow to participate in 3 Gun, a popular sport with nationwide TV coverage, namely…

an AR-15 rifle,

AR-15 for Competition

a 12 gauge shotgun (a semi-auto Mossberg versus a pump-action Remington)

Mossberg 930

and a 9mm CZ versus a .40 Glock.

CZ-75

Same devices, different outcome.

Now, I will confess that I’ve had some twinges within my soul over the last 24 hours as I deal with the fact that tools that I love and enjoy so much can be used to do such a horrorific act.

How could I not?

Honestly, though, if I thought for ONE SECOND that not owning firearms would instantly and forever banish such crimes from our world, I’d turn them in with pride.

But I can’t, and I won’t. The problem is not the gun, it’s the evil in mankind’s soul. That evil’s been with us since Cain and Abel, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Banish guns will not change that fact, they will only disarm the people trying to proctect themselves from that evil.

Quote Of The Day

Quote of the Day

“Took my kid to see Spiderman yesterday evening. That could have been us. And California refuses to let a 25 year Army infantryman carry a weapon.¬†I shot expert with the M9 last time. I don’t know if I could have stopped it if I was there & armed. I just know I couldn’t unarmed.”¬†

Kurt Schlichter

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Colorado today. May they find the solace they are looking for, and may justice be swift and sure for the (alleged) person who did this crime.