… And Knowing Is Half The Battle.

The other half is the battle is, of course, beating the enemy into submission with decisive movement and overwhelming firepower.

Funny how they never mentioned that part in those old G.I. Joe cartoons.

I digress.

If you have any interest at all in training people to shoot well or moving the ball forward when it comes to firearms ownership in America, take more than a few moments and read Karl Rehn’s “Beyond The One Percent” series. It’s breathtakingly good, and lays out the issues we face clearer and more presicely than anything I’ve read before.

What’s interesting is that his recommendations closely mirror my own experience. When I got my CCW, lo these many years ago, my instructor taught the class in two sections, over the course of a weekend. At the time, Arizona required class room instruction and a live-fire portion before granting a permit (that’s changed since then), and my instructor broke up the class into two parts: A classroom portion that talked about Arizona gun laws, etc, on a Saturday, and then a brief range session the following day, with an optional, inexpensive (less than $100) stress fire / holster practice session immediately following. Most of the students in my class opted for the live fire practice, giving students a taste of the concealed carry lifestyle and the stress fire found in competition, and doubling the instructor’s take from the class in the process.

Instructors would do well to stop thinking of themselves as selling a product (concealed carry classes, gun training, etc.) and start seeing themselves as evangelists for a way of life.

What If Fear Is The Default Setting?

One of my takeaways from this great article on the gulf between gun culture and anti-gun culture is how for some, a fear of guns is honorable and rational. How much of that has permeated into the mindset of the general public because media and society? We have TV shows and movies telling us that it’s honorable and correct to fear guns, so what are we doing to counter that fear?

Rational arguments have only limited efficacy against a fear-based argument: Fear is an emotion, and rational arguments only work against emotional ones after that fear has subsided. How do we calm the fear of guns?

People are used to temporarily facing their fears: That’s why roller coasters exist, and when they go to a range, they temporarily face (and conquer) their fear of guns.  What are we doing to offset the “Disneyland effect” of going to the range or getting your CCW? It’s one thing to go and have fun and punch holes in paper, and it’s another thing to carry a gun all the time.

Acknowledging that the fear exists and then moving beyond the “thrill ride” of shooting a gun is where training is failing right now. Shoot N Scoot events, Outdoor Expos and GSSF matches are working, but more needs to happen if we want gun culture to move out and become a larger part of American culture than it already is.

The iPTS Funding Campaign Launches Tomorrow!

Introducing The Interactive Pistol Training System

Rubber, meet road. Road, rubber.

We’ve been getting some great feedback and a lot of interest from shooters, law enforcement and military, and some…. not so great feedback as well.

To the Facebook commenter who compared us to “Duck Hunt” on the Nintendo: There is a reason why all the shots from your .40 cal HiPoint  go low-left, and it has a lot to do with how you view dry-fire. Deal with it.

I digress.

Anyway, go check out the campaign page and watch as it changes tomorrow, and remember, if you want the best deal on an iPTS, get in on the ground floor.

Concealed Carry Needs An On-Ramp

Or at least, a better on-ramp than what we have now. We say “Carry your guns, people, it’s a lighter burden than regret!” and then we do nothing to actually help people get used to carrying a gun.

We ask them to run a marathon, without teaching how to prepare for a marathon.

Fortunately, there’s at least one training team that’s doing something about that problem, and their model could change “Gun Culture 2.0” forever.

Go check them out at Ricochet.com.

A Very Personal Gun Free Zone

We gun owners are so funny. We moan and b!tch about “gun free zones”, and yet we do little, if anything, to help the people who bought all those guns over the last few years do anything about carrying said guns with them them every day, thus eliminating the “gun free zones” within their own lives.

I talk more about the utter lack of an on-ramp in-between buying a pistol, getting your concealed carry permit and actually carrying the darn thing around with you on a day-in, day-out basis over at Ricochet.com.

Go check it out.

 

TacCon, MAG40, iPTS

I talked with Paul Carlson on the Safety Solutions podcast about his experience at Tactical Conference this year, why people should take advanced training like a Massad Ayoob class, and how the Interactive Pistol Training System will change the world and clean up your acne.

Okay, one of those two.

      Go check it out
.

Security Hub

The P.C. was supposed to be dead in 2001, and yet Apple turned it into the center of their success by making everything else in our lifestyle revolve around the P.C. Apple came out with its “digital hub” strategy before it came out with their stores, before it came out with the iPod, before it became the Apple we know today.

Want to play music? Pop open iTunes and either blast it out through your Sonos or sync up your iPod. Digital camera? iPhoto. Camcorder? iMovie. Want to bring it all together? Use iDVD to put in on disk and send it to your friends. Apple is in the lead right now because they’ve been living the idea that a computer (or similar device) is not the focus of your life, it just a tool to help you live your life more fully. This is the strategy that launched the iPod, the iTunes Music Store, the iPhone and all the other gadgets that have made Apple the #1 company in the world.

Now let’s talk about guns. Who is coming up with a “digital hub” strategy for personal security? People have a generalized, non-specific fear that they’re “not safe”. They’re aware of this, and they want to “feel safe”. Re-watch that video and see how Steve Jobs talks about the gadgets and tools he’s selling… iPhoto lets you do this, Macs let you do something else, and iTunes lets you listen to music. He’s not talking about how cool Apple’s tools are, he’s talking about how cool your life will be if you use Apple’s tools.

How cool will your life be if you “feel safe”, if you don’t need to have that non-specific fear that something “isn’t right?” There are trainers out there like Joshua Gideon, Paul Carlson, Jeff Street and others who offer online and personal security tips to go along with their gun tips, and that’s an avenue we need to look into as well.

There has got to be something out there that’s in-between the “SEVEN SECRET SHOOTING TIPS OF THE NAVY SEALS” marketing out there. There are other trainers out there with that avoid such hype and bluster, but then leave their students stranded two-thirds of the way up Mount Stupid, without an understanding of what metrics will get them over the top.

There has be something that makes derp-free personal security seem cool. We just haven’t found it yet.

Drunk Uncle

THis is a problem for YOU to deal with.

As I said, a long, long time ago, one of the reasons why I got into this armed self-protecting thing was because my wife’s cousin, a man with a history of drug abuse and a previous conviction for manslaughter, started to take what I thought was an uncomfortable amount of interest her whereabouts and what she was doing.

He did the world a favor and offed himself soon after that, but it woke me up to the fact that there are people who cannot be avoided or reasoned with, and that means I was left with violence as a way to get them out of our lives.

It also made me realize that a potential threat to my family’s well-being existed inside the confines of our extended family. We go around pre-visualizing “black swan” events like the mugger in the ski mask jumping out and yelling “GIMMEYOURMONEY!”, when the reality is, we probably need to worry about people we already know as our attacker, be it the guy who snaps at work or the drunk, angry uncle or something similar.

Thankfully, you and I are probably not going to have to one-shot a terrorist on a rampage or take on an active shooter. But an out-of-control relative or close friend? Maybe.

It’s one thing to walk around the street pie-ing corners because of the knockout game, and another to act calm and friendly around a creepy co-worker or (in my case) a felonious cousin. How often do we run through scenarios that involve de-escalation and de-assing ourselves rather than concealment and cover? How much of our mindset is devoted to impossible scenarios, and how much to the possible?