Keep & Bear Podcast E0006: Holsters 101

In Episode 6, Berge and Don talk about holsters. The firearm, holster, belt, method of carry, and attire all work together as a SYSTEM for concealed carry. What are some of the considerations when choosing a CPL pistol? What does a good holster do for those considerations?

Follow the RULES!

This morning the Detroit News has yet another report of a man negligently (negligently not accidentally) discharging his pistol with fatal results.  The details are sparse but what we are told is that he was cleaning his pistol, then in the process of showing it to his wife discharged it right into his chest.  Of all the stupid ways to die…

If I understand this right, he was cleaning his pistol while it was loaded.  Then managed to, in showing the pistol to his wife, point it at his chest and actuate the trigger.  It is at this point that I want to reiterate the 4 BASIC rules of safe gun handling:

  1. ALWAYS TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS IF IT WERE LOADED.
  2. NEVER POINT A FIREARM AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.
  3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL READY TO FIRE.
  4. BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEHIND IT.

These rules are all you need to safely use a firearm, yet so many people forget them, never learn them or disregard them.  When that happens we have people shooting themselves in the chest unintentionally.

This was a needless death, but let us not let the moment pass without reflection on how you can learn from his mistake.  While the above rules deal with how to safely operate a firearm, they don’t specifically speak to how to safely clean one.  With that in mind I offer my humble advice for your consideration. The first step to safely cleaning your firearm is to MAKE SURE ITS UNLOADED!!!  Remove the magazine, open the cylinder, open the bolt, lock the action open, do whatever you need to do on your firearm to get access to the chamber so you can visually AND physically inspect it!  If there is something there STOP! REMOVE IT! Then proceed to break down your firearm according to the owner’s manual. If you want to take it a step further, clean your firearm in a room or area free of live ammo.  You do this and the worst thing that can happen to you while cleaning your firearm is dropping it on your foot.

Once your firearm is clean refer to the 4 cardinal rules of safe gun handling and you will never appear in the news like the poor fellow above.  Stay safe, have fun, & concentrate on the front sight!

Post by Berge Avesian, Keep & Bear LLC

Guns: An American conversation

K&B’s instructor Don Alley was invited to be a part of a conversation group about ‘gun violence’ in America. The rules were really rather simple: Be respectful. So far, this rule is holding rather well among the participants.
A big clue-in to the state of the republic can be found in this group. The majority of Americans have no real idea what a ‘right’ is, and believe that the collective mentality is all the justification necessary to limit, curtail, and outright infringe on someone’s rights.
The most unfortunate thing seen so far is the same tired thought process of adding burden to the peaceable gun owners that would have no effect on crime or violence. This most often takes the form of  “Should gun owners have to ___________________ before buying a gun?”

The fill in the blank so far include:

  • buy liability insurance
  • take mandatory gun training
  • have to wait (between 3 days to 1 month)
  • submit to an intense background check
  • demonstrate justifiable need

In all cases, these are infringement. A liability tax is nothing more than a financial burden, and the enacting of it pre-supposes there will be some type of incident requiring it. With this presumption of future guilt and financial burden, it would not only make the poor more vulnerable, it may expose them to greater danger by those willing to commit acts seeking an insurance payout.

Gun training is ALWAYS a good idea. Always. Mandatory gun training, though, is not. By making a mandatory training, the government would then be able to control training fees, access to class times, and testing difficulty to regulate who may own a firearm and who may not. Agenda-driven action can move these variables in the future.

Wait times have not ever been proven to be effective.

Background checks and NICS checks, while an infringement, have not been heavily opposed by the pro-gun community, because we too hope to see violence drop. But with government agencies failing to report many items to the database, the database being fraught with errors, and no real way to seek redress for being put on the database, many oppose a more formidable check. An additional question is why, if it is a background check, are gun data such as make, model, and serial number being submitted?

Demonstrating justifiable need moves the ‘right’ to keep and bear arms squarely into a government doled privilege. Furthermore, it reinforces the notion that someone else may inflict their preference upon others, by the enforcement of their perception of ‘need’.

Hearteningly, though, there are at least a few freedom-minded individuals on this ‘conversation’, slowly replacing ‘fear’ with understanding. In the end, we hope that wisdom prevails, Americans choose freedom, and the fearmongering of the anti-gun agenda is quelled with a majority public rebuke.

 

Emergency preparedness wrap up

K&B ran our Emergency Preparedness 1 course, introducing people to emergency prepping in a planned and thought out way. Our goal in this course is to get people the knowledge to make thought our plans for the threat events they face, in a manner that they can face them. This precludes cookie cutter or add-to-cart solutions designed for profit.

We also ran our first Emergency Preparedness 2 course, which focuses on get home bags, evac bags, and more. Like our first course, this is a reality-driven approach to building an emergency kit.

We were honored to have a full class for each of these courses, with both K&B alumni as well as new students. Our feedback has been very favorable, with comments including the planning system is well organized and methodical, the course material was complete and realistic, and the courses complimented each other and flowed well.

As always, we are honored to be a part of your training choices, whether it be personal protection, firearm proficiency, or preparedness.

Rights.

We have the RIGHT to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms. This Right is endowed by the creator (or is a natural right, if you are secular). This right is not ‘granted’ by the Bill of Rights Second Amendment, because that then extrapolates that this right is government’s to grant or retract. ‘Shall not be infringed’ is a directive to government, not to the people.

With the recent Florida shooting, and a string of copycat threats, Americans are being asked to reexamine those rights. The same calls for ‘common sense’ are being made. The same infringements being proposed. The anti-gunners claim to want a ‘conversation’, which will take the form of “what infringements are you willing to accept”? This is not a conversation worth entering.

At its core, rights are either inherent as the birthright of sentient beings, or they are a set of qualities able to be agreed upon by the social collective. The former is the true answer, as defense is a natural right and freedom from coercion and violence is an understood liberty. This can be seen in both John Locke‘s  works, as well as our Declaration of Independence “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. The Bill of Rights then goes on to enumerate them.

If a right is unalienable, and endowed by the Creator (or a natural right), what say does social collectivists have in what rights you may exercise?

None.

December 5 is Day of the Ninja

Originally published 02DEC2010 for Examiner.com

K&B, LLC co-owner and instructor Don Alley is a martial arts, personal protection, and emergency preparedness writer. Many of his articles originally appeared in Examiner.com. As these articles are able to be retrieved from old web caches, they will be posted here.

Martial artists prepare for Velociraptor Awareness Day, April 18

Originally published on 18APR2012 for Examiner.com

K&B, LLC co-owner and instructor Don Alley is a martial arts, personal protection, and emergency preparedness writer. Many of his articles originally appeared in Examiner.com. As these articles are able to be retrieved from old web caches, they will be posted here.

 

April 18 has been designated Velociraptor Awareness Day. The day was created not only to remember those who have fallen to these terrible beasts, but to raise awareness of how one can attempt to protect themselves from these dangerous and cunning predators. For those of us who are martial artists and personal protection personnel, we may be called upon to help save the lives of humans against these menaces. It is best not to answer this call, but to run. It is best not to run all manly as if you are merely ‘regrouping’, but to flail your arms and cry like a little girl. The velociraptor will see this as a sign of respect and seek out a different, less reverent target. If for some insane reason we find ourselves morally or ethically compelled to intervene between a velociraptor and its prey, the first thing we must evaluate is the main engagement styles martial artists have at our disposal; grappling, percussion, and weaponry.

Grappling techniques against a velociraptor are ill advised. The shoulders have more of a forward and down orientation compared to humans that will require major adjustments to grappling techniques to effect most types of joint locks. The rear-facing ankle bone also means that any type of leg controls will be utterly alien and unfamiliar to a similarly trained groundfighter. Equally distasteful is the proposition that the velociraptor has a long neck and sharp claws. While the diligent grappler is learning to adapt his technique to these new body mechanics, the velociraptor is using his face as a chew toy. If the grappler somehow gets in very close and can get under the raptor’s mouth, it will counter by lacerating his guts open with his rear claws. No, the skeletal structure and body mechanics are just too different from that of a human to make the grappling arts such as jujutsu and aikido effective, and create a dangerous “learn on the job” proposition.

Special hint: If you must grapple with a velociraptor, go for the figure 4 tail lock. Done properly, from a ground technique, the grappler uses his feet to push against the velociraptor’s back legs. This keeps his rear claws from lacerating you, and you’re sufficiently far away from his mouth and teeth. Its front arms are too weak to help it stand. Hope that your help arrives before its help arrives: They are pack hunters, and they don’t tap out.

Percussion techniques against a velociraptor are also ill advised. The primary target would conceivably be the creature’s head. Unfortunately, the majority of a velociraptor’s head is it’s mouth and the majority of its mouth is it’s teeth. Putting hands and feet inside the mouth of a velociraptor is inadvisable. To make matters worse, the body orientation of a velociraptor is advantageous in that it does not stand upright. Leaning forward in hunting mode, its torso remains well behind its formidable jaws, a very effective protection. Even barring the raptor’s primary weapon, its secondary weapons are its claws. These are sharp, and made for climbing and rending flesh. While the percussionist throwing a punch is thinking of hitting with the correct form, the Velociraptor rakes your face with its talons and watches your mandible dangle uselessly from your skull. If Wolverine saw the wounds, he’d be so impresssed that he’d log on to Ancestry.com to see if he was somehow related to the raptor.

Special hint: If you must engage a velociraptor with punches and kicks, do your best to stay at the thing’s side. It’s forward sloped shoulders will cause it to have a hard time hitting you with it’s arms and claws, and its legs are so geared to running and hopping there is not as much side to side movement capability. Staying at the side towards the rear is the best flank to avoid its long neck and bite.

This leaves the martial artist with weaponry. Of course, the first thought is something along the lines of an AR-10 with the formidable 7.62×51 cartridge and a magazine with the shot capacity of a bad 1980’s era soldier of fortune movie. This is an excellent option if the shooter can score the hits. Velociraptors are fast and stealthy, though, meaning a protector must be fully aware and able to bring this heavy main battle rifle to bear very quickly. Too often, the velociraptor surprises its prey and is already engaged, making the rifle useless in close quarters. Remember, close quarters combat (CQC) to humans is within arm’s reach while CQC to a velociraptor is with your head in its mouth. It is likely that the best firearm for velociraptor defense is the 12 gauge pump shotgun with a sawed off barrel and some 3” magnum 000-buckshot , or a possibly a Magnum Research BFR Revolver in .45 Long Colt / .410 shotgun.

Aside from firearms, other weapons considerations are pepper sprays, and melee weapons. It is a little known fact, but oleoresin capsicum, the chief ingredient in pepper spray, has the same meaning in the velociraptor’s language as “mild sauce”. This is pure speculation on the author’s part, as no velociraptors have volunteered for pepper spray application, but I’m going to call this “ineffective”.

This leaves melee weapons, namely swords. Swords are noteworthy for their ability to do a significant amount of damage, as well as keeping the attacker at a slight distance. The sword equalizes the protector against a velociraptor if he knows how to use it. The best kind of sword for velociraptor defense is the katana. Its curved blade facilitates slicing, and the blade’s legendary sharpness will be needed to rend the leathery hide of this predator. Swords win against teeth and claw, because while formidable, the velociraptor risks taking damage on its person by attacking the sword wielder.

Special hint: It is important to note that dinosaurs are related to birds, and chickens are birds. Decapitated chickens run around like a chicken with its head cut off. That’s why that phrase exists. Velociraptors do the same, and their heads bite too. Decapitate, blend with the force of the body going by, then kick the head away. Weapon, grapple, percussion = WIN.

By the time the reader is perusing this article, it will be too late for many of you. For those that will live to see Thursday, please consider enrolling in your local kendo, iaijutsu, or other sword training curriculum so that you can be ready for next year. Also take up running. Jogging and distance running is good but remember the arm flailing and crying. The runners you see are actually preparing for this holiday, but often leave out this side of the training.

Everyday carried items

What a person carries with them every day says a lot about them. Make sure at least some of what is carried can serve a defensive role if needed. For the mundane items of everyday life, ensure they are safeguarded in some ways. Here are some Every Day Carry (EDC) thoughts.

Author’s note: This article draws upon previous articles about everyday items as weapons and items designed with tactical use in mind. Please consider adding a tactical pen, flashlight, kubotan, and training in them to your personal inventory and skill set.

A cell phone, car keys, and wallet are standard fare, and are generally needed in today’s society. Look at ways to ruggedize the phone, such as a sturdy case or picking a a rugged phone like the Casio G’zOne) Clothing should allow for easy access to key fobs and car keys, and likewise be difficult for pickpockets to get at your wallet. These things allow you to call for help, escape a situation, and in the case of the wallet, contain a lot of information about you.

Another precaution with cell phones, personal data devices (PDA’s) and GPS devices is to enable the power-on password protection. Yes this can be a hassle, but if these devices become lost or stolen, a significant amount of personal data can become accessible to others. The business trip for next week scheduled in the PDA and the “Home” address in the GPS tells a criminal where a target is, and when to hit it.

With the advent of the USB memory sticks, people are carrying around a significant amount of information. This digital information may be personal or professional, and can be damaging or dangerous in the wrong hands. If carrying data in this manner is necessary, consider looking into a basic encryption program to keep the data in an inaccessible format unless the intended user is the one opening it.

Several programs are available via freeware, such as Axcrypt. If the items become used again, the unintended user will be forced to simply delete  the files and use it to his own ends. None of the original owner’s data is available.

A simple point and shoot digital camera can be a very useful tool in an EDC kit. Whether integrated in the cell phone or a stand-alone device, it can serve as an in-field “scanner” (I have copied several notes by camera), or can be used to document car accident damage, video record events, etc. Of course, the same data precautions apply to the memory card as above. Keep the camera’s memory as cleaned as possible.

K&B, LLC co-owner and instructor Don Alley is a martial arts, personal protection, and emergency preparedness writer. Many of his articles originally appeared in Examiner.com. As these articles are able to be retrieved from old web caches, they will be posted here.