They Are Playing You

Once again, we are lead to believe we must aggressively pursue reasonable gun control. That enough is enough, how we all need to come to gather to recognize this danger to our lives and livelihood.

Predictable As Always

It wasn’t even minutes before the left was foaming at the mouth for more gun control. As predictable as the sun rising, we heard it all once again. I saw it first hand while presenting at this year’s NRA Annual Meeting in Houston. I don’t need to make an obligatory statement about how terrible and tragic the event, as if I need to remind the public. I don’t need to be lectured or as was the case in Houston, screamed obscenities by people who only have one objective. To subjugate the armed citizenry.

Negotiating Terms Of Surrender

That’s it, that is all there is to the rapid almost psychotic rhetoric we are witnessing. And they are playing you! Here’s how and why. Every time a tragic event occurs that fits their narrative there is the immediate confrontation with those who wish to protect their freedoms. Rather than confrontation, think of it in terms of a negotiation. We are negotiating terms of our surrender. Any negotiation to be successful must have compromise from both parties and that is how they are playing you. By immediately taking to the airwaves and demanding more gun control they have the initiative, the proverbial high ground.

Understanding Lost Aversion

The logical outcome of their strategy is to achieve a compromise. Whatever the compromise, it further erodes or in some cases neuters our freedoms. When you enter into these negotiations, there is an implied agreement that will be reached. That agreement means that someone will lose. Because quite simply, a compromise is not a win, therefore it is a loss. Losses will always loom larger than gains. Meaning, lose aversion can be better understood by realizing that bad is stronger than good. It is an evolutionary outcome, we are predisposed to treat bad with a higher priority than good. Winning $10,000 is great, but loosing the same amount has a more devastating result.

The Rationalizing of Negotiations

If you want to safeguard your freedoms the first thing you need to do is not to engage in the existing negotiations since nothing will be gain, only lost. With this theory in mind you are far better to effectively safeguard our freedoms. The strategy should be simple, go on offense. Any negotiation has forced us to be defensive. We rationalize what we are willing to give up. To prioritize what we value more over what we value less. For example, if countries were negotiating the peaceful disarmament of offensive weapons they look at it from a strategic view. What do I not mind giving away as a way of ensuring I can keep what I really want, but still give something away.

Be Strategic In Your Outlook

Common ground if often cited as a solid approach towards achieving a better outcome. Find something both parties can agree to and agree to it hard. We can all agree the needless loss of life is a series issue. When both parties agree to this directive then we can start working towards achieving an effective strategy. In this case, that strategy would have almost nothing to do with gun control since needless loss of life related to firearms is infantile compared to other methods. We are not even talking about violent crimes, we are talking about life. Look up the current causes of death in our country and you will quickly realize the top five all have nothing to do with violence. You stand a higher chance of being struck by lightening than being in an active killer event.

With this in mind, why would we recklessly barter with our constitutional rights. There is no value, not any at all and there never will be. Which is why you are being played.

Our Rights and Responsibilities of Gun Ownership | JEFF GONZALES

Gun ownership is such a polarizing subject. And, with the increasing gun ownership in America combined with the tension and friction we’ve seen between people, it’s only going to become more so. That said, gun ownership is a fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution but that does not absolve us of the responsibility we, as gun owners, have to be safe and make ourselves proficient with our firearms.

Today, I am joined by former Navy SEAL, Jeff Gonzales to talk about both our rights and responsibilities as gun owners. We also cover recommendations for new firearms owners, how much time needs to be dedicated towards training (including training without having access to a range), why the beginners’ mindset will help you become a more proficient gun owner, and metrics for improving your accuracy and effectiveness should you need to use your firearm.

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Texas Constitutional Carry

Signing of the Declaration

A Major Step In The Right Direction

Very soon Texas will become the next state to adopt constitutional or permitless carry. Despite what some are claiming, the changes to our landscape are great and looking to get better with Constitutional Carry.

Stay In Your Lane

Constitutional carry is something I believe all states should support. Not all states do and I’m okay with their choice. I’m not about to interject my nose in another state’s business, just like I’d expect them to keep their nose out of mine. The biggest concern is states need to get back to governing themselves. Constitutional carry is a great example of that notion. I don’t believe federal constitutional carry is a good idea for the same reason I don’t think a federal driver’s license is a good idea. The federal government needs less control, not more. Putting the decision back in the states makes the most sense. Local politics are the key to safeguarding life, liberty and the pursuit of happniness.

The Right To An Informed Opinion

We have decades of living with concealed carry across our nation. The death and destruction landscape the anti-gun think tank tried to convince the public of failed. Outside of an infantile number of incidents the public is safe from this negative opinion. The reality is more guns save lives. If I have to explain how violent criminals choose the time and place to commit their crimes it makes it really hard to expect you to understand what I’m saying in the first place. The right to life is one of the most important rights we get to experience. Nobody should tell someone they do not have the right to defend themselves. Defending oneself with a firearm has been proven countless times to be a game changer for all walks of life.

Constitutional CarryThe Constitution Is My LTC

What does this mean when constitutional carry takes affect? What will change? To be honest not a lot. It means you will not be required to obtain a License to Carry (LTC) to carry a firearm. The state will recognize the Constitution as your carry permit. A huge win in my opinion. However, the small print is often overlooked. In this case, there are some things you need to be aware of that can save you a lot of heartache. The three things are where you can/cannot carry, what is the law and what is your responsibility. I could go into detail about each of these points, or I could encourage you to obtain your LTC. I’m far more inclined to suggest the later and here is why.

Conversation Level Of The Law

Obtaining an LTC will provide you with the opprotunty to become familiar with the law. Not just where you can and cannot carry, but deadly force and the use of deadly force. I strongly encourage you to have a conversation level of the law. While it is now your right to carry, like any right it comes with responsibility. Another advantage to your LTC is being able to purchase a firearm. Possession of a valid LTC allows you to forgo the background check since obtaining the LTC requried the background check be completed and passed. A handy option for desparate times such as a pandemic. Another advantage is while there are many state adopting constitutional carry, it is for their citizens only. If you travel out of your home state, you may not be covered. So, knowing the law in the visiting state is important and you may discover the state recognizes your home state’s LTC.

The Importance Of Continued Education

As we see less barriers to people carrying firearms we will see more responsibility placed on their shoulders. You may never carry, use or need your firearm, but you have it just like the fire extinguisher in your home. What you want to avoid is in the middle of a kitchen fire trying to figure out how to use your fire extinguisher. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of firearm education and the accompanying training. My recommendation is to continue to learn as much as you can about your firearm, how it works and of course how to shoot it safely. As a die hard advocate of your own personal choice, I would hope you recongize the importance behind being competent and safe. There are so many options available these days. It merely takes a commitment from your part.

I’m excited about the new law taking effect for many reasons. The biggest reason being it is not a right if you have to ask permission.

The Trouble With Afghanistan

Decisions Or Lack Thereof Have Consequences

I’ve taken some time to reflect on what has happened in Afghanistan, to process what it all meant to me personnally. I went through various stages of emotions; from rage, to sadness, to grief and finally to acceptance. The trouble with Afghanistan in the simplist terms is we should’ve never been there that long.

Lack Of Clear Guidance

Trouble With AfghanistanI struggled to find a way to express some of these emotions. I can recall the first time I flew into the country, flying over what I can only describe as beautiful mountain ranges. Like many, I found much to like about the country. Having spent my entire adult life traveling all over the world I have seen some pretty bad places. This was about as bad as I’ve seen at the time. The wounds from 911 were still raw and another memory I shall never forget was a detour on our way to the airport. The stop was the Pentagon, specifically the side still smoldering. It left a very deep mark on me. My mission was clear, my resolve was unwaivering. I traveled over the next several years multiple times to Afghanistan. I eventually declined to return, not because I didn’t like what we were doing, but because I didn’t understand our mission and what I was seeing.

Gut Wrenching Feeling

A lot of people are commenting about the last 20 years being a failure. I don’t see it that way at all. In the last 20 years we have not seen a 911 style attack. Our mission was to deny the enemy freedom of movement and keep them looking over the shoulders wondering when they would be next. Take a moment to reflect on the emotions you felt when the twin towers fell. Be grateful we haven’t had to experience something similar. There were moments when peace existed in that 20 year period. When people were free to live their own lives without fear of death. When I first got on the ground, part of our area familiarization was to visit a soccer stadium regularly used for stoning. The trouble with Afghanistan is a lot of people have no idea the horrible death stoning produces. Be grateful you don’t. At a certain point the vibe started to change. Maybe it was a sense of comfort or maybe it was the tide shifting. All I can tell you is what I saw, my observations.

What Its Like To Be A Woman

Years after I left the country for the last time I was asked to give a speech about my experince in country. I was somewhat reluctant, but eventually with some encouragement I agreed. I was asked to go first as there would be a second speaker. They were providing a different perspective to contrast mine. Part of my agreement was not discuss some matters so in the interest of maintaining OPSEC all I talked about was what I saw. The trouble with Afghanistan was how once the shock of being in theater started to wane I realized there were no women to be seen. None. Aside from those within our compound they were nonexistant. As my deployments continued I started seeing groups of woman. According to religious dictate they must move in large groups or with their husbands for fear of retalitaion. What people don’t undestand is honor killing is a normal part of life there. A father to perserve his honor will without reservation seek cruel punishment on his own blood. After more visits I started to see mothers moving along with their children. Still dressed head to two in a burka and I mean from the top of their head to the their feet. Sometimes you couldn’t even see their hands it was so extreme. Then I remember seeing a woman walking in only the tradition head piece, the hijab. I was a little surprised, but nothing could prepare for my last trip where I saw a woman in western dress, a pant suit no less. She was waiting on a street corner. I remember almost missing the turn out of the traffic circle because I had to do a double take to make sure what I saw was real. This is what progress looks like. This is what it looks like when our efforts produce results.

Freedom Is Not Always What You Think

On one of those trips I remember speaking through our intepretors to a local woman. This was well before the progress I described. She was afraid of being seen with me for fear of realaition. I could not look at her or give the impression I was talking to her, but she was kind enough to help us get more information. I remember the interpretor who was also a female saying to me she was afraid, not only for retalition. She was afraid we would abandon her. I was taken back and angered she would make this claim. That was my arrogance. What I’m most distressed about is I reassured her we would not. In the end, we did. Back to the briefing I gave. As I ended my brief, which was short the other speaker began asking me questions. I made it clear it is not my place to speak on government affairs, I was only there to share my observations. She would not relent and eventually the exchange got heated. I can recall ending the exchange by telling her the conversation we were having while vile in my opinion was in fact a privilege. I went on to say, if we were teleported to that soccer stadium I feel she may change her mind. The trouble with Afghanistan is the freedom this lady was exercising is lost to many in countries like Afghanistan.

The Blame Game

Who do I blame? I can tell you who I do not blame. My teammates and every other person who went there to support the mission. The level of professionalism, herosim and fortitude is everthing you would be proud as an American. The blame rests squarely on our leadership, all of it over the last 20 years. I specificlaly blame our executive leadership for failing to not only have a well thoughtout objective, but an exit strategy. It boogles my mind that in all that time whatever exit strategy might have exists was continually ignored. Now, here is a nastly little secret. The trouble with Afghanistan and many other countries is not everyone wants to be an American, not everyone wants democracy, not everyone wants freedom. That last one hurts my heart, but it is true. We were naive to think we could bring prosperity and democracy to a culture that is not interested. To be honest they will never be interested. Our mission should have ended when we dismantled the enemies will; which happened quickly. From there, it should have soley been to capture or kill the enemy when they popped their heads up with surgical strikes. If we truly were trying to stop any future terrorist attacks, then that would have been the extent of the operation. It might be ongoing all these years, but the footprint would be much different.

When You No Longer Know What War Means

The blame goes further than that though. I blame the politicians masquarading as flag officers. The lethality of our fighting force should always be their top priority. It should be abundantly clear, that when diplomacy fails the war that rages serves one purpose. To impose our will unequivocally and unapologetically. If our politicans understood that better, I believe they would try harder to make diplomacy a priority. For knowing they failed means lives will be lost, on both sides. No stone should be left unturned in our efforts to find an amicable solution. But when none exists, it is time to step away from the table and let loose the dogs of war. When I say step away, you stay out of the picture until the objective is secured. Just because you feel guilty because you couldn’t make peace work, doesn’t mean you endager our war fighters by hog tying their ability to wage war. War is not civilized. War is ugly…for everyone involved. When war is your only option, then you must have a fighting force so ruthless their means bring an end to conflict swiftly. There is no good way to wage war, their is only the way that accomplishes the mission with the minimal amount of casualties. We have lost the stomach for waging war as a country because our leadership all the way up the chain are more interested in feelings and perception.

Shouldering The Blame

The blame goes further. I blame those who elected this politicans. You see, the blame rests squarely on the American people’s shoulders. If you voted for this current adminstration you must bear witness to the atrocities that will occur. It won’t be as popular as say pride month, but rest assured the atrocities we saw all those years ago will pale in comparison to what will happen now. Take a moment to realize, the enemy is already going door to door disarming the populace. They will wait until your attention is focused on the next distraction. They know we are so easily distracted. At a time when this past elections results are challenged it is no surprise we are all outraged by what is happening. I can promise you many of those good people will suffer greatly, unimaginable suffering. You may think that death is suffering, but it will be living each day knowing death awaits you. Watching so many people try to flee their country should be a wake up call to what lays in store for those left behind. I know some and I truly wish they escape safely. That is truly their only option.

You Are Either Part Of The Problem Or…

The blame goes even further. I blame political correctness, wokeness, nanny state and cancel culture. These ideas are the single greatest threat to our freedoms. They are a joke! If you believe in these ideas, then you are part of the reason we have lack of true leadership. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with this, but no longer do I feel there can be a middle ground. If you believe in these ideas, then you do not believe in freedom, liberty or self-governance. A line needs to be drawn to protect our way of life. The trouble with Afghanistan is we allowed it to happen over 20 years. Every change of command, there was a different view point. Every elected official used it as a barganing chip. Every media outlet used it for ratings. As far as I’m concerned, the use of our fighting force must always be reserved for the final option. There is no value in nation building, there is no merit in trying to colonize American values. All of this to end with one final thought. The trouble with Afghanistan is it will be vastly more dangerous now, than pre-911. Allow that to sink, all those who are to blame should take a moment to admire their handy work.

The good people of Afghanistan saw what freedom looked like for a short while. I’m afraid if they want freedom they will have to fight for it on their own.

Safety Vs. Preparedeness

Safety vs. Preparedness

Adapting To Your Enviornment Is The Key

As we start to come out of what I call the “great, big stupid” how will you adjust or adapt your carry loadout. Since most of us are creatures of habit, you probably adjusted your loadout with a view of safety vs. preparedness.

Downgrading For Comfort

In the beginning, things got pretty bad. It is not difficult to believe how a pandemic can bring out the worst in the human species. At the time my primary carry was a sub-compact pistol. I had evaluated my situation against potential risks and felt comfortable with this lighter loadout. Summer time in Texas can also have a reason for the frame downgrade. It is nice to carry something lighter when you are wearing less clothes and sweating more in general. I have discussed it before when it comes to selecting your primary carry firearm, the specific characteristics. One of those characteristics is a 10 round minimum magazine capacity. A huge bonus is many of today’s modern sub-compact pistols easily accommodate this requirement.

safety vs. preparedness Upgrading For Preparedness

So, from a preparedness point of view I felt ready to handle the most likely scenario I could face as a private citizen; aggravated assualt or robbery. The pandemic changed all that almost overnight. Or at least when consumables and supplies started to be in short supply. I opted to upgrade to a compact frame. My rationale was wanting to reduce the chances of having to reload along with hitting faster, further away. It was about a year I had been carrying the sub-compact so it was quite the change. I went back to a heavier loadout, literally and felt it every day for at least a month. Given the new situation, I felt I needed to up my preparedness to match. What I find is many people are creatures of habit. How many else found the situation evolving a reason to re-evaluate their carry loadout in order to be more prepared? Not as many as I thought as I discussed it with students in the classes we were running at the time.

Time Is Never On Your Side

Another way to look at safety vs. preparedness is from a safety or access point of view. It should go without saying that unauthorized access to firearms in the home should be a top priority. This is where safety was something to consider. Once the pandemic was in full swing, we see violent rioting in major cities. Still to this day in fact. When the threat of moving to the suburban areas was announced, many took it seriously. Investments in extra fire extinguishers and other fire retardation options became a top priority. Along with keeping a long arm handy. By handy, I mean at the ready. In my home I have no children or grandchildren, not yet at least. So, keeping firearms at the ready was an easy decision. On top of keeping them in strategic locations they were all in condition one. Should I have to defend my home from an organized group of violent rioters who intended to burn my dwelling time was of the essense. Hence, the upgrade from safety to preparedeness.

Back To A Lighter Loadout

These were a few examples of what I did over the last 16 months to adapt to the new situation of safety vs. preparedness. Those of you who carry a single loadout always, did you feel compelled to change. Those who carry on the lighter side might have, but what about those who carry on the heavier side always. Did you make any changes? Now the threat has somewhat diminished I plan to lower my level of preparedness at home. Preparedeness now is less important than safety. Time will always be an unknown, but at this point it doesn’t trump safety. As for my carry loadout, I have already dropped down to a sub-compact frame for about half the time I’m carrying. I imagine within a month or so, it will be the majority of time. Especially as we reach the peak of summertime.

Nothing should be set in stone when it comes to your personal safety plan. When necessary, you should be ready and able to adapt to new situations as you face them.

 

Making Bad Decisions

Bad Decisions Are Still Bad Decisions No Matter The Intention

There is nothing easy about performing under stress, particularly when that stress is the difference between life and death. I think it is about time we moved away from making bad decisions that feel good and work towards doing the hard work towards better performance.

Making Bad DecisionsDon’t Compound The Crazy

My biggest complaint about the craziness we are seeing is the terrible decision making. The vast majority of politictians and community “leaders” are the last people who should be making suggestions outside of their area of expertise. In many cases, they do not know thier ass from a hole in the ground. I tempered that statement quite a bit. But, it is absolutely true. They are not the best people to making decisions that could negatively impact their communities becuase they are incapable of seeing the big picture. I’d really like it if they all grabbed a giant cup of shut the hell up.

Stay Out Of The Way

One of my favorite presidents, in fact role models as a kid was President Theodore Roosevelt. One of my favorite quotes from him was “The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” This is not happening in the vast majority of our large cities and metropolitan areas. The problem is how can you take credit for something if you don’t get involved and how can you deflect blame if can’t point fingers. My sincere wish is to see better leadership who seek out the true experts on the subject in question. They seek council because they are not ego driven. They listen because they recognize they don’t know everything. But most important, they make the right decision…not the popular decision.

Being Able To Look Far Enough Forward

What I have seen done to our law enforcement is an embaressment. I have tried to affect positive change in my sphere of influence, but it is hard to make macro changes at the micro level. When I get pulled aside and asked a question as it pertains to my ares of expertise I take it seriously. I’m objective in my response knowing the information I provide is important to informed decision making. I strain my answers through two filters. What is reasonable and what is sustainable. Often times, I can provide plenty of responses that are reasonable. The real problem is what is sustainable. If you have been in the business long enough you realize it is not about the beginning, it is about the end. Too many times I have seen programs developed that sounded good on paper, might have been executed well in the beginning, but over time became unsustainable due to a variety of reasons. Most of those reasons should have been clear enough for the decision makers to see, but often times they fail to look far enough down the road.

Infinite Levels Of Stupid

Recently it was brought to my attention how a law enforcement department was pursuing a new program to “shoot to incapacitate.” I could write volumes on how bad of an idea this is, but it will fall on deaf ears because there is a lack of true leadership. Leadership, that doesn’t cower to public opinion. That fails to put the welfare of their subordinates as well as the public as a priority. To use deadly force for any other option other than deadly force is mistake that will have ripple effects across so many different lines. The reality is asinine policies such as these will gain attention. This attention will feed their faulty decision making matrix. Breeding belief in their plan, despite so many opposing views. There is no good outcome from these types of feel good policies. There is only the public at large continuining to suffer and loose faith in their elected officials and public servants.

You Get Out Of It What You Put In

Again, when I look at this decision I look at it from a macro level. The biggest question I have is how do they intend on implementing this program along with how do they intend on sustaining. We already know law enforcement suffer from a lack of training. Firearms qualification, whatever the interval is often repurposed as training. Rather than address the issue, standards are adjusted. I get how hard it is to run any type of qualification program where failure to qualify could be dismisal. It shouldn’t matter the outcome. When I think about this policy or other similar policies I have three questions. How much resources do you intend on allocating to ensure success? How will you define success? What are the consequences for failure?

My intention was not to draw a disparging light to those who are undertaking one of the most important jobs within our nation. My intention was to voice my frustration in the hopes of preventing this type of leadership making bad decisions from taking root elsewhere.

Being A Monster

Being A Monster

The Good Side To Being Dangerous

Years ago, I participated in a conversation with some truly amazing men about being a monster. In this conversation, the goal was to describe a being so terrible nobody would every choose to confront them or if they did, pay seriously for their choice.

Men Need To Be Dangerous

Years later I would discover the renowned author and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson. Having read most of current literature one passage that always resonated with me was his discussion on being a monster. The idea is men are dangerous. They need to be dangerous to protect their families, to provide for them to mentor them into adulthood. Men need to be dangerous. Dangerous is often associated with negative connotations. I choose to look at dangerous in a positive light. It has been a central tenant to my being since as long as I can remember. It has driven me to be competitive, to be tenacious, to take risks, to fail and fail often with the explicit purpose of trying again and again…to never quit.

The Razor’s Edge of Control

I like this metaphor, but there is a down side to all the glory that comes with being dangerous. The ability to be in control. To live on the ragged edge of control. It is inspiring and horrifying at the same time. But, this razor’s edge is the precise reason mankind has continued to be the dominate species on our planet. It hasn’t always worked out in our favor. It has produced war, crime and violence. These are the negative by products to being a monster. But, it takes a monster to defeat a monster. It is when you lack control, when you react rather than respond. When you allow feelings and emotions to govern your being you are not in control.

You Need The Monster

Being A Monster
We Need Monsters To Fight Monsters

A growing trend in our country is the taming of the monster. It comes in all forms, from the cancel culture’s male toxic masculinity to male shaming to lopsided court systems. My response to these and other attempts at taming the monster is simple, pack sand. These types of agendas are driven from one source; fear. It is fear, cowardice and timidness that drive these and other stupid agendas that aim to tame the monster. I say this loud and clear, you will never tame the monster. You need this monster, you want this monster for the simple reason evil exists. You are so afraid of this evil that you must drag others down to your level because you know one thing is for certain. You are an easy target of evil and that scares you to death. If you can bring more would be targets into the field you stand a better chance of surviving.

The World Needs Monsters

Right now, more than ever we need monsters. Monsters who are in control at ever corner. Monster who are dangerous and know it, but yet still live life peacefully. We are the best at defending our way of life, our beliefs and our families. When it comes to defending liberty the monster is your ace. We have tried to soften the monster, by feeding it vegetables, body shaming those who are muscle bound, trying to take away our claws (guns & knives) and telling us we are wrong in our thought process, that our sound strategic and tactical thinking is wrong. They will attempt with their shrill words to emasculate the very nature of monsters because it benefits them. We need monsters to raise monsters, strong, kind and virtuous young men to protect our way of life.

The truth is and shall always be we need monsters. Terrible, ferocious and unrelenting monsters that love, teach and ensure our species will survive (the monster species).

Deadly Force Options

This is a good time to take stock of yourself and willingness to defend life. Periodically, you may need to revisit your own personal rules of engagement and adjust as necessary.

The Never Ending Cycle Of Change

We are in a constant state of flux, forever changing. Maybe things are cyclical, maybe we are just seeing a lot of crazy happening at one time. Maybe there is a subversive movement to remove a democratically elected government. The truth is it doesn’t matter. As our world changes, so too must we change. Or maybe a better word is adapt. We need to adapt to our new surroundings and that includes our gear, methods and choices. I didn’t really put much thought into this idea at first. The idea of adapting to my new surroundings fresh out of the Navy was my first experience. I was looking at a job in Arizona while I was currently living in California. The two states could not be more different on guns. Having been brainwashed by California I was freaked out by the freedoms and liberties of Arizona. It took some adjusting, but that is exactly what was necessary. Taking stock of my new situation and environment then adjusting accordingly.

Don’t be Lazy

We need to do this somewhat regularly, but definitely anytime there is a major life change. Whether that is the addition of a spouse, children, new job, new home or new city do not assume things will remain the same. I’m speaking about your self-defense plan and emergency action plans. You have to resist the urge to keep doing the same thing because that is how you always did them. While it is possible the outcome would be tactically sound, it is laziness. Take a moment and address the newness in your life and ask yourself does this alter my plans. If so, then take a moment to address how. Then come up with new solutions. Practice and rehearse your new plans until they replace your old ones.

What Was Old, Is New Again

A good example for me was when my first kid was born. My spouse was not too keen on self defense and I was use to doing things on a team. It took some time for me to adapt to being alone in the tactical sense. Then there was another change when my new job had me traveling all over the country. Each city I visited had different rules and laws. Then as my children become old enough for their own self-defense needs to be a dinner time topic. Of course, there is this global pandemic thing, but probably the biggest change is the rioting and violence. This alone has had me rethink my daily loadout, my responses and my emergency action plans.

Evolution Is A Thing

When the pandemic was in full swing we saw some societal decay. Namely in the form of consumables being limited or not available. At the time, my daily carry firearm was a sub-compact pistol. The likelihood of having to engage multiple targets at various distance through intermediate barriers was hard to justify at the time. The sub-combat was looking more and more like a good choice even if it meant a downgrade in class and capability. It took me time to evolve to the sub-compact. I was fighting the smaller capacity, smaller frame and reduced capabilities. Truthfully, I got use to the change pretty quickly with some dedicated practice.

Thinking Worst Case

Currently, I have had to change not just my pistol, but other force options as well. I’m back to carrying a compact pistol with the larger capacity and capabilities. I returned to ammunition historically superior at intermediate barrier penetration and lethality at extended ranges. I opted to include less lethal tools both on body at within close proximity. I have modified my carry rifle to be lighter and smaller, thus easier to carry discretely. Probably the most important change has to do with my rules of engagement. I’m sure everyone has their own ROE’s or whatever they wish to call them, but taking stock of the current situation will more than likely lead to a change. I’m fine with the changes, but are you. Have you sat down to rethink a whole bunch of scenarios using negative visualization?

Times are tough, but we are tougher. We have to adapt and overcome our new situation in an effort to bring order back.

Savior And Slave Master

Social media has revolutionized the way we interact with one another and for the most part it has enriched our lives. However, there is a down side to this wonderful experience and it boils down to being a slave to their vices.

Small Business Powerhouse

Recently, my good friend and fellow firearms instructor, Pat McNamara had his Instagram account shut down. Unless you have lived under a rock for the last decade you know Instagram is a picture story telling platform. Before we get too far into what happened, let’s talk about the impact platforms such as Instagram have on small business and entrepreneurs. More than a third of American adults use social media in some capacity. That number has steadily climbed over the years and if you are an astute business person then you realize the strategic value of engaging with the public via these platforms. I, unlike many of my contemporaries refused to jump on the bandwagon early on and paid dearly.

Hard Lesson To Learn

Call it residue operational security or the idea of being the silent professional I did not embrace these platforms and it was a mistake. As a small business owner social media allows you to connect directly with your customer/fan base. Most consumers use social media to explore and research new brands. Part of this discovery is getting to know you, your brand and your services. It allows the small business owner to leverage a robust marketing strategy without breaking the bank. Recent studies have shown the value of social media engagement towards fast tracking a brand towards more prominence in their field. All in all, this is a powerful tool literally in the palm of your hand.

Censorship Is Never Cool

So, what is the catch. To put it bluntly, censorship. The suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive” is considered censorship. When people impose their political, ideological or moral values on others by denying them a voice it is censorship. It is an ugly word with an equally sinister agenda. Regardless of where you stand or what your beliefs you have to recognize the pendulum swings both ways. You may be sitting there and secretly celebrating when a toxic individual, who spreads hatred and or threats is locked out of their account. You might be thinking, “good, they get what they deserve.” I’m not the judge of their actions or consequences, but I do know it is a slippery slope to start interfering with free speech.

Winning Team

I personally believe one of the worse things to happen to our society is the introduction of the politically correct movement. Being politically correct is nothing more than a form of censorship. If you do not subscribe to the winning team’s values then you are labeled non-politically correct. There in lies the problem, we are not on the winning team. While we may be righteous in our beliefs and the pursuit of our freedoms, we are at the mercy of those who control the social media platforms. Back to Pat and his recent experience. For no apparent reason he was shut down, locked out of his account. I got wind of it almost immediately and within a short period of time there was great synergy from the firearms community to help. Very quickly he started a new profile and with the help of a lot of people was able to share what was happening. Joe Rogan found out about it and used his voice to help get the word out and then other folks were able to get involved and help him get his original account back on line.

The Lines Are Blurred

The moral to the story is in today’s volatile climate you don’t have to speak out or against. You just have to be successful, be a good person or be a role model for others to follow. What happened to Pat can happen to anyone of us and more likely less than a positive outcome. Some are quick to encourage the small business to seek out other options, but the whole point to these social media platforms is they give the little guy a fighting chance. They allow us to compete on a much larger scale. It is not that easy, to jump ship and try something else out when you so heavily rely on these platforms to make a living. Like it or not, there are not many other options.

About the only thing we can do is band together and let our collective voices be heard. It worked for Pat, hopefully we don’t see this happen often, but maybe it will work for others.

The Eye Of The Hurricane

There are a lot of times we get some place by accident. Where you didn’t expect the outcome, but happy for the experience.

Training For The Unknown

During this time period I have seen this perspective from many of the new shooters we have worked with recently. Many are not sure what to expect; which is normal. They are walking into undiscovered territory and figuring things out as they move along. I get the feeling this represents a larger body than most might believe. The motivation behind so many gun purchases recently is uncertainty. There are a lot of unknowns many are confronting during these trying times. There is some semblance of control many feel is absent in their lives. Personal safety is a big one.

Coming To The Grand Conclusion

When personal safety is questionable to an ever growing number of the population you should really start to pay attention. Are these the same type of people who went out and bought roll after roll of toilet paper. They don’t strike me as the type, could a couple have pull a fast one me, of course. What I see is a lot of people are recognizing their personal safety is their personal responsibility. A novel concept to them. While they may have felt they had exercised personal responsibility in the past it appears more are realizing there were severe gaps. As they discover these gaps, they first one they come to is personal safety.

The Underdog

In comes the guns. Without question the most iconic tool to personify personal safety is a gun. It separates the flock from those who can and those who can’t. Of course you don’t need a gun to do that, but the mental decision they went through shows an acceptance of their willingness to act. Then, the optimal means to act is with a firearm in many cases. It makes it very hard for others to impose their will or for them to be committed to imposing their will in the face of armed resistance. This really defines us as a nation, the underdog. We as a nation always come back, we always get up from the mat and move forward.

Injury & Incarceration

There is an open ended questions I see forming on many lips. What now? For some, they realize there is more to personal safety than the mere ownership of a firearm. Owning a firearm does not omit you from crime or violence. It is merely the means to fight back against violence. It is a mutual agreement that should you pursue this course of action I will fight back and I have the tools to do so well. All predators on the planet must concern themselves with injury. Once injured even the mighty lion can become prey. In the human race, there is one other fear predators have and that is of incarceration. While some may be blasé about it, others truly recognize the negative outcome of both this conditions. That to pursue their course of action could lead to injury, incarceration or both.

This can tip the scales in favor of the victim, this can put them in the driver’s seat and provide them with a means to beat back the unknown. This is what I believe we are seeing and it is a pretty great thing.

Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating. Carl Von Clausewitz, Prussian General & military theorist
Trident Concepts
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