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.

Power Athlete Episode 419: Packing Heat w/Jeff Gonzales

GUNZZ! If you’re following one of the Power Athlete Training Programs we know you’re packing heat in the ol’ humerus holster but what about your 2nd Amendment arms? Firearms expert, Jeff Gonzales [@jl_gonzales] joins The Crew to discuss some fascinating aspects of Force Science. Learn how to spot telltale characteristics or people who are up to no good and how you should react accordingly. Maintaining vigilance is not confined to those in law enforcement or the military. Jeff predominantly works with civilians who are seeking to refine their firearms expertise and build on their situational awareness.

Froglogic Podcast EP #59 Jeff Gonzales – 2nd Amendment Advocate – Master Firearms Instructor

Froglogic Podcast

Since the beginning of the Pandemic over 17 million guns have been sold throughout America. In addition to this staggering number, another 5 million NEW gun owners have been added to the rosters of legal gun owners. Rough estimates suggest that there are anywhere from 350 to 420 million guns now existing in American houses, automobiles, apartments, concealed underneath clothing, and in the hands of criminals. The Froglogic Podcast is honored to welcome CEO of Trident Concepts and director or training at the Range in Austin, Jeff Gonzales to this week’s show. Jeff is a former Navy SEAL and Government contractor who’s been teaching tactical firearms training for the past 25 years. Rut and Jeff are long time friends and teammates. In this episode these two frogmen explore the importance of the 2nd Amendment, quality firearms training, increasing crime rates, and the future of guns in America.  Don’t miss this insightful and educational show. HOOYAH

Award-winning Podcast Host, David Rutherford ignites his Froglogic Podcast by answering life’s greatest questions regarding the human condition. Listen to this former Navy SEAL Medic, CIA Contractor, best-selling author, and World Series Champion motivational performance coach, give his unique and profound insight about the world as he sees it. For more information about David please visit or to seek out your truth please visit his online training company at

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Conversation #111 – Jeff Gonzales – Former Navy SEAL & Founder of Trident Concepts

My Greatest Challenged Turned Out To Be The Best Thing…

Jeff Gonzales is a former Navy SEAL and the founder of Trident Concepts which has been forging hardcore trigger pullers since 2001.

Jeff and I speak about putting all your time and energy into your passion and not seeing results, learning from your biggest struggle, setting an example regardless of where you are in life, and so much more!

**ALL EPISODES ON AUDIO / all podcast apps ~

Conversation #111 is LIVE on your favorite podcast app or…

Power Athlete HQ Podcast, Episode 533

As always, had a great time with my good friend John Welborn and Tex. It was even more badass to have my good friend Craig Douglas on together. We talked about a lot of really cool stuff and got into the weeds on a lot of them. What I was also very happy about was the data dump on the 12 Labors Conference.

Here is a sinipet from the podcast, to download the full podcast use this link: Ep 533 – Fighting, Guns, and Gunfighting with Jeff Gonzales & Craig Douglas

John is one of my oldest friends, he got me through a pretty dark time in my life. His grasp of fitness is bar none one of the bests. Check out some of his programs, I can 100% vouch for them. To learn more about being a Power Athlete follow this link.

Caring for Defensive Ammunition

Ammunition Care

Routine Inspection and Rotation

Care and maintenance of your defensive ammunition becomes a necessity when you carry on a daily basis. There are several problems you can avoid if you have a good system of inspecting and rotating when necessary.

Defensive Ammunition

Defensive Ammunition Demands

As more and more people enter the concealed carry world we will continue to see ammunition in high demand. Defensive ammunition complicates the situation even more since it is typically made in smaller quantities. On the flip side, you generally do not need a substantial surplus. How much defensive ammunition is a matter of opinion, but my recommendation is two full loadouts. If you normally carry 30 rounds, two 15 round magazines then you are looking at a total of 60 rounds. The reason for two full loadouts is to accommodate for rounds that you must survey due to use and abuse. Carrying on your body daily is taxing on your gear, ammunition included.

Negative Effects of Weather on Ammunition

Your gear is exposed to the elements such as heat and cold. In modest climates the temperature shifts are negligible. In the extreme climates they can have more serious consequences. Moving from extreme hot to cold or extreme cold to hot stresses your equipment. Moisture and humidity can also wreak havoc. While most defensive ammunition have coated primers, not all do and constant exposure to moisture can have a negative effect on the components. Body secretions such as oils and sweat tend to follow the same negative effect of moisture. There are other contaminates to be aware of, but these represent the most popular. They don’t include foreign objects or debris. With such close contact to the human body, dead skin cells and fabric remnants or lint can insert themselves into the firearm’s mechanisms causing problems.

Avoid Loading the Same Defensive Round

Probably one of the most important reasons to care for your defensive ammunition is to ensure it functions properly. Even if extreme weather is not an issue you can still run into problems. In this case where you run the risk of problems is when you reload the same round numerous times. Each time the round is chambered it is forced up the feed ramp. It hits the feed ramp under pressure generated from the recoil spring. The same round hitting the feed ramp can experience bullet set back over time. Bullet set back occurs when the projectile itself is forced deeper into the casing.

Defensive Ammunition Rotation Cycle

Care and maintenance means I have to periodically examine my defensive ammunition. At a certain interval I will inspect, clean and replace my defensive ammunition for all my carry guns. The interval is based on the frequency of carry along with the exposure to the elements. The more the firearm is carried through various environmental conditions the sooner I will rotate my ammunition. I start by unloading the gun, then downloading all the magazines. I will then inspect each of the rounds for what I call a strike. When I eject a live defensive round I will mark the casing on the head stamp, what I call a strike. If a round accumulates more than three strikes then it is surveyed or shot at my next range session. This helps avoid bullet set back along with possible damage caused when the round makes contact with the ground.

Care and Maintenance Procedure

Once the ammunition inspection is completed I will replace the current magazines with fresh magazines. Then starting with the two strikes rounds, I load them into my fresh magazines designated as my reload magazine. This puts these rounds at the furthers point of use. Then I load the remaining rounds into the magazines. However many rounds need to replaced are pulled from the box. They go into the top of the carry magazine since they are the freshest available. Once I have completed this rotation I reload my carry gun. Store the box of surplus defensive ammunition in a cool and dry place. Then add the three strike rounds to my range bag for the next trip to the range. However, in these difficult times I have chosen to hold on to them for just a little bit longer. Storing them separately, but in a cool and dry place.

With 60 defensive rounds being the average two boxes of defensive ammunition will give me several years of service using this procedure. It is worth the peace of mind to know your loadout is fresh and ready to go.

Competency Versus Familiarity

During this year it has become obvious we are seeing an influx of new firearm owners. A lot of folks within the industry are quick to provide advice, most of which is based on good intentions.

It’s About Me

However, what I have learned in interacting with a large majority of new firearm owners is it is about me, my expectations. In an effort to be more approachable I have lowered my expectations for pretty much everyone. Not because I was worried about the outcome, but because I wanted to ensure the best experience for the new firearm owner. I did not want my bias to emerge and potentially jade them from continued investment in this new skill set. In other words, if I lowered my expectation and assumed everyone had an empty cup it made the interaction and experience more positive. Thereby introducing to them a fun activity they may wish to explore.

Filling the Proverbial Cup

All too often we in the training and shooting world are quick to judge. Partly because there is a safety component. Once you can manage the safety component you are left to manage the learning experience in a genuine manner. Meaning, it is all about them. You now have a preconceived notion their cup is empty and can go about the proper pouring to fill their cup. When you can do this, it makes their experience more enjoyable. As a new firearm owner they have plenty of concerns. They are already anxious about the activity, potentially very anxious. They may have their own preconceived notions you have to manage, potentially good and or bad. They may even be their own worst enemy and an obstruction to learning. The experience can be so nerve racking they literally shut down.

Trust, But Verify

I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. When I engage with someone in dialogue to assess their skill I believe in a trust, but verify approach. I will give them the benefit of the doubt up to the point it either is a safety consideration or a barrier to learning. If either of those are triggered, then we have to evaluate which one and take the appropriate action. Most of the time for the student it is in the form of not knowing. The new firearm owner does not know what they don’t know so it is difficult, even unfair to entrust them with so much responsibility at first. They must be guided, mentored in this approach and when they are having a positive experience it provides a better learning environment.

Throw A Wider Net

There will always be those who exaggerate their skill for a variety of reasons. To be honest, I don’t care. I don’t care why they may have been a bit grandiose. I have come to use my intuition and experience to help navigate these waters. Most of the time it has to do with not wanting to look as if they don’t know. My approach in this situation is to deliver the subject in broader terms, using the building block system most of us rely on as the excuse to revisit or remediate. It works flawlessly when I do. I mean it provides the opportunity for the new firearm owner to acknowledge the lack of skill or knowledge without looking bad in front of their peers. Reviews are a strong method for reaching all kinds of students. Students who may truly know the material, but absence has created a gap too difficult to navigate on their own. Reviews will sometimes be the bridge. Other times, the review can be the opportunity to verify and advance. If there is no need to remediate, then time is precious and progress should be the priority.

In this new time period, the instructor community will need to adjust their thought process and teaching methods to engage with the fastest growing demographic. Otherwise, regardless of your reputation you will fail to reach a large group of new students.

Time Waits For No One

There is so much changing within our industry and literally almost overnight. One of the biggest changes is how training is perceived and tied directly to its importance.

Defining The Outcome

I will be the first one to tell you training is essential to being a competent firearm owner. Before we get too far down this rabbit hole it is important we define a few terms. Starting with competent. Competent is defined as having the necessary knowledge, skills and ability to do something successfully. Essential is defined as absolutely necessary or extremely important. Lastly, training is defined as teaching a particular skill or behavior. With these as our anchors it makes it easier to talk about the state of the industry. With so many new gun owners it is difficult to expect them to see the importance behind my opening statement. I see this difficulty being divided into three main reasons; not knowing they need training, not believing they need training and ignoring the fact they need training. Which ever reason it all amounts to the same outcome, less competent firearm owners. The real question is so what, is that really all that bad.

The Direct Proportion

Truthfully it is not. There are thousands of people who will go their entire lives without any formal instruction on safe firearms usage and they will be just fine. They may not be the best prepared, but they have made their choice based off one or more of the reasons listed. One of the biggest obstacles we are facing within this industry is expressing the value behind safe training. It may seem obvious to many of us, but we are quickly becoming the minority. I’ve talked about the investment of time, talent and treasure towards developing a skill, any skill and firearms training is no different. There is a level of competency associated with time invested in said skill. It is a direct proportion relationship meaning, the more time invested the more competency achieved.

Pistol 101

Many are still not convinced investing time in a skill is needed. The vast majority of new gun owners I speak with have no interested in attaining a high level of competency. They are hard pressed to value a modicum of competency. This situation exists for lots of reasons, but time is one of the biggest reasons. What if we could convince the masses they could achieve a minimum level of competency with a minimal invest in time. People are usually turned off to the idea of training if it appears a complex, burdensome or time consuming task. What if we defined the lowest level of competency (101) and the time investment amounted to one to six hours of formalized training.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Three to four hours makes it more palatable to the new firearm owner. It would achieve what we all want with minimum investment. I define basic 101 skills as an understanding of fundamentals and initial practical application. These skills would be learning firearm safety rules, basic firearm operations and basic marksmanship. That is it. Could we ask them to learn more? Of course, but would they be willing is the question. If this represented the minimum to satisfy the requirements to be a competent firearm owner then everyone should be happy. There will always be people who don’t believe they need training, then some who don’t believe they need a lot of training, then some who once exposed to competent (there’s that word again) training develop an interest in pursuing further training.

As we move into this next chapter in our country’s history we need training on these essential skills to obtain a minimum level of competency. In a sense, all we can do is be supportive and available to offer help when asked.

Observations From The Trenches

We are living through some exciting times indeed. The gun industry has exploded with new pistol owners and shooters.

The Big Picture

One overlooked category is License to Carry submissions. While I cannot guarantee each student who completes the requisite course work submits their paperwork, I do know the number who register. This number is huge and while the numbers have been steadily growing, they got a huge boost during the Chinese Flu period. This should not surprise anyone. How folks feel it is important they have the means to defend themselves with all this uncertainty. I have found it interesting to informally speak with several of these students to learn a little more about their rational. I will do a more detailed blog in the near future after I’m done compiling the results and my thoughts.

Safe & Dependable

In the month of March we saw record gun purchases. We sold just about everything we had at our facility and we keep selling the most popular brands as we get them. They are selling for a reason, there is a sense of comfort with these name brands. People with little to know knowledge of the minutia that plagues our industry just want a dependable and safe firearm for their defensive needs. Without knowing much about firearm safety there is still an understanding associated with name brands as safe. Many of these new shooters are looking for peace of mind. Granted, this can be a dangerous road, but I don’t get that feeling.

Going Back To School

The irony is after the dust settles some may come to regret their first time gun purchase. Those will more than likely be a small minority. Many are taking advantage of this period to do something they have wanted to do for some time. Whatever their reasons for procrastinating, they have moved past them. Within this group is another group who I hope will represent the new firearm owner of this generation. They are the ones who want to be educated. Not self educated, but actually sit down and learn from someone who can teach them. They are intelligent are looking to learn more about this new subject. It is awesome and I’m grateful.

Know Your Audience

I see so many instructors in our field who felt compelled to address these new firearm owners. Some did so with disdain, in an effort to belittle these new crops of gun owners. Others with more of genuine interest in their well being. A large majority were in the middle and while they may have had well meaning intentions, they came across as talking down to these folks. I understood their intentions, but the mistake being made is not understanding the audience. If you don’t spend time working with the group of people you are talking to your message is probably not being received. If all you do is put out material for the “advanced” shooter and haven’t run a beginner class you might want to reconsider your approach. My recommendation is if you truly want to help, then make it a point to address their real concerns, not your own perceived concerns.

While many within the industry are arguing over what amounts to inconsequential subjects, there are many new firearms owners. Maybe this new batch is not cut from the same clothe as most of us who have spent as much time in the arena, but don’t be the reason they opt to on the sidelines.

Indoor Ranges


Over the almost two decades of training in the private sector I have had the fortune to train at some really nice indoor ranges. As an armed citizen they represent a great location to practice; but you have to be prepared.

Follow the Rules

The most important consideration is to know the rules of the facility. Many facilities have their own site-specific rules designed to ensure a safe environment for all customers. I am well aware there are some very safe shooters, but running training at an indoor range almost exclusively for the last two years I can tell you they are not the norm. All it takes is for you to look at our baffles and even side walls to realize the average customers do not fit the bill. Range safety needs to be designed around the lowest common denominator and if it means certain restrictions then you will need to either play by their rules or find another location. You could always approach the staff to see if there are exceptions. Remember they don’t know you from Adam and I can promise you everyone has asked that question.

Focus on Marksmanship

Even the most restrictive indoor ranges can provide value as long as you adjust your expectations. The biggest suggestion would be to have a plan for how you will spend your visit. What do you want to practice. Some marksmanship at distance or maybe some follow through drills, even immediate actions. Granted, some activities are either prohibitive or closely monitored so have a plan, but be flexible if it is your first time. I see so many customers come through with little regard for marksmanship. It is less sexy than rapid fire or other cool stuff like holster work. Putting in the work to ensure your marksmanship skills are solid is never a waste of time.

Know your Target and What is Beyond

Here is a pet peeve, I get you want to use your own targets. If hanging your own targets creates an unsafe condition, such as hitting the baffles, then don’t be upset when you are told you cannot use them. Rule #4, know your target and what is beyond. If placing them on the target hanger means the shot goes through the target and into the baffles it is not safe and more importantly, you are not a safe shooter. Most facilities have an assortment of different targets to choose from so find one you can achieve your goals. It is not so much a matter of what target you are using as the tasks, conditions and standards. Put some time into establishing those before you arrive.

Set the Example

Probably the best advise I can give folks who frequent indoor ranges is to set the example. Don’t be the example. Recognize there is a lot going on at most indoor ranges. Being professional will go a long way. Not only will the staff recognize a squared away individual, but other customers will as well. At times, you may even be referenced, “See how Steve is doing it, be more like Steve.” Of course, there is the other side to this coin as well, don’t be that guy. Remember, you are a guest. Just because you paid a lane rental fee does not give you access or authorizes you to be a jerk. Don’t take it personally if you are asked to follow the rules or change your actions. The staff has one ultimate responsibility and that is to ensure the safe environment for ALL customers. Follow the rules and set the example.

Indoor ranges will continue to be popular, but they are a business with a bottom line. Take advantage of these facilities even if you don’t like the rules, there is always an opportunity for growth.


Trident Concepts
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