The cost of killing

There’s the gun fight, the legal fight, and the emotional fight. Even if you survive the gunfight, that doesn’t mean you are out of the woods emotionally or financially.

tacticalprofessor

‘too bad they didn’t kill him’

‘needs to get more practice at the range so they have better aim [to kill him]’

–Internet common-taters

Often when a story surfaces in which an armed citizen wounds but doesn’t kill an attacking criminal, statements such as that will quickly show up in the comments section on the Internet. Persons who make such comments have no clue about the cost of killing someone. Even when there are no legal and financial costs, the emotional, psychological, and social costs will be considerable.

As in every class I attend or teach, I learn something from the students. Yesterday was no exception. I attended, as a student, the Proactive Mindset class taught by The Complete Combatant. The trainers graciously allowed me to give a short presentation at the end. One of the things I mentioned was the psychological cost of killing. The incident I cited was…

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Growing Up Guns is MOVING

Hi Everyone,

I have outgrown the free wordpress.com blog software and upgraded.

The URL for the new site is simply growingupguns.com . The site is live, but I’ll be doing some ongoing improvements to make it more usable and easier to navigate.

I believe I properly transferred the subscription list, so if you’re already signed up, you shouldn’t have to do anything.

I’ll see you on the other side, and thank you for your ongoing support.

Regards,

Mark L.

 

Mindset and Decision Making

tacticalprofessor

Then I guess it will just be time for him and me to be with Jesus.

Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics related a mind-boggling story recently about one form of mindset. He posed questions to some friends in the context of encountering two burglars in their home. The concept of giving scenarios and asking people questions about their anticipated reactions is often far more effective than pontificating about what they ‘need’ to do.

The friends are a couple who have a 10 year old son. The wife is a petite woman who is a practitioner of boxing; good for her. What Caleb did was to posit a scenario of initial violence and asked her what she would do. She replied she would fight them. Since the scenario was two burglars whose combined weight was three to four times hers, he continued escalating the scenario in his questions. In the event…

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Rise and Shine!: Staging Bump In The Night Firearms

 

Sorry for the hiatus. I’m back.

Every nightstand pistol/shotgun/rifle should:

  1. Have a flashlight next to it (or on it) for identifying what you’re about to point (or pointing) a gun at.
  2. Be secured from access by a non-authorized person. For the sake of this article, that person is YOU until you wake up fully.

That second point is not often considered. The bump in the night is far more likely to be a person you know than a crew of home invaders. I think the best way to prevent a groggy tragedy is to force yourself to complete several fine motor movements and/or take several steps prior to having a loaded gun in your hand. You need time to shake the cobwebs out of your head and assess what’s actually happening.

Failure to do so can have tragic results:

Here’s what I’ve worked out for myself. Pick 2 or 3 items from the list of your preferred home defense weapon and layer them so you’re alert and awake before waving a gun around…

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For Example: Type code, grab magazine, insert magazine, release slide, address the issue

Auto pistol:

Revolver:

  • Same as above but with cylinder open
  • Cylinder empty and speed loader next to pistol

Carbine:

  • Chamber empty
  • Safety on
  • Magazine removed and kept lashed to the hand guard or stored nearby
  • In a closet or corner several steps away

Shotgun:

  • Chamber empty
  • Magazine tube empty
  • Safety on
  • Action open
  • “Cruiser ready” (empty chamber, action closed)

You don’t need to do every item to have success with this idea. Pick two or three that make sense for you and give it a try. I’m looking to buy about 30 seconds to fully awaken.

But it will slow down my room clearin’!

If you have less than 5 seconds to get a gun into action from a dead sleep, you screwed up a long time ago. Go read my article about layered home defense to get your house or apartment right. If you can’t get a magazine into your pistol and rack the slide, you’re not awake enough to be moving in your house with a gun.You need to protect you from yourself first.

Lets remember the hierarchy:

  1. Don’t Shoot Ourselves
  2. Don’t Shoot What We Don’t Want To Shoot
  3. Shoot What We Want To Shoot

And for goodness sake, start verbalizing ASAP so you don’t show the muzzle to the wrong person. “Who’s there!? I am armed!” or whatever.

The opportunity for a negative outcome is greatly increased if you are startled from a dead sleep and start making life and death decisions before you fully wake up. Give yourself some time.

Stay safe.

Name that class!

I’ll be attending this course for its first run in the Atlanta area. I hope to see you all there.

tacticalprofessor

I am pleased to announce that Dr. William Aprill of Aprill Risk Consulting and I have teamed up to create a class about the intellectual side of personal protection. It’s a class designed to work your brain in preparation for the period before an assault to avoid it and, if necessary, rout the attacker.

He will focus on the psychology of Violent Criminal Actors and Victim Selection. My part will cover Strategy, Tactics, Options, and Decision-Making Exercises. This will be a full weekend of learning about how the criminal mind works, how to avoid being picked for victimization, and the decisions necessary to preclude and defeat criminal attacks.

All training will be in the classroom. There will be no shooting, gunhandling, or physical contact involved. However, there will be a significant number of decision-making exercises using a new method I have devised. Every student will leave the class having made…

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PAUL GOMEZ, THE URBAN AK, AND THE CENTURY ARMS AK63D — Revolver Science

The Real Dr. House passing along some of Paul Gomez’s musings on the AK.

It has been nearly four years since Paul Everett Gomez died, in Seattle WA. Paul was on his way to British Columbia, to deliver his unique brand of training. Paul had two flagship courses, 1. RPM…”Robust Pistol Manipulation” that was Paul’s unique spin on ambidextrous gun handling, both shooting, loading, and fixing malfunctions, with EACH hand […]

via PAUL GOMEZ, THE URBAN AK, AND THE CENTURY ARMS AK63D — Revolver Science

Here comes the BOOM!

The Good Doctor gives a great rundown of Tom Givens’ shotgun class at the conference. I was honored to be able to spend most of Sunday with Dr. House.

CIVILIAN DEFENDER

This poster showing the anatomy of the Remington 870 shotgun hangs in one of the classrooms of the Memphis Police Department’s Firearms Training Unit.  Look at that vent rib/Ghost Ring barrel!

I LOVE shooting shotguns.  Whether it’s at birds, paper or steel, no other gun is more satisfying for me to shoot.  The noise, the smoke, and the on-target effect is dramatic.

I spent two hours this weekend in a block of defensive shotgun instruction with Jedi Master Tom Givens, at the 2016 RANGEMASTER Polite Society Conference in Memphis TN.  I have trained with Tom several times in the past, and I really appreciate the utility of his courses.  Tom couples a rich curriculum with a thoughtful, entertaining delivery, that is completely, 100% bio available to the lone, armed citizen.  If you are looking for some high speed military door kicking shotgun course, or some LE, “Patrol Shotgun,” course, look…

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Range Master – Tactical Conference 2016

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Last October, the announcement went out on Facebook that the Range Master 2016 tactical conference was sold out. It was to be another missed opportunity for me to attend a historic meeting of the minds. Out of the blue, Lynn Givens (wife of Range Master’s Tom Givens) told me that I was coming. She and Tom invited me to attend completely free of charge. I would later find out that I had been the first recipient of the Range Master – Todd Louis Green Scholarship. This is an honor I’m not sure I deserved. This morning (3/15/16), we learned of Todd’s passing after a valiant 10 year battle with cancer. Donate to his charity here. It was an emotional weekend for me, and one that I won’t forget.

The schedule and topics for this year are here.

I attended:

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  • Tom Givens – Defining the Threat

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  • Craig Douglas – Experiential Learning Lab (photos prohibited)
  • Tom Givens – Shotgun Fundamentals

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  • Tom Givens – Active Shooters: an Overview

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This was a tremendous opportunity for me and a rare chance to see my friends in the community. The real gold of these things is being around all of the great minds and being able to meet up with friends (old and new). Literally the best in the business presented and attended. I am the little fish in the pond, and that’s where I’m comfortable being.

Thanks to The Tactical Professor for always being a great driving buddy.

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I encourage you to try to make it to one one soon, and I hope to see you there.

Photos and Videos below.

Here are the videos I captured:

Here are some more choice photos I was able to take.

Range Master 2016

 

My first podcast mention!

One of my friends messaged me today and told me that Growing Up Guns got a mention on the We Like Shooting podcast. It was in reference to the Memento Mori post and some commentary that Melody Lauer made on that post.

Forward to 1hr 18mins for the relevant section.

https://player.fm/series/we-like-shooting-podcast/we-like-shooting-133-self-defense-month-law

I don’t expect anyone other than me to be excited about this, but I had to share. I now have another podcast to add to my rotation.

Cheers,

Mark

Review: Defensive Applications of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu DVD

Today I received a package from Cecil Burch of Immediate Action Combatives. Cecil sent me both of his PDN produced DVDs. I’ll briefly talk about Cecil’s training pedigree, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) as a superior combative system on the ground, then about the material contained in the DVD.

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Cecil has been training in BJJ since 1994 under Megaton Dias. He is a black belt and has extensive competition experience and success. You can read his full bio on his website. I only mention it to let you know he is a subject matter expert when it comes to grappling. He also is one of the major innovators when it comes to the integration of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu into a weapons based environment. BJJ is tremendous for self defense against a single unarmed opponent. More importantly, as Cecil and his colleagues teach and demonstrate, it is probably the best delivery system for denying your opponent access (and enabling your access) to weapons while grounded. It just takes a critical eye, some adaptations, and pressure testing techniques to see what works.

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The DVD has the usual excellent production value you’d expect from PDN, with the DVD broken down into chapters with summary notes at the end of each. If you get this DVD, have a buddy (or understanding spouse) with whom you can practice. You’ll NEVER own the material unless you get down on the ground and do the work. Most gun people are resistant to the idea and “carry this gun so I don’t have to wrestle”. The reality is rarely that tidy. You might end up rolling around in the mud, piss, and broken beer bottles in an alley over a knife. Having at least a modicum of ground skill is crucial for all gun owners (everyone really). Even better would be joining a local BJJ school and putting in the work. I digress… the DVD…

Topics Include:

  1. Hierarchy of Intent
  2. Conceptual Escape Formula
  3. Survival Posture Unarmed (and against a weapon)
  4. Hip Bridge
  5. Hip Escape
  6. Complete the Escape
  7. Guard Fundamentals
  8. Getting to the feet
  9. VS a standing attacker, when grounded

What makes Cecil a great teacher is his ability to distill two decades of knowledge into an easily digestible ‘essentials’ list that he can fit into a weekend seminar for NON-GRAPPLERS! This video is even more condensed at only about an hour. The Hierarchy of Intent and Escape Formula give a bird’s eye view of ‘the fight’ on the ground. It’s about as old school Jiu Jitsu as you can get, but it’s totally applicable to a weapons based environment.

Cecil has told me that he approaches his teaching to start from a worst case. The reason being that if you can dig yourself out of the deepest hole, everything else is easy. So the instruction starts from the assumption that you have been knocked to the ground, possibly by a sucker punch, and goes from there. The Survival Posture denies even a relatively skilled grappler immediate access to submissions against you, and therefor works well against an untrained person.

Once you’ve survived the initial assault, you need to be able to move while there’s someone on top of you to make enough room to put more of your body between yourself and them. Enter the Hip Bridge and Hip Escape. This gives you a vertical and horizontal escape route to reorient and gain a more favorable position. Once you’ve done this, you can finalize your escape from the bottom and escape or fight as needed.

Cecil then goes over Guard basics. Both closed guard and long range open guard. He then covers getting up.

That’s a lot of stuff to go over in an hour. However, I really think that even an unskilled grappler using this material, and practicing with a partner regularly, can get a functional understanding of these positions and will have a better chance.

I would recommend this DVD to any ‘gun guy/gal’ who recognizes the need for basic ground fighting survival skills.

Next Up: I’ll review his “Surviving the Knockout Game” DVD.

Mark