May 11, 2016

Vol. 10  No. 09

News Letter

Staying Alive®:  Firearms Training & Texas License To Carry

Michael J Arnold


Scheduled Training:
Subject: Texas License To Carry
Date: Saturday, 05-14-2016
Time: 0800
Place: Bexar Community Shooting Range
Marion, TX  78124

CLICK HERE for directions.

Registration: CLICK HERE for class registration form

Random Shots:

"Humans do not rise to the occasion.  Instead, we fall to our level of training and experience."

Archilochus, Greek soldier–poet
(Not Dave Grossman, not Clint Smith)


The world of firearms and shooting is rife with clever clichés.  My favorite is one  attributable to Jeff Cooper, "You can't miss fast enough to win."

I have recently  stolen  borrowed another from John Deere mowers, and modified it a little:

"It's not how fast you shoot, it's how well you shoot fast."

The shooting process is no insurmountable task; pick a target, pull the trigger.  However, if you are actually trying to hit the middle (center of mass) of your intended target, the process tends to get a little more demanding.  And, the process can get much more complicated, if you are required to decide whether or not, under the circumstances as you believe them to be at the time, shooting is even a justifiable act.  Regardless of the level, every part of the shooting process has one common demand.  The shooter must remain in "control."

In response to the question, "How fast should I shoot?" my advice has always been, "Shoot as fast as you are able to control the shot."  Again, the operative word is "control."

Keep in mind, if you train slow, you can become very skilled at shooting slow.  Slow, accurate shooting can prove useful when you are shooting an inanimate human sized paper target at distance of about 21 feet.  However, that skill will probably not serve you well in a 3 second gunfight.

While we are dredging up clichés, let us not forget, "Slow is smooth.  Smooth is fast."  Good advice?  Not necessarily.

Slow is only a measure of the amount of time expended, while plodding toward the completion a process.  By itself, slowness does not guaranty smoothness, or much of anything else.  Smooth implies that the sharp edges have been polished off of jerky, segmented movements, allowing them to combine into a flow.

Robert Bragg Jr., manager of fitness, force, and firearms training for the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission’s academy explored this in a Force Science Institute article "6 Myths of Police Training That Inhibit Effective Learning."  Specifically, Bragg's analysis of his second myth was:

Myth #2 [of six]: Slowly practicing a movement that needs to be delivered fast is beneficial.

“There may be some value in this in the very early stages of learning, to help you understand the motor movements involved in a new technique,” Bragg says.  “But spend very little time practicing slowly, especially where forceful movements are involved.

“The neuromuscular demands of slow versus fast perception and movement are very different, and slow practice does not transfer effectively to fast performance.  Your brain tries to keep pace with the feedback it’s accustomed to at the slower pace and it quickly becomes overwhelmed.  It’s like practicing only slow tai chi and then trying to fight at real speed.

“There are very few skill-based actions in law enforcement that take place at slow speed.  Train at the speed at which you need to deliver, using realistic role-playing scenarios.  Through repeated trial and error you’ll eventually learn what works best for you and how to do it.  Your retention will improve when your practice environment mirrors the conditions in which you’re expected to perform for real.”

(Note:  Myth #1 was previously addressed in our News Letter of October 11, 2015, Vol. 09 - No. 21)

Train like your life depends on it.

Guns are just part of the landscape in West Texas county with highest rate of license-holders

Tom Benning

GAIL [TX] – Melisa Hancock sidled up to her .22 rifle and took aim at the snake sunning in her father’s backyard.

She needed only one shot, no big deal for a native of these West Texas plains. And so she and her 83-year-old father, Buster Taylor, chuckled when he urged her to “go Rambo” on what was actually a piece of hose playing the role of the area’s ever-present rattlesnakes.

“I’m the noisemaker out here,” joked Taylor, a retired lawman.  Earlier, he had been target shooting with small bottles of Tannerite, a compound that booms when hit.

Welcome to Borden County, population 676    

Across the country, school districts are quietly arming teachers for the next shooting

Yanan Wang

Teachers, it is said, have some of the hardest jobs in the world. The hours are long, and the rewards often intangible. In addition to designing and executing lesson plans, grading homework and coordinating extracurricular activities, teachers are expected to be surrogate parents, offering children personal comfort and protection over the course of a long school day.

In recent years, teachers have also had to contend with a devastating reality: the increasing threat of school shootings.    

What does it take to stop a threat?


One of the greatest misconceptions surrounding defensive shooting is the “kill shot” or one shot kill that we see so often portrayed in movies and TV. Many gun owners and defensive shooters think “Oh well I carry a .357 Magnum or .45ACP, so I will only need a few shots to stop any threat.”  Lets take a moment to understand what is going on with the body when bullets start to fly, and see if that holds up to some scrutiny.

To put it simply, good defensive shooting or “shooting to stop” is comprised of a few variables, namely, multiple rounds into the target with good targeting.  Good targeting means you are targeting the center of mass and ocular occipital zones of the assailant.     

Prone suspects with hidden hands more dangerous than imagined.

Dr. William Lewinski

The latest study by the Force Science Institute has produced 2 surprising findings of importance to trainers, street officers, and police attorneys:

Some suspects lying flat with hands hidden under chest or waist can produce and fire a gun at an approaching officer faster than any human being on earth can react to defend himself;

The angle sometimes advocated as the safest for approaching a prone subject appears, in fact, to be potentially the most dangerous.

In testing 5 different angles of weapon exposure and attack, FSI researchers discovered that the overall average time that elapses between the instant a prone suspect’s first movement can be seen and the discharge of his pointed weapon is less than 2/3 of a second.

One subject in one of the firing postures monitored was able to move so fast that the gun in his hand could not be detected until the moment it discharged. The fastest subjects produced the weapon from under their chest and fired it upward and ahead—the line of approach taught by some trainers as being the most protective for officers.    

This article was written by Force Science Institute back on December 3, 2010, but is still very relevant, today.

For those of you who might not know FSI:

Force Science - Increasing the Understanding of Force Encounters Through Science and Research.

For the most part, FSI's articles are intended for the law enforcement community.  However, I believe most of you will agree, if you are involved in a serious social encounter, the threat is no less real, if you are not wearing a badge.     --Michael

CLICK HERE to sign up for your free subscription

Bullpup rifles are here to stay.

Jonathan Owen

Shooting is always fun, and shooting unique guns on a perfect fall day in a beautiful spot is impossible to beat.  The 2015 Bullpup Shoot was all of that and more.  Organizers chose The Site Training facility, located in the rolling green hills of western Illinois.  Attendees young and old enjoyed discovering the unique advantages of rifles like the IWI Tavor, the Steyr AUG and many other models of this futuristic—yet not really all that new—design.  New accessories were announced, brass was spent and smiles were rampant.  While many attendees were shooting bullpup guns for the first time, the event itself was evidence that bullpups are here to stay.    

Bayanihan Kali:  Fighting and Emergency Medical

by:  Rudy Salazar

Scheduled Training:
Subject: CQC Baton Counterstrike Tactics

CLICK HERE for printable flyer

Date: Sunday, 06-12-2016
Time: 0830 - 1200
Place: Bexar Community Shooting Range
Marion, TX  78124

CLICK HERE for directions.

CLICK HERE for a complete calendar of scheduled training opportunities.

Emergency first aid for defense

Leslie Buck

Self-defense is a component of survival.  There are other skills you need in addition to self defense skills to help you survive a violent encounter. You may be ready to fight off the bad guy, but what if you are injured in the process?  If you suffer a serious injury during an attack, you will benefit from knowing how to treat the injury afterwards.

Improving your self-defense skills is about preparation.  You study to know more about the threat.  You train techniques and tactics to use for defense.  You arm yourself with a weapon and train when and how to use it.  You cultivate situational awareness skills, verbal de-escalation skills, and learn to manage situations that are common to violent crime.  In addition to these skills that are directly related to defending yourself, you should learn first aid skills that will help you or someone you care about recover after an injury.    

SAAMAG:  Self Reliance

by:  Pat Scott


Monthly Meeting
Subject: Scene, Safety and Situational Awareness
Instructor: Rudy Salazar
Date: May 22, 2016
Time: 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Place: CLICK HERE to have Pat send you the location of the class.  If you'd like to attend the meeting, become a SAAMAG member, or RSVP, follow the same link.
Note:  We will assemble "Meals-In-A-Jar" immediately after the meeting.

If you are already signed up for "Meals-In-A-Jar," don't forget to bring canning jars and lids, or Mylar bags.


There is a lot of information about plants and herbs important as medicinal and/or nutritional plants but once we know that lantana and agarita are powerful medicinal plants, how do we use them?  I found a good article which explains different types of medicinal preparations with "Different Kinds Of Herbal Preparations Explained" (Link below).  In future newsletters I'll explain how to prepare the different teas, tinctures, decoctions, and pills.

I also wanted to share a recipe I found for a salve made from dandelion heads and oil.  The recipe called for olive oil but I believe coconut oil would work as well and I prefer it for salves.  The preparation was in an online magazine dedicated to chickens but the salve would be as good for human skin as it is for the birds.

Different kinds of herbal preparations explained

Katerina Pozzi

When you enter into the world of medicinal herbs it is easy to get overwhelmed and confused by all the different kinds of preparations.  To help you understand what they mean, here is a list explaining how some of the most popular herbal preparations are made and used.     

Dandelion oil salve

Shannon Cole

The white of winter gives way to the bright greens of new grass and the delightful yellow of the dandelions that sprout up and speckle the landscape.  Our land is once again ready to grow and nurture so many things.  Those cheerful dandelions are our very first crop at my house. Dandelions are such an underutilized part of the backyard homestead, but they shouldn’t be.  They grow for free and are plentiful, even if your neighborhood association deems them weeds.  We like to pick the greens for eating, not just in salads, but also for our chickens.  The dandelion roots and heads can be made into herbal teas as well.  However, one of my favorite ways to use the dandelion heads is to infuse them in olive oil and make salves.    

Published by:

Staying Alive, Inc.
PO Box 126
St Hedwig, TX 78152


Michael Arnold
Rudy Salazar
Pat Scott

News Letter Links:



Copyright © 2001 - Staying Alive, Inc.®