July 11, 2017

Vol. 11  No. 27

News Letter

Staying Alive®:  Firearms Training & Texas License To Carry

Michael J Arnold


Scheduled Training:
Subject: Texas License To Carry
Date: CLICK HERE for next class date
Time: 0800
Place: Bexar Community Shooting Range Marion, TX  78124

CLICK HERE for directions.

Registration: CLICK HERE for class registration form

Random Shots:

Almost everything can be a weapon.  But, don't tell the lawyers.


I'd Never Carry a  (fill in the blank)  for Self Defense

If you dare mention carrying for self defense:  pepper spray, a knife, or a lesser caliber handgun, get ready for a tirade about the foolishness of your choice of inadequate weaponry.  After all, everybody knows you should be carrying, at least, a 45.  You know - "A REAL WEAPON -  Man-up."

Last month, I gave you a hint about the subject of this commentary, in my "Random Shots:  Just because it's not the best method, doesn't mean it won't work."

Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Brevard County, Florida is offering residents in his area an  opportunity to get inexpensive, professional training, from members of his department.  I mention this because Sheriff Ivey is a strong advocate for always being armed.

He knows some folks do not feel comfortable carrying a firearm.  To them he points out that "intermediate weapons," such as tasers can also save lives.

In one of his videos, Sheriff Ivey also refers to "environmental arming."  That is arming yourself with items available from your immediate surrounding area, such as a knife, a restaurant chair or a fire extinguisher.

Let's take another look at, I'll call him Bubba, the guy who would never lower himself to using pepper spray.  Why would any sane person not want to use every option available?

Nobody told Bubba not to carry his .45, but it should prove interesting to see if he reaches for the bowl of salsa, on the table, if his gun ever makes the dreaded "click" sound.  I wonder if anyone bothered to tell Bubba the effect of salsa in the eyes is very close to that of the pepper spray he said he would never use.

Give yourself as many options for survival as possible.

Remember, almost anything can be used as a weapon.

Don't believe me? - Ask Cain.

Train like your life depends on it.

(It could)

Caught Off Guard: 12 Situations for Self Defense Without a Gun

Riley Bowman

While we are a firearm company here at Concealed Carry, even we admit that there are some situations that are more tactical or necessary, due to circumstance, to have the knowledge of how to defend yourself without a gun.  We, as a company want to encourage safety and defense for you and your family, above all else.  That's why we offer the training classes that we do and why we work hard to give you the knowledge and the means to live a safer life, free from fear.

With that in mind, today we are going to take a look at many of these situations so that you'll have the knowledge to defend yourself where a gun is unavailable.  Each topic points to a valuable resource, expanding on it further.    

In his article, McKee promotes a 4 book, suggested reading list.  If it looks familiar, it's because I've been trying to get my students to read the first 3 for several years.  Allow me to try again:

-- Michael

Skill Set: Heuristic Problem Solving

Tiger McKee

Making the decision on when and how to respond to a potential threat can be difficult.  At first there seems to be a multitude of questions to be answered in order to come to the correct conclusion.  When should you start initiating your response?  How drastic does the response need to be in order to stop the threat?  The problem is if you wait until you know all the answers it's probably too late to respond.  How do we come up with a rapid, correct response?  The answer is heuristic decision making.

The heuristic approach to solving problems provides you with an acceptable response in an efficient time frame.  Finding the perfect response takes too long; there is no way to evaluate every factor from all the various angles.  There may not even be a "perfect" response.  You need a solution right now, it doesn't have to be perfect; it just has to solve the problem.    

Beyond the 1%

Karl Rehn

Over the past decade, the number of guns, gun owners, carry permits, and training schools has increased.  It's been a period of growth for many parts of the firearms industry, including those that teach courses meeting state minimums.  Many gun media sources (blogs, podcasts, TV shows, print magazines) all recommend getting training as important and essential for gun owners, but data from my home state of Texas indicates that less than 1% of all permit holders take a class or shoot any kind of competition even once a year.  Why?    

Advice for the Would-Be Firearms Instructor

Will Petty

I recently had several people ask me what advice I’d give them, as they wanted to be firearms instructors. This is how I responded:

  1. Find a mentor.  When you have a good one, listen, watch, take notes, and ask questions.

  2. Hustle.  Be at the range (even when the PD isn’t paying you to be there). Do the work no one else wants to do.  Shag targets, stack ammo and police brass.  Pay your dues.

  3. Master your craft, re-evaluate, and master it again.  Be the first one to offer to demo every drill…  make yourself valuable to the program.  Take every class you can get your hands on (yes, you’ll have to pay your own way and take vacation for most).    

Must-Know Tips for Home Defense

Ed Head

A man showed up the other day and asked what guns he should buy and what training he should attend to defend himself and his wife in their home.  He wanted expert advice and was determined to spend the time and money necessary to achieve his goal of home defense.  He enrolled in training and purchased two carbines, two pistols and two shotguns.

Scenes like this are being repeated all over the United States as more and more people seek out the training and the tools they might need to protect themselves, their families and perhaps, their community.  Beyond simply purchasing a gun or two, the more-thoughtful buyers are seeking out training and advice specifically related to how best to use their firearms, should they have to defend themselves inside the home.  Home defense is a complex subject, and there are no perfect answers, but let's see if we can break the topic down and come up with some useful tips.    

Movie Theater Safety Tips

Greg Ellifritz

I like going to the movies.   In the last few weeks, I’ve gone to the theater a couple times.  I’m thinking that I can write off my tickets for John Wick 2 as a tax deductible training expense.

In any event, my recent forays to the theater got me thinking about security issues.  The movie theater is truly a unique environment with regards to physical security.  First of all, it’s dark.  Really dark.  Probably one of the darkest public environments you can visit.  Trainers often talk about attacks commonly happening in hours of darkness, but that’s somewhat misleading.  Criminals need some light to detect their prey.  These attacks tend to happen on streets and in parking lots at night.  In most of those places, there is actually a good bit of light.  In a movie theater?  Not so much.    

The OODA Loop:  Important Tool for Self-Defense

Steve Tarani

We are constantly interacting with our environment, whether consciously or not.  The OODA Loop explains that process and is a vital tool for self-defense.

Col. John Boyd was responsible for the OODA-Loop concept. His expertise also let to the development of the F-16 fighter jet.

Col. Boyd served in the US Army Air Corps from 1945 to 1947, and subsequently served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force from July 1945 to August 1975.  He was known as “40-second Boyd” for his ability to best any opponent in aerial combat in 40 seconds.  When asked about the secrets to his success in aerial combat, Col.  Boyd responded with his hypothesis that all professionals “undergo a continuous cycle of interaction with their environment.”  This “cycle of interaction,” or the OODA Loop, was subsequently adopted by the military, law enforcement, intelligence and professional-protection communities, where it is still taught at training academies to this day.    

If We Talked About Cars the Way We Talk About Guns

Robert Morse

We’ve lived with guns for several centuries.  Despite those years of cultural and personal familiarity, some people talk about guns as if they had been invented yesterday.  I’m going to try and shift the discussion about guns so we can hear this stale bigotry with fresh ears.  More people die each year in car accidents than in gun accidents.  How do these anti-gun arguments sound to you when we substitute word for word?

  • Cars are not the answer. Good people leave the driving to the the government.

  • We’re not against car ownership.  We simply want you to get proper training before you’re allowed to drive.. and we don’t want any driving schools in your state.

  • Only criminals and the police drive fast cars.  Why do you need to go that fast?  Are you some sort of escaped criminal?    

Alertness & Assertive Disengagement

John Farnam

Ft Collins, CO - Another success story, due to a constant state of personal alertness:

“We arrived at the Tesla Charger just before 9:00pm.  It was in a downtown, underground parking garage.  While the car charged, we walked to a local café for a burger.  They closed at 9:00pm, so we just made it.

We noticed a group of noisy vagrants in the park across the street.  No police presence.

When we returned to our vehicle, a vagrant appeared and started pounding on a glass barrier to our left, while screaming incoherently.  This person was obviously agitated, aggressive, and violent.

Suddenly, this person starts walking toward us!

The person was wearing a gray hoodie sweatshirt, with the hood up.  It looked like an elderly woman, but difficult to tell, because the sweatshirt hood covered her hair.

I stood next to my car, interview stance, and spoke loudly:

‘Stop now! Do not come any closer’    

Do Killers Make the Best Teachers? - Street Smarts

Brent T Wheat

One of the interesting and wholly unanticipated side effects of the presidential election is that demand for firearms training has increased rather than decreased.  Most industry insiders had predicted things would quiet down now that most of our federal leadership isn’t using the phrase “Second Amendment” as a vile personal insult.

In spite of expectations, instructors and schools are seeing near-record levels of people seeking training, a welcome but somewhat puzzling situation.  Some of the demand is ironically coming from frightened progressives, a wonderful bit of karma because, once they step into our world, they’ll quickly learn that “gun people” are good folks who don’t care that much about race, religion, or sexual preference.  We just want to hunt, compete, and drill large-caliber holes in bad people.    

Privateer Publications Responsible Information About Shooting, & Self Defense

by: Chris Bird


News from The Supreme Court, The Congress & UT Austin

Chris Bird

This column is a bit of a hodgepodge. Instead of writing about one subject or story, I am examining three stories recently in the news.  The only connection is that all three have elements of hypocrisy in them.

The Supreme Court

On June 26, the Supreme Court declined to hear a Second Amendment case from the People’s Republic of California.  The majority of justices gave no reason for turning the case down.    

Bayanihan Kali:  Fighting and Emergency Medical

by:  Rudy Salazar

Scheduled Training:

CLICK HERE for a complete calendar of scheduled training opportunities.

Understanding Situational Awareness

Leslie Buck

Physical skills are only part of the skills that you need for self defense. You must have cognitive skills too.  One of the most important cognitive skills you can cultivate for self defense is situational awareness.

What is Situational Awareness?

Simply put, situational awareness is knowing what is happening around you. It is knowing your environment and what events are occurring nearby.  In terms of self defense, situational awareness includes knowing what is happening, and knowing what, if anything, you should do about it.  To do this, you must derive meaning from the circumstances in which you find yourself.    

SAAMAG:  Self Reliance

by:  Pat Scott


Monthly Meeting
Subject: To be announced.
Instructor: Pat
Date: July 30, 2017
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Place: Location is available by CLICKING HERE to contact Pat for the latest information.

Please RSVP using 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.

I saw the Hugelkultur technique demonstrated just outside of Bastrop, TX shortly, after the big fire destroyed much of the area several years ago.  The Hugelkultur beds had been in place for a couple of years before the fire.  After the fire, everything in the area was black, scorched earth.... except the Hugelkultur beds.  The trees had been burned and everywhere around the beds was still black, but the beds themselves had come back within a couple of weeks and were the only thing green you could see.  This was without irrigation.

The Hugelkultur beds I saw were also used to break the water flow down a hillside.  They were shaped in a gentle curve as terracing is usually done, with the sides of the beds holding rain water in shallow pools long enough for it to be absorbed by the wood underneath the soil instead of the water cutting ruts down the hill.  Fruit trees had been planted on the back side of the swells before the fire and were producing without irrigation until they burned.  While I was there I helped replace the burned trees with new trees and helped build new Hugelkultur beds using the burned & partially burned trees.

-- Pat

Hugelkultur: The Ultimate Raised Garden Beds

Geoff Lawton

It's a german word and some people can say it all german-ish. I'm an american doofus, so I say "hoogle culture".  I had to spend some time with google to find the right spelling. Hugal, hoogal, huegal, hugel ....  And I really like saying it out loud: "hugelkultur, hoogle culture, hoogal kulture ...." - it could be a chant or something.

I learned this high-falootin word at my permaculture training.  I also saw it demonstrated on the Sepp Holzer terraces and raised beds video - he didn't call it hugelkultur, but he was doing it.    

Published by:

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


Michael Arnold
Chris Bird
Rudy Salazar
Pat Scott

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