August 11, 2017

Vol. 11  No. 32

News Letter

Staying Alive®:  Firearms Training & Texas License To Carry

Michael J Arnold


Scheduled Training:
Subject: Texas License To Carry
Date: September 9, 2017
Time: 0800
Place: Bexar Community Shooting Range Marion, TX  78124

CLICK HERE for directions.

Registration: CLICK HERE for class registration form

Random Shots:

“Don’t go stupid places.  Don’t hang out with stupid people.  Don’t do stupid things.”

- John Farnam’s advice for avoiding violence.



Which of the following will keep you safe?

  1. ObamaCare

  2. Seatbelts

  3. Colt 1911, 45 ACP

  4. None of the above

    Though some might argue the point, the best answer is "D. None of the above."

Granted, insurance, seatbelts, and firearms can enhance your chances for survival.  However, by definition, one element of "safety," is being "free from harm or risk."  The risk remains.

It's up to you to reduce the risk.  Your ability to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous places, people, or actions that put you in harm's way can you keep you safe.

To some degree, we are born with the ability to recognize and avoid some dangerous situations.  This is evidenced by a baby's "flinch," or, as it is commonly known, "startle reflex."  When "startled" by a sudden, threatening gesture, loud noise, or flash, babies tend to exhibit a primitive reflex response.  Any such sudden stimulus causes increased heartbeat and respiration, and closing of the eyes, followed by fist clenching and extension of the upper limbs.

Is the startle reflex enough to keep you safe?  Maybe, not.  The flinch can, however, prove very helpful. It might not afford you sufficient time to actually avoid any harm that could follow, but it could give you the few precious milliseconds that allow you to step offline from an attacker, and avoid a fatal thrust from his knife.

Train yourself to look for early warning signs that can alert you to potential danger.  Look anomalies - people, things, or activities that you believe are out of the ordinary in your situation.  Don't ignore what you believe to be a problem.  Simply observing anomalous behavior is of no value, if you don't react to the observation, in order to avoid potential danger.

Something else to consider would be to modify your own behavior, to lessen the likelihood of putting yourself in harm's way, in the first place.  Consider John Farnam's advice:  “Don’t go stupid places.  Don’t hang out with stupid people.  Don’t do stupid things.”

Train like your life depends on it.

(It could)

* * * One More Time * * *

For the non-believers.

-- Michael

Can You Carry A Gun At The Post Office? - The Legal Brief - VIDEO
Adam Kraut

Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of the gun world.

I’m your host Adam Kraut and today we are talking about carrying firearms on postal property.  And no, we are not discussing shipping firearms through the mail.    

Violent Crime Fatal Fantasies
John Farnam

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance, when the need for illusion is deep.” ~ Saul Bellow

It represents enormous conceit to believe that police can do anything to stop crime, particularly violent crime. What we do is deter/displace it.  We discourage it at a particular moment, and thus move it to other places.

That’s about it!    

Why Don’t You Carry a Reload?
John Boch

Millions of Americans carry a firearms every day.  And that number’s growing all the time.  Yet not all of them pack a reload.  In fact, it seems safe to assume that the percentage that carry a reload is smaller than the percentage of people who have faith in our federally elected officials.

Then again, no everyone thinks carrying a reload is that important.

John Correia from Active Self-Protection wrote in his piece “Lessons From Observing 5000 Gunfights“:    

Unicorns and the Situational Awareness Rainbow
Klint Marco

“We must always be aware and live in Condition Yellow!”

We have heard this.… We have said it…. I have taught it.

The sentiment is sound and it is good advice.  But the situational awareness rainbow can sometimes lead us to a false sense of security, striving for an unattainable goal, or perhaps even a fail.  There is more to it than just broad strokes of a colored brush.


The color codes of awareness, popularized by the grandfather of modern pistolcraft, Col.  Jeff Cooper, quantify one’s level of mental awareness by assigning a color to how much attention one pays to their surroundings    

Gunfight Science: Concealed in Plain Sight
Fred Mastison

They stand right behind you in the checkout line of the grocery store. They stroll past as you walk to your car after work.  They sit across from you in the restaurant where you are enjoying dinner.  These people are concealed carry proponents and they are armed while still appearing to be just another face in the crowd.  They have mastered hiding in plain sight.  The concealed-carry movement has expanded dramatically over the last several years with more and more people looking for the peace of mind that having a handgun on them in day-to-day life brings.  To many it is a natural extension of who they are.    

Building Thoughtful Gun Owners – Defense Of Others…Or Not?
Rob Morse

You want to protect the people around you. If you teach self-defense, then you’ve had a few students who haven’t thought through what will happen after they act in another's defense.

If you’re a new gun owner, then now is the time to think about the use of lethal force in defense of our lives or others.  We can do too much as well as too little.  It is too late to make fine moral distinctions in the fleeting moment when your friends need help.

Granted we will never have perfect solutions.  There are huge emotional costs if you do nothing, just as there will be emotional costs if you get involved.  There are financial costs as well.  You’re also going to lose a year of your life even if you never spend a second in jail.    

OK - You've purchased a gun.  Now what?

Next stop - your local grocery store.  Talk your grocer out of a sturdy corrugated cardboard box.  My first one measured approximately 18" x 18" x 18".

Now you're ready to begin your search.

You're looking for the newest tacticool holster you can find in your stack of gun publications, with particular emphasis on those your favorite gun writer tells you will make you a better shot and stop terrorists.

Specifically, you're trying to find an innovative, Navy Seal approved, ambidextrous, rhino-hide/carbon-fiber hybrid, with level 4 retention that is, of course, tac-light and laser accommodating.

WARNING:  You might find it necessary to return to the grocery store for a second box.

-- Michael

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Concealed Carry Holster
Sheriff Jim Wilson

One of the quickest ways to identify someone who is serious about personal defense is to ask to see their box of concealed carry holsters.  All of you out there who are serious about personal defense just grinned, because you know exactly what I'm talking about.  You new folks will just have to face the facts of life—you are going to collect quite a few holsters during your search for what works for you.

As a gun writer, I wish I could save you the trouble and expense and just tell you what you need to buy.  Sorry, folks, it's just not that simple.  People are different, their guns are different and their needs are different.  I can, however, offer a few suggestions that might help narrow your search for concealed carry holsters and reduce the strain on your checkbook just a bit.    

Does Barrel Length Matter for a Home-Defense Shotgun?
Evan Brune

When it comes to choosing a firearm for home defense, debate continues over the best possible choice, whether it be a handgun, AR-15 or a shotgun.  However, the 12-gauge home-defense shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot has long been a mainstay of the homeowner’s defensive arsenal, and it continues to be popular.

Currently, the marketplace of 12-gauge home-defense and tactical shotguns is changing. For years, the 18.5-inch pump-action, home-defense shotgun was a go-to, and there were many options on the market from Mossberg, Winchester, Stoeger, Savage Arms and others.  Now, the dynamic has changed with the introduction of guns like the NFA-regulated Mossberg 590 AOW, the Mossberg Shockwave or the Remington 870 Tac-14.    

Three Ways to Keep The Fun in Training

I LOVE guns.  Researching old military firearms, checking out the newest gear, scouring the internet to find surplus ammunition.  I even love going over ballistics data and, of course, going to the range to train.  If I love shooting so much, why is it that something I’m so passionate about can sometimes be draining and tedious?  I’ve left the range feeling like a beginner not worthy of the fantastic weapons I’ve spent decades acquiring.

I realized that in some ways, shooting at the range wasn’t as satisfying as it should be. It was perplexing but I’m not alone in my thinking.  The other people I shoot with expressed the same thoughts.  Sometimes we just come away feeling more frustrated than satisfied.  My friends that I’ve talked about this with and I have come up with a few ideas and gleaned others from bloggers and trainers we read and follow.  Here’s what we think makes training fun:    

Self-Defense Skills That Will Keep You Alive
Steve Tarani

Be it a terrorist attack, home invasion, active shooting or other undesired event, violent physical attacks on individuals who are unaware and unprepared for them are, sadly, becoming the new normal.  Those who are aware and prepared are concerned about self-defense and protecting their family.  What separates the prepared from the unprepared?  Mindset, skills and confidence.


Personal security is exactly that—personal.  However, as a professional self-defense instructor teaching worldwide, the single most common mindset I run into is “It will never happen to me.”  Most people’s outlook on the subject is:  “It didn’t happen to me yesterday, it hasn’t happened to me yet today, so it won’t happen to me tomorrow,” which reinforces this mindset.    

Privateer Publications Responsible Information About Shooting, & Self Defense

by: Chris Bird


Campus Carry Begins at Texas Two-Year Colleges
Chris Bird

As of August 1, two-year colleges in Texas allow adult students, staff and faculty on their premises to carry concealed handguns if they have concealed handgun or right-to-carry licenses.  Although there are exclusionary zones such as science labs and sports areas, it is a good second step.  The first step happened on August 1, a year ago, when four-year universities allowed concealed carry.  Now, two-year colleges stand less chance of hosting a Virginia Tech scenario with its 47 casualties in eleven minutes.

In a recent statement, Students for Concealed Carry celebrated the one-year anniversary of concealed carry at Texas four-year universities without any problems.    

Bayanihan Kali:  Fighting and Emergency Medical

by:  Rudy Salazar

Scheduled Training:

CLICK HERE for a complete calendar of scheduled training opportunities.

Below is another insightful article by Greg Ellifritz.  As evidenced by the title, the article is intended for at Law Enforcement Officers.  However, your needs as a law abiding citizen can also be served well if you choose to carry a fixed blade knife.
  1. Carrying a fixed blade increases your available options for staying alive.  This is ALWAYS a good thing.
  2. A fixed blade is easier and faster to deploy, than a folder, but
  3. Like firearms, carrying a knife will not necessarily improve your chances for winning a fight unless you've had proper training, on a REGULAR basis.  This is true of either a folder or fixed blade.
  4. Using a knife in conjunction with an already deployed firearm will take a lot of coordination, to avoid cutting or shooting yourself in the midst of the battle.
  5. Although Ellifritz's article deals with the virtues of the fixed blade, folders can also be extremely effective.  The "still folded folder" is an option not to be overlooked.  if you suspect, feel or otherwise sense you are in imminent danger, a still folded knife can be carried securely and out of sight in your hand.  Then, without having to unfold the blade, it can be utilized as a kubaton
  6. Train as if your life depends on it.
  7. Stealth is an attribute.  Knives should be felt and not seen

-- Rudy

Should Police Officers Carry Fixed Blade Knives?
Greg Ellifritz

The next time you see a police officer, take a look at the pockets in his or her pants.  It’s likely you’ll notice the majority of them have a folding knife clipped there.  But what about fixed blade knives?  There’s a good chance you won’t see anyone carrying a fixed blade knife, except for big blades attached to the gear of certain tactical officers.

The fact that uniformed officers carry only a folding knife is a puzzling concept for me.  Despite the utilitarian chores for which a knife may be used, a primary reason officers carry a knife is for last-ditch self protection.  Unfortunately, reality shows the folding knife is wholly unsuited to the task.    

SAAMAG:  Self Reliance

by:  Pat Scott


Monthly Meeting
Subject: To be announced.
Instructor: Pat
Date: August 27, 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.

More than one of the beekeeper classes I've attended warned that bees would probably not approve some of the claims by grocers that their products are actually real honey.  Since the USDA doesn't make a distinction between corn syrup and honey, some of the national honey producers add corn syrup and can still label the product, "honey."

I buy my honey locally from the beekeepers.  There are several, but the ones I know the best are Holdman Honey and Gretchen Bee Ranch, both out of Seguin.  I've also purchased honey from beekeepers selling at the farmers' market in New Braunfels and the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio.

One of my favorite honeys is from Holdman Honey, in Seguin, TX.  I like it, particularly, because it's never heated.  Heating honey destroys the anti-oxidant and healing benefits.

Another of my favorites is Gretchen Bee Ranch | Pure Honey from Texas, also out of Seguin, TX.  They have some value-added products, one of which is the pecan creamed honey.  It is soooooo good!  Drizzle some on a waffle... yum!!!  They do have a little store where you can go visit and sample the different honey.  They also hold beekeeping classes.  You might call first to be sure they're open.

-- Pat

The Health Benefits of Honey
Nancy Eischen

Spring brings a picture-perfect day.  You’re enjoying yourself on a well-deserved vacation.  Then you fall, a victim of loose gravel.  Your leg is a mess.  At the local hospital, you’re given a cream to apply two times a day to keep infection at bay.  Returning home after a week of pain and aches, your leg isn’t healing as it should.  A call to the local herbalist or homeopath, and it’s suggested that you apply honey to the wound.  That’s too simple.  “How can honey do anything to help this?” you ask.  The reply, “Honey not only can heal, it will improve your overall health.”    

Published by:

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


Michael Arnold
Chris Bird
Rudy Salazar
Pat Scott

News Letter Links:



Copyright © 2001 - Staying Alive, Inc.®