March 11, 2018

Vol. 12  No. 07

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:

Carry concealed to protect yourself.  Carry openly to impress your friends.



I've been told, countless times, "Mike, you need to learn to holster your gun without looking at it."

My response is usually:  "What do I get, if I perfect that skill?  Do I get a toaster or other prize of similar value?"

You see, I've never accepted the idea that there exists any situation in which having the finely honed skill, necessary to allow me to holster my gun, in such a manner, will significantly improve my chances of going home alive, after a gunfight.

I've been in dozens of arguments on the subject.  In all of them, I come down on the side of "looking my gun into the holster."  I believe one of the safest things I can do, after a fight, is to inspect my equipment (gun, holster, etc ...) which might have been damaged in the encounter.

Most who do not side with me on this issue offer one of the following arguments:

  • You should not take your eyes off the bad guy, and

  • When the cops show up, your gun should be in your holster, not in your hand.

I sort of agree with parts of both points.

However, to the first point:  If there is ANY doubt in my mind concerning the viability of my aggressor, I will NOT holster my gun, until that doubt no longer exists.  Holstering would be one of the absolute, last things on my mind.

To the second point:  Don't worry, hopefully, the cops will see me drop my gun onto the ground, from about chest height, leaving my open hands extended skyward, palms facing the man with the badge, while frantically proclaiming, "I'M THE VICTIM - I'M THE VICTIM."

It is my belief that those wearing the badge will feel far safer seeing my gun out of my reach, on the ground, as opposed to "concealed in my holster," where it would still be readily accessible to me.

Following this commentary is an article by Massad Ayoob, in which he gives his opinion concerning safe holstering.

When you read the article, please notice two items:

  • The author [Ayoob] suggests looking the gun into the holster at the learning stage.

  • Later, a more experienced shooter should be able to holster without looking.

    (Highlighting and emboldened font added)

What I take away from Ayoob's suggestion is that a higher skill level is required for "not looking the gun into the holster."  With a post-shooting heart rate that could still be in the 170+ range, I doubt many of us would have the dexterity necessary to perform the task of holstering in a smooth and efficient manner.

Am I saying you should Always look the gun into the holster?  - - NO - -

What I'm saying is that in, "most" instances there will be nothing to gain from such a method that could possibly increase your risk of an undesired discharge.

Let the situation dictate the method you should use.  If you believe you're up for the task, and you will benefit in some way, go ahead.  Maybe you'll win a toaster.

On the totally serious side:  No matter which protocol you choose to follow, THINK before you act, and holster RELUCTANTLY.

Train like your life depends on it.

(It could)

How To: Safe Re-Holstering Tips

Massad Ayoob

Procedural tactics regarding the safe holstering of a handgun have changed dramatically over the years. Here are some things to know.

  • Shooters should of course keep their fingers off the trigger when holstering.

  • Another trick is to place the thumb on the hammer of hammer-fired guns.

  • If the hammer is up on a 1911-style pistol, it prevents it from falling.

  • If it is down on a double-action pistol, it prevents it from rising and then falling.

  • The author suggests looking the gun into the holster at the learning stage.

  • Later, a more experienced shooter should be able to holster without looking.    

4 Tips to Get First Hits with Your Handgun During a Violent Encounter

Paul Carlson

How to strike with authority and gain the upper hand.  There are several exercises that will help you strike with authority, gain the upper hand and get vital first hits on target.    

Academics Find School Shootings Are Not More Common Than They Used to Be

Jordan Michaels

Emotions don’t make good public policy.  Facts do.  And a new study from researchers at Northeastern University has found that school shootings are not more common than they used to be, and that schools are actually safer than they were in the 1990s.

According to James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern, four times the number of children were killed in schools in the early 1990s than in the past few years.   

Why active shooter drills didn’t help in the Florida high school shooting

William Cummings

Run, hide, fight. Shelter in place.  If you see something, say something.

We would love to believe that the horror of a school shooting could be kept at bay by a simple mantra, but as the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., demonstrated, there is no quick answer to preventing tragedy like that seen this week.    

Concealed Carry Tips:  Three Essential Shooting Drills

Chris Baker

I’ve met a lot of gun owners who have some grasp of the fundamentals of shooting, and they’re what I would call “comfortable” handling a gun, but when it comes to getting their gun out of a holster and putting hits on target in a hurry, I would hesitate to label them “competent”.  Oftentimes, these shooters are blissfully unaware of their own lack of preparation (thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect).  In other cases, less capable shooters might know they need improvement, but don’t know how to get better except to “practice more,” whatever that means.    

Things people say:  “Don’t carry a nice gun.”

Grant Cunningham

If you have a concealed carry firearm, and you use that firearm against another person, the chances of the police seizing that gun for evidence are very high.  If your attacker is injured or dies, it’s a certainty that your gun will end up in the evidence locker.

Once in evidence, your gun will not be returned to you until after all legal proceedings are settled.  Even then, it may be months or even years after the case has been closed before you get your firearm back.  Many people have had to file legal proceedings to persuade the authorities to return their rightful property.    

Skill Set:  The Fundamentals of Defense

Tiger McKee

I’ve talked about the fundamentals of defense many times: move, communicate and use cover, shooting if necessary and thinking. The issue people have is connecting these same principles to their unarmed response.  I carry my handguns all the time – except where I can’t.  Even though I may not have a firearm my threat-response is going to be the same.    

The EDC Flashlight: Tips, Tactics & Techniques

Ed Head

What’s the one tool you should never be without? The thing you will use every day that might be responsible for saving your skin? Since I’m a gun guy and this is a gun website, you might expect me to recommend a quality concealed-carry pistol, but in fact, the thing I think you’re going to need and use far more often than a handgun is a quality everyday-carry flashlight.  That’s been my experience, and from what I have been told, the experience of hundreds of students.  We're even featuring flashlights as part of an essential EDC setup in our "I Carry" video series.    

The Defensive Trainer

Sheriff Jim Wilson, Ret

Take a variety of defensive training classes and you quickly realize that there are all different kinds of trainers.  Some are good, some are really bad, and a few, a very few, are excellent.  In my book the worst of the bunch are those who claim police or military background and give off the aura that “I am something that you will never be.”  These are the guys who tell way too many war stories and seem to want you to leave the class knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how very cool they are    

Two Different Kidnappings - Would You Intervene?

Greg Ellifritz

One of the goals of any type of combative training is to “remove novelty.”  Novel situations combined with stress often force our brains to operate in a more instinctive manner.  When operating this way, higher order thinking isn’t possible.  Our goal as trainers is to introduce our students to as many possible situations as we can so that the student has a mental reference in the event he experiences a similar situation in the future.  If the student has already thought through an incident and come up with a viable solution, the brain is less likely to shift into “instinctive” mode and more likely to remain capable of intellectual thought.  That’s what we are looking for.    

Privateer Publications Responsible Information About Shooting, & Self Defense

by: Chris Bird



Toward Less Gun Control. Not More

Chris Bird

(Written by Chris Bird, published in the Washington Times, February 28, 2018)

At a time when students and those on the left of the political spectrum are crying for more gun control in the mistaken belief that it will reduce mass shootings, less gun control might cut down on the number of innocents murdered.

Perhaps the most horrifying mass shooting in this century was the murder of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., shortly before Christmas in 2012. It was especially terrifying because of the age of the victims — 20 of them were six- and seven-year-olds. The other six were female staff members of the school.    

Bayanihan Kali:  Fighting and Emergency Medical

by:  Rudy Salazar

Scheduled Training:

CLICK HERE for a complete calendar of scheduled training opportunities.

First Aid:  When a Gun Isn’t the Answer

Jeremy S

Unfortunately, whether it’s a car crash or a distant shooter, the option of self-defense doesn’t always exist. Even if you technically could engage with a ballistic solution, the best option very well may be to unass the AO, seek cover or barricade, and already have basic trauma care training. A little training and a little medical kit can go a long way…    

SAAMAG:  Self Reliance

by:  Pat Scott


Monthly Meeting
Subject: To be announced.
Instructor: Pat
Date: March 25, 2018
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Place: Location is available by CLICKING HERE to contact Pat for the latest information.

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.

If you're going to put in a garden this year, most of you have already got it started.  The following article will give you some ideas of something to plant along with/in amongst your vegetables.  I'm a believer in companion planting and using plant characteristics to enhance or inhibit the plants or insects around them.

I've tested it in my own garden… planting sweet basil with tomatoes enhances their flavor (plus the smell of blooming basil in the garden on a warm summer morning is wonderful).  And a ring of French Marigolds around the tomato plants helps deter pests and keeps the nematodes away entirely.  I tuck marigolds and nasturtiums all over the garden.  They repel many pests and are just so darned pretty you can't help but enjoy the garden when they're in bloom.

The following article will give you a pretty good idea of some of the companion plants and the ones that don't get along so well.  The "not getting along so well" was unintentionally tested in my garden as well. Don't *ever* plant onions with green beans.  Just saying.

-- Pat

An In-Depth Companion Planting Guide

Sarah Israel

For a healthy, thriving garden, consult this companion planting guide when you're deciding what seeds to put where.

Originally published as "An In Depth Plant Companionship Chart" in the May/June 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

May/June 1981:


Published by:

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


Michael Arnold
Chris Bird
Rudy Salazar
Pat Scott

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