April 11, 2020

Vol. 14  No. 05

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 information.
Time: 0800
Place: Bexar Community Shooting Range
Marion, TX  78124

CLICK HERE for directions.

Random Shots:

"Pistols and rifles make holes in people.  Shotguns disassemble them."

Peter H

Living in Dangerous Times

Ask pilots, "What's the most dangerous time, during a flight?"  Almost all will respond, "take-offs and landings."  (Note:  I threw out the one answer, "smoking, while re-fueling.")  When asked which of the two was most dangerous, most agreed that, with over half of all aviation related fatalities occurring during landings,  that segment takes the prize.

Similarly, I'm sure most shooters would consider both drawing and re-holstering a gun the times when tragic accidents are more likely to occur.  However, for the sake of argument, let's consider re-holstering the shooting discipline's equivalent of aircraft "landings."

What makes re-holstering dangerous?

Start with the fact that, of all the time spent with new students, less time is devoted to teaching proper re-holstering technique than almost any other phase of the students' overall training.

We (yes, we  -  I'll admit I've been guilty of this, in the past) tend to spend a multitude of training hours demonstrating, teaching and having our students practice the 3 step draw or the 4 step draw, with great attention to details concerning how to clear outer garments, and establish the proper grip while still in the holster.  And, then there's the endless repetition of forceful presentations to the target.

This is usually followed by the 3 second wrap-up instruction, "Oh, and then scan and re-holster."

So, what else makes re-holstering dangerous?

  • Attitude:  All the fun stuff (shooting) is already over.

  • Misunderstanding:  Believing "finger off the trigger" applies only to deciding when to shoot, and is not germane to how to re-holster.

  • Indifference:  Yeah, yeah, re-holster; how much talent does that take?

  • Arrogance:  I know I'm supposed to look for obstructions in the holster, but, I'm sure there's nothing in there.

  • Physical considerations:  I can't watch the gun into the holster.  Are you kidding?  I lose sight of the gun once it goes over the horizon of my gut.

To make things less dangerous, particularly after a serious social encounter (thanks Jerry) - Reluctantly, after, and ONLY AFTER you have reason to believe there is no longer a threat:

  • Take your finger off the trigger.

  • Scan 360° (that's all the way around, for folks in Austin) looking for additional threats, helping to relax, and breaking up tunnel vision.

    • This might also be an opportune time for about 10-12 seconds of relaxation breathing.

  • Engage any safeties.

    • This could also include de-cocking some guns.

  • Just as you had done prior to your initial draw action, clear a path to your holster by moving outer garments out of the way.

  • Look down into the holster to ensure a clear path all the way to the bottom.

    • Pay no attention to those who would brag about being able to re-holster without looking at the destination, holster.  There is no prize awarded for developing that skill.

  • Using the same grip you used when you drew the gun, re-insert it into the holster.

    • Note:  This will be made easier if you have a good quality holster, the top of which does have a tendency to collapse.

  • Test any automatically engaged retention devices, and manually engage any additionally desired devices.

Wait!  What about that oversized gut we spoke of earlier.  You know, the one that was obstructing your view of the holster?  Eat less and exercise more.  As an alternative, always travel with a friend who you can trust to look into the holster, for you, until you get in shape.

Train like your life depends on it.

(It could)

Things You May Do That Give Away You’re Carrying A Gun

Brandon Curtis

While this article is mostly for new concealed carriers, it plays a part for nearly everyone who carries a firearm. We’ve all been guilty of at least some of these movements and behaviors that can give away the fact that we’re carrying a firearm, but even if we’ve negated them all, it’s still worth talking about.    

Give them what they want

Kathy Jackson

This woman apparently believed that the criminal who approached her at the ATM wanted to steal her car. Which, he did.

But that’s not all he was after.

After he told her to get out of her car (she did), he told her to open her trunk (she did), and then he told her to get inside the trunk (she did).

And he drove away.

With her in the trunk.    

5 CCW Tips for Older Armed Citizens

Sheriff Jim Wilson

As we get older, we must keep in mind that we can still be a target for criminal attack.  In fact, we may become even more of a target as the years catch up with us.  The crooks see the gray hair, the wrinkles and figure that we will be less likely to resist and less likely to be armed.  Age may cause us to have physical problems to deal with, but many of them can be overcome.    

Top 2 Myths About Self-Defense for Seniors

Wendy LaFever

There are a lot of strange tropes floating around in American popular culture about self-defense, many of which are so counterintuitive that it’s often difficult to know where to start when refuting them.    

Louder Than Words:  Behavioral Cues for Situational Awareness

Tom Marshall

One of the preeminent facets of self-defense is situational awareness.  Unfortunately, those two words have become a catch-phrase-turned-mantra beaten to death by nearly every book, video, instructor and Internet forum about personal protection.  But so much of the talk about situational awareness seems to be just people yelling at each other to make sure they have it.  Rarely do we see a concise, level-headed, repeatable explanation as to exactly what mental processes make up this mystical “awareness” and how exactly we use them to protect ourselves from potential threats.    

The Perils of Concealed Carry:  Remember There’s no Prize for the Fastest Reholster

Jeff Gonzales

We’ve all more than likely seen some tragic accidents that have involved concealed carry and while I’m not sure they could’ve been avoided, my hope is that the information provided in this article can help more folks from making the same mistakes.    

The Beginner's Guide to Appendix Inside the Waistband Concealed Carry

Kevin Creighton

The cowboy with his gun on his hip is one of the icons of American history.  We’ve come to expect that if a law enforcement officer has a gun, it’s going to be in a holster on his hip.  When we compete in a practical shooting match or shoot in a pistol training class, the most common place to find a gun is in a holster on the hip.  That may be changing, though.    

How Do I Use a Handheld Flashlight and Handgun at The Same Time?

Matthew Maruster

You may have not realized it, but you learned the importance of light the first time you were told about firearms safety.  Think about this basic rule: identify your target and what is beyond it.  Now apply it to real-world defensive gun use.  It would sound more like: identify your threat, what is around it, and be prepared for changes.    

Top 10 Tips For Urban Survival
(Increasing Your Situational Awareness)

Tom McHale

Some people are naturally observant.  I’m not one of them.  My wife can sprint through a crowded airport on a holiday weekend wearing noise-canceling headphones and then proceed to describe everyone there, who has middle seats on their next flight and which of their kids are taking violin lessons.    

Pepper Spray- How to Choose it and How to Use it

Greg Ellifritz

Many of the questions I receive from students involve the use of chemical sprays.  It seems that nearly everyone carries or is contemplating the carrying of some type of Mace or chemical irritant.  Accurate information about the selection and use of these chemicals exists, but it is often difficult to find truth in the sea of lies and misinformation promulgated by the chemical manufacturers.  This article will provide a simple step-by-step formula for selecting, carrying, and using a chemical spray deterrent.    

Privateer Publications Responsible Information About Shooting, & Self Defense

Chris Bird


Point Shooting Versus Aimed Fire

Chris Bird

In the 1920s and ’30s, the Chinese city of Shanghai was a violent place.  Gunfights between the British-led police force and local criminals exceeded six hundred over a 121⁄2-year period with the police winning most of them.  The credit goes to Captains W. E. “Dan” Fairbairn and E. A. “Bill” Sykes, who developed a close-range shooting system that gave the police more edge than a two-handed sword.  During World War II, Fairbairn and Sykes taught their skills to British commandos and secret agents.  Their system was introduced into the United States by Colonel Rex Applegate, who taught it to agents of the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA.    

Bayanihan Kali:  Fighting and Emergency Medical

Rudy Salazar


Scheduled Training:

CLICK HERE for a complete calendar of scheduled training opportunities.

Ask yourself, "If my spouse and I experience a SHTF moment, in the Walmart parking lot, with coequal pulse rates north of 170 bpm, will her time be best spent:

  1. Figuring out the intricacies of that $2.5K Super Blaster-500, I got her for her birthday, or

  2. Simply, having to remember where the trigger is, while she points her reliable S&W revolver at the bad guy's middle?

-- Rudy

Revolvers in the Coming Pandemic

Active Response Training
Greg Ellifritz

Considering I’m planning several revolver courses for the coming year, I have revolvers on the brain.  It seems that the proficient use of a revolver has become a dying art in this age of self-loading pistols.  I think that is a sad state of affairs and truly believe that many folks could be better served with a revolver as a home defense weapon, especially in the event of a serious economic or societal collapse scenario.  You know, like that Covid -19 outbreak everyone is discussing?    

Published by:

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


Michael Arnold
Chris Bird
Rudy Salazar

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