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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.

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One of my favorite tactical adages is the old “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” What does this proverbial old chestnut have to do with close-range interpersonal violence? Simple, really: In any multi-step process or procedure, we often take the individual segments out of sequence because of the natural tendency to focus on the enjoyable or perhaps more difficult tasks rather than just doing things in the proper order. The example I’m thinking about today is pistol presentation, i.e.,…

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“What are you looking at, butthead?!?” Whenever such a line is uttered at a bar or other gathering, you can rest assured a fight is getting ready to start. Hopefully, the challenge isn’t directed toward you, but sometimes, through a bit of imprudent behavior on your part or simple bad luck, fisticuffs are imminent and you have been given a gold-engraved invitation. By “fight,” I mean a good old-fashioned, bare-knuckle, ass-whipping brawl. This is opposed to a felonious assault, where…

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As a Prepared American, I enjoy reading, listening to and writing about all things related to that particular focus. But a cancerous idea is spreading within the preparedness community that, if things go very badly, will get people killed: the bow and arrow. Archery is hot right now for a number of reasons, and our January visit to the Archery Trade Association (ATA) show in Louisville reflected that reality. The show has grown quite large and proves that, in a…

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Someone who looks very similar to Yours Truly might have committed a minor crime a few weeks ago. This unnamed, but exceptionally debonair, man attended a public event where every person had to pass through a security checkpoint that included a bag search and metal detector. Without going into the specifics, the result of passing through what was obviously a “Level One” crowd screening ended with Our Matchless Hero walking into the event with a concealed weapon. Granted, it wasn’t…

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I remember one time when I utterly knew fear: spitless, wide-eyed, so-afraid-you-can’t-pee-your-pants terror. I was not only scared, but confused, upset, embarrassed, and a whole range of other stomach-acid-producing emotions.

That’s what happens when you wake up not knowing how long you’ve been asleep. Actually, being asleep wasn’t really the problem. It was the location: at a stop sign, in a marked patrol car, in the middle of the street.

While on midnight patrol, I had surrendered to the sweet arms of Morpheus while stopped at an intersection in a residential area. As you can imagine, this isn’t an optimal state of affairs for anyone, let alone a cop.

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There you are, steely eyed dealer of death, walking through the doors of your local Stop-N-Rob when you observe some low-life puke holding a gun on the clerk.

Uh-oh. What shall we do?

If you’re like me, your first thought would be to immediately “un-ass” the area and place a couple of ZIP codes between yourself and the robbery in progress. Sorry for the clerk and his overall life expectancy rating, but there’s no point in two of us getting killed rather than one.

I’ve often talked of the “scared bunny” defense: scurrying like a frightened little rodent in the opposite direction away from danger. It’s a great way to keep you hale and hearty, but it’s also one of those things that is easy to explain yet difficult to practice.

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Can we just stop all this surviving for a minute or two? I’ve decided that the most overused word in the English language has changed from “tactical” then to “extreme” and now finally to “survival.”

As Exhibit A, take a look at the cable television schedule. Every program that isn’t about talentless wealthy people having lunch (see Keeping Up With the Kardashians) or inbred hillbillies doing wacky hillbilly things seems to be about outdoor survival. I’ve been in the woods quite a bit lately and you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a survival expert and his film crew.

Out of curiosity and at the urging of several friends, I finally watched one of these programs. What I saw alternately depressed me and made me so angry that I was shouting at the TV screen like a crazed televangelist.

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