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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 somewhat stagnant hunting industry, archery and bow hunting are putting more people both in the field and on the shooting range. Aside from all that over-inflated “extreme” and militaristic marketing used on too many hunting products, the archery business is alive and thriving.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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One issue I have intentionally avoided examining in this corner has been sighted vs non-sighted (“instinctive”) handgun fire. That’s because my experience has shown the debate has pretty clearly been decided in favor of utilizing those funny little bumps on the end of the barrel during close-range interpersonal deadly force conflicts.

But sometimes even the most obvious notions need to be pulled out of the cabinet and dusted off, so here goes.

I have a few friends and a significant number of acquaintances who, in my crusty opinion, simply don’t “get it” when it comes to using the sights on a pistol.

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Well, I hope you’re happy: the EMP event has finally occurred, widespread looting and race wars have started, zombies have risen from the grave, Canada has invaded the U.S., dogs and cats are living together in sin, and your mother-in-law just announced she’s moving in for six months.

It’s time to bug out.

You quickly but carefully gather up all your supplies, medications, communications gear, assorted family members and lesser animals, a sack full of gold sovereigns, and enough firepower to overthrow most Caribbean countries, then egress via your fully tricked-out Bug Out Vehicle to your secret mountain hideaway to await the coming apocalypse.

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It took a long time spent carrying a gun and a badge for me to figure out the secret of reaching that state of “conscious competence” regarding tactical operations: admit your mistakes.

This came to mind today when another officer wanted to meet me immediately following a burglary-in-progress run. I had arrived within a minute of the call and took up a position to wait for backup. As the previous shift had started with a serious stabbing on what was my first day back from vacation, a thick cloud of foreboding descended as I decided that this too would undoubtedly turn into something “interesting.”

Our Chief of Police, deputy chief, and the local school’s Chief of Police arrived shortly thereafter as backup, solidifying my conviction that the Fates were against me and bad things were imminent. They’re all good guys, but they operate on carpet, while my normal work environments are ramshackle trailers, rundown apartments, and burglary-in-progress calls.

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