Monday, June 26, 2017

Rotating Carry and Defense Ammo

The other day my wife caught me replacing ammo in her gun. Actually she didn’t really catch me she’s seen me do it before. She just noticed this time and asked questions. “How often do you replace ammo? Is the replaced ammo still good? What do you look for when inspecting ammo? Is there any other time you would rotate it?”
These were all good questions. I also have some other things I’d like to point out.
Defense guns and ammunition are special items. These tools you must have work when you need them. They should be what you consider the best. Or at least the best that you can afford. One of my home defense guns is a S&W auto compact 9mm. Would I rather have a Sig Saur or a Kimber? Sure. But I like my S&W and I am accurate with it. We have other guns of other calibers hidden through-out the house.
Anyway, I like to switch out my ammo in our carry guns and home defensive weapons every 6 months. This is just a conclusion I came to many years ago from experience. If you Google “rotate your ammo” you’ll find several articles and forum threads on this topic. I also consider what type of gun I’m keeping ammunition in.
The difference between a semi-auto pistol and a revolver is obvious. But not so much how each type of gun treats its ammo. With a revolver, your rounds are dropped smoothly into the chamber. Every surface of the ammunition, save the face of the bullet, is protected, and there is no high-impact insertion into the chamber. Autoloading pistols have a tendency to beat the daylights out of the first couple of rounds in the magazine. When the gun is loaded, the first round is slammed rather violently into the chamber. The second round is subject to the slide’s movement over its case, and if you load and unload frequently, these two probably get cycled in and out of the chamber more than once.
The “revolver or auto” question also pertains to any spare ammunition you carry. With extra mags for a semi-auto, all of the ammunition in the magazine is protected by the magazine body with the exception of the first round. If you carry a revolver, things are a bit different. If you carry spare rounds in a Speed Strip in your back pocket then after a month or two, the rounds on this strip are discolored and usually one or two of the cases is at least a little dented. If you carry speedloaders in belt holders (or magazines in magazine pouches), the ammo will probably not age as quickly, but can still eventually encounter issues from exposure moisture and debris.
The next question you should be asking is, “How do I store the gun?” Is the gun a nightstand pistol that rarely leaves the bedside table? Is it a daily carry gun? Do you load and unload it daily? Your answers here may dictate how often you should rotate your ammunition. If the gun never leaves the bedside, the ammunition could probably last pretty much indefinitely. Because it is not exposed to sweat, humidity, temperature fluctuation, and daily handling, the ammunition should last much longer than ammunition in a carry gun. If you are like me and you check the condition of your firearm every time you put it into the holster, the ammunition in it can become a little worn and should be replaced more frequently.

You should inspect your ammunition occasionally. When I pull the rounds out of my gun, I am looking for some specific indicators that it should be replaced. First, I’m going to look at the bullet itself. Some discoloration from handling is normal, but alterations in the shape of the bullet are not. Did it get slammed into the feed ramp and is now misshapen as a result? This is probably a good indicator that the whole cartridge has suffered some abuse, and the change in shape may impact the bullet’s performance. If the bullet is deformed, replace those rounds.
Next, you should look at the position of the bullet in the case. A condition called “bullet setback” can occur when pressure is repeatedly applied to the bullet – from chambering and rechambering – and forces it backward into the case. This can compress the powder and create dangerously high chamber pressures, and ammunition exhibiting significant bullet setback should not be fired. If the bullet is set back, replace those rounds. Federal, Remington and Winchester all recommend that cartridges should not be chambered more than twice before being discarded. I usually shoot the rounds unless the setback is significant or there is other damage. (I reload so I have a bullet puller. I’ll pull the bullet and re-use the case if it’s not damaged)
Next, you should inspect the case. Non-nickel plated brass cases may be discolored. Some mild discoloration isn’t reason to remove them from duty, but corrosion is.
I then inspect for deformities, especially the kind that would prevent the round from feeding reliably. These include dents or slight bulges in the case or deformities around the case mouth. I find this to be most common with revolver cartridges carried in reloading strips. I carry these in my back pocket, so each time I sit they are liable to impact with whatever I am sitting on. If cases are badly corroded or deformed, get rid of them.
What do I do with the ammunition that comes out of the rotation? I shoot it. There is some value here, other than just an expensive range session. It also gives me confidence in my ammunition.
I admit this does cost a little money. For me, it’s totally worth it for the peace of mind in knowing that my ammunition will go “boom” when it has to.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, June 23, 2017

Don't Be A Sitting Duck!

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has undergone surgery and will need further operations, after being shot by a man who opened fire with a rifle on an early morning baseball practice for Republican members of Congress in Alexandria, Va. Scalise was the most seriously injured of four victims of the shootings.
The suspect was fatally wounded during a gun battle with law enforcement, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer who had been shot.
“He was hunting us, and there was no place to go…
Most of us were at home plate, waiting for batting practice, and everyone hit the deck, flat on the grass, right off the baseline.
But we were sitting ducks…
I’m shocked that I am alive.
I don’t want to make a political statement about guns, but I’m just grateful they were there with the weapons they had…
The only reason why any of us walked out of this thing, by the grace of God, one of the folks here (security detail traveling with Scalise) had a weapon to fire back and give us a moment to find cover…
“He was coming around the fence line and he was looking for all of us who had found cover in different spots. But if we didn’t have return fire right there, he would have come up to each one of us and shot us point-blank.”
Congressman Mike Bishop (R) Michigan
This happened to be a Congressman. This could be anyone. Do you want to be a sitting duck? Do you want to be helpless? Most of you are out there. Do you think any of the members of Congress thought that going to practice softball would be life threatening? Think about what you did today. Was anything you did life threatening? Maybe, if you’re in law enforcement, firefighting, or soldiering. But most of us went to the store, went to work, or a theme park, or the pool, or a myriad of other public places that could have turned into “softball practice.”
People wonder why I carry a gun. The above situation is one of the many reasons I carry. I could always be surprised but mostly I am not a “sitting duck.” But don’t just get a gun and feel safe. One of my mentors Jeff Cooper said:
"You are no more armed because you are wearing a pistol than you are a musician because you own a guitar."
You must get trained. And continue training. To do this you must devote a portion of your time, your fortune (some money), and your mind, to such a serious endeavor. You must practice, and teach, situational awareness for you and your family. You must fortify your mind and your home. You must not be a sitting duck! If you do what these several Congressmen did you will lose! We must not let these few wolves, these few miscreants of society, win. This is your life! This is your community! This is your country! You and I cannot, will not, give in to those who prefer violence over safe liberty. I know that I am condoning violence for violence, but I cannot see any other way of defending myself against violence than with violence. I believe in Ghandi’s words. I believe in Martin Luther King’s words. And most of all I believe in Christ’s and God’s words. But until we can win the hearts and minds of the world we must be able to survive the world.
Get trained. Practice. Carry and defend what is right. And in the end do we not “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor?”

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Porter Rockwell Philosophy

I like OP Rockwell. Orrin Porter “Ol’ Port” Rockwell was born June 28, 1813. This is his 204th birthday! He was my kind of guy. He was rough but had a big heart. He could shoot and defended the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Church until his dying day. At one time he was a deputy sheriff, mostly riding shotgun for the Overland Stage. At what became known as the Great Bullion Robbery of `68, a bandit tried for $40,000, and Rockwell brought the man in after tracking him through the desert for a week. That fame helped to set Rockwell up as the territory's first private detective. Frank Karrick, a freighter out of Sacramento, lost stock to rustlers, and Brigham Young's advice was to "Get Rockwell." Later, Herman Reinhart also lost stock, and Young's advice again was to "Get Porter Rockwell." Both Karrick and Reinhart were suspicious. Hadn't that same Rockwell, back in `57, played some terrible part in wiping out a train from Arkansas bound for California? But Rockwell had then been in Wyoming, harassing Johnston's army and so could not have participated in what was becoming known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Rockwell made good his contracts with Karrick and Reinhart with about as much dispatch as he did everything else from when he had ferried wagons over the Big Blue. Both clients paid him readily (with Karrick throwing in the gifts of a silver-trimmed saddle and a keg of whiskey). But the appreciation of those two was as nothing alongside that of the territory at large when Rockwell teamed up with another sheriff and brought in Chauncey Millard, Utah's version of Billy the Kid. Little known in the annals of the West's killers, Millard's final story was that he shuffled off in leg irons to his firing squad while still eating the dollar's worth of candy he had gotten when he sold his body to a Provo physician. Rockwell was one to have witnessed Millard's execution, and increasingly Rockwell's taking part in the lawful business of the state seemed to drain the Samson out of him.
Porter was an avid concealed carrier. One time an Illinois sheriff had gotten the drop on Rockwell, and shaking him down, the lawman found the Mormon carried the fire power to get off 71 pistol rounds before he would have had to fort up and reload. That would have meant he had ten, eleven, or twelve guns on board, plus ramrods, wadding, and shot. For comparison, a Smith and Wesson .357 weighs 46 ounces, unloaded. A Ruger .44 weighs 48 ounces (an even three pounds). For either, a box of 50 cartridges comes in at a pound and a half. Figuring that a modern weapon weighs roughly what one of Rockwell's would have, along with its paraphernalia, he could have been riding along with as much as 38, to 40 pounds of steel slapping against him with his horse's gait. Add to that the weight of the hostlers and belts his outfit would have required. And more—add the weight of a formidable array of knives he had sheathed beside his guns. The sheriff, whoever he was, came away from the arrest with a story that was to last him a long time.
But Rockwell kept scaling down his arsenal until he carried just one .36 caliber Navy Colt, whose barrel he had sawed off to about two inches. The convenience of that was he could drop the gun into his coat pocket and go without a holster. In lightening up that way, he appears to have become like veteran cops, weary of the chaffing from gun belts and sick of the dangerous nuisance of the guns themselves. Maybe it was his age or experience.
Some famous advice purportedly given by Rockwell to Sir Richard F. Burton as he was embarking on an (apparently also now-famous) excursion through the desert: “Carry a double barreled gun loaded with buck-shot, to keep my eyes skinned especially in canyons and ravines, To make at times a dark camp, That is to say un-hitching for supper, and then hitching up and turning a few miles off the road. Ever to be ready for attack when the animals are being in-spanned and out-spanned, and never to trust to appearances in an Indian Country.”
I like his thinking. He believed in fire power and he believed in tactical thinking.
This is why I call this philosophy the OPR Philosophy in honor of Orrin Porter Rockwell. It goes like this:
I’ve heard many balk at this idea or philosophy and I respect that opinion. But it’s been my experience that this philosophy is true.
The philosophy basically is that there are 3 types of people. They are described as Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs. The sheep are most people that you know and see. They are good, productive members of society who would not hurt anyone or anything. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a sheep. Then there are wolves. Wolves are evil, selfish near-humans intent on taking what they want. They are not interested in who they hurt in this process. They are a large minority and many are locked up. Then there are sheepdogs. Sheepdogs care about the sheep even though sometimes the sheep don’t appreciate them. The sheepdogs want the sheep to be safe and to be rid of the wolves. I’ve read so many writers who don’t believe that sheepdogs exist. They think that those who believe themselves to be sheepdogs are camo wearing wanna-bes. I’m sure some camo wearers do exist. But I know enough people who, when confronted with violence, go toward it. Watch video of 9-11. Most people were running from the towers but a few were running toward them. This was not just because it was their job. There are many stories of people who helped others and went back into the towers and perished. Many people were going up the stairs while the masses came down. I’ve learned for myself that when shots are fired I go towards the sound. Much to the consternation of my wife.
Be prepared in all things. Be prepared in defense. Be like Port. This is what I call the OP Rockwell philosophy. Living among the sheep but doing my best to protect them. This is how I see Porter Rockwell's life.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Darknet: Mystery and Free Speech

I am constantly looking for anonymity on the internet. So when I read about TOR (The Onion Router) I was intrigued.
TOR, which can be downloaded online, operates like a browser — albeit slower because it is bouncing packets of data across several continents to protect anonymity. Journalists, whistleblowers, domestic abuse victims and dissidents living under repressive regimes use Tor to bypass government censors and prevent their online movements from being tracked. The U.S. State Department provides funding to the Tor Project to promote Internet freedom in other countries.
But the anonymizing software has also been used by whistleblowers to leak sensitive U.S. government secrets. Though it’s unclear whether Snowden used Tor to disclose details about NSA surveillance to reporters, Wikileaks has reportedly used the software to protect whistleblowers.
Tor masks people’s online activity by routing traffic through layers of servers, or “nodes,” around the world. Its creators likened the encryption method to layers of an onion, giving the software its original name: “The Onion Router.” About 500,000 people use TOR every day, according to the Tor Network, which consists of a global network of more than 3,000 volunteers who host servers and promote freedom of speech and online privacy.
Once you’re on a directory, one thing becomes overwhelmingly obvious: A lot of dirty, downright illegal stuff happens in TOR. You’ll quickly find links to credit-card scammers, forged documents and currency, weapons dealers, gambling sites, marketplaces for every vice imaginable, hacker havens, the types of illegal and disgusting porn that get chased off the Surface Web, and even the notorious Silk Road, the illegal drug trading post.
But wait! Don’t close your browser in disgust quite yet. Do be smart about your browsing, and above all else, remember Onionland’s anarchistic nature.
Remember you don’t have to click anything you don’t want to. You aren’t likely to stumble across questionable stuff unless you specifically seek it out.
Also remember that thanks to the TOR technology, this Darknet is truly anonymous. If something for sale on the Darknet catches your eye, ask yourself: Are the services listed in this major Onionland wiki legit, or are they fronts for people looking to separate fools from their Bitcoins? Many of the scarier listings in directories are flat-out scams.
But the same anonymity that makes TOR a haven for weapons dealers and perverts also makes it a bastion of a more noble cause: free speech.
Many countries lack the equivalent of the United States’ First Amendment. Darknets grant everyone the power to speak freely without fear of censorship or persecution. According to the TOR Project, anonymizing hidden services have been a refuge for dissidents in Lebanon, Mauritania, and Arab Spring nations; hosted blogs in countries where the exchange of ideas is frowned upon; and served as mirrors for websites that attract governmental or corporate angst, such as GlobalLeaks, Indymedia, and Wikileaks.
The New Yorker’s Strongbox, which allows whistleblowers to securely and anonymously communicate with the magazine, is a Tor Hidden Service. The Tor Project says that authorities offer similarly secure tip lines, and that some militaries even use Hidden Services to create online secure command and control centers.
Ultimately, you’re going to find reasons to love and hate the underbelly of the web.
By way of definition let’s define the Darknet.
There are three “layers” to the internet. But four terms.

Surface Web
Deep Web
Dark Web (aka Darknet)

The Surface Web
The surface web is what you probably spend about 85% of your time on. This will depend on your specific habits, but it’s a good estimate. The surface web is defined as anything that can be indexed by a search engine. This website is considered surface web because you can find LDS Gunsite on a search engine like Google or Bing.
YouTube, Google, the New York Times, etc. are all surface web sites (for the most part). You can find them and browse them by simply following the links in their navigation.
The Deep Web
This term is often confused with the Darknet. They are simply not the same thing.
The Deep Web is any part of the web that is accessed through your normal browsing but not indexable by search engines. Do you have to log in to access your bank account details? Are your friends the only ones that can see your posts on Facebook? Do you watch videos via Netflix? These are all examples of the Deep Web. You can access them through your normal browser, but only if you are logged in.
The Clearnet
Clearnet is a term used to describe either the Surface Web or the Deep Web. Essentially, it is any site that you can access through a normal browsing experience. This term may not be familiar to you. But once you move into the darkest bowels of the Internet, you will see it.
The Darknet
This is a part of the Internet that is intentionally hidden. This can include anything from direct communications to a company’s private network to the TOR hidden services. If people are trying to hide it, it’s in this category.
About a 2 years ago, a developer friend started asking some questions about the Dark Net. I knew she was a very religious lady. I thought this was odd. It turned out that, through her church group, she had made some connections with a Christian church in the Middle East. She wanted to help them develop a hidden church site where they could communicate without risking Muslim attacks.

As already mentioned, there are additional risks when accessing the Darknet. Just keep in mind that you might not like what you see. If you are offended by profanity, offensive topics, crime, or pretty much anything, you should probably stay away. A lot of it is just teenagers being rude, but they can really push the limits.
I’m going to share only one site with you. Here you can test out the browser and ask for more information. It is friendly to new users in that people will give responses, but do not go in here thinking it will be PG-13. I also want to make one final warning that you do not click any external links until you are comfortable and ready to accept responsibility for your actions on the Darknet.
Note: This will not open unless you are using the TOR browser.
Remember, there is a level of security in the Clear Net. My IP address is on this page and you can figure out who I am. There’s no such thing as accountability on the hidden web.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Buying Food In Bulk by FLAG

A few years after our marriage we moved to a small town. A few towns over there is a farming community. I found that they grew corn and could purchase that in bulk. I was grateful but I didn’t use a lot of corn in our program when I started out. I found another farmer up north who would sell hard red wheat in buckets. So I purchased some from them. I still had to purchase oats and cream of wheat in the store which is expensive compared to buying it in bulk.
Then I heard about Walton Feed. I called and had a catalog sent to me. After talking to Walton Feed, I realized that I would have to do a bulk order and needed to get people in my community excited about grains so that the order would have enough weight. It was a challenge the first few years. Now I get calls from neighboring cities from people who want to be added to the grain order list the next time I do a bulk order. I would ask them where they got my number and they would tell me the name of the person, whom I didn’t know. I was grateful. The more weight the sooner the order.
I can still remember to this day my excitement of the variety of what was available to order as far as grains and beans. They also had dehydrated items, grinders, books etc. It has changed over the years and more products are available.
I got the catalog in the mail and started making a list of what I wanted to try. I ordered a bag of a variety of grains and beans. I was not sure of taste. What some of them looked liked. I just decided to think of it as an adventure and exploring a new world. By purchasing these other grains and beans, it opened more possibilities and variety to my food storage program. I was excited.
When I do a grain order people ask me to do a class about the different items available, their nutritional value, the best way to purchase an item, bag, bucket or can, I suggest to them to just buy it to try the item out. They are hesitant because of the cost of some of the grains. For example, quinoa is an expensive grain but I absolutely love the taste and nutrition of that grain. If they are not wanting to buy a bag of it, which is usually cheaper, I suggest they find a couple of friends and split the cost of the bag. If they can’t find anyone, just purchase one #10 can.
The questions that drives me crazy is, “Tell me what should I buy?” First of all, I can’t make that choice for a person or a family. Each family is different and have different tastes. I don’t like saying get this grain, have them spend the money and not be happy. No food storage program is going to be the same. A person is going to have to experiment with the different tastes and textures to find out if their family is happy with that grain or bean.
I always suggest that they get some wheat to store in buckets. It has a long shelf life if kept in a dry cool place and buckets are not damaged. But here again, they need to decide what kind of wheat to store. Should I store only hard red or hard white wheat? What about soft wheat? How much durum wheat should I store to make home made noodles or do I want to buy store bought noodles for my storage? There is also triticale which is a mix of hard red wheat and rye? Do some of my family members have a low tolerance to wheat? If so, spelt may be your answer. These are some of the questions I ask them. They give me the “deer in the head light look”, and respond, HELP!
I know some people who just hate hard red wheat. They stored it before white wheat started to be sold. They have now purchased enough hard white wheat for their family and call the hard red wheat, their “share” wheat when times get tough.

Personally, I store all of them and use them for many different types of breads, crackers, noodles and other dishes. There is just no way I would just have one kind of wheat. Home made graham crackers do not taste good with hard white wheat only. I need to use hard red wheat. My home made pancake and waffle mix is made out of soft wheat. Those are the only pancakes my kids will eat. When we got to functions where pancakes are being served, a 4th of July breakfast or a church camp out, I bring my own batter because my children detest the taste of bleached white flour pancakes. To them there is no flavor and they say it taste like paste. My children who are at college have me send them my home made mix to them. You might think they are spoiled, they are not, they just know what good food tastes like.
If you are interested in ordering in bulk, contact Walton Feed. They can tell you a person in your area that places orders with them. If there is no one close, you might want to start one in your home town and get it delivered to your door. You can have small amounts shipped through yellow freight or UPS. I usually co-ordinate my bulk order along with other people in cities close to mine so that we can get the truck in our area sooner. I have been very pleased with Walton Feed on replacing broken items, the quality of product and trusting me when I say I did not receive an item that they said that they have shipped to me.
Some of you may live in a city that sells grain and beans in bulk or can purchase them by the pound to try them out. If this is your case, what a blessing for you and take advantage of it. Start today by purchasing a new grain or bean and look on line for a recipe. Make sure that when serving the food to your family, don’t apologize for it, be excited. That way they won’t feel negative about the dish. Some of the dishes I have made have not looked too appetizing but have tasted great. My kids have learned to not judge a dish by it’s looks.

Buying in bulk is cheaper, helps you to take advantage of sales, helps to get your food storage moving, and is usually easier.
Good luck in your food storage pursuits!


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Perfect Practice: Good Habits

I spend a lot of time on shooting ranges. Lately I’ve noticed a new kind of shooter. They are relatively new shooters, but often they carry, and they practice more than the average. From what I’ve seen, the average concealed carrier practices once every 3 months. Of course that is on average. So they are not necessarily new shooters (less than 2 years) but practice more than average (about once a month). I’ve noticed also that they usually are a little experienced, but have very little training. Some of them have been shooting “their whole lives”. Sometimes that only means shooting 3 or 4 times a year. Or just a few during hunting season. Don’t get me wrong, that is some experience. Just being around guns and handling them puts you ahead of the average person who has never, or rarely, handled or shot a gun. Anyway, these have been my observations. For the first 10 to 12 years of my life I lived like the typical hunter. It wasn’t until I was 12 or 13 that I really developed a love for guns and shot them often (at least weekly.)
I have observed that there are certain things that my students did, and others I see almost every other day, that is cementing false muscle memory, or bad habits, into your brain. It’s not something you can’t change, but it takes a lot of work.
New and less experienced shooters have a tendency to squeeze the entire palm of their shooting hand. When shooting, whether using one hand or two, remember that your three-finger shooting grip must not move. Your trigger finger should operate independently. It seems awkward but it’s like learning to play a drum kit. Sometimes your hands have to operate independently of your feet.
If you practice by gripping three fingers tightly in a partial fist, or a three finger grip–the same three fingers on your shooting hand that grip the gun–and then slowly move your trigger finger straight and smoothly rearward, that will help. You might notice that your thumb will move too. Ideally, nothing but your trigger finger should move.
You can practice this technique with a racquetball in your three finger grip.
As any and every shooter must remember, sight alignment is critical, but don’t freeze your sights then slam or slap or jerk on the trigger–that’ll throw your round off every time.
Anticipating the shot or pushing the gun can be a problem too. I see it often and I even have the problem myself now and again. However, squeezing the entire palm of the shooting hand is sort of like someone who’s never milked a cow before trying to milk one because they think they think they have some idea of how the process works! Too often I see people milking their pistol grip, or squeezing it with all their might to “control” the gun. That’s not normal. You were born to be a shooter, not a dairy farmer.
When it comes to other factors affecting your accuracy, there’s a couple of other things to remember. It’s important not to blame the sights, which happens all too often. Fix your bad habits first. It’s not the gun!
I’ve had people swear up and down their problems lie in their “inferior” (fill in gun brand here.) I tell them it’s not and they think I’m crazy. I then ask to use their gun. It hit just fine and then I tell them their problem. Most of the time it’s not a difficult fix. Sometimes it’s more than one thing but correction is easily implemented. The problem will come with the false muscle memory. You have to sometimes retrain your muscles (your brain actually.)
Getting all the fundamentals of solid shooting is imperative. Considering your sights are lined up all the way through the break of the shot, and noting your trigger squeeze is smooth, constant and straight to the rear, reexamine your grip. Remember to allow your trigger finger to operate alone. Your grip should be tight, but the trigger finger is loose and caresses that trigger. Squeezing the whole palm can really throw off your shot.
Once in a while I will take a shooting class. Maybe once every 3 or 4 years or so. I will take a basics course. The instructors recognize some things about me that identify me as an instructor. They ask why I’m there. I tell them, to relearn what I may be missing so that I can shoot, and teach, fundamentals better. It’s also a good, humbling, experience.
Learn the basics and then practice them until they are part of you. Learn safety the same way. They say “Practice makes perfect.” I say “Perfect practice makes perfect.”

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Learn To Embrace The Suck!

I did some military training at an Army base in Illinois in the 80’s. By virtue of my assignment, being attached to a particular unit, I was subject to the requirements of that unit. During my time with them we played some war games. Numerous times during that time did I hear the term “Embrace the suck!” The term “embrace the suck” is a term widely used in the military when talking about a job or task that is pointless, tiring, or downright lame. As preppers it’s also important that we “embrace the suck” because not everything we watch or read is as easy as it seems. We all see the pictures of a thriving garden or the perfect shooter, but we never see the behind the scenes work that went into the final product. Growing vegetables takes composting, weeding and constant attention. Being good with a gun takes time, practice, and determination. These behind the scenes details are the “suck” we need to embrace. These aren’t the flashy fun aspects of self-sufficiency, but they could be the difference between having a great final product, or a final product that leaves you disappointed. The mundane tasks like weeding the garden, inventory, rotation and shooting drills, are important if we want to get things right. Cutting corners might save you time, but could lead to a less than satisfactory outcome.
One of the Youtube channels I frequent, and recommend, is the Nutin Fancy Project (TMP). Nutin reviews guns, but also knives, watches, and adventure. He includes his family and friends. I highly recommend it. When they are testing and shooting guns they sometimes use a term “suckless”, meaning, “do it better.” Often I think we need to remind ourselves and others that we strive for excellence and if we suck, suck less. Improve. Be better than you are. Make the best of everything.
Anything you do can be a waste of time when you don’t pay attention to detail. These might seem unimportant during the process, but sometimes the small things are just as important as the big things. If you own a firearm, you also need to learn about firearms safety, cleaning and actually shooting it.
All this behind the scenes stuff, or the “suck” is also one reason preppers lose their motivation. We always think about the ripe tomatoes or what it would be like to be an Operator, but we don’t think about the process of getting there. The process itself could lead us to just put it off until later, and then later never comes.
There is not always an easy solution when it comes to preparing, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try and find one. The truth is, there are some things you just can’t throw money at, and it will take a little hard work to get it done. Shooting is one of those things.
It’s really easy to talk yourself out of something because our brains are designed to keep us safe and fear the unknown. We always think about the worst thing that could happen. The odds are, nothing will ever be as bad (or hard) as our minds made it out to be.
Getting your family to “embrace the suck” is a challenge, but important as well. Your children need to learn that it’s natural to want to avoid the hard things, but it’s important to “embrace the suck” of hard things.
Shakespeare wrote:
“Let thee embrace me, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course”

Even old Willie counselled us to embrace the suck.
There are two kinds of suckiness. Physical and mental. How do you get past a situation with both? (Combat, natural disaster, etc.) You have to accept the moment as your new reality. Usually it is temporary, but it is the new normal. With this you can commit to thriving rather than just surviving. You have to decide to get through this and maybe even learn and come out better. Ever hear the saying “There are no atheists in the foxholes?” A belief in God and that He is there and will help you makes an immense difference.

We all have a form of suckiness in our lives. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done to make it go away. That’s when we need to learn to Embrace the suck!

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Friday, June 9, 2017

When Is Fake, Real? When It's News

At one time in High School I wanted to be a journalist. Especially a photo-journalist. I worked for the High School newspaper and the yearbook. I took lots of pictures and wrote some articles. I learned about an article that was “directed” by the school Principal. He wanted the article to read a certain way. Basically, he was limiting the free press of the school and trying to put out his agenda rather than news. When I heard about this I appealed to the head of the Journalism department, a teacher I knew and loved and who influenced me greatly. It did no good. The article ran as the Principal wanted it. I was so upset by this that I started an underground newspaper called “Another View”. I told the story of the article and other things that I saw going on that I thought were wrong and unethical. This was in a time before cheap copiers and computers so I typed it up and ran a mimeographed copy of my paper. I went early to school and “delivered” my paper in each locker. Ever since I’ve been skeptical of mainstream media (MSM). I also was a kid in the 60’s and I never thought I’d grow up to be “the establishment”. But liberal thinking just annoys me. It’s not very logical and it plays on emotions. MSM cannot be trusted.
Joseph Goebbels served as minister of propaganda for the German Third Reich under Adolf Hitler—a position from which he spread the Nazi message.
These are some of Goebbels quotes:
“Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.”
“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
These quotes remind me of mainstream media today. This is where the term “fake news” came from, propaganda.
Propaganda is: Information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
The deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.

The particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.
To be effective propaganda themes should be repeated over and over. Ever hear of a “news cycle?” This stories sometimes repeated many times over. Goebbels knew this and so do many today.
The easiest way the media keeps you from making up your own mind about what’s happening in the world is by simply ignoring stories that don’t fit their narrative. When was the last time you saw a news story about the ten thousand Christians being murdered every year in Myanmar (Burma)? No? Ask yourself why not. It’s human nature to fear the unknown, and so it isn’t surprising when the media preys on that fear to increase ratings.
One way I have tried to maintain a better world view is to stay in contact with two people. One is a Swedish businessman who travels because of his business. He buys and sells heavy machinery internationally. Some of this equipment is only made in a few places in the world so he travels a lot.
Another person I stay in contact with is a young ex-special forces operator who now works for the State Department. He works in Diplomatic security. I have a close friend who worked in Diplomatic Security with this young man. He travels extensively and reports what he sees and knows to my friend and me. I’m grateful for his insights into wars the U.S. is still involved in not including Afghanistan and Iraq.
If you’ve made the mistake of turning on your television or firing up the internet in the past several months, you’ve likely been subjected to a near-incessant drumbeat of “fake news.” It’s a term being bandied about by all sides of the political spectrum.
The accusation is that there are stories being reported as fact that happen to fit a political agenda, but are based on sketchy, if not outright fictional information. There is ample proof that this shoddy reporting has been used on all sides, bringing mistrust by the American people.
In my 25+ years working for the government, I’ve seen a more sinister way that the media shapes public opinion, and it’s more prevalent than you think. They use subtler methods to mold the culture and, in the process, insert themselves into the story in a very self-serving and perverse way.
One way the media influences how Americans think about certain issues is by framing the conversation in such a way that reasonable, decent people can only swallow one side of the argument.
Let me give you an example. With the news that President Donald Trump intended to enforce federal immigration law, the so-called “mainstream” media outdid themselves to paint him as racist, xenophobic, and just downright mean what has been regarded as sound executive policy under other presidents.
CNN then deployed its senior correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, to Jordan, where there are hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, ostensibly just biding their time until they can move to a country that shares their Muslim culture. I mean, a country where they can get the government to provide them with a lifestyle at least 100 times better than they were accustomed to in Syria before the war. The Obama administration made an art form out of ignoring stories that went counter to its political position.
Amanpour interviewed scores of refugees living in tents—the more ragged the better—about how cheated they must feel because they missed the boat by not getting to the United States before that devil Trump seized power. The not-so-subtle message is that these people obviously deserve to come to the United States of Welfare because, “Look! They are living in tents and some of them need medical procedures.”
Never mentioned was the fact that for the cost to bring one refugee to the United States, we could support 13 refugees where they are, and make it more likely they will return to their home country to rebuild once the violence stops.
And just in case Amanpour’s empathetic frowns didn’t motivate you to call your congressman and demand he or she throw open the gates of our country to shiploads of military-age refugees, the intrepid CNN reporter brought her young son along on this trip for some great phot ops of him interacting with refugee kids his age. What could be cuter? How could we be so callous as to deprive poor children the world over of their God-given right to grow up in a free country their forefathers did nothing to build?
If you are noticing the sarcasm, that’s because I’m laying it on pretty thick. Look, the Syrian refugee crisis is a catastrophe, there’s no arguing that. But can you see that CNN is going far beyond reporting on the plight of the Syrian people and is purposely framing the story in such a way as to shape public opinion? This might not be “fake news” in the pure sense, but it is nefarious and dishonest at the very least.
Here’s another example of how the media endeavors to go beyond reporting to influencing public perception. In 2010 CNN was discussing Iraq.
I’d been encouraged by the progress U.S. troops were making in the Iraq. Casualties were way down and the number of roadside bombs that were exploding around the country had dropped immensely. Part of the reason was that our military had gotten very effective at finding and defusing them before they went off. Things were looking up. Violence in general was down and a sense of hopefulness was evident there.
CNN was having a roundtable discussion on the situation in Iraq. I don’t remember having a problem with the content of the discussion—various “expert” talking heads were expressing their opinion. But it was the footage CNN was playing in the background that jumped out at you.
As the experts were talking, CNN was showing footage of a fierce gun battle. U.S. troops appeared to be pinned down, engaged in heavy combat. The sense it conveyed to the viewers is that Iraq was a mess—a quagmire every bit as lethal as Vietnam had been.
There was only one problem. The footage they were running in the background was from the battle of Fallujah, five years earlier. While gunfight footage is “sexy,” no doubt, how honest is it to run five-year-old gunfight footage, giving the impression that it is current?
The media aren’t the only ones shaping the story before it gets to you. Politicians, in some ways, invented this game. The Obama administration made an art form out of ignoring stories that went counter to its political position. Even when calling for more gun control, President Obama defaulted to the Sikh temple shooting in 2012 (shooter was a white supremacist), or the 2015 Charleston church shooting. You can be sure he never mentioned the Fort Hood massacre or the San Bernardino shootings, because the perpetrators were Muslim and didn't fit his narrative that the only real threat to Americans is angry white men.
The news exists to report things out of the ordinary. Keep that in mind. If there’s a 10-car pileup on the freeway near your house, you know that’s a rare occurrence because you live there—you have context.
But when a bomb goes off in, let’s say, Colombia—and you haven’t been to Colombia—in your mind, bombings are everyday occurrences, and if given the chance to go to Colombia, you’ll probably pass. Never mind that you are statistically more likely to be the victim of violent crime in Chicago or Detroit. You don’t have context. It’s human nature to fear the unknown, and so it isn’t surprising when the media preys on that fear to increase ratings.
Ever wonder why most news is free? That’s because you are not the customer. You are the product. There is a war being waged for your mind. You must be the victor. You must not give into the hype and the rhetoric. Find better news sources. View or read MSM with great skepticism. Think for yourself and don’t be a victim of the Goebbels-style propaganda that comes from MSM.
“Fake news” has been out there a long time. One of things I like about President Trump is his disdain for MSM. I don’t like that much about the way he acts or what he Tweets, but I understand wanting to have access to the people that can’t be manipulated by CNN or the NY Times. I have the same disdain and distrust of MSM.
Don’t drink the Kool-aid, find real, honest, sources for your news. Stop, I beg of you, STOP! Getting your “news” from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These are NOT news outlets! Do your own research, find 3 or 4 credible sources and cite them. Don’t pass on crap that should die on the internet instead of living a long life. We can be better. We are better. And please for the love of all that is true, don’t believe everything you read on the internet!
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Monthly Book Review: June

Monthly Read
Once a month I will review and recommend a book. I know in this digital world that paper books are a little out dated. Most hard copy books are now in digital form, often in PDF. I would recommend a good well rounded hard copy library in your home. Some of the best books are old and out of print. There are certain publishers and authors I really like. This will be books I like and really only my opinion. If you’d like to recommend a book for me to review e-mail me and we can make it happen. The subjects will be varied but will have to do with the theme of this website, LDS Gunsite. Guns, preparedness, LDS History, security, self-defense, and patriotism are just a few examples. I have a big library of mostly reference books so I will draw heavily from that.

May’s Monthly Read is:
“Principles of Personal Defense, Revised Edition” By Jeff Cooper
Publishers summary.
Jeff Cooper is perhaps the nation’s foremost authority on defensive weapon craft. He is renowned not only for his practical instruction on firearms marksmanship, mechanics and safety but also for his groundbreaking ideas on proper defensive mental conditioning. This new edition of Cooper’s classic Principles of Personal Defense with a fitting tribute by firearms expert Louis Awerbuck and all new drawings by renowned illustrator Paul Kirchner presents his timeless theory of individual defensive behavior clearly, concisely and practically. All free people who aspire to stay that way should read, study and share the wisdom found within these pages. Considered by many to be one of the greatest books on combat mindset and proper defensive mental conditioning ever written, it deserves a place of honor in every library.
Jeff Cooper is one of the true pioneers of weapon craft in the United States. His numerous accomplishments include founder of Gunsite Ranch, editor at large of Guns & Ammo magazine, winner of the Outstanding American Handgunner award in 1995, Rangemaster Emeritus of the U.S. Practical Shooting Association and long-time member of the board of directors of the National Rifle Association.
Cooper gives us 7 basic principles that can easily be adopted and used by everyone. They are the same today as they would have been in 1979, when he conceived the book. I think they are even more applicable today than any time in history.
This is really a book about having the mindset of personal protection and what is required of this mindset. Crime is everywhere in the world. There are 2 kinds of people: those that have been victims of crime and those that haven’t been victims of crime. Certainly, crime comes in many sizes, shapes and flavors. But his basic principles are that if we pay attention to our surroundings, have some counterattack plan, then we can be victorious in an attack on us.
Cooper writes that “It is true that a victim who fights back may suffer for it, but one who does not almost certainly will suffer for it. And, suffer or not, the one who fights back retains his dignity and his self-respect.” If you are attacked, the criminal is not expecting you to fight back. He’s not expecting you to have a plan. He is expecting you to do what he wants. He more often than not doesn’t have a plan if you counter attack. If he takes you somewhere else, usually he plans on killing you and leaving your body somewhere.
The right of self-defense does exist. It always has and always will. I do not want to down law enforcement, but they are not where crimes happen when they happen. They respond and report. Everyone has the right to protect themselves with any means necessary, whether it’s a firearm, sling shot, barstool or screwdriver.
Here are the principles Cooper believes everyone should possess:
1) Alertness
2) Decisiveness
3) Aggressiveness
4) Speed
5) Coolness
6) Ruthlessness
7) Surprise
This is a great little, quick book that is timeless. Cooper is very knowledgeable about self-defense. The principles he talks about have25 years ago and we can see that they need to be used now as much as any other time in history. It is something that everyone should be interested in. It doesn’t matter if you are a gun guy/gal, knife person or a parent. If you have the desire to put yourself in a better mind-space about self-defense, you should check out this book and anything that Jeff Cooper has written.
Semper Paratus
Check 6

Expand Your Situational Awareness With Drills

Situational awareness is not just for self-defense. Your whole world can be different as you start to notice and see everything around you. But for self-defense it’s imperative.
Before it can become part of your background thought process, or your subconscious mindset, you are going to have to be purposeful and do things to hone your skills.
• Play games with yourself; if you have kids include them in the process. When you enter a store, see how many exit points you can immediately identify. Look for obstacles, threats, or anything that could hinder your escape should something go down.
• Start watching people. Try to notice how people normally behave; what’s normal, what’s not? This is called a baseline. One of the best ways to spot trouble is to be able to read people’s behavioral quirks. You can avoid problems or threats because you pick up on things like body language, emotions, and changes in a person’s voice that can tell you something is about to happen.
• Limit outside distractions. When you are out in public you need to put down the phone, leave the electronic distractions at home, and really spend time being one with your environment.
• Start trusting your gut! At first you may be wrong, but in the end, you need to beware of those primal instincts that are built into your very being. The fight or flight response is a very real thing, something that can be used to your advantage if you can learn to control it and not give into the fear aspect which so many people in today’s society seem to be overwhelmed with.
Priority Awareness Zone
Imagine that you are the center of a 15-yard diameter circle. Look all around you—the entire 360 degrees—and evaluate each of the people within 7 or 8 yards of you. Start with those closest to you, and move out to your 8-yard radius. See anything unusual or noteworthy? Next, scan the same area, and see if you can pick out anything that could be used as a defensive tool—somewhere to hide, something that can be used as a shield or anything that can be used to strike. Finally, examine the same area and determine your best exit routes. For extra credit add the area above you, for a 540-degree awareness zone!
Head to Toe
Pick a person in your Priority Awareness Zone and describe that person in detail, paying particular attention to his or her most distinctive features—as if you might have to explain the person to the police. This helps you look more closely at people and process more information about them.
Here are some more tips.
Identify all the exits when you enter a building.
Count the number of people in a restaurant, subway or train car.
Note which cars take the same turns in traffic.
Take a look at the people around you and attempt to figure out their stories. Imagine what they do for a living, their mood, what they are focused on and what it appears they are preparing to do, based merely on observation.
Next time you’re in a parking lot, look for – and count – the number of cars with people sitting in them, whether you’re walking to the storefront, or coming back to your car, or even driving through.

Today find all the reflective surfaces that you can. See what those
reflections hold.
• Find the trees in the windows of your home.
• See the glint of the semi-truck in the window of a passing car.
• See the rippled reflection of the sky or yourself in a puddle of water.
• See the surroundings of the restaurant in the beverage glass before you.
• See the reflections of the road in the heat haze on the highway in front of you.
• See the distorted you in the corneas of the person you are speaking to.
• The only reflection to pay no attention to—that of any mirror.
• Find any and all reflections-and mark how many surfaces provide mirror images.

Awareness Drill

Take 3/Find 5

Select a 15-minute period in your day to execute this drill.

Take three steps, stop and list (verbally if possible) 5 distinct
things in your environment that you can physically sense, These can be
things you see, sounds you hear, scents, tastes on the wind, a breeze
on the skin.

Take three more steps, stop and repeat cataloging 5 more things. Do
not repeat anything in any of your prior inventory.

Continue until the ¼ hour is completed with no repetition of what you noticed.

If you take the time to honestly commit to this exercise you will find
there is far more to sense than we normally take in. We gloss over and
glide through so much of life that what we miss can be astounding.

There is a game known as “Kim’s Game” and it is played both by Boy Scouts and by military snipers to increase their ability to notice and remember details. It’s an easy game to execute: have someone place a bunch of different objects on a table (24 is a good number), study them for a minute, and then cover them with a cloth. Now write down as many of the objects as you can remember. You should be able to recall at least 16 or more.

These are real-world things you can do to help develop a situational awareness mindset.

Engaging in such simple situational-awareness drills will train a person’s mind to be aware of these things almost subconsciously when the person is in a relaxed state of awareness.
Warriors must be aware.
Aware of what? Everything.
A Warrior must be Awake. All detail is interesting, all detail may be
important. We do not know what detail will change our lives. We do not
know what detail will save our lives.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Overwatch: Drill of the Month for June

Unless you grew up on an Argentinian dove field with an eight-shot Benelli in your clutches, you likely don’t move and reload as fluently as you should while shooting a shotgun. But if your shotgun is your go-to arm for home defense, these actions should be as ingrained as hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock. There are several shotgun drills that can help.
Shotgunners need to be skilled in many areas, including shooting form, understanding their shotgun’s pattern at various distances, shooting while moving, shooting from cover, reloading and jam-clearing. Because the shotgun’s capacity is its weak suit, reloading is especially important, so all of the following drills should include tactical reloading, if possible.
Kick the Can: The trouble with most paper and steel targets is, unlike real assailants, they never move. So place two or more aluminum cans several feet apart, 7 yards away. Shoot the first can, and shoot it again before it quits tumbling backward. While it’s still moving from the second shot, transition to the other can and shoot it twice, and so forth. Incorporate a tactical reload.
While plenty of gurus would teach the low-ready position from which to start this drill, I advocate a ready position wherein the barrel is kept at eye level, with the strong-side wrist near the ribs. This is because most shotguns are long and many houses are cluttered. In my experience, punching the grip out and to the cheek is quicker than swinging the barrel up; plus hand-eye coordination is better when the barrel is always in view. Practice having the muzzle instinctively go to wherever you look. Then square up to the target zone (it’s OK to be slightly staggered due to the 12-gauge’s recoil) by stepping up with the lagging foot, never moving a foot backward. And remember to keep both eyes open while shooting so you’ll be faster on follow-up shots, transitions and situational awareness.
Shooting from Cover: Shotguns are often longer than carbines, so you must know how far from a wall is an ideal shooting position. Too far away and you’re overly exposed; too close could cause you to strike the barrel against the door jamb. Doing so not only slows you down, but creates an opportunity for a bad guy to grab your barrel. Place multiple targets 3 to 10 yards from cover, and start the drill by running to the cover and engaging all the targets while behind it.
Tactical Reload: A tactical reload means finding a shell with your support hand, shoving it in the open action, and pushing the action-release button on a semi—or cycling the action on a pump—all while holding the gun on target with your strong hand. Tactical reloads differ from 3-gun techniques in that the eyes should be kept ahead, scanning for threats. And because taking 10 seconds to fully reload the magazine is an eternity when bullets are flying, it’s best to reload one shell and shoot it and repeat until the immediate threat has passed. Therefore, you must learn how to reload without looking at your hands, shells or gun.
The drill is simple. With one shell loaded in the chamber and extra shells wherever you choose to keep them handy, practice taking five shots and, fast as you can, reload one and fire it on target. After the technique is mastered, repeat it while moving to cover. Next, turn out the lights. I recommend buying snap caps so you can drill in your living room.
Clearing Jams: A drill for jam clearing is best accomplished with a shooting partner. While on the firing line, swap guns. You set up a jam in your partner’s gun any way you wish, and they’ll do the same for you. Next lay the gun on the firing line. Time each other as you grab the shotgun, figure out what you must do to clear it while moving to cover and fire.

See “Overwatch: Drill of the Month” page for more drills

Semper Paratus
Check 6

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Warrior Checklist From Steve Claggett

Here’s a handy checklist, suitable for periodic review and reinforcement to recharge your warrior mindset.
These eight critical components of tactical performance were itemized by Dallas SWAT veteran Steve Claggett at the 25th annual conference of the Illinois Tactical Officers Association and in an interview with PoliceOne.
Are these consistently your personal priorities when you’re on the street?
1.) 540-degree Awareness
“Continually ask yourself: ‘What people, things, or uncleared spaces are around me or above my eye level that could hurt — or help — me?’ ” Claggett advises.
“As you approach a scene, pause and assess your 540-degree battlefield. Process individuals you encounter — their whole body, their hands, their pockets and waistband, their demeanor. What do you know about them…and what do you know about yourself in that environment? Don’t get hyper-focused on just one subject. Stay aware of potential secondary threats and threat locations.”
2.) Superior Positioning
“Sometimes a single step to the right or left can give you a better tactical edge,” Claggett says.
“Keep your battlefield in front of you. If you can get your back against a wall or something solid, you protect your six and cut your area of concern in half. If you create distance between you and your partner, you split the suspect’s focus — minimize your battlefield, maximize his.
“Does your position facilitate your ability to act and react, or restrict it? Is your nearest cover real, or imaginary? Do you keep the suspect between you and a potential secondary threat? Do you tend to simple but important details, like keeping your flashlight out of your gun hand? Do you recognize and adjust as new vulnerabilities arise?”
3.) “Attack-the-Attack” Ferocity
“When a suspect physically attacks you, defending yourself may need to be much more than just blocking his moves,” Claggett declares.
“If he’s going for your gun, for example, your life is on the line. Turn the attack on him with all the ferocity you can muster. Drive your thumb into his eye socket, punch him in the throat, bite him — you need to overwhelm him so he no longer wants to fight and can’t fight.
“Life-or-death physical combat on the street is likely to turn more on mindset than on skill, and your mindset must be to win, whatever it takes, not merely to survive.”
4.) Clear Mental Triggers
Establishing what Claggett calls “a clear mental trigger” means anticipating the evolution of trouble and having limits in mind in advance.
“Given the specific circumstances you’re in, know what action you will take when the suspect’s behavior reaches your trigger point. How close will you let a guy with a knife get before you shoot? How many times will you tell a gunman to drop his weapon?
“If you don’t know, you’ll more likely make no decision or a bad decision. Mentally drawing a line in the sand lets you avoid hesitation and prevents you from falling back on an unplanned startle response — two confirmed killers of officers. In a sense, you’re giving yourself the answers to the test before the test!”
5.) Personal SOPs
Equally important, Claggett believes, is honest dialogue with yourself to clearly define in advance what you are willing to do in a crisis. Will your personal standards of operation permit you to act confidently and decisively under stress?
“Would you shoot a dangerous suspect in the back when legally justified in doing so?” Claggett asks. “Would you run over someone with your squad car who was threatening to shoot you? Would you feel compelled to try some intermediate-force option before employing deadly force, even in the face of an imminent threat? The time to ponder your moral and ethical code and resolve potential dilemmas is not when lives are on the line.”
6.) Commitment to Movement
“Static positioning during range training leaves a terrible training scar,” Claggett says. “When you’re targeted by a deadly threat, movement is life. Ingrain that concept into your thinking and into your conditioned reaction. Get off the ‘X’. More laterally, not linearly, in relation to your adversary to make yourself a harder target. And if possible, of course, move to cover.”
7.) Uncomfortable Training
Quoting an anonymous sage, Claggett says in a crisis, “‘We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training’.”
To drive that level higher, “training needs to be uncomfortable, always pushing you to meet tougher challenges, acquire more demanding skills, make harder decisions, and build confidence and competence where any trace of uncertainty and mediocrity exists. We often get too little of that because we tend to train in our comfort zone. Think of training like an insurance policy: You hate paying the premiums, but when you need it you want the best coverage there is.”
8.) Unsparing Debriefing
Critique yourself after every stop and every call, Claggett urges.
“What were your strengths and weaknesses? What did you do that could have gotten you hurt or killed? What could you have done better? What do you need to improve on? Don’t let a good end result justify the means by which you got there. Be proactive about remedying shortcomings. Don’t just leave it to Fate, because Fate has a real good way of pointing out our deficiencies when it’s too late.
“Cops don’t like to hear — even from themselves — that they could do things better,” Claggett says.
“Ego can get in the way of self-improvement. True warriors put ego aside and make the principles of tactical thinking a lifestyle. They understand that hope is not a strategy and luck is not a skill. They not only recognize that they can be better, they take action to make it happen.”

Thanks to Police One dot com for this reminder. This was written in law enforcement context but applies to all of us civilians and military too.
(I tried to learn more about Steve Claggett but only found his name floating around in SWAT TV series circles. I know he worked Dallas, Texas SWAT and has worked in various tactical training companies. He’s law enforcement and I don’t run in those circles. He sounds like a very experienced, very competent tactical instructor.)
Semper Paratus
Check 6