Tuesday, September 10, 2019

New LDS Policy Defense Adaptation

The Church has decided to make our chapels “gun free” zones. I’ll not debate the wisdom of this, maybe it’s liability, or maybe something I do not know. But since they basically announced this to the world, I want my family to have some training. I’ve put together a video package of training I think is worth watching. There is also other materials with these videos to review annually. I will write a post of these recommendations with links to the material. Let me give you the basics and the philosophy behind this initiative.
I’m a gun guy. I have been for most of my life. That’s one of the purposes of this blog is an outlet for my “gun-ness”. I have chosen a gun to defend me and mine. You may not lean this way. (Then why are you on a Gun blog?) And that is OK, not everyone is suited to lethal force. It’s a big responsibility. There are other weapons that I would recommend you looking into. I don’t like the thought of using a less than lethal weapon and my attacker just keeps coming. My goal is to stop the threat. But I also figure that something is better than nothing. Some out there would not agree. I do subscribe to the “close and engage” until the threat stops or leaves. Some of these weapons may just make an attacker mad. Some may be ineffective. So go into this with your eyes open. But with that being said I have given my wife and daughters pepper spray for their key rings. I’ve also given them some training. But I also know they don’t have the time nor the inclination to take additional training. So I figure reviewing materials and videos annually is good additional training. I’ll be the first to say that I don’t like all training I find on You tube. So I have waded through many videos to find the training I like and what I think is effective. So what I will suggest will be my opinion.
I have had the opportunity of being trained in many weapons. I had to qualify annually with pepper spray, a stun gun, and a baton. I’ve had several hand-to-hand combat classes but I do not know any of the martial arts disciplines. I have had some limited Kubotan training so I feel I can use a tactical pen effectively. I train with this a few times a year so I’m far from expert with it. I’ve had limited knife fighting training although I’ve had more defending against a knife than fighting with one. All of these things take some specialized training and practice.
Some say that pepper spray is dangerous. They maintain that it is more harmful than helpful in a fight. I do not agree but I have never had to use it to defend myself. If you get the right spray and train with it some I think it can be effective. Pepper-spray is also more acceptable than a gun in many environments. I would recommend Saber brand spray in the “stream”. I’ve used others and found Saber to be the most reliable and best for my use.
I like a Youtube channel called “Pretty Loaded”. It is a channel focused on women’s defense and security. They have a video you should check out comparing pepper-sprays. Check it out:
They have lots of videos with safety and security tips.
This is their Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqZ6rEhM0qtjCn3XWyMZ4Sw
There are classes available in many places so ask at your gun store or look on community websites.
Expandable batons are the modern day stick. We haven’t progress very far have we? I like these weapons because used properly they can make a lot of difference in defending yourself. They are not expensive or hard to use. Training is important because these weapons can be lethal used incorrectly.
Stun guns is a general term sometimes used for many different kinds of electro-shock devices. They come in several forms. The industry puts them into 2 categories. Stun guns and Tasers.
Stun guns are close proximity devices that use high-voltage electricity to stop an attacker by momentarily disabling muscle control. To use, simply pull the trigger and touch the aggressor with the metal prongs. I think training with a up close and personal weapon such as this requires at least some remedial training. These come in all shapes and sizes with varying voltages. They are also more cost effective. But beware of cheap, fly-by-night models. These weapons do not require a background check.
Tasers are usually shaped like a gun and have probes that shoot out. This is better if you are looking for more distance between you and your attacker. They are designed to go through up to 2 inch thick clothing. A background check is required if you live in MD or MN. They are also more expensive than stun guns. You also need replacement cartridges if the device is ever used. But if you use your Taser and leave it to escape an assailant Taser will replace the device at no cost to you.
I own some stun guns but I’m not the biggest fan. I just like having the option if needed.
A Tactical Pen is a very useful tool. I carry one everywhere. Especially into environments that would be considered non-permissive. I’ve flown with one and gone into prisons with one. I’ve never had to pen confiscated or detected. That has been my experience. You may have another experience but I hope not. What I like about a Tac pen is that they look like a pen and write like a pen. They don’t look like a weapon. A kubotan is a keychain self-defense weapon. It was first developed by Japanese American karate master Takayuki Kubota. It’s a stick self-defense weapon. They are usually five to six inches long. They are made of hard materials, like steel, hard plastic or wood. Kubotans are usually used as a keychain. They then serve the dual purposes of a key ring and a self-defense weapon.
The kubotan was first made for use by the Los Angeles Police Department. Kubota based the design on the “hashi” stick, which Kubota’s father had invented. Small stick weapons of this type have been used in martial arts for centuries. The Japanese Yawara is a similar type of weapon. Kubotans are used by many police forces and by military personnel. This is what I consider my Tac pen. A Kubotan in pen form.
As with all things, get trained.

Hand-to hand combat is very useful. You can learn some moves and techniques that you can practice without a lot of training. But, get as much training as you can. Learning some self-defense moves is the least that I would recommend. Taking a class or asking someone you can trust to teach you some things would expand your portfolio of options. Practice these things to build muscle memory and keep the concepts fresh.
Last but not least is a knife. Many people carry a knife. I would recommend carrying one because they are versatile. Fighting with one requires training and practice also. Like shooting a gun twice a year, practicing knife fighting needs to be often and effective. It takes some skill to not hurt yourself or kill an attacker. Please get hands on training if you are serious about using a knife in self-defense. I’ve seen fairly experienced people do some damage to themselves or others because of their lack of training or practice. I see a lot of people carrying a folder knife but few of them could actually use one effectively. Some say it’s better to have it than to not. I agree, but be responsible enough to get trained! Pulling a knife on the wrong person could find your own knife plunged into your chest!
The above talks limitedly about less than lethal weapons available. I would recommend learning some hand-to-hand moves. I’d also recommend pepper spray, a Tac pen, and a baton. The others I talked about are OK too but these 4 I like. None of them are difficult to be effective with. All require training and practice.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of training and practice!
You should also get training in situational awareness and my favorite ADD, avoid, deter and de-escalate. Learning Threat indicators and reading people is also something that can save you or someone else.
I recommend some books that will assist with your training:
“Principles of Personal Defense” by Jeff Cooper
“The Gift of Fear” by Gavin DeBecker
“On Killing” and “On Combat” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints changed its firearms policy so here is an adapting solution. Problem is, “lethal weapon” to many means deadly. I’m not sure the Church wanted ambiguity here but they’ve got it. Clearly guns are lethal. But what about a knife? Or a baseball bat? I’ve seen both of these in a chapel before but are they prohibited now? I’m not expecting a list, but if you don’t want guns just say so. My advice above may not follow this new policy, so beware. A collapsible baton has been and can be lethal. So can a knife. I’m not sure this is what they were trying to prohibit. I don’t want to split hairs here, my guess is if it was made to be a weapon, unlike a baseball bat, then it might be prohibited. To be safe, become a ninja and register your hands with NY.
Hopefully, there is a happy medium in attempting to defend yourself. I will post my complete training program soon. I’m still putting it together.

Semper Paratus
Check 6

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