October 1, 2013
armed citizen, CCW, minuteman, modern minuteman, personal defense
Before choosing to spend the time, money, and effort required to get a firearm and a concealed carry permit, one should seriously consider whether carrying a gun is right for them. Today’s post is my attempt to provide some insight into the questions that you should ask yourself before choosing to carry a firearm or other weapon in public.
Most people are familiar with the red pill-blue pill reference from the movie The Matrix. Like Morpheus from that movie, I want to encourage you to think carefully and choose wisely between the red pill (adopting the lifestyle of an armed citizen, or sheepdog) and the blue pill (remaining a sheep).
I have seen and heard a lot of professional instructors who unequivocally say that all able-bodied men and women should be armed. For what it’s worth I agree with them. But not all men and women are willing to take the responsibility of arming themselves. That is their choice and they are welcome to it. It’s a shame that more instructors don’t encourage people to ask these questions more often.
For those of you who are considering carrying a firearm or other weapon in public, I suggest you ask yourself a few questions and answer them honestly before carrying in public.
First, are you ready for the changes in mindset and lifestyle that go along with being an armed citizen? Make no mistake, going armed is a lifestyle change. You will have to change your ways of thinking, dressing, and acting.
With proper training you will begin to see the world as a very different, possibly scarier place than you did before you took that red pill. You will notice danger and the potential for violence where you may not have previously. You may have to dress differently to conceal your gun and be mindful of how you move to keep it from printing through those clothes.
Can you commit to a life of studying the topic of personal defense and bettering your skills? As my friend Paul Markle at StudentoftheGun.com says, “You are a beginner once, but a student for life.” You will need to train and read as much as possible and train regularly.
Next you have to ask yourself if you have the temperament to carry a weapon in public. As a sheepdog, you need to keep in mind that you are bringing a gun into any altercation you may find yourself in. If you instigate or escalate a situation, the law will come heavily down on you. You cannot have pride and carry a lethal weapon. You have to be able to walk away from any disagreement before it becomes physical.
Thirdly and closely related to the above question, do you have the judgment for an armed lifestyle? Can you apply the “reasonable man” standard to your actions to defend them in a court of law? You have to know when to avoid, evade, escape, negotiate and de-escalate any potentially contentious situation you may find yourself in.
Are you responsible enough? Can you remember to keep control of your weapon in public? For those of you who want to carry off body, is it possible that you would ever let that carry method out of your immediate control? Could a child get their hands on your weapon without supervision?
Is carrying a weapon legal where you live, work and play? If not, are you willing to accept the consequences that may arise should you get caught with it? Are you willing to face the legal battle that will result in even a clearly justified use of force?
Finally, do you have the stomach for going armed? Do you think you could injure, kill, or potentially maim your attacker for life? Can you stand the thought of seeing their blood coat the ground, your hands, and your clothes? What about your own blood?
Only you can answer those questions. But if you answer them in the affirmative, welcome to the team. The one thing this country needs more of is people willing to step up and take responsibility for themselves and their loved ones.
September 29, 2013
CCW, modern minuteman, personal defense
Great discussion on CCW in church going on here.
I for one believe it is long past time for churches to recognize the danger their little white “no weapons allowed” placards out our families in. As Christians and as Modern Minuteman we need to always be armed.
September 29, 2013
CCW, modern minuteman, personal defense
Lately I have been reading Defensive Revolver Fundamentals by Grant Cunningham. I will post a full review when I finish the book, but I wanted to share an interesting concept while it is fresh in my mind.
Grant has some interesting insight into the difference between precision and accuracy in the context of defensive shooting. Often we as shooters tend to incorrectly substitute the term accuracy for precision.
Precision is defined as the place into which you must place your shots to be effective. On an IDPA target this means the A Zone, which corresponds to the high center chest of an attacker. The level of precision needed is determined by the target and by the circumstances.
For instance, if an attacker blades his stance in relation to you, he has now presented a situation where greater precision is required to obtain combat effective hits.
Accuracy is simply an indication of whether any bullet fired hits within said target. Accuracy is a yes or no indicator. Either you hit where you needed or you didn’t.
When training in a defensive context, don’t confuse shooting small groups on paper for accuracy. Any shot that hits within that A Zone can be presumed to be equally as effective as any other shot into the same zone. Shooting a small group is actually an inefficient use of our resources in a fight (namely the asset of time).
Instead of shooting for small groups, increase the speed of your shooting to the maximum speed at which you can place all of your shots into the target zone presented to you.
September 27, 2013
armed citizen, CCW, modern minuteman
It seems all too common that I run into an Armed Citizen with a flawless carry gun. When I watch those same people shoot at the range they are always careful about how they handle the gun, frequently wiping it down with an oily rag and only placing it down on its soft padded case.
What is with that? If that gun gets used in a defensive shooting, the chances are very high that it may never be seen by the owner again.
Why baby a gun that gets exposed to sweat, humidity, and all manner of filth while being carried if the legal system will end up holding it as evidence during a potentially long arduous trial afterwards?
I will let you in on a little secret; people with pristine guns rarely shoot as well as those whose guns show the marks of serious training.
I have owned my current carry gun for almost four months as of this writing. During those four months, this CZ has been fed a variety of factory and reloaded ammo, been shot in the hear of the summer, shot in rain, and drawn from the holster more than a thousand times during both dry and live fire training sessions. I have also extensively practiced one-handed malfunction clearance with it.
As you can see, the finish is a little worn already. What you can’t see are the places that have already been touched up with Aluminum Black by Birchwood Casey.
I consider it a badge of honor to carry a gun that shows it has been tested and proven. It shows that I have taken myself to the edge of my abilities with that gun and perhaps have even expanded them.
The next time you go to the range, don’t be afraid to scratch up your gun. You can’t baby it while pushing both the gun and yourself. Leave the high dollar safe queens and family heirlooms at home. Scratch up those carry guns finding out if you can run them like your life depends on it. Someday it just might.
September 26, 2013
armed citizen, CCW, minuteman, modern minuteman
Have you noticed how prevalent throughout the gun and law enforcement communities the distinction between civilian and LEOs is?
I for one am tired of it. In America, law enforcement is made up of civilians. It’s time for LEOs to stop buying into the “us versus them” dichotomy that they’re being sold.
Law enforcement officers are public servants. Their role is to protect and serve the public. We as Armed Citizens need to remember that as much as the police do.
We all have something in common- the same sheepdog instinct that drives us to provide for our own safety and for that of our loved ones.
The only people who can make a distinction between civilians and themselves are those in the military.
So from now on can we stop buying into the Civilian-LEO-Military distintion and realize we’re on the same team? After all, continuing in the us vs. them mindset only plays into the hands of those who wish to divide us.
September 25, 2013
armed citizen, CCW, concealed carry, minuteman, modern minuteman
One of the things I typically do to my carry guns is modify the sights to aid with rapid acquisition of the front site. I have found that the typical white dot front sight is decent but can easily be improved. I invested in a bottle of blaze orange nail polish and found that color to really stand out against almost any background.
Most of the time I black out any white on the rear sight, preferring a less busy sight picture. On my CZ I have actually found that the white outline rear sight helps in low light.
In addition to painting my front sight I took a file to my rear sight. Taking my queue from Rob Pincus’ recent focus on one-handed manipulations I decided to test the CZ in the same manner.
What I found was that it was possible to hook my factory sights on my holster. However, the snag free design left a lot to be desired. After some searching I found that suitable replacement sights are hard to find.
As a stopgap measure while my search continues, I decided to take a file to my CZs polymer rear sight. I cut a ledge into the front face of the sight. The results aren’t pretty but they are functional, facilitating efficient one-handed slide manipulation.
If your gun’s sights don’t fit your needs, change them. If you can’t find replacement sights that fit your needs don’t be afraid to do a little modification of your own. Your carry gun has to be as efficient for you as possible. If you can’t make your sights work for you it may be time to get a different carry piece.
September 24, 2013
CCW, concealed carry, EDC, minuteman, modern minuteman
This year saw my EDC gear evolve in a direction that I thought was worthy of discussion here. I still carry a CRKT M16-10KZ for my knife. Since my primary use for a knife is utilitarian, a cheap tough blade that I’m not afraid to lose or beat up fits my needs. My knife is carried on my dominant side in my front pocket.
For white light I chose to carry a 5.11 ATAC A1. The Streamlight I previously carried works great but the ATAC throws nearly half again as many lumens (103 vs. 70) in roughly the same size light. It rides in my front pocket on my support side.
For a firearm I chose to go with the CZ 75 P-07 Duty in 9mm. I know carrying a traditional DA-SA action gun is a departure from typical CFS thinking but I chose it for two reasons. It fits my hand perfectly and its points very naturally. Of course a capacity of 16+1 doesn’t hurt either.
I loaded my P-07 with Hornady Critical Defense 115gr standard pressure loads. Ballistics testing shows this round to penetrate 14 inches through four layers of denim and ballistic gel blocks. That should do the job. Its polymer tip allows the 115gr bullet to penetrate a little better than Hornadys Custom 147gr load, which is what I load my second magazine with.
I carry my CZ in a hybrid leather and kydex ACE-1 from SHTFGear.com. Clay Moultrie is a talented holster maker and my ACE-1 has held up well to a lot of abuse. For a belt I went with a Maxpedition Liger. This belt is the perfect blend of flexibility and stiffness and I couldn’t be happier with it. For a good review of the Liger check out ITSTactical.
I feel the Modern Minuteman should carry pistol, knife, and white light at a minimum and that is my current system. Whats yours?