Archive for category: Personal Defense

Every Day Carry

30 Mar
March 30, 2018

I’m listening to the Clockwise podcast, and the bonus topic is “What indispensable piece of non-tech do you carry every day?” The answers were a water bottle, a special kind of wallet, a microfiber cloth, and a nail clipper.”

I realize that the people on the tech podcasts generally don’t intersect with the people on my gun podcasts, but I was amazed that none of them said a pocketknife.

I started thinking about my EDC. So, for 2018, my current EDC:

Wallet

I use a Saddleback Large Leather wallet.. I keep one of those credit card multi-tools inside it.

Keys

I have a key ring that uses little caribiners to attach keys or other items. In addition to my keys, I have a Kingston 32GB flash drive, [Gerber Shard](tool, and a Surefire Sidekick.

EDC Pouch

This is one of those Maxpedition pocket pouches that I stash useful stuff: 1. First aid kit – needs a tourniquet, but decent for handling minor issues 2. Trauma shears – small pair for cutting bandages and clothes 3. Bic disposal lighter 4. Tweezers 5. Lightning to 3.5 mm adapter 6. Anker lipstick battery 7. Short lightning cable 8. Spare CR123 and AAA batteries 9. Reusable twist ties 10. Lightning to micro USB adapter 11. 32GB flash drive 12. Emergency cash

Pocketknife

Currently, I’m carrying a Leatherman Skeletool. It’s a bit “friendlier” for some of the areas I go.

Flashlight

Currently, I have an older Streamlight ProTac. I want to upgrade to one of the new ones. Must have all the lumenz!

Pepper Spray

I’ve got a little Sabre canister

Earbuds

Currently, I’m using a pair of Apple AirPods. Expensive, but worth the cost IMHO

Phone

I’m using an iPhone 8. I have the 256 model because I cram it with audiobooks.

Watch

I’m using a Series 1 Apple Watch, but will probably upgrade sometime this year.

Pen

Either an S&W M&P or CRKT tactical pen.

Sidearm

Unless I’m going to someplace I’m not legally allowed to carry, I generally have my first gen M&P9 with at least 1 spare magazine.

State of My Podcasts

07 Mar
March 7, 2018

I’m going to try and do this on an annual basis. Part of it’s my own curiosity at how my podcast habits change. I’m also curious what others think about the same podcasts and which podcasts come and go.

I’m going to list the podcasts into some broad groups, with any annotations about frequency I listen to them or general impressions.

I listen to my podcasts in Overcast. I use four playlists:

  1. Daily – This is a playlist of what I want to listen to during my commutes, work, and other times. Some of the podcasts are put to the top on certain days. Some are “promotable”, which means they go to the top behind that day’s podcasts. The rest are filler, and I’ll get to them when I can.

  2. Writing – I use this as a warm-up for when I’m going to write as well as general knowledge to improve my writing

  3. Roman History – This one has two finished podcast series I’m listening about the history of Rome from its early beginnings to the fall of the Byzantine Empire

  4. History – Self explanatory

My podcasts as of March 2018:

Liberty

Cato Daily Podcast – A good quick bit in various topics from a libertarian viewpoint. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist.

Cato Events Podcast – Recordings of various panels put on by the Cato Institute. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting discussions and arguments. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist. I will delete if the topic doesn’t interest me, as these can be pretty long.

Clear and Present Danger -A History of Free Speech – This is a Friday morning podcast on my “Daily” playlist. Still a little uncertain about this one.

The Good Fight – Formerly “The Liberty Files”, this one is a promotable on my “Daily” playlist. This is one I like using for hearing the conservative side of civil liberty discussions. A bit heavier on the freedom of religion than I’d like, but understandable from the hosts’ perspective.

Reason Podcast – Reason’s weekly podcast with their editors is promotable on my Daily playlist. The others are filler. Some good content and some that just don’t interest me.

Short Circuit – From the Institute of Justice, this one discusses notable cases that IJ is a part of. This is a promotable on my Daily playlist.

So To Speak – FIRE’s podcast discussing free speech issues. This is a Friday morning podcast on my Daily playlist.

Economics

Econtalk – Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot. This is a Tuesday morning podcast on my Daily playlist.

GAO Podcast – GAO discussing some of their reviews. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist

History

Hardcore History – Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various topics is spellbinding. This is promotable on my History playlist on the infrequent occasions new podcasts show up.

Hardcore History: Addendum – New one from Dan Carlin. The first two were interesting. This will be promotable if he continues.

The History of Byzantium – I only listened to a couple of episodes. It’s on my “Roman History” playlist to go after the “History of Rome”

The History of Rome – This one is on my “Roman History” playlist. Good for amateur historians like me. It’s a finished series.

Revolutions – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution. I’ve listened to the first four seasons. This is on my History playlist.

War Stories – Good military history podcast. It’s in my “History” playlist.

Guns

Black Man With A Gun Podcast – Kenn’s podcast was one of the first I started listening to, and then I wrote Zombie Strike for him. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Down Range Radio – Right now, this is my Wednesday morning podcast, but it may get downgraded to promotable. Some of Bane’s nonsense and glad standing is getting on my nervesz On my Daily playlist.

Geeks Gadgets and Guns – A recent addition after they discussed Pathfinder with Erin Pallette. Right now it’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Gun Nation – This one is promotable on my Daily playlist on the rare occasions it drops.

Handgun Radio – This one I’ve been enjoying. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Handgun World – This one might go from promotable to fuller on my Daily playlist. Bob has good information, but sometimes his views annoy me, particularly when he goes off on rising evil.

Polite Society Podcast – Good information, but often too long. This one is filler on my Daily playlist

Riding Shotgun With Charley – Interesting so far, but currently filler on my Daily playlist

Safety Solutions Academy – Real good information. Paul is one of those trainers I’d like to learn from if I could scrape together the time and money. This one is promotable on my Daily playlist.

Self-Defense Gun Stories – I like the analysis of what went right and wrong from a variety of professional trainers. This one is a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Politics

The Economist – This is a Friday morning podcast on my Daily playlist. It provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds.

The Fifth Column – This is a really good roundup focusing on the issues of the day and how the media reports them. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Charles C. Cooke. That’s why I listen to this podcast. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Neal Boortz Daily Commentaries – I loved listening to Boortz when he was on syndicated radio, and now I get two minutes of him. It’s interesting to see how I’ve diverged from him over the years. It’s only considered promotable on my Daily playlist because I get it daily.

The One With Greg Gutfeld – Only listened to a couple of episodes, but it feels similar to Greg’s Redeye days. Currently promotable on my Daily playlist.

Part of the Problem – Rabid anti war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Promotable on my Daily playlist.

War College – This is a Friday morning podcast on my Daily playlist. An interesting look at politics and military issues.

Tech

Clockwise – This is a Friday morning podcast on my Daily playlist. I like the format and it helps keep me up to date on tech issues and trends.

Daily Tech Headlines – Good summary of big tech stories, and the weekend history segments are interesting. It’s considered promotable on my Daily playlist only becuse it comes out every day.

General

Friendly Fire – New one about three guys watching and critiquing war films. It’s a Friday afternoon podcast on my Daily playlist.

The Incomparable Game Show – Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving. It’s a Friday afternoon podcast on my Daily playlist.

Penn’s Sunday School – Penn prognosticating on the world. It’s a Tuesday and a Thursday morning podcast on my Daily Playlist.

Squirrel Report – It’s not a Friday afternoon drive without this one.

Unjustly Maligned – On hiatus, but I’d recommend going through the back of episodes.

The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe – After growing up with Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”, this one is a wonderful substitute. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Science & Skepticism

Skeptics Guide to The Universe – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism. It’s a Monday morning podcast on my Daily playlist.

Skeptoid – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Writing

Writing Excuses – If you are a fiction writer, I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s currently the only one on my Writing playlist.

Who’s That Knocking on My Door

05 Mar
March 5, 2018

One of my “black swan” fears is my front door crashing open and people screaming “Police”. Is it a real raid or a home invasion? Am I dealing with cops or criminals?

Greg Ellifritz over at Active Response Training has an excellent article up on how to identify if it’s the police coming into your house or bad guys.

How can you tell the difference between a SWAT raid and a home invasion?

You really need to read the whole thing. Some takeaways:

  1. Is it happening in daytime with an announcement? Probably cops

  2. Are there uniformed police or marked cars outside? Probably cops

  3. Are there six to twelve persons or only two to four? The former means they’re probably cops

  4. Are they using weapon mounted lights and tactical gear? Probably cops

Definitely good food for thought.

Violent Crime Up, But That’s Not A Reason to Panic

26 Sep
September 26, 2017

Reason has an article on the release of the new Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI.

http://reason.com/blog/2017/09/25/violent-crime-rose-again-in-2016-for-sec

My favorites parts from this:

“Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, pointed out that only five years since 1971 have had lower violent crime rates than 2016. In 2005 and 2006, the U.S. also experienced a similar two-year rise in violent crime. “There were dire warnings from police, only to have crime then continue to drop,” Gelb said.”

And

“John Pfaff, a professor at Fordham University Law School, cautioned that crime is a complex, geographically concentrated phenomena, and that it can’t simply be attributed to how many people are or aren’t being sent to prison.

He noted that Chicago, which has been experiencing an unprecedented spike in murders over the past several years, was responsible for about 20 percent of the national net increase in homicides. However, half of Chicago’s rise in murders were confined to five neighborhoods with 9 percent of the city’s population. “So in other words,” Pfaff said, “five neighborhoods in Chicago explain 10 percent of the national increase in homicide rates.””

Contrary to world stereotypes, America is still mostly peaceful – even while being having a heavily armed populace. Moreover, almost all of the violence is found in cities, particularly impoverished neighborhoods.

There aren’t any easy answers to helping those neighborhoods. Most likely, the solutions will require a multitude of approaches that will anger both of the major camps.

Going To Do My Civic Duty

27 Aug
August 27, 2017

I got something that I haven’t gotten for about fifteen years – a jury summons. It’s been even longer than that since I sat at the courthouse waiting to be called. That got me to thinking of what has changed in my thinking since the last time I sat in the pool.

1. I started carrying a gun on a regular basis. That alone has radically shifted my worldview, but then I attended trainings and started learning about the legalities of self defense – and the intricacies of the legal system.

2. I don’t have the automatic deference to police that my younger self had. Because of the powers that a police officer are granted, I’m more likely to hold them to a higher standard.

3. I don’t trust forensics as much as I used to. Some forensic tools, such as DNA testing, were developed through rigorous processes, and are generally reliable. Others, such as handwriting and hair analysis, were developed in crime labs, and are less reliable. Then there’s the small item of the numerous lab scandals.

4. I no longer expect the heroic prosecutors and scumbag defense attorneys. If anything, I don’t trust either side. Probably about as much as I trust MSNBC and Fox to present their cases.

And now I have to go through my EDC and start yanking out stuff that is not allowed at the courthouse. That may take a bit.

Active Shooter Training Video

04 Sep
September 4, 2016

I really wish my work had LU’s weapon policy. If wishes were horses…

This is excellent because it covers the key points of “Run, Hide, Fight.” It emphasizes that cops can’t be everywhere and YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN when the fecal matter impacts the turbine. 

The instructions to the concealed carrier were good, including emphasizing that you will be put into handcuffs and to comply with officers. 

H/t Sean Sorrentino

Friday Quote – 2/19/16

19 Feb
February 19, 2016

You can’t have too much ammunition unless you are on fire or trying to swim.

Jeff Cudwin, LEO who expended all of his rounds in a gunfight 

Friday Quote- 8/14/15

14 Aug
August 14, 2015

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself.

Dr. Richard Feynman

I Guess I’ll Stay With My Current Provider

27 Jul
July 27, 2015

I’ve been hearing ads for Simplisafe home security systems and thinking about switching to them when my current contract is up. Then this:

Unless you are a trained professional, don’t grab a weapon. This includes firearms, baseball bats and pepper spray. They all sound like a good idea, but again, we don’t know how the burglar will react to seeing an armed person. If they do have a weapon, they may be more likely to use it when they see you have one too. If you use pepper spray in an enclosed space, you and your family will also be affected by the pepper spray. If you use another weapon, such as a firearm and are not a trained professional, you run the risk of hurting yourself or a family member. And when a weapon is in your hand, you also run the risk of arriving police officers mistaking you for the intruder! 

So, we’re going to ignore the mountain of successful defensive gun uses (and other weapons) to spout worthless advice probably written by corporate lawyers afraid of being sued.

Do you know what my current company’s salesperson said when he saw my gun safe? “That’s cool! I’ve been thinking about getting my permit.” Plus, they had a booth at the NRAAM. They at least recognize who is buying their system and aren’t likely to insult us with such worthless advice.

So, Simplisafe, you have lost my business. End of story. 

H/t to Miguel

You Are On Your Own. Please Plan Accordingly.

24 Jul
July 24, 2015

In the past two months, we have had three high profile mass killings. Charleston, Chattanooga, and now Lafayette. It’s still early on Lafayette to have any real facts other than some people are dead, some are injured, and the news media is ecstatic with another bloody story to sell to the public. Yeah, I guess I’m getting a bit cynical. Expect the same byplay on the gun control stage with Bloomberg’s minions telling us that restricting guns in some way would have prevented this and our side saying if someone in the theater had been armed, it would have been over sooner. Facts tend to support the latter, but we’ll still have to play that dance out once again.

What do these incidents tell me? No where is safe. Have a plan. Expect to have to put that plan into effect in the worst possible conditions. Carry your damn guns. Carry your damn flashlights. 

My girlfriend showed me a prank video where people were in an elevator car. The lights would go out and this kid would climb out of a secret panel and act like a horror movie ghost. None of those people had even a pen light on them for when the lights went out. None of them had a plan for reacting when fecal matter impacts turbine. You could see the sheer panic in their reactions. 

We live in a dangerous world. An infinitely better world than that of our ancestors, but still a dangerous world. Not just from crime, but disease, injury, and failures in the complex systems that work in our lives. 

Please plan accordingly.

Edit: My brother has informed me that this post caused him to pick up a pocket flashlight. My work here is done.