Category: Personal Defense

Analysis Of a Beat Down

There’s been a local story going around in my area where a group of “utes” beat down a man. I think it needs some analysis for lessons. First, let me be clear as I go through some of this article. I do not think the victim “deserved the beating” or was in the wrong from a legal/moral standpoint. However, going through this scenario could give us some perspectives to consider if we are in a similar situation.

From the article:

Officers say, Evan Purcell, 40, was walking his dogs with his 10-year-old niece around 9 p.m. at Anna Maria Elementary School when he saw a group of teens drinking and possibly vandalizing the school. That’s when the police department says Purcell yelled to the group to “stop and move along.” The teenagers instead became aggressive and approached Purcell, according to a press release.

First item: did Purcell need to yell at the group or just call the cops? I can understand the desire to get involved with what Purcell considered a minor issue. However, there are some factors to take into consideration that I would have taken into account before yelling at a bunch of teens. One, he had his niece with him. That was someone who was under his protection. Two, he suspected alcohol was involved and possible criminal mischief. Both of those would make me hesitate to get directly involved. I’m guessing that Purcell didn’t expect the group to attack.

“The victim was in fear for his safety and pulled out a pocketknife to scare off the group. Several of the males in the group attacked the victim knocking him to the ground,” police wrote in a press release.

During the attack, officers say Purcell was possibly hit with a skateboard and punched and kicked in the head until he became unconscious. The group of teens then reportedly fled in a Kia Sportage.

Second item: Pulling the pocketknife. I’m going with the assumption that lethal self-defense was justified based on disparity of force. Several teens against one man who needed to protect a pre-teen girl. I’m also fully aware that often the simple act of brandishing a lethal weapon will often defuse the situation. So, my first question. Considering he was only armed with a pocket knife, would it have been more prudent to look for an avenue of retreat? Was there one available? A mitigating factor was another article stating that the niece was running away. Perhaps Purcell felt he needed to stand and fight so his niece could escape. If that was the case, then retreat is not available.

Here are my takeaways. If I’m observing a criminal act that doesn’t involve an immediate threat to life, I should consider a few things before putting myself into the situation. First, what is the anticipated danger to me and those under my immediate protection from the criminals? Second, do I have appropriate tools or evasion routes if I screwed up number one?

EDC Post 2022

Another in my series of seeing how things change year over year. I tend to carry a lot of stuff. Here are my previous posts:

2018 post.

2019 post.

2020 post.

2021 post.

For 2022, there’s been significant changes to my EDC. Shortly after my 2021 post, I had trouble finding the cargo jeans that I normally wore. Plus, they weren’t holding up to my normal wear and tear. So after much discussion with The Wife, I decided to go from carrying a bunch of stuff in various pockets, I started carrying a bag with many of the items. Further, after nearly two years of full-time telework, I don’t go out as much. So, most days, I’m just walking around my house.

Just Around The House

This is the EDC I will carry most days that I don’t go outside the house.

Phone

I’m using an iPhone 12. I have the 128 GB model. I used to need to have all teh space, but since I work from home, I can manage more under Wi-Fi and need less space. I use a simple case that has the texture of a MagPul P-MAG.

Earbuds

I’ve recently switched to a pair of Jabra Elite 75t earbuds. They’re still in the “testing” phase. If these don’t work, I’ll probably go back to my Apple AirPods Pro. I particularly like Apple’s “transparent” mode which allows more of the outside sound through. I’ve been having battery issues with them though. which prompted the switch to the Jabra’s.

Pocketknife

I carry a Leatherman Skeletool for just around the house. Much to The Wife’s chagrin, I’ve found I need a knife or one of the myriad of little tools far too often.

Flashlight

For walking around the house, I carry an older Streamlight ProTac. It’s good for quickly looking in shadowed and/or darkened areas. Like under the bed. It’s also surprisingly good at finding where one of the cat’s decided to mark its territory.

Watch

I’m using a 44mm Series 5 Apple Watch. I like the always on feature.

Going Out Of The House – On Person

Additional stuff when I’m going out.

Wallet

I use a Saddleback Large Leather wallet.. I keep a Tool Logic Credit Card inside it. It’s not that I use it that much. Mostly, it’s because I’ve had the damn thing for probably twenty-five years, and my wallet feels empty without it.

Keys

My brother picked me up a Lifelong Ring 300 key ring system. I mainly use the main big ring and have all of my keys on the wire key rings. In addition to my keys, I have:

  • Kingston 32GB Flash Drive – Because you never know when someone has a file they want to give you

  • Gerber Artifact – I’m not sure if Gerber is still selling these, but their Shard would be a good substitute

  • Surefire Sidekick – Of course, I have to have another flashlight. It doesn’t get used as much as it did when I was commuting in the dark early morning, but it’s still come in handy a couple of times.

Pocketknife

If I’m out of the house, the Leatherman gets switched out for a Kershaw-Emerson CQC-10.

Flashlight

For going out of the house, I carry a Streamlight ProTac 750 lumen flashlight. It’s too big to really be a pocket flashlight, so I carry it in one of my IWB spare magazine holders.

Pepper Spray

I carry a small Sabre Pepper Spray for when I need something between strong words and deadly force.

Pen

I carry around a CRKT tactical pen.

Sidearm

Unless I’m going to someplace I’m not legally allowed to carry, I generally have my Smith and Wesson M&P9 (First Gen) equipped with a Streamlight TLR-1 and Trijicon night sights. I keep it and the spare magazine loaded with 124-grain Speer Gold Dots (since that’s what the local cops use). I’ve switched to using a Bravo Concealment kydex IWB holster after the leather on my hybrid started folding over and preventing good holstering. I’ve started using a pair of IWB kydex magazine holders for a spare magazine and my flashlight. When I can finally do some test firing, I’ll be switching out my sidearm to an M&P9 M&P2.0. The new one has an upgraded TLR-1 (all the lumenz!).

Going Out – The Bag

After much discussion with The Wife, I switched to carrying a 5.11 LV10 Sling Pack for carrying all the bits and bobs I normally carried in the pockets of my cargo jeans. Since I switched out to the bag, some of the items I normally carried were switched out for bigger items.

Electronics Support

In addition to the spare batteries for all my various items, I make sure I have the needed cords for all my devices. For charging, I use an Anker PowerCore I also keep a spare set of Apple Earpods in case my wireless earbuds aren’t working or out of power.

First Aid Stuff

Tools

  • Bic disposal lighter – Must Have Fire

  • Gerber Dime – This is a good little multi-tool for quick jobs. And the purple one I have is just cute.

  • Leatherman Skeletool – This is not the one I carry around the house. This is another that I happened to have. It lives in my bag since this one came with all the little bits Leathermen made to fit into the modular screwdriver.

  • Mini Tape Measure – I think mine is actually from Tractor Supply, but running around with The Wife necessitates having a tape measure when she finds stuff for the house.

  • Reusable twist ties

  • Smith and Wesson M&P tactical pen – Because writing. And tactical. And there may be more than one.

  • Streamlight Polytac X Flashlight – Yes, I have another flashlight. Don’t judge. I like this one because it has a rechargeable battery, but will also run on a couple of CR123’s.

Odds and Ends

  • Amazon Microfiber Cloth – These are really handy for cleaning my eyeglasses and my electronics’ screens.

  • Handkerchief – General purpose cotton handkerchief. This may get switched out for a shema (I can never remember how to spell that).

  • Hand Sanitizer – I prefer the small little bottles from Bath and Bodyworks.

  • Post-It Notes – Because you never know when you’ll need to write something down or leave a note for someone. I like the vibrant colors in case I need my note to draw attention.

  • Travel Pack Tissues – Because allergies. And occasional cleaning.

  • More magazines – Since I had the space, I figured I could keep a couple more spare magazines in a Blackhawk Double Magazine Pouch. Yes, the likelihood I’ll need these is very low. It’s still comforting to have another thirty-four rounds available.

  • Emergency cash – No, I’m not going to say how much

State of the Podcasts – 2022

Previous posts:

State Of Podcasts 2018

State of Podcasts 2019

State of Podcasts 2020

State of Podcasts 2021

This is the fifth year I’ve reviewed which podcasts I listen to, how I listen to them, and when I listen to them. 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 listen to my podcasts in Overcast. I prefer Overcast because the app deletes podcasts I’ve listened to, plus it has a smart speed feature which will speed up if it hears dead air. Generally, I listen to my podcasts at 2X speed.

Rather than try to fit podcasts into categories, I apply categories to the podcasts. Also, I try to listen to podcasts “with a shelf life” (i.e., current events) first.

Podcast Categories

Comedy – One of the central themes of the podcast is making me laugh

Debate – The podcast uses a formal debate format

Economics – Discusses economic theory and impacts

Entertainment – Main subject matter is an entertainment form or persons

Free Speech – Discussing the current issues and assaults on free speech culture and laws

Government – Discusses the review of government operations

Guns – Discussing gun hardware and associated technology and skills

History – Delving into history in general or one facet/era

Legal – Discussing legal cases and theories

Libertarianism – Discusses libertarian theory

Interview – Substantial episodes interviewing guests

Opposing Views – Hosts regularly espouse politics or theories that are substantially different to my own

Prepping – Discussing prepping gear, methods, and skills

Politics Of The Day (POTD) – Discussion of current political events

Right To Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) – Discusses issues around gun rights

Science – Discussing current science news and skepticism-related issues

Self-Defense – Discussing best practices for self-defense

True Crime – Podcast is a narrative/story of real crime events

War – Discusses issues surrounding armed conflicts

Writing Improvement – Helps me improve my writing

My podcasts as of February 2022:

Active Self Protection Podcast (Guns, Interview, RKBA, Self-Defense) – Mike Willever interviews people whose self-defense situations were shown on the ASP YouTube channel. This is good for discussion on self-defense incidents and the aftermath. The host has a segment afterwards where he discusses RKBA issues with Stephen Kurtowski of “The Reload Podcast.” I generally skip that part, because I listen to that podcast.

Advisory Opinions (Legal, POTD) – David French and Sarah Isgur discuss legal issues and theory on the politics of the day. With some pop culture on the side.

Alienating the Audience (Entertainment, Libertarianism, Interview) – Andrew Heaton brings on guests to discuss different aspects of various science-fiction properties.

Angry Planet (War, Interview, Opposing Views) – Formerly known as War College, this podcast is an interesting look at politics and military issues through interviews with specialists.

Assorted Calibers Podcast (RKBA, Guns, Entertainment, Interview, Self-Defense) – Weer’d Beard and Erin Pallette are the real reason I listen to this, but the other segments are generally surprisingly good. I’m also a patron, and listen to the Mag Dump round tables, Film Tracks, and Blooper Reels.

Blocked and Reported (Free Speech, POTD) – Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal discuss the various social media dust-ups with occasional interviews.

Bound By Oath (Legal, Libertarianism) – From the Institute for Justice, this podcast focuses on specific issues. The current season is focusing on the myriad of protections and immunities public officials enjoy.

Bribe, Swindle, and Steal (Interview, True Crime, Opposing Views, Writing Improvement) – This one popped up when I was searching for podcasts on white-collar crime. It focuses on issues, challenges, and items that are of note for compliance officials.

Clockwise (Tech) – Two hosts and two guests discuss four tech topics in thirty minutes. Sometimes those topics on current tech news. Sometimes it’s just musing on tech and life. Generally enjoyable.

Daily Tech Headlines (Tech) – Good fast summary of the big tech stories.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (History, Writing Improvement)- Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various historical events is spellbinding. Unfortunately infrequent, which can be a bit daunting since he does multi-part stories. I highly recommend, when possible, going back and relistening to the previous parts before continuing onto the new one.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Addendum (History, Interview, Writing)- A companion to the Hardcore History podcast where Dan Carlin does segments outside his normal narrative style.

The Dispatch Podcast (POTD, Interview) – The flagship podcast of The Dispatch network, the Wednesday show has the main hosts discussing the politics of the day, while the Friday show is an interview with a newsmaker, thought provoker, or just someone the hosts like.

Econtalk (Interview, Economics)- Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot on economics, and even more on some wildly different topics.

The Economist (POTD, Opposing Views)- I listen to the Economist, because it provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds.

The Editors (POTD) – Editors from National Review discussing the issues of the day. Part of my keeping an idea of the conservative side of the issues of the day.

FBI Retired Case File Review (Interview, True Crime, Writing Improvement) – A former FBI Special Agent and current author interviews retired FBI agents about the cases that had a unique impact on them.

The Fifth Column (POTD, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – This is an excellent roundup focusing on the issues of the day and how the media reports them. They also bring on guests who will disagree with them and have excellent discussions.

Free Thoughts (Interview, Libertarianism) – The hosts interview authors who promulgate new books that cover or intersect with libertarian issues and theories.

GAO Podcast (Interview, Government) – The Government Accountability Office discussed some of their reviews they’ve done on federal agencies.

Geeks Gadgets and Guns (Guns, Tech, Entertainment, POTD, RKBA) – A couple of geeks discussing guns and other geeky stuff – with sometimes politics intruding.

GLoP Culture (POTD, Entertainment) –  The hosts muse on the POTD, and the entertainment industry.

Gun and Gear Review (Guns) – This is a good review podcast for new stuff in the gun world. I enjoy the reviews and the banter between the hosts.

Guns Guide To Liberals (RKBA) – This is a good podcast focusing on techniques to use when talking about guns and RKBA to those who don’t share our views. Not active, but would recommend going back and listening to the whole series.

Handgun Radio (Guns, Interview, Self-Defense) – Delving more into the history and technological aspects of guns – mostly handguns. Also, just fun musings on different aspects of guns. Sometimes they bring on interesting guests.

High Caliber History (Guns, History, Interview) – Logan Metesh interviews specialists on the history of guns, as well as lending his own vast expertise.

The History of WWII Podcast (History, Interview) – This one is going through WWII chronologically, with interview episodes interspersed.

Honestly (Free Speech, Interview, Opposing Views) – Bari Weiss’s podcast where she brings on guests to discuss areas where the mainstream narrative isn’t working.

The Incomparable Game Show (Comedy) – Rotating panels playing rotating series of ostensibly board games. Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving.

Kenn Blanchard Show (Guns, RKBA, Interview, Self-Defense) – After an almost year-long hiatus, Kenn Blanchard continues his musings on gun rights, the black community, and other issues. Yes, I have a fondness for Kenn’s podcast since I wrote the Zombie Strike segment for a few years.

Left, Right, & Center (POTD, Opposing Views) – This covers the week’s political events with a progressive, a conservative, and a host who’s a left-leaning centrist. Guests are brought on to provide additional commentary – who have been overwhelmingly on the left-side of the aisles.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen (POTD) – Charles Cooke and Kevin Williamson opine on the issues of the day and other things that amuse them.

Make No Law (Free Speech, History, Legal)- Ken White delves into the case law around the First Amendment and free speech. Unfortunately infrequent.

Managing Uncertainty (Prepping, Writing Improvement) – This podcast is mainly focused on risk management from an organizational standpoint, but I find it’s useful as a prepping exercise as well.

The Michael Shermer Show (Interview, Science, Opposing Views) – Michael Shermer interviews scientists, scholars, and other intellectuals on a variety of topics.

Part of the Problem (POTD, Libertarianism)- Rabid anti-war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Particularly when he veers over to the conspiracy theories.

The Political Orphanage (Interview) – Andrew Heaton interviews a variety of individuals to discuss issues. Not necessarily just the POTD.

Pop & Locke (Entertainment, Libertarianism, Opposing Views) – This one looks at pop culture media (books, TV, movies) through the libertarian lens. Sometimes the panel goes a little more woke than I appreciate.

Popular Front (Interview, War, Opposing Views) – A look into smaller conflicts going on or unusual aspects of modern warfare.

Power Problems (Interview, Libertarianism) – A Cato podcast focusing on foreign affairs.

Quillette Podcast (Interviews, Free Speech) – Interviews and articles focusing in on free speech issues and cancel culture.

The Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie (Interview, Liberatarianism) – Reason editor interviews a variety of guests. This would be an even better podcast if they had a different host.

The Reason Roundtable (POTD) – Four editors from Reason discuss the issues of the day.

The Remnant With Jonah Goldberg (Interview, POTD) – The Wednesday show is interviewing pundits, politicians, and others. The Friday show is Jonah musings.

Revolutions (History, Writing Improvement) – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution.

The Rewatchables – (Entertainment) Variety panel of guests discussing a movie that is considered highly rewatchable. Depending on what movie they’re reviewing, if it’s one I haven’t seen, I’ll delete it.

Self-Defense Gun Stories (Self-Defense) – I like the analysis of what went right and wrong from a variety of professional trainers. This is another I recommend to new shooters and those who are thinking about using a gun for self-defense.

Short Circuit (Legal, Libertarianism) – From the Institute of Justice, this one discusses notable cases that IJ is arguing. I put it under libertarian theory rather than politics because it discusses legal libertarian arguments rather than issues of the day.

Skeptics Guide to The Universe (Science, Opposing Views) – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism.

Skeptoid (Science) – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It takes a particular pseudo-science claim and investigates with a skeptical eye.

So To Speak (Free Speech, Interview) – FIRE’s podcast discussing free speech issues. The guests and legal theories put this more into theory although it sometimes delves into the issues of the day.

The SoHo Forum Debates (Debate, Economics, Libertarianism, Opposing Views) – Oxford-rules debates on a variety of issues.

Tactical Tangents (Self-Defense, History, Writing Improvement) – I picked this one up originally because it has some excellent breakdowns of historical gunfights and mass shootings. It’s mostly geared to the professional, but the regular person can pick up some really good info.

Techmeme Ride Home (Tech) – This is a relatively short, but thorough examination of the big news in tech.

Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell (Interview, Libertarianism, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – Thaddeus interviews a varied list of guests he finds intriguing. Some are very interesting, some less so.

The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe (Entertainment, History, Writing Improvement) – After growing up with Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”, this one is a wonderful substitute.

The Weekly Reload Podcast (RKBA, Guns, Interview, Opposing Views) – The audio companion to The Reload newsletter. The host interviews a wide variety of pro-gun and anti-gun guests, or those who just have something to important to add to the world around guns.

White Collar Crime and Fraud Podcast (True Crime, Self-Defense, Writing Improvement) – This show discusses more of the theory behind scams and frauds, but also discusses actual cases.

Words & Numbers (Economics, Libertarianism, POTD, Interview) – An economist and a political scientist discuss different aspects of economics from a libertarian perspective. Sometimes dipping into issues of the day.

Writer Dojo (Writing Improvement) – Larry Corriea and Steve Diamond discuss the business and techniques of writing.

Have A Plan – House of Worship Edition

Over the weekend a man took hostages at a Dallas synagogue. According to the article:

An armed suspect claiming to have bombs in unknown locations took a rabbi and three others hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville before noon Saturday, a source familiar with the situation told ABC News. One hostage was released uninjured at about 5 p.m. local time, Colleyville police said.

The FBI’s Hostage Rescue team did their thing. Rescued hostages and killed the bad guy. So, why did this happen?

While authorities would also not confirm the demands made by the hostage-taker, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News he was demanding the release of convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui. DeSarno said the hostage negotiation team was in contact with the suspect throughout the day.

If you are going to a place of worship, there are people who want to kill you. Because they hate your religion, because they hate the people in your church, synagogue, or mosque. Because they want to make a political statement. Because they just want to kill a bunch of people in a group.

Does your place of worship have a security plan and/or team? Are you carrying your weapon if your state allows it? Are you talking with your family and friends about what to do if the fecal matter impacts the turbine?

Don’t know where to start? Contact Ben over at Modern Self Protection. He has materials and done courses on protecting places of worship.

Clearing Out the Old Browser Tabs

First a couple of older tabs I meant to share back in November.

From Politico, an opinion piece that the Dems should stop pushing gun control if they want a chance in 2022. You know, since all those new guns weren’t being bought up only by old white guys.

From Reason is an article on how a couple of recent court rulings show how the narrative that the opioid epidemic wasn’t caused by drug companies.

Now for some more recent ones:

This one was getting passed around by folks on Facebook who are instructors or do a lot of training classes. So, why am I sharing? Because I get asked about guns and self-defense a lot. It’s a good reminder that I need to meet that person at where they are.

This is a neat article about new information on the Clovis people.

Finally, Raylen Givens rides again!

Self Defense In Extremes

Two recent court cases highlight situations that terrify me.

Let’s start with Kyle Rittenhouse’s case. His was in all respects a clear-cut case of self-defense. I’m not going to debate his decision to be in Kenosha that night. That’s a whole ‘nuther can o’ worms. Suffice to say, it would have taken a lot more to put myself in that area. Here’s the two parts that terrify me: 1) being cut off and surrounded by angry people, and 2) then having my story rocketed to the front of national news because of the media climate at the time. The former because of the tactical situation. The latter because of its downstream impact on my life.

Then let’s take a look at the case of Andrew Coffee IV. This highlights that my fear of the police fucking up and deciding to no-knock my house. Because there have been too many episodes of police mistakes and swatting for me to consider it outside the realm of possibility. As for Mr. Coffee’s particular case, I think McThag summed it up quite well.

Whatever your feelings of how they got into their situations, both of these young men had the right of self-defense. They used that right of self-defense appropriately. And they will pay a price for it.

These are the extremes. You have been warned.

Is It Good For Society?

As the Rittenhouse trial goes into jury deliberations, Sean Sorrentino (host of the defunct Gun Blog Variety Cast), posted this question on FB:

One of my friends left a very good comment elsewhere…

“If he had stayed home, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Minding your own business is a critical self-defense skill, yet no one teaches it.”

My question is: “This is good advice for the individual, but is it good advice for society?

I think this is a ramifications of some trends in America:
1. The transition from a high-trust society to a low-trust society
2. The increasing Balkanization among certain segments of the society, particularly the political extremes
3. The loss of influence of traditional institutions that promote mutual aid
4. The muddled definitions of what is expected among upstanding citizens – especially among the men

When we can’t trust strangers because they are outside of our tribe, when we consider those outside the tribe to be dangerous, when we no longer participate in organizations that foster goodwill and charity, and when we don’t have common principles to guide us through demanding times, is it any wonder that it may be preferable to just mind one’s own business?

Tri-Link Wednesday

The Brother shared a NY Times article on glitter. Yeah, I was surprised about how cagey people were about how glitter was manufactured. I still maintain that glitter is the herpes of the craft world. And I detest how endemic it is on girls clothing.

Miguel (via Lawdog) brings us a helpful hint. BTW Miguel, great job on the weight loss!

And on a more serious note, Reason has an article on the Firearms Policy Coalition filing in opposition of Texas’s new abortion law. They assert that turning the citizens against each other to stop abortion can be done to stop the citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Sometimes You Come Back On Your Shield

Instead of with it. John Hurley stepped up and stopped a madman bent on killing police. Unfortunately, he was killed by responding officers who mistook him for the madman. First, let me offer my condolences to his family and friends. Mr. Hurley did a courageous thing, and I hope that offers them some comfort in their grief.

Yet, like many tragedies, this is a good incident to examine for lessons. J. KB over at Gunfreezone has a good examination of the event. I agree that Mr. Hurley should not have picked up the madman’s rifle. Also, making yourself as much a non-threat when the cops roll up is also a good lesson to take to heart.

However, you can still do everything right and end up shot by the cops. You may not know the danger is over and are still scanning for threats. They are rolling into an extreme situation. Adrenaline is pumping on all sides.

Understand that. You can do everything right and still end up dead. That’s another lesson that needs to be learned.