Keeping Your Gun Safe in the Home

Published March 24, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, Equipment, Practice, Self Defense, Training

A few months ago, I mentioned that I carry in my home just like I carry outside of my home. Yes, I have a quick-access gun safe and I use it at night to store my CCW gun, but day in, day out, I keep my carry gun on me except when I’m wrestling with my sons or some other activity. 

Why? Because it’s faster to engage a threat with a gun on my hip or in my pocket is faster than any off-body storage method, that’s why. 

Which is faster: A gun in a nightstand drawer or in a gun safe

Published March 11, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, Equipment, Mindset, Practice, Self Defense

I’m not a big fan of leaving loaded guns lying around the house because it’s kinda like leaving the bleach jug in the refrigerator next to the milk jug: Something bad is going to happen, it’s not a question of IF, it’s only a question of WHEN.

So we decided to test things to find out if a gun safe safe is a better alternative to leaving your gun in a nightstand drawer, and the results really surprised us.

A few notes about this test:

  • Jaci and Robert are almost identically-skilled as shooters
  • They used guns they were familiar with
  • Robert was not familiar with how to use that gun safe because we wanted to simulate the stress of figuring out how to open it correctly under stress
  • The shots were so close together, the shot timer app on my phone couldn’t tell them apart. 

The gun safe we used was this model from Paragon safes, but if I’m honest, I prefer GunVault safes

The Top Ten Clues You Picked The Wrong CCW Instructor.

Published March 4, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Training

From the home office in Paulden, Arizona…

The Top Ten Signs You Picked The Wrong CCW Instructor

  1. He starts off his safety speech with “Accidentally discharging a firearm is something you need to get used to.”
  2. He has a Mayors Against Illegal Guns challenge coin.
  3. He spends more time complimenting your choice of camo gear than he does correcting your shooting stance.
  4. He says “Ok, here’s something I learned from Call of Duty.”
  5. His handouts  on aiming refer to “site picture”.
  6. He’s wearing a drop leg holster. On his arm.
  7. He’s proud of the fact he’s teaching the same stuff they taught in the 50’s. The 1850’s.
  8. His talk on the legalities of carrying a firearm is just “Shoot first, ask questions later.”
  9. He says he can’t pick up yours or anyone else’s guns because his felony conviction is still on appeal.
  10. He starts off the range session with “Here, hold my beer while I try this.”

Always be nice. Until it’s time to not be nice.

Published February 25, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Mindset

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” 
– Robert A. Heinlein

“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
James 3:5-6, NIV

In general, I’m not a fan of “Monday-Morning-Quarterbacking” defensive gun uses, because each one is unique and may or may not apply to our daily lives. However, this happened less than a mile from my old house, and because I lived in that neighborhood and know that store, it’s more applicable to my life, and maybe I can help others as well. 

A man who shot and killed another man inside a suburban Phoenix Walmart opened fire in self-defense, Chandler police said Monday. 
According to Chandler police, Cyle Wayne Quadlin, 25, shot Kriston Charles Belinte Chee, 36, following a fight at a service counter Sunday afternoon.
Detectives reviewing surveillance video report the two men fought in the store before the shooting Sunday afternoon.
Quadlin told police he pulled his gun in self-defense.
“Mr. Quadlin was losing the fight and indicated he ‘was in fear for his life,’ so he pulled his gun and shot Mr. Belinte Chee,” police said in a statement.
Belinte Chee was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. Investigators said the pair did not know each other before the shooting.
Authorities said Quadlin remained at the store for a little while following the shooting and then fled. Police found him after a family member called authorities to report his whereabouts.

This fight started with a heated argument and escalated into deadly force. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When you carry a gun, you gain the ability to defend yourself against violent lethal force, but you give up the “right” to get angry at another person’s wordsI cannot emphasis that enough: If you’re the hot-temepered type, get your anger under control before you carry a gun, or don’t carry one at all. A man died in this incident and another’s life is forever changed because tempers flared and things got out of control. Learn to walk away from fight before it happens, because the easiest way to win a fist is never starting it. 

This is why I’ve never recommended off-body carry

Published February 13, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Clothing, Equipment, Self Defense

I was a professional advertising photographer for ten years, and to getting the shot meant I carried  a gadget bag full of expensive cameras on my shoulder in some pretty shady areas full of pretty shady people. That gadget bag drew attention to me and said to the criminal element “Look, here’s a bunch of expensive stuff you can fence quickly: STEAL IT!” 

And I never once considered carrying a self-defense weapon in my gadget bag: It’s what the crooks want, why would I just add to the stuff they get to steal by putting a weapon in there with my lights and lenses? 

Same with a purse: It’s what the crooks want and one of the things you want to defend, so keeping the means to defend yourself inside the thing you’re to defend. 

It’s like freezing your diet plan inside a tub of vanilla ice cream: You’re going to get into more trouble getting to it than you are using it. 

Video courtesy of Kathy Jackson, who recommends on-body carry, and so do I. 

Did you buy the wrong gun?

Published January 21, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, Competition, Self Defense, Training

guncounter

Good question. Buyer’s remorse is a real and dangerous thing, and guns aren’t cheap. Buying the wrong gun means that something that could be used to provide hours of fun, enjoyment and practical self-defense ends up unused, unloaded and under your bed, never seeing the light of day or a proper gun range. Because there are so many types of guns and so many things you can do with them, we’re going to talk about defensive firearms like a small service pistol or shotgun.

So how do know if you’ve bought the right gun? 

  1. Does the gun do what you wanted?
    If you’ve bought a .22 rifle for self-defense, you’ve maybe made a poor choice. Chances are, however, if you’ve followed the advice of a competent gun store clerk (or read this blog…), you’ve got the gun you need.
  2. Do you enjoy shooting the gun?
    This question causes quite a lot of controversy because there’s more than one person who will say “Who cares if it’s easy to shoot? You should get a gun you trust to save your life, even if it feels like a porcupine in your hand and recoils like a freight train!”
    The thing is, they’re not wrong, but they’re not right. If you’re not comfortable shooting your new gun on a regular basis, you’re not going to be comfortable practicing with it or training with it, and that means you’re not going to be comfortable using it to defend yourself on the worst day of your life.
  3. Can you buy the accessories you want for it?
    As someone who has a natural affinity for CZ firearms, (not the biggest brand of guns out there), I deal with this every time I want to add something to my gun. I love my CZ’s, but I accept the fact that there will be more available accessories for a Glock or M&P pistol.  
  4. Is your gun reliable?
    This is the big one.  An unreliable firearm is not a defensive tool, it’s at best an occasional plaything. All gun manufacturers will tell you their guns are reliable, but how do you know for sure the gun you bought will work when you need it the most? 
    Fortunately, Todd Green of PistolTraining.com has set up a forum when gun owners answer a simple question: Can your gun shoot 2000 rounds in a row without a hiccup? Go check it out and if your gun is listed, you can be confident you have a reliable gun. 

No matter what, the key to being comfortable with your new gun is safely using it and learning to rely on it to defend your life or the lives of our loved ones if, God forbid, you might need it. 

Carry often, carry consistently.

Published January 9, 2014 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Clothing, Equipment, Self Defense, Training

Stop for a moment: Do you know where your house keys are? Where your cell phone is or your wallet? Are they in the same place they normally are? Probably.

We carry our daily “must have” items in the same place all the time because we don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for them if we need them. 

The same thing is true for your defensive firearm. If (God forbid) you’ll need it, you’ll need it rightthisverysecond and not want to pause for a moment to reflect where it might be. This is why once you’ve decided on where to carry your pistol, you’ll want to carry in that position as often as possible and not move it to another location or yourself or somewhere else. 

For example, through trial and (some) error, I’ve found that I prefer to carry my CCW gun in an Inside The Waistband (IWB) holster, specifically in a hybrid Kydex/leather holster of some kind, positioned at about 3:30 on the same side as my strong hand. I usually carry either a Smith and Wesson Shield or a CZ P07 in that position, but if I can’t carry on my waist because of what I’m wearing or where I’m going, I carry a pocket .380, a Kel-Tec P3AT in a pocket holster in my pants on my strong hand side. My extra magazine (and you DO carry spare ammo, don’t you?) is either in a mag pouch on my waist or in a nifty little pocket pouch that keeps my ammo separate from the flotsam and jetsam in my pockets.  

Take a moment to think about where your carry gun is right now. If you’re not sure, or if it’s not close by, it’s not going to be much help when you’ll need it most. 

Accepting the responsibility of owning a gun.

Published December 17, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Mindset, Practice, Self Defense, Training

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Owning a firearm for personal defense is the most grown-up decision you’ll make in your life because you realize that an armed representative of the state (a cop) will not be there when you need one and you are, and always will be, your own first responder. 

I agree with Rob Pincus: The government shouldn’t mandate training as a pre-requisite to gun ownership, anymore than they should mandate J-School classes before owning a typewriter. It’s the duty of responsible people to set up and advocate responsible actions for anyone wanting to own a gun, and training is definitely a part of that equation. 

BTW, for more info on Combat Focus Shooting in Arizona, check out Phoenix Firearms Training

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