I love the word "why." I also like to ask; "What?" (As if to ask for further explanation). They challenge people that rely on their status over their knowledge. It loosens your own brain, priming it to learn and evolve. Personally, I am very happy to have students ask me "Why?" Learning is about to occur. I take my job very seriously, and will not teach crap. I will generally teach several options for a given task, explain pros and cons and let the student ("Stud'") decide. I have ZERO interest in teaching you WHAT to think. I am very invested in teaching you HOW to think. Big difference.
So, as this is my first blog post, where to begin?
Why are you here?
You have decided to take responsibility for your own safety? Good. No one else really cares about your safety more than you. Maybe your mom cares, perhaps your family really cares, but they are not with you 24/7. That leaves us back at you.
Law Enforcement is taking a beating lately. Guess what? They are human too. They make mistakes, but they also resort to deadly physical force much, much less frequently than what they are legally permitted to. There is an agenda being followed today that results in LE being demonized. LE is NOT your enemy. If you disagree with how they police your area, ask yourself "Who directs the Police?". YOUR elected officials, that's who.
Ever see video of an Active Killer Event? San Bernardino? Virginia Tech? Dallas? Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) are RUNNING to the fight. If/when they learn that you are in trouble, they will come. As fast as they can. They might even place themselves at tremendous risk doing so. BUT most will not willingly die for you. They are not required to. If you ever see a Law Enforcement Executive or politician say "Officers are payed to die if necessary," file his/her face under "Moron". Either way, once they are on the way to you, you are still on your own for several minutes.
Why do violent felons think it is acceptable to hurt other people? Don't care. By the time I become aware of them/him, (statistically most human predators are male) it's irrelevant. Prison turned them into monsters? No. They were sent to prison because they were monsters. They expect to live short violent lives. They expect to die violently. 80% practice with their (typically) illegal gun, usually on average 23 times a year. Gun laws have zero effect on them. 40% have combat experience (not necessarily military). They typically have no strong emotional attachments to anyone. They have no moral or ethical reservations against killing, and will do so with little provocation.
Why is adversary analysis important? Because it can indicate how they will fight. They act like what Animal Planet will call "Ambush Predators." They will generally do a careful target analysis before they attack. However, if they are desperate they will attack a target that under normal circumstances, they would let pass. They use surprise. They use speed. They use violence to overcome resistance. Why? Because they have been successful with these methods (Tactics Techniques and Procedures) in the past. Some predators function in packs. These can be extremely dangerous.
They picked YOU because experience has taught them that your persona indicates an easy target, or you appeared when they are desperate. You didn't detect them before the "Merge" and now you are at a profound psycho-physiological disadvantage. And no one cares.
What can you do to avoid being targeted? Avoid areas that draw predators. Travel in groups. Don't act like food. If you are a fat slob, stop eating so much junk and move around more. Maybe get into a habit of lifting heavy stuff repeatedly and/or running around your neighborhood. Do push ups and air squats during commercials. Why is fitness important? People that are fit make better and faster decisions. People that are fit will tend to tolerate and recover from injury faster. People that are fit tend to carry themselves with more confidence (they don't look like food). Finally, the typical predator will be younger than you and will be in much better physical shape. You have to be able to match him for at least a couple of minutes.
As mentioned above, a predator will attack a larger, stronger prey item (talking human predators now to be clear) if he is desperate. If you missed the ques that you have been targeted, and find yourself confronted, now what? You must break into his OODA Loop. You do this by an explosive, violent, precise counter attack. No, you cannot just shoot him, unless doing so is legal. But you must shock him psychologically. This will cause his brain to "reboot," giving you a couple of seconds. Remember he has been successful many, many times with his method. You must surprise him. You may very well be fighting for your life. Never forget that.
Just give him what he wants. Maybe he won't hurt you. No. He is a predator. He learned to prey on normal people. I do not trust his moral compass. Odds are, he doesn't even have one of those anyway. Look on YouTube or live leak at street crime attacks. Do those people really inspire you to trust them to not hurt you? He may very well decide to kill you. Maybe for nothing else but for "street cred." Maybe to prevent you from identifying him.
You must be better than him. Why? Because you are a normal human being and will be held responsible for your actions, and should you shoot, for every bullet you launch. You must be fast, accurate and precise. This will require significant practice under realistic conditions. Why are our Nations Special Operations Forces so capable? For many reasons, but a big one is, is that they have trained (and continue to train) so that they can perform basic skills to a very, very high standard, on demand, even though they are cold, wet and hungry. Even if they don't feel like it. They train until they can't get it wrong. Then they train more. "Advanced skills" are simply well executed basic skills, "stacked" upon each other. There is no magic to this. It is simply the result of a lot of well planned practice and training. How much do you train?
If you decide to carry a gun, it must be powerful enough to stop a human adversary. Bullets do not stop people effectively. Defensive ammunition must be able to penetrate 12-18" of properly calibrated ballistic gelatin after having passed through heavy clothing. This means premium quality defensive ammunition of at least 9 mm parabellum. .380ACP isn't enough. .22 LR or MAG isn't enough.
The gun must be as big as you can conceal. Yes, you might have to modify the types of clothing you wear. Deal with it. Tiny guns in adequate calibers must still deal with considerable pressures. Subsequently, the operating spring will tend to be rather heavy. This can make it very difficult for weak handed people to manipulate. The next time you go to Meijer, go into the fitness equipment section and buy a spring hand grip strength thingey. Work your hand strength while you drive around in your car. Or, while watching TV. Instead of stuffing your pie hole with Cheetos, work your hand strength. Once you are strong enough to manipulate a smaller gun, you can sell your medium or full size pistol and buy a smaller one if you want. One of my favorite things about CQT, is that they have a broad selection of rental guns. You can rent an example and see if you like it. You can even buy a short, cheap lesson to learn a little about each gun. Make an informed purchase decision.
As noted above, bullets do not stop people effectively. You must be able to quickly and repeatedly hit structures that will rapidly stop a human. That means the brain, the heart or high up on the spine. Profound blood loss will stop a person but it takes time. Your adversary(s) may be nuts, intoxicated or very determined. You have to be able to stop them quickly, despite their mental state. The brain, heart and spine are small. About the size of a closed fist. That is the target size you must train to be able to hit. Small guns are hard to shoot well. No, technically you are not trying to kill him. You ARE trying to STOP him. Yes, he may die after being shot through the brain or heart, but you were only trying to stop his attack.
Aiming a gun at another human being and pulling the trigger is a really big deal psychologically for normally developed human beings. It would be wise for you to reflect upon that at length and make your decision about this sort of thing now. Are you prepared to pull the trigger if you are legally and morally justified? You need to figure this out.
You should take classes. Why? Because one of the most dangerous mental states to be in is not knowing what you don't know. (Denial of the threat and your vulnerability is probably the worst). Your CPL class is simply not enough. Think of a CPL as a "Learners Permit." I have been teaching civilians for many, many years. Most have graduated from a CPL class, and almost all of them were disasters relative to weapon handling. It takes a tremendous amount of time to get skilled with a pistol. In fact, practice and training should NEVER end. Yes, training classes and ammunition are expensive. Instead of buying that $5, high empty-calorie count cup of whatever every morning on the way to work, throw that money into a box. Every quarter or so you will have enough money to buy ammunition and take a course.
What else are classes good for? Learning to manipulate your gun. Buy a few dummy rounds or "Snap Caps." The overwhelming majority of skills you learn in a class can be practiced with an empty gun and dummy rounds. I recently taught a "Skills and Drills" class. One drill was to draw from concealment and fire two rounds into a 3x5" card at 20' in less than two seconds. It's tough. Another drill is to draw from concealment and fire 10 rounds into a 5 1/2" circle at 30' in 10 seconds. That's tough too. These are worthy, useful goals. They can be practiced safely with an empty gun. Dummy rounds also allow you to practice clearing stoppages and reloads.
Take a class and then practice the skills you learned. Then you will be in a much better place to take the next step with additional training. Ultimately, you will take these skills to "Force on Force" training. Using training pistols that launch colored soap projectiles against another human being. The goal is that you have reached a point where you are "Unconsciously Competent" running your gun, so that your higher brain functions are free to deal with the scenario/situation.
Why are you still sitting there? Your adversary is preparing. Why aren't you?