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#107956 - 10/06/07 10:57 PM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: CBTENGR]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Since I seem to have been the most vocal advocate on the forum regarding EDC of firearms, I will offer up my responses:

I have not shot anyone yet. I have not had the opportunity. I've been close to it, and I firmly believe that I would have no problem drawing down and shooting someone threatening me, my family or someone I felt was unjustifiably being threatened.

Up until a couple years ago, I carried a firearm with me every day. I was unable to carry a firearm on the Nuclear reservation, but did keep one with me coming and going. Since returning from Baghdad, I have not been able to carry a firearm with me as often as I would like, but now that I am in Florida that will change for the better. I've regularly packed a pistol with me since I was 21. I have a couple different carry rigs, one is an angle draw underarm shoulder holster, the other is a behind the back under the belt draw. I practice drawing from each position regularly, and feel confident I can deploy from either better than most. I prefer a 45, mine being a Glock 21, but also have packed a compact 40 S&W and my true blue Dan Wesson 357 4" revolver. I've also packed a Ruger Super Redhawk in a shoulder holster concealed, but this was not terribly practical, even given my large size.

While I am at home, if I am sleeping it is sitting on or in my nightstand. While I am at work, it may be in a drawer of my desk, or I may have it on me. I don't leave my guns in my car.

My oldest daughter is a certified hunter safety/education instructor, my younger daughter will be when she is 21 and becomes eligible. My wife is not as into it as the rest of us, but she knows how to take any of my firearms apart, put them back together again, load them, and shoot anyone that threatens her or her babies.

I strongly disagree with part of your last statement. I have never subscribed to the notion that children can't be left alone with or have easy access to a firearm, nor do I believe all firearms should be secured when not in use. These two statements are only true if the owner is not willing to do their part in educating and training their children how to behave in the presence of firearms, or leaves them out in plain sight. As far as irresponsible adults go, I've known plenty who had firearms that had no business with them, and never broke the law and gave no cause for anyone to try and separate them from their firearms. Irresponsibility is not a disqualifying criteria for denying somone the right to own or possess a firearm, unless the are proven legally to have that right denied (as in breaking the law).

I keep my hunting rifles and shotguns locked up because they serve no other real purpose, but self defense firearms are pointless if secured, eg locked up in a safe or with a gun trigger or chamber lock or some other disabling device installed.

As for facing a knife threat while armed with a gun, my advice is "don't bring a knife to a gunfight". Yes, you might be able to wound me if you get the jump on me, but I am pretty sure it won't be the wound of your choice, and once the Glock is out, then it will be my turn. You might get lucky, but is it going to be worth the risk, to take on a guy that is 6'6" and 260 lbs, and is already thinking about being accosted?

We just live in two different worlds I guess. I made some decisions long ago about how I would live my life and run my family, and it has worked out just fine for me and mine. It isn't the sort of life for everyone I am sure, but it suits me and the girls seem to feel the same.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#107958 - 10/06/07 11:38 PM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: CBTENGR]
desertrat1 Offline

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 144
Loc: Kingman AZ
1. Yes

2. About a week and a half ago.

3. Daily

4. Paddle or Shoulder Holster

5. Arizona is an open cary State and i have a CCW so I pretty much carry it everywhere.

6. EDC next to my bed when I'm sleeping, the rest are in a safe.

7. Yes/Yes
What you know isn't as important as knowing what you don't know

#107963 - 10/07/07 12:43 AM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: benjammin]
UTAlumnus Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/08/03
Posts: 1004
Loc: East Tennessee near Bristol
I strongly disagree with part of your last statement. I have never subscribed to the notion that children can't be left alone with or have easy access to a firearm, nor do I believe all firearms should be secured when not in use. These two statements are only true if the owner is not willing to do their part in educating and training their children how to behave in the presence of firearms, or leaves them out in plain sight

+1. I was taught from before I can remember not to touch granddad's guns unless I was told I could. I knew where they & the ammunition were kept.

#108045 - 10/08/07 03:39 AM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: CBTENGR]
djk010468 Offline

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 16
Guys, I am always interested to read this kind of thread. I agree with most of what has been said, but honestly, many of you are under an incorrect assumption. Or outdated training.

You need to train realistically. And if you do so, you will fast realize that you are not going to stand there and draw and shoot when someone is coming at you. The 21 ft rule is total BS if you know what you are doing and have trained.

It's very simple. Whether the bg comes for a gun fight, a knife fight, or a baseball bat fight, you must move. If you stand still, the best you will get is a draw, which means you both bleed. Move first, and keep moving. Practice drawing on the move. Practice shooting on the move. If he's charging you, the distance isn't going to be that far. You'd be surprised what you can do with a little practice. How do you practice? Get an airsoft replica of your carry gun. Gear up with it, and have someone come at you with protective gear on.

It is best to do this for the first time under competent instruction. I recommend Gabe Suarez. I just attended one of his courses a month ago, with another one last year. Geared up with the airsoft, a fast, skinny guy charged me with a training knife. I beat him at 12 ft. And guys, I'm slow. I had about 6 hits on him, in the face and chest, before he caught me, and I admit I slowed down, because I could see the hits, and I felt sorry for him. Yes, they sting. He had a mask on, but the body shots will leave welts (my turn was next). The draw was from concealed, IWB appendix carry under a shirt.

For the rest, I carry every day, anytime I am out of the house, except for at work, because I need my job. Other than that, I go where I want to go, and I am carrying. If they don't like it, the worst they can do is ask me to leave. And I have never been called on it, because I know how to conceal the weapon. If anyone asks you about it (other than an LEO) simply mutter to them about it being a cell phone, Ipod, or one of the other things people carry on their persons. Then ignore them and leave.

At home, my glock goes on a stand at the foot of my bed, until I go to bed when it moves to the nightstand. I live alone, in a small place, and I can get to that nightstand very quickly from anywhere.

#108052 - 10/08/07 10:44 AM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: djk010468]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2177
Loc: Bucks County PA
Just a note to the list - this is the first gun discussion that has stayed on the rails for this long. Thank you very much for keeping things civil. Please strive to ensure that the discussion stays in the same tone from here on out - this is about the point where these threads blow up (around message 25 or 30 in a gun thread).

#108054 - 10/08/07 12:08 PM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: CBTENGR]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2177
Loc: Bucks County PA
OK, now that I've set up the idea that this topic is remaining "civil" for a long time, I must take to task one of the statements in the originating post (and also commend the original poster for a well-written and much-needed thread).

(statistics show that if you present a firearm and show weakness in using it, even in a life-threatening situation, it is more likely to be used against you)

As a long-time poster on boards like this (and this board in particular) I must insist that all claims of fact based on 3rd party evidence must include a citation to the original work to substantiate the assertion. This is the original purpose of the World Wide Web - to create a mesh of cross-citations of works in order to allow those with knowledge and opinion to share, as widely as possible, their body of work.

Further, in the event of a quotation of statistics, the only acceptable studies must have a mathematical vigor applied to them in order to establish the veracity of the interpretation. When a statistic uses a subjective term like "shows weakness" I am wary of drawing any conclusions from that report, as there is little or no means of assigning an objective standard to "shows weakness". Similarly, "more likely" - as in "more likely to be used against you" is a comparative statement that is set off against a subjective statement, and "more likely" does not give me a full picture of the situation.
If we can accept that there is a way to measure "shows weakness" objectively, so that any observer would say that in a given situation, someone is "showing weakness", then we need to assign a value to "more likely" - and the problem is that "more" is a specific term that does not mean "always".

For example, if I buy a cup of coffee on the way to work, I am "more likely" to spill it on my nice clean work shirt before I get to the office. However, that does not mean I WILL spill coffee on my shirt, or that I always spill coffee on my shirt, it just means that once the variable of "coffee" is introduced into my vehicle, there is a possibility that I will spill it on my shirt. No coffee, no spill. However in this argument, the presence of coffee is objective and binary - I have it (and risk spills) or I don't.

In the case of the "use the gun against you" argument, in fact that is true is that if you don't have a gun, it can't be used against you. That is undeniable. The "shows weakness" element is specious and detracts from the central argument of the author, which is that possession of a firearm on your person introduces a certain risk factor, that of your own gun being turned against you, a risk that can be limited to a large extent through preparation in the form of constant training in the use of a firearm in a defensive situation.

However, there is a real, knowable risk in carrying any weapon, and the question is really if your risk profile and likely need for a defensive weapon is high enough that it offsets the risk of your defensive weapon being used against you in a situation you can't control. Basically, the increased risk of carrying a weapon needs to be less than the risk you realistically face in a given situation. Think of it this way - the increased risk of driving a car can be reduced - but not eliminated - by wearing a seatbelt - but there's still a risk of being killed in a car wreck, a risk that is not there if you don't drive at all. The risk of being killed in a car wreck can be totally eliminated! But of course, hardly anyone in the mainstream is proposing a 100% carless society. The risk/reward benefit calculation puts millions and millions of us in a car every day, but also kills 44,000 of us a year in car wrecks. We deem this an acceptable risk/reward ratio.

And there is the crux of the matter - while risk assessment is a well-established science, the reality is that human beings are very poor at assessing real risk . We see significant risks where there are minimal ones (brain-eating amoebas!) , and we ignore real risks when they require to "radical" a change to our behavior (exercise a few days a week, lay off the crap food). Even our assessment of risky places and actions is not accurate.

I know there are plenty of people reading this who would rather eat a live bat whole than to regularly commute to Manhattan (where I work), because they perceive New York as a "High Risk" place (it isn't - Gary, Indiana is a "high risk" place, New York is the 4th Safest City in the USA. .

Let me give you some real risk factors:

Here are the 15 leading causes of death in the USA (2004 Data)

Diseases of heart (heart disease);
Malignant neoplasms (cancer);
Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke);
Chronic lower respiratory diseases;
Accidents (unintentional injuries);
Diabetes mellitus;
Alzheimerís disease;
Influenza and pneumonia;
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease);
Septicemia (Infections, typically bacterial)
Intentional self-harm (suicide);
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis;
Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension or high blood pressure);
Parkinsonís disease;
Assault (homicide)

Sounds pretty grim when you look at "Assault" being right in there with High Blood Pressure, right?

Now look at the actual data as a chart: (source)

Yow! The largest risks are ones that I control directly, personally, with diet and exercise! What a drag! I can't blame anyone else for my health issues! Any my Glock won't ward off any of them!

So back to the guns.

So, while I do own firearms, I do train with them - not just holes in paper, but really hard defensive pistol & shotgun training that makes me sweat and work and breathe hard, using a real-world gun in a real-world carry condition (like under a tucked-in shirt). Like one of the other posters, I have experienced the 20 foot rule in training, and it was one of the most shocking training events I ever attended - and it really brought into sharp focus what a real defensive stance is all about, and how hard it is to get off a shot while you're looking for cover or concealment and the target is coming at you, and you don't want to shoot anything behind the target. In Law Enforcement there is a training program about an "active shooter" situation and my brother went through it and all I can say is it's the second most scary thing you can do as a cop (# 1 being a car stop alone at night on an empty highway).

So, if you carry, think about it first. Are you a hazard to yourself and others or are you really improving the odds? Are you ready to solve problems are will you become a problem? It's like all other Equipped stuff - all the gear in the world is useless if you can't use it correctly.

Carry on.

#108055 - 10/08/07 01:22 PM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: MartinFocazio]

Registered: 06/13/07
Posts: 99
Yes I am sorry my quote on the "statistics" was not up to the standard of Academia or this forum. As I write this I am going through old papers to find the study. But, here's the gist of it....a group of criminologists, one of whom I had as a CJ professor, did a study using FBI Crime Data and victim/offender interviews dealing with home burglary. The study asked participants that were victims of burglaries that were at home during the crime if they had a firearm, if the firearm was used by them or someone else in the home during the burglary, or if it was used against them. They then asked the offenders if they had a firearm during the commission of the crime, if they used it, or if they used a firearm that the victim had with them. The study showed that the number of people that had a firearm was fairly low, the number of people that had a firearm, but didn't use it was higher, but the number of people who had a firearm and used it was even higher. Now here's where it gets tricky. The number of people who had a firearm and that firearm was used against them was directly proportional to the response by offenders in using a firearm that belonged to the victim. This scenario was highest among females who were at home alone. I used the term "weakness" in my original post but should have used apprehension. It is good to note that the number of offenders that brought guns with them was very low. This was in part to the high penalties in most states for using a firearm in the commission of a crime.

I do not want to appear that I am anti-gun/anti-CCW. That would be hypocritical of me as I have both guns and a CCW. The intention was a look at safety/awareness and training. I hope this discussion has been helpful. Thanks.
Spemque metumque inter dubiis - Hover between hope and fear. (Vergil)

#108067 - 10/08/07 02:47 PM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: CBTENGR]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2177
Loc: Bucks County PA
Thank you for the clarification. As this is a dreaded gun thread, one of our leading thread lockers, I fell a need to "button up" a bit, at least for this discussion.
I don't have time here at work to look for it, however, I seem to recall that the "aggressive stance" vs. the "tentative stance" was a topic of discussion in one of the self-defense classes - I do know that there was considerable discussion about the use of a "tactical" light on the shotgun as well as laser dots and their effectiveness & risks in close quarters. The thing I came away with was that if you pull a gun, it's not a talisman that will make everyone run away. In fact, it may enrage some attackers, and simply be ignored by others. The key word is DEFENSIVE - meaning that you are able to hold your ground safely where you are or retreat to a place where you can hold your ground. In both scenarios there is the possibility that holding your ground means stopping - by killing - your attacker, because they are encroaching on your safe zone.

Anyway....I think that we're in agreement, and that a CCW permit is not going to save you from anything...thanks again.

#108073 - 10/08/07 04:16 PM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: djk010468]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
How's that line go, the best defense is a good offense? Well, anyways, my take on that situation goes back to a post I made about a month ago about the difference between the attitude of being a defensively oriented victim vs. a restrained psychopath, or something to that effect. Being prepared for an armed confrontation where you are anticipating an attack as an instigation to a counterattack with an escalation of force used I think changes the equation considerably in favor of the one preparing for the counterattack. Rather than retreat while trying to employ my primary assault weapon, I would tend toward closing the distance and deploying an alternative that is quicker to bear, something I may already have at hand, that will take the would-be assailant by surprise and inhibit his ability to strike. Like I said, this isn't something most folks are going to prepare for, but it makes more sense to me than the alternative. I don't like surrendering control of a situation, and most assailants will figure their victims to respond in one of two ways; cower or flee, both of which can be planned for.

Given the inevitability of contact in an attack initiating within 21 feet, it doesn't make sense to attempt to deploy a secured primary weapon that most people stand almost no chance of bringing to bear in time. Stopping your assailant by disrupting his attack by other means seems to be more prudent, and if fleeing is an option, it is an acceptable tactic, but my point is there are other, more effective and less orthodox alternatives if you are willing to be "creative".

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#108075 - 10/08/07 04:36 PM Re: Firearm EDC Challenge [Re: MartinFocazio]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Thanks for posting the stats Martin. This brings to light my contention in another thread that due to the absence in your stats of people dying from natural or man-made disasters, the need for preparing for those situations is in effect less than the need for self defense due to criminal activity.

Accidents may actually populate some amount of survival situation stat, but it would be implied, and I am thinking that far more survival situations of this nature are the result of mistakes, not accidents, for which I see no statistic in your list. In explaining the difference to my children, I define it this way: Accidents are those situations where you would not reasonably expect to be prepared for, such as driving down the street when the bridge collapses, or the steam pipe underground ruptures, or you cross an unexpected iron ore deposit and your compass goes wonkie. Mistakes are when you use the knife to pry the toast out without unplugging the toaster, or you forego the purchase of studded tires because you want to go to a concert and your budget won't cover both, or you don't double check the powder charge before seating the bullet on a reloaded cartridge.

I think a lot more people die or get injured from mistakes (the Darwin Awards) than from accidents (Murphy's Law).

I believe that if you are serious about your survival, then you will equip and prepare so as to minimize the risks. Since most of your list is physiologically based, I have to think that I am at greatest risk just sitting at this God-forsaken desk 10 hours a day plugging into this infernal electronic device.

One caveat more and I will abandon this dialogue (unless someone really needs more clarification): Having spent most of my life now edc'ing a firearm, I am satisfied with the notion that even if I didn't have one with me anymore I would still be better prepared because of how long I did. It is an interesting irony I suppose that because I was so dedicated to the aspect of self-defense, my situational awareness actually increased despite the apparent mitigation of any likely threat. Having the firearm with me, I was actually more likely not to get myself in a situation where I would need to use it than if I had probably never packed heat at all.

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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