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Last night about 11PM, my wife and I were in bed trying to sleep, when my 16-year-old son, Cedar, walked into our bedroom and yelled, “Dad, didn’t you hear me screaming for you?” Thinking something terrible was happening, like a home invasion or possibly one of the younger kids being hurt, I jumped quickly out of bed. “What’s wrong,” I asked. But he surprised me by saying, “There’s a big snake in the basement!”

I breathed a sigh of relief, and followed him downstairs so he could show me where it was. On the way down, he asked me the most curious question. “Aren’t you going to get your gun?” At first I thought he was joking, but I quickly realized he was serious, so I said, “No son, let’s just get a stick and beat it to death.”

He showed me the snake and it was about 3 feet long. And this is where it gets silly. You see, I’m terrified of snakes. I don’t know why … I just am. It’s silly, because it’s not like they’re poisonous or they can bite my arm off. A few days ago I took the kids to the zoo, and we saw pythons and boa constrictors. Now those … yeah, get me a shotgun with double aught buckshot. But this was just a little guy, so I dispatched him and threw him outside.

And then I got to wondering, why are so many of my fears irrational? I have the same problem with mice. Tiny, little mice. I mean, yeah, it’d be different if they were ROUS’s, you know, from The Princess Bride movie (Rodents of Unusual Size). And then all last night I had nightmares about snakes. I must’ve killed a hundred snakes in my sleep last night, and then I woke up exhausted.

These irrational fears don’t make me feel good about myself. Here I am a Marine vet, firearms instructor, studying martial arts, and I’m terrified of tiny rodents and reptiles. And then I asked myself:  What would happen if I conquered my fear? And the answer is obvious; that silly, little mouse or snake wouldn’t stand a chance against me. But while I let my fear dominate, then I let all kinds of weaker things drive me into retreat.

Fear is like that with everyone I think. Especially fears that take root in us as children. We let them grow for decades and end up forgetting how we even got those fears in the first place. Fear is a great motivator, and tyrants use our fear to get their own way. They scare us into giving up without a fight. Putin threatens nuclear war if we don’t let him conquer Ukraine. Robbers threaten our lives if we don’t hand over our wallet. Politicians tell us the world will end if we don’t donate money or vote for them.

I’d like to be able to say I’ve defeated all my fears, but that would be a lie. I don’t think anyone ever does that. We all harbor secret, unconquered fear.

So what’s the point of this story? Well, I think I need to re-evaluate my fears and determine which ones are valid and which ones I need to conquer. And I need to remind myself that just because I have a rational, well-founded fear, doesn’t mean I should automatically surrender myself to it. For example, if a man breaks into my home and is threatening to kill my family, then, well, yes, I would be afraid. But I would fight through my fear and kill him nonetheless.

I think some of us give up too easily. Our fight or flight mechanism is stuck on flight. Somehow, we’ve been convinced that it’s noble and good and wise to always run away from danger. But I don’t think that’s true. Certainly there’s a time for every purpose under heaven. There’s a time to run and a time to make a stand. I think in the end, all of us are defined by our actions. What are we willing to fight for … to die for? I’m reminded of a quote from the movie with Kevin Costner “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.”

Robin Hood is speaking with the Maid Marion.

“I’ve seen knights in armor panic at the first hint of battle. And I’ve seen the lowliest, unarmed squire pull a spear from his own body to defend a dying horse. Nobility is not a birthright. It’s defined by one’s actions.”

One of the nice things about life is we get to define ourselves. And every time we choose to act, or choose not to act, we are defining ourselves, for ill or for good.

This week on The Home Defense Show Skip talks about the officer-involved shooting of an unarmed black man by a white Grand Rapids police officer. Will there be more riots in Grand Rapids? And, if so, how can you keep your family safe from them?

 

Here's the article from 2020 I mentioned in the video.

User’s Manual – How to Survive a Riot

I’ve been teaching concealed carry classes for 20 years now, and I enjoy it very much. However, I have to tell you, that the past few months have been Crazy with a capital “C”. I taught almost 300 students last month, and the vast majority of them had zero formal training with a handgun before attending my class. Many of these people don’t even like guns. How do I know? Because they told me so.

They are in my class, not because they want to carry a gun, but because they’re terrified of walking around in public without one. I never saw that coming. Honestly, I never thought America would ever become a place where carrying a gun was necessary for every law-abiding citizen, from a safety aspect I mean. And the number one reason my students give me is the rioting and looting.

Of course, I want to calm everyone down, I want to allay your fears … but … I can’t. Simply because I’m not a liar, and your fears are justified. America is a very dangerous place right now, especially if you live and work and travel in large cities. This isn’t a political piece, so let’s just get right into the meat of it. Here are some things you can do to survive a riot:

Stay out of the city.

I say this knowing that it’s not possible for many people for a lot of reasons. You live in the city. You work in the city. You have business there that has to be done if you’re going to provide for your family. But here are some ideas.

  1. Limit your trips to big cities, and by big cities I mean anything over 50,000 people. It’s just not safe anymore. You have to understand that the police have been neutered. They can no longer protect you. If you get caught in your car during a riot, and are surrounded by 500 people jumping up and down on your car and smashing your windows, you’re pretty much screwed. After all, what are you going to do? Step on the gas and run over 25 people? Most people aren’t willing to do that. Are you going to pull out your Glock and start shooting as many as you can until the crowd thins out and you can drive away? That tactic might help you survive the initial attack, but the legal, social and political aftermath can land you in prison for the rest of your life and bankrupt your family to boot.
  2. Don’t go to the city after 5PM. Many of the protests are peaceful. People come during the daylight hours and they hold signs and chant slogans about justice. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, our country was founded by unhappy rebels who didn’t like the status quo. Your right to protest is enshrined in our history and protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. But here’s the thing. Scary things come out at night. Once the soccer moms leave to go home and fix dinner for their families, the militants take to the streets, and that’s when things get dicey and very violent. If you’re still in the city by 5PM, then you are in danger.
  3. Listen to the local news any time you’re near the city. Why? Because you need to know what’s happening five blocks away. What are you driving into? Is it safe? Is it not? Can you detour around it? A few years ago my family drove to Portland, Oregon to visit family. I don’t like Portland. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that it’s a hotbed of political activists who tend to block off streets, even major interstates leaving 100s of cars stranded and at their mercy. Listening to local news anytime you’re near a city is a good idea. It gives you real-time intelligence on where the danger is so you can avoid it.

 

Get armed and trained.

But here’s the deal. You have to understand the limitations of the concealed carry lifestyle. 85 percent of altercations do not rise to the level of deadly force. You can’t just pull out your gun and start killing people because they are jumping on the hood of your car and scaring your children. But some people in my classes think that they can. You have to understand that firearms, especially handguns, are not good tools for riot control. Think of it this way: I’m a deer hunter. Every fall I buy a hunting license, and, along with that license I get a kill tag. I go out, hunt, shoot the deer, gut it out and fasten the kill tag to the dead animal. When you get your concealed pistol license, you won’t receive kill tags that allow you to shoot “X” number of rioters.

The message there is clear. The firearm is still a tool of last resort … even in a riot. My personal opinion is that avoiding danger is always the best course of action. It may be legally expedient for you to shoot, but there are moral and political concerns as well. Think about that.

Protect yourself legally

In the present political and social climate, I wouldn’t carry a gun without also having very good legal protection. You can do everything right (as in legal) and still be charged with a crime. You have to understand that County Prosecutors are elected officials, thereby making them susceptible to political correctness and media pressure. Public relations is important to them. Right now many police officers, prosecutors and mayors are terrified of being called a racist, so they’ll bend over backwards to appear open-minded and progressive, even if that means you have to bend over forward and take one for the team. Many even go so far as to physically bow to rioters and looters. So, with that in mind, why would you trust these elected politicians, who are concerned only about their own political interests, to do the right thing by you and your family. They don’t want to get caught in that meat grinder, so you will become a scapegoat. It won’t matter that your windshield was smashed in along with the side windows and your 8-year-old daughter was being dragged from the car. None of that will even make the news. All people will see on television is the video of you firing away at a crowd of people who then start to flee the crazy man that you’ve become. The media will convict you.

You are going to need a very good lawyer. Do you recall the George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin case? George Zimmerman did nothing illegal, and he was eventually acquitted. However, the road to acquittal ruined his life, and put him in debt 6 figures. Any time a court case is politicized, you’ll need the best legal representation in the world, and it is likely to cost more than you can afford.

The legal protection I recommend is a membership in the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). That’s what I’ve chosen for my family, and I feel very confident about them.

Here’s the thing:  The laws of deadly force don’t change during a riot. However, the politics of the law do. In the end, if you have great legal protection you’ll probably be okay. But if you don’t … well, what can I say. Reference my first point. Don’t visit the city.

Here’s the bottom line, folks. It doesn’t matter what your politics are. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is. Black people get hurt in riots just like white folks. Conservatives get beat up just like liberals. Our country is changing, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. The barbarian hordes are pounding on the gates to the city, and you need to protect yourself and your family. Be smart. Get informed. Be sly. Learn and train as much as you can. Now more than ever you need to be prepared.

Skip Coryell

Skip Coryell is the author of 19 books, including “Civilian Combat: The Concealed Carry Book” and the post-apocalyptic adventure series “The Covid Chronicles” as well as “The God Virus.” And “The Mad American.”


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You can read the article I reference here.


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Learn more by clicking on this link.


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