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unspeakable horror

Just this week a man snaps and stabs two children to death because they were fighting over a microwave. The man was their mothers brother and he beat her up and threw her out of the apartment and locked the door before turning on the children. By the time the police got there he had fled the scene and a man hunt began. I am not sure if the children died at the scene or at the hospital but they did not make it. Earlier that morning around 7 am a man was leaving his home in Northwoods Estates in North Charleston. When he walked outside he was jumped by three men who put a gun in his face and robbed him. Luckily they took his things and ran off without harming him physically.

It seems to be that the sanctity of human life has been under attack for way too long. We are surrounded by violent people doing unspeakable things against people in our community. Most people are shielded from this knowledge because they chose to tune out and ignore it. I spoke to three or four people this week who were totally clueless about the two children getting killed. They said they do not watch the local news because they do not want to know. I guess if it is not happening to me then it must not be happening to my neighbors.

We are more in tune with these sort of happenings because of our social media activities and listening to a police scanner. If you want to know what is going on in the world all you have to do is have a Facebook or Twitter account. By the time I watch the local news I have already been made aware of what is going on through Social Media. It could be that because of the instant access to stories of violent crime on a daily basis we are getting desensitized to it. Violent crime and those who have been victimized have become a part of our regular social media diet.

Even if you are not connected to social media all you have to do is turn on the TV and watch any of the major news outlets. All you seem to see is stories about people who have been attakced domestically or over seas. Terror is on the rise. More and more people have decided that they do not want to be a victim to violent crime and they are arming themselves and training how to use weapons to protect themselves and their families. Some people are going as far in SC to get a Concealed Weapons Permit. That allows you to carry a concealed weapon.

When you discuss the posibility of getting a CWP or owning a firearm you get a lot of different reactions. Some people are in agreement with learning how to defend themselves and their famiies against violence and some do not want anything to do with guns. Some would say that guns are evil and are part of the problem. Gun violence is the mantra that the media keeps using every time there is a case where someone gets killed by a gun wielding mad man.

Guns are not violent. People are violent. People who have mental illnesses are prone to carrying out violent acts with guns, knives and using a vehicle to run down pedestrians. It does not matter where you live. You can be a victim of violent crime unless you make a mental decision to limit your risks and equip yourself accordingly.

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Are you a sheep or a sheep dog?

The quote “Chance favors a prepared mind” was brought home for me today, as I listened to the instructors talk, and attempted to perform some of the different drills and tasks that were presented.  I attended the Advanced Concealed Weapons permit class that was held by the B.E.L.T. instructors.

It is very evident to me that each instructor, and volunteer at B.E.L.T. are deadly serious, and passionate, about equipping people to survive a violent encounter in the real world.  Our morning was spent in the classroom where  J.T. Judy went over a lot of information.  We were reminded of S.C. statutes that speak to the use of deadly force.  We were also reminded of how important to have the mind set to be “In it to win it”.  There are no second prizes in a violent encounter and there is no such thing as a fair fight.

We were encouraged to get serious about our equipment.  The handgun you choose, and the holster you use, can make a significant difference towards the outcome of a violent encounter.  Several of us learned today that there is a distinct difference between having a comfortable concealment holster, vs. having a holster that is combat ready.  We also learned that it is important that we become intimately familiar with our hand gun of choice and to adapt our training to that weapon system.  We learned that the more complicated the weapon is, the harder it is to get the fundamentals down.

We learned the importance of carrying a dual purpose flashlight that can be used to engage a threat and the different aspects of carrying other types of non-lethal weapons.

Today we were shown several reloading methods including the V method, L method and New York method.  Each method has its own pro’s and con’s.  We were encouraged to figure out what works for us best.  We learned the difference between tactical reloading, combat reloading, and why it is important to know how to do it.  We learned how important it is to use concealment and cover and to keep moving during a violent encounter.  We learned how to identify what concealment is and is not.  We were encouraged to always be in a code yellow state of awareness, and not to allow ourselves to be oblivious of our surroundings.

We were shown that while our group was diverse in age, size and physical abilities, most of us can cover 21 ft of ground in less than 3 seconds.  That is how long you have, to clear your weapon from concealment, and get rounds on target.   We also saw how important it is to take this training and practice, practice and practice some more.  The more you practice the more competent that you become.  On several occasions today I realized just how dead I could be, unless I choose to get serious about my equipment and honing basic weapons handling skills.  Yes, being able to plink at a piece of large paper at an indoor range is a start.  You can get familiar with your weapon and how it puts rounds down range into a target.

Today I was reminded of the fact that I can either be a sheep, or a sheep dog. When I decided to be an armed citizen, and carry a concealed weapon, I decided that I was no longer going to be a victim.  I decided I did not want to see my family and friends be victims either.

What did I come away with from this training?  I came away from this training with the understanding, that I must be diligent to use the right equipment, have the right mindset, and to practice these skills on a regular basis.  I came away from this training with the desire to prepare myself mentally, physically and psychologically to be a better sheep dog.

If you find yourself reading this, and are in agreement then I would highly encourage you to register with B.E.L.T. and make yourself available to get trained right the first time.  I promise that you will be much better prepared to avoid or survive a violent encounter in the future.



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An excellent article on the need for self defense

An excellent article on self defense and the need for protecting yourself and loved ones.

I have friends who know that I chose to legally carry a concealed weapon.  I have 13 years of security and law enforcement experience.  I am police academy trained and I have seen the victims of crime first hand.  I have a SC Concealed Carry Permit that allows me to carry a concealed weapon.

I do not carry a weapon because it makes me feel cool ,or because I think I am John Wayne.  I carry a weapon so that I can protect myself, my family and any innocent bystanders, should a criminal decide to use deadly force for personal gain.  Just recently in the news, a CWP holder was sitting at a Waffle House, and used his self defense training, and his concealed weapon to stop a criminal from hurting or killing the employees during a robbery.

I have a couple of friends who have told me point blank that I am too paranoid.  They believe that the government should remove all firearms from the population in the U.S. and that alone will stop all violent crimes.  What they fail to understand is that criminals will never give up their weapons.  We do not need more gun laws that restrict law abiding citizens from protecting themselves and their families.  We need more criminal control laws that will enforce stricter punishments on criminals who commit violent crimes against innocent people.  That includes my family and yours.  Please remember that violent crime against people is not a faceless crime.  There are real victims that suffer real consequences that can last a life time.

Read the article above. It may not make you rush out to your local gun shop to buy a weapon, or cause you to sign up for a CWP class.  My hope is that it will educate you to the real possibility of personal violence, that can and may happen, to you or your loved ones.

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