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Everything has its place

I am a firm believer that everything has its place.  I believe that if you assign something a unique place it will be easy to find again.  So, with that in mind I have spent the last 35 or 40 years perfecting the art of putting everything where it belongs.  By doing this my life is neat and orderly.  I do this with physical objects as well as digital objects.  Over the years I have accumulated a lot of stuff, both physical and digital.  

As I grow older I am experiencing difficulty in keeping track of my stuff.  In the physical realm I am still putting things where they belong, but I am forgetting where things belong.  I find myself standing in a room wondering where I put stuff.  I am not looking for the object, but I am looking for the object I put the stuff in.  It is as if I have created my own object placement nightmare.   I find myself asking “where would I put something like this if I were to follow my own rules?”  

In the digital realm I use mulitple methods in which to store data.  Data that is information that I need to retrieve quickly.  If I want to retrieve a piece of information on one of my comuters I typically have three locations.  I use Evernote, Dropbox and Google drive to store my information.  I typically have a copy of my information on all three services.  I also keep a backup of my inforamtion (data) on a USB hard drive, USB Flash drives and DVD’s.  One of the nice things about having my inforamtion in the cloud, is that I can search for a piece of information by keyword or tag.  I find myself wondering how I stored the information.  How did I save it?    

Remember when I said that I am experiencing difficulty in keeping track of my stuff?  Here is a real world example.  Typically, when I leave home, I put on my Kholster holster and I insert my Glock 23C  in it.  I put my wallet in my pocket because it has all of my identification cards including my South Carolina Concealed Weapons permit. I also pick up my flash light and put it in a pocket, and I clip on one of my spare magazine holders on my belt.  You never know when the Zombie Apocolypse is going to break out, so having plenty of ammumition is important.  Today, I went through the ritual of putting on all my gear.

 I have a basket on my desk that has my wallet, keys, rings, watch etc.  On the outside of the basket on my table is where the Glock, flashlight and magazine holder sits.  Approximately 30 minutes before it was time to put my gear on I had put the Glock that was in its “on the table holster” in the hideaway compartment in the love seat.  I knew that I was not going to be close to the weapon, and I knew the front door was unlocked because my son was outside mowing the grass.  I am not sure why I stashed the weapon instead of just taking it into the bedroom with me.  When it came time to gear up, I scanned the table for all of the things I needed to grab and proceeded.  Once I was done. Katy and I headed out the door to go to the grocery store. 

When we got back home I went through the ritual of taking off all my gear and putting everything back into its rightful place.  I lifted my shirt and reached for the Glock that was not there.  Imagine my surprise (and horror) as I wondered “where in the hades is my Glock….”.  I wandered between my office desk where I had just turned on the laptop and back to the living room thinking that maybe I had already transferred it to the other holster.  Then it dawned on me that I had left the weapon where I had put it in the love seat.  I am glad that the zombie apocolypse (or worse) did not break out while we were away from the house.  

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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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No Concealed Weapon signs means no business from me

I went to the Goodwill store on Rivers Avenue, just after Remount road on Sunday afternoon.  Katy and I were on our way back from church, and I wanted to see how the Goodwill Technology Center was doing.  I do volunteer work for a non profit in Charleston and I send a lot of folks that need low cost technology hardware to that location.

The parking lot was full for a Sunday afternoon, and I found a place to park near the front door.  Katy and I walked up to the front door and I was greeted by a “legal” No Concealed Carry sign on the front door.  That means that I , as a legal concealed carry permit holder have to disarm myself to go into this business.  Despite my urge to get in the car and wait on Katy to finish her shopping, I disarmed myself so I could complete my mission.

In South Carolina you can go to an 8 hour class , in which an NRA trained instructor, teaches you the state gun laws, and you spend time on the range proving your proficiency with a hand gun.  Basically you have to prove you can hit a paper target up to 50 feet away with both hands.  You shoot 50 rounds and do it with the gun range instructors guidance.  The 8 hour class is a bare minimum requirement from the state.  You also get yourself fingerprinted at the local Sherriff department on Leeds Avenue.  Those prints are then sent to the FBI where your prints are compared to their database to make sure you are not wanted or have a criminal background.  While you are at Leeds avenue you are in a locked room with the deputy who also searches their County database to see if you are currently wanted in their system.

Once the background check is done your concealed weapons permit application is sent to the same local Sherriff for their approval or disapproval of your permit.  Once he or she signs off on it. the application goes back to SLED for their approval. and to either send you the permit or deny it.  This process takes up to 90 days to happen.  Not everyone is able to get a concealed weapons permit.

More and more people are finding the need to be able to carry a concealed weapon on themselves, for their protection, and protection of a loved one.  In South Carolina you can carry a handgun in a container, that can be locked such as your glove box or center console, or trunk in your vehicle.  You do not have to have a CWP (concealed weapons permit)because of the Castle Doctrine that the state legislature enacted many moons ago, basically states that your vehicle is covered.  The Castle Doctrine basically states, that your home is your castle, and you have a right and privilege to defend it against intruders, and that you do not have to retreat in the face of an intrusion.

The Concealed Weapons Permit does not mean that you can carry a concealed weapon anywhere you please.  You can not carry your concealed weapon into a school or government building.  You can not carry it when you go vote or into government buildings, childcare facilities or medical facilities.  You also can not carry a concealed weapon into a restaurant or bar that sells alcohol for on site consumption.  You can not carry a concealed weapon into a business if they are displaying a legal sized sign with a handgun with a line drawn through it with a circle and says “No concealed weapons allowed”.

If you carry a concealed weapon in any of these places, and you are caught, you lose your CWP permit and you are fined and can go to jail.  That means that if I really want to go to King Street Grill on Wednesday for a half price burger I have to disarm myself.  If I want to go to the Goodwill Technology center to buy this or that I have to disarm myself.  When we went into Goodwill, as in most stores, there are no security measures in place to protect you.  No armed security officers, no police, no nothing.  That means that you are disarming yourself so that you can have the pleasure of obeying the law and spending your hard earned money in that establishment.

The only problem with this scenario is that criminals do NOT obey the law and they carry concealed weapons wherever they go.  When business owners display the no concealed weapons signs on their business that is advertising to criminals that everyone is disarmed, and that they can safely go in and rob the place.  They do not have to worry about being met with any type of resistance from a legally armed citizen.  I believe that the state laws need to be amended, so that folks who are legally able to carry a concealed weapon can do so in restaurants and businesses like Goodwill.

If you look at the state laws online you will see that restaurants that sell alcohol on the premises are NOT listed as one of the places you can not carry a concealed weapon.  That prohibition is listed in a completed different section of the state law.  You have to do some digging to find it, but it is there.  I believe that the law should stipulate that if you want to consume alcohol, then you can not legally carry a concealed weapon.  If you want to enter the establishment and have dinner with your family and you are NOT sitting at the bar, then you should be able to carry a concealed weapon with a state issued permit.

I also believe that businesses should be allowed to prohibit the ILLEGAL carrying of concealed weapons but also allow LEGALLY licensed permit holders to carry.  As it stands it is either you can or you can not. How can we change these laws?  By communicating with our state law makers in such a way that they will make changes to the language of existing laws or passing amendments.  That is why it is so important to educate yourself on what the law says.  You can do this by joining the NRA or local gun clubs or state organizations that can help us to effect these much needed changes.

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South Carolina Gun Laws

The following websites will help educate you on the South Carolina Gun laws Sled public access site. Access to gun laws, also renewals grassroots gunrights sc – your state group protecting your rights compilation of news from around the nation

Forum boards – a good source of info on a host of subjects gun related (GA side of Grassroots) (home of gun owners of America) (home to jews for protection of firearms ownership) – geared to the ladies – another forum geared to the ladies – Gabe Suarez site… one of the best gunfighting trainers out there – excellent member-based org monthly magazine

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