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American Handgunner March/April 2010 - Page 22
John Connor GUNCRANKDIARIES TM EXCUSES, ALIBIS, PITHY OBSERVATIONS & GENERAL EPHUS bout twice a year the Memsaab Helena and I carve time out of our Carnival of Chaos to do a thorough analysis of our safety and security situation. The phones are turned off and we allow no distractions. Yeah; we take it seriously, considering all threats, not just armed intruders. We talk, make notes on weapons, ammo and accessories, and do “walkthroughs” of threat-response tactics — for around the house, away from home, driving and working. To do any less, we agree, is like buying empty fire extinguishers: meaningless gestures in a game played for lives. Back when I was a cop, I questioned a badly wounded citizen who was confronted by two armed attackers, one with a knife, the other with an old Iver Johnson .22 revolver. Our citizen-victim was a legal concealed-carrier, and well armed. The way the goblins fumbled the first part of the encounter, he shoulda had every advantage over them. He never even cleared leather. At the hospital I learned why he lost that fight, his gun and nearly his life. “I really never imagined it would happen to me,” he wheezed, and his eyes still held true shock. By that point in my life I wasn’t surprised he had gone through the motions of “being prepared” while really being completely unprepared. I had seen too much of it already, even by fellow cops. Simply put, he had the hardware, but not the enabling software. Helena and I spend more time on possible scenarios and our human responses than we do on equipment. I recommend the practice to you, ‘cause I wanna see the Good Guys win. There’s not enough space in this magazine to thoroughly discuss safety and security from soup to nuts, so let me sound off on just one thing I feel strongly about, okay? Envision this scene: You’re awakened by a bump in the night; maybe tinkling glass. You jump up in your jammies — or in the buff — grab your Bedside Boomer and head for the hallway. Do you have a tactical light? Your cell phone? Now both your hands are full. How are you at turning doorknobs or switchin’ on lights with your toes? Punchin’ 9-1-1 with your nose? The home Defense Rig A The heart of a Home Defense Rig: A Level III SERPA holster and Xiphos weaponlight, by BLACKHAWK!. Now picture yourself rising again, this time quickly snapping or buckling on a sturdy, snug-fitting belt you’ve outfitted as sort of a “First Response Tool Chest.” Now you have both hands free until you choose to fill one with the right tool for the job. Your roscoe rides in a Level II or Level III activeretention holster; fast, but resistant to goblin-grabs if you wind up in a high-stakes wrestling match. Spare ammo is on your belt, not in a box in the closet. You have a strobing light and laser mounted on your gun, because carrying fewer separate tools makes sense, though you also have a backup tac-light on your belt — right there by your cell-phone. And you’re packin’ a less-lethal weapon like a PepperBlaster or JPX Jet Protector, right? You want some options other than 230-grain slugs or empty hands. Restraints are a good idea too — handcuffs or plastic zip-cuffs. If you do win the first round with an intruder, I can tell you from experience the longer they are un-shot the more convinced they become that you won’t shoot, especially after they’re disarmed. Sometimes they become dangerously stupid. Believe me; a securely shackled scumbag is easier to manage. If they get active with their legs or elbows, a stiff shot of pepper-snot can restore order and provide entertainment. For Helena and I, a stout fixed-blade knife rounds out the “necessaries” on a Home Defense Rig. Think of it as a “handgun retention device.” One pal of mine adds a whippy collapsible baton, and others carry TASERs or another form of electro-therapy. However you equip your belt, you’re better off than you were. of his staircase, he needed a hand free to unlatch the puppy-gate. He unconsciously tucked his Beretta 92 into the comfy, worn-out elastic waistband of his sleepy-shorts. His shorts rocketed to his ankles; he lost his balance, and wound up head-bonked, dazed, barebutted an’ gunless at the bottom of the stairs. The puppy, who had knocked over a potted plant on a stand, came wagglin’ over to lick his face. Now that’s silly. And I won’t even mention Pete’s name … Connor OUT. Stylish? N 22 ow, I know what you’re thinkin’: You’re seeing yourself confronting a crook or turning one over to responding officers while wearin’ your faded blue flannel jammie-bottoms with the little sailboats on ’em, and a big black gunbelt draped with deadly gear — and you’re thinkin’ you’d look silly. You wouldn’t look silly to me, or to any cop with a room-temp IQ. To us, you’d just look prepared and serious. And who cares what you look like to that predator, especially if he’s lookin’ up at you through teary eyes, and you’re smiling? Better a Silly-Lookin’ Winner than a Dignified Dead Dude. Another acquaintance of mine sorta snorted derisively when I mentioned my Home Defense Rig. A short time later he experienced one of those “bumps in the night” and investigated, pistol and flashlight in hand. He ’fessed up afterward, and I tried not to laugh. At the top * WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MARCH/APRIL2010