Monday, August 30, 2021

Latest From Active Response Training

Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training Weekend Knowledge Dump from this past Friday has a lot of good articles. A few that caught my eye:

  • A look at leather holsters for concealed carry. The article focuses on the key to a good leather holster for IWB carry which is a reinforced mouth so the holster will not collapse, and mentions a few such holsters made by a few well-known American holster companies.
  • An article taking a look at chemical precursors used in IED manufacture and ways to limit access to necessary materials.
  • An article discussing children and guns and whether it is better to lock up weapons or leave them available for use. The author concludes that based on a risk assessment point of view, it is better to keep the guns locked up simply because there is a greater risk of a child playing with a gun than someone forcing their way into the home. 

    From my point of view and experience, both from my own childhood and as a parent, the issue is actually more nuanced than is typically presented in gun magazines and blogs.

    My father not only didn't leave his guns locked up (the long guns were propped up in a corner of my parents' bedroom and closet) he kept loaded handguns in his dresser drawers. There was never an issue with us kids because he had taught us about firearm safety, allowed us to familiarize ourselves with the firearms, showed us what they could do, and had firm rules. The only problem that ever cropped up was from a babysitter that let a boyfriend into the house, and the boyfriend discharged one of the handguns into the ceiling. The result of that was no more babysitters.

    I've been a little more circumspect about safekeeping my firearms and keeping them empty and locked up, especially when my kids were younger. But like my father, I've taken my children shooting, let them touch and handle firearms even from a young age so as to satisfy their curiosity about the firearms, taught them gun safety from a young age (i.e., starting about two or three years old--mostly about never pointing it at someone), established rules, etc., and also never had an issue.

    It is my belief that if the children have been raised knowing how to handle and use firearms and do not suffer from mental disorders, the primary concern will be from someone outside the home finding and mishandling the firearms: friends, neighbors, babysitters and their boyfriends, and others visiting the home. Frankly, and I've researched this, a swimming pool is vastly more dangerous than a firearm kept in the home. How many of you with swimming pools make sure that they are locked up so your kids cannot use the pool while you are gone?

    There are also other steps to mitigating the risk of a child getting hold of a firearm. One thing I discovered by experimentation is that most younger children (e.g., 8 or younger) simply don't have the strength to rack the slide on a pistol but have more than sufficient strength to cock the hammer on a revolver or pistol. So, while not a great solution, a semi-auto pistol that has nothing chambered can in most cases be safely used as a nightstand weapon. Similarly, I found that my kids at that age could work the slide on shotgun, but couldn't work the cocking handle on most semi-auto rifles. (Many older children and smaller adults, for that matter, aren't strong enough to work the cocking handle on CETME and HK91 style weapons). 

  • For those of you involved in HEMA or interested in using swords and such, Greg linked to an article about sword wounds. The article should also be of interest to anyone that is a student of the World War I. One of the debates concerning World War I was how often bayonets were used and how effective they were. The primary data used on this point is the percentage of wounded admitted to field hospitals with bayonet wounds, which was a pretty low number--less than 5% if I remember correctly. Most scholars have taken this to indicate that the bayonet was only rarely used in battle. On the other hand, I remember reading from a man that was a general in WWI who explained the low number by asserting that men were more likely to die of a bayonet wound than a rifle or shell wound, so never even made it to the field hospital. In the article on sword wounding, the doctor that authored it related something similar with wounds from sword thrusts that were generally fatal when made to the torso and untreatable. This suggests to me that the WWI general has the right of it.
  • A comparison of the Streamlight TL-Racker and SureFire DSF shotgun lights (the lights are integrated into the pump handle).
  • An article looking at proportional response in a self-defense scenario. Basically, that means that you generally can't respond to non-lethal force with lethal force.
  • And an article with tips on running a defensive lever action carbine or rifle.


  1. I grew up with firearms in the home, too. And, there were firearms present in my home as my children were growing up. My wife and I took our children shooting when they were fairly young, and allowed them under carefully controlled conditions to shoot a 22. As they grew, we exposed them to larger caliber firearms. Our goal was to take the mystery out of firearms, and teach them how to safely handle firearms.

    The greatest risks are other children whose only experience with firearms is what they see in entertainment media (TV, movies, games), and suicidal children. (Suicidal teens can be very resourceful. Locking firearms and ammunition in separate containers may be insufficient.) Tragedies can arise from both risks, and those tragedies will become fodder for the antigun activists.

    1. I agree. It is important to keep the visitors to your home away from your firearms. I don't have a problem with letting my teenage boys access to a defensive firearm when my wife and I are away from the house.


A New Defensive Pistolcraft Post ...

  ... from Jon Low . There is a lot of good stuff in this post, and Jon seems (at least to me) to have included much more of his own comment...