Daniel Shaw is a 16-year Marine infantry combat veteran, firearms trainer at Thunderbird Tactical, and co-host of Gunfighter Cast.
Today we discuss concepts of home defense and home defense advantages. Broadly in this context, we’re referring to the “hearth and home” domicile perspective, i.e. where you live and sleeps and where your family lives and sleeps — it is not limited to such a place, however. A home (domicile) will usually be the location where the things you care about most are located. Although a home is not necessarily also a house, it is typically the most important structure or part of a structure, you might have to defend, and defense may be passive (i.e. keeping it secure while you’re away) or . Barring a work location and in some cases a vehicle, it is also likely the structure or location you’ll be spending the most time in. Prior consideration, planning ahead, and realistic-pragmatic preparation are always going to be the best home security systems you can invest in: though there’s no harm in “defense in depth” or layering! https://media.blubrry.com/gunfightercast/s/content.blubrry.com/gunfightercast/161_Home_Defense_Creating_the_Advantage.mp3 Below is a breakdown of some of the topics covered in episode 161, Home Defense: Create the Advantage. The savvy listener will note that much of this is conceptual in nature – this means you can use such considerations in both your work environment and many travel environments (e.g. an Air B&B, recreational vehicle, hotel room, or even the relative’s house where you’re staying for the weekend.).  1:00 Home defense definition 1:45 Factors to consider about home defense 2:10 the layers of security 3:40 areas of denial 5:00 Varg’s experience 9:11 coming up with a plan 12:00 home advantage myth 13:30 how to choose area of denial 15:15 good cover options 17:30 concealment vs cover 19:00 gun choices for home defense 20:00 handgun vs rifle 22:00 shotguns 27:00 avoiding accidents 28:00 Have medical kits ready 29:00 10 second execution 1:45 DS Asks, What are some of the factors that people need to think about when considering a home defense plan or a full home defense system? VF responds, “I think that the classic layers of security model is pretty good and you don’t have to have all the technical jargon of the 3 ring security… you just have to understand that you need layers and that layers of security give you buffers.” “Anything that buys you time is excellent for your external and outer layers of security. That’s going to give you that buffer to set up your plan which is where you begin to consider; what weapon, where you’re going to set up at, where you’re going to create your area of denial and make your stand at… all those types of things happen because you buy yourself the time with those external, outer layers of security.” A home security camera caught footage of a suspect breaking into a home. Use of security cameras may add additional layers of protection. 8:05 DS Says, I have a ten-year-old son and my considerations would be different if it were just me and my wife or if it were just me alone– so what are some things people should be thinking about out there? VF responds, “From all the training I’ve done and my personal experience, I think it’s best not to go looking for a fight, or to get sucked into a fight on someone else’s terms. That urge to go pick up your gun and go hunting is probably the worst idea. Especially when everything you love is behind you and you’re going venturing out into the house just aimlessly wandering around until you bump into a fight. That’s not a very good plan.”   The better plan “Pick the area you want to have the most advantage to have the fight at and then choose to have the fight there. Layouts are going to determine if it is possible for you to do this or not.The best possible option is to have an area of denial; this could be your bedroom and your kid’s bedroom…” “If there’s missed rounds in that fight then there’s going to be missed shots from his end, and when there is, you don’t want to be standing right in front of your family.You need to set these areas up in a way that determines where the areas of fire are, where the missed rounds would go and also with enough space to keep them away from you and your loved ones and have that fight happen away from you.” –VF   Check out Daniel’s recommendation for your door reinforcement: HERE Myth Alert “One of the myths we don’t want to slip into is that you’re at an automatic advantage because this is your house and you know the terrain. That’s a ridiculous line of thought. The reason I say this is because it’s not like your house is incredibly different than anyone else’s house. We all have our houses set up in a very similar way… It’s not that hard to navigate intuitively.” –VF   Deciding on your area of denial “First of all, you have to have everything you care about behind you… and you have to have your position set up in a way that puts you at an advantage in terms of visual before they have a visual. Try to use cover so that you can have muzzle and eyes on the other end of the hallway, or the opening where they’re likely to emerge from and you have time to positively identify them before they get a full picture of where you are.” “…Then you have this space they can come through, but in order to come through it, they would have to come through your superior position of firepower. That would be incredibly overwhelming and difficult for them. In most cases you could discourage that fight from happening.”-VF   19:00 DS You can’t have a discussion on the internet about home defense without talking about gun choice… what do you recommend to people? VF replies, “You know, that a little bit of a personal matter, but as a recommendation, I start with the AR. It’s a very easy weapon to handle, and ballistically it works very well inside of structures, especially if you choose the right type of ammunition. It can lose a lot of its mass going through walls, it doesn’t have as much over-penetration, choosing the proper ammunition of course.” -VF “A pistol can be very effective, but again it comes down to experience and how much you have trained with that. A pistol can be pointing at any direction at any time and if a situation gets chaotic, you have to know which direction that pistol is pointing.“-VF “…it is much easier to be more accurate with a rifle, than it is with a handgun. But it’s also heavier, harder to grab that gun and employ it and carry my child at the same time… There a lot of things to think about there. But if you have a distinct lack of training with a handgun, the handgun may not be the best choice.” – DS    Shotguns? 22:00 DS says; “[I] Love me some shotguns, but unless you’re shooting non-lethal ammunition, or breaching doors, for me personally, the shotgun doesn’t have a place in my life anymore… If you’re using a shotgun, you need to go pattern [it] because you need to understand what that shotgun is doing at the distances you’ll be using it.”   Identify your target 27:00 DS says, “There’s been so many cases throughout history where armed citizens have killed loved ones in their homes because they didn’t realize it was it was a loved one. I can’t think of a bigger nightmare, than me hurting a family member because I chose not to positively identify what I was going to put a bullet in. This is a grave responsibility, when you take a firearm in your hand, in the darkness at nighttime, with your family around, because you think you have an intruder in your house. You’ve got to know where very single family member is and where every single bullet is going.” Whether you have a handheld EDC flashlight type “torch” or a weapon light (WML), ensuring you identify your target is always and absolutely essential. Other Considerations   28:00 DS recommends to Have your medical kits staged;  “We have three locations all over the house with trauma kits. Having medical kits staged [for any minor injuries] and having phones [readily available] to call 911 is essential.” 29:00 VF says; “After analyzing a decent amount of home invasion tapes, it seems like from the first kick to the point of fully breached inside of the house, is ABOUT ten seconds… So having that [plan] together, understanding where your family needs to be [and] having them understand… It’s been rehearsed… everything is ready to go, the family is ready to go, everything is in place and then boom, you’re in position and now the fight can come to you and you’re absolutely ready.” –VF   Check out Varg’s blog, Considerations for Home Defense: HERE See live video discussions, join in chats, or ask questions during future conversations by following Daniel on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/danielshaw0369 • More information, background, and learning opportunities: https://vargfreeborn.com/. • Support the show! Use the free Twitch Prime subscription that comes with Amazon prime to subscribe on Twitch. Hit that donation button if you’d like, but remember: the best way to support the show is always to share it with your friends.   Podcast Host: Daniel Shaw Co-Host: Varg Freeborn Producer: Leah Ramsden    
Today, the topic of discussion is what is often referred to as “off body carry”. Off-body typically refers to a concealed carry method where the weapon is located somewhere other than a traditional on-person location, e.g. in a purse or backpack instead of in a holster at the waist or on the ankle.  Today’s discussion will address the following topics relating to : 0:50: What is off-body carry? 1:40: the negativity associated with OBC 2:20: Varg’s views on OBC 4:00: Why OBC isn’t for everyone 8:35: Why lifestyle matters 8:48: risks associated with open carry 9:15: having a dedicated kit 10:24: the slow-draw argument 11:00: Daniel’s bag preference 15:00: Varg’s bag preference 19:50: How much room to allow for medical 21:15: Daniel’s real example of using his medical kit 22:50: OBC training     https://media.blubrry.com/gunfightercast/s/content.blubrry.com/gunfightercast/160-Off-Body_Carry_It_depends.mp3   What to Consider When Carrying Off-Body Defining it: 0:50 DS asks, What is off-body carry? VF replies, “I would say it’s carrying a weapon in any fashion that is not attached to your body or the clothing on your body: a backpack, a purse…it’s not attached to you.” “I was one of those people who were largely 100% against it, I would say. And I actually still am not supportive of most people doing it based on a few important criteria that we are going to talk about today…I changed my own views and softened them up a bit when I started to see the utility of it. And also, the techniques and creating better equipment to do the off-body carry with – all these things improved over time. It actually became more viable through more developed technique and better carry gear, [so] that also played a part in changing my own personal views about it.” 4:00 DS asks, Why do you think off-body isn’t for everybody? VF replies, “Carrying a weapon is a consciousness exercise. It has to be conscious of that weapon at all times and for most people, they just haven’t cultivated that level of awareness or dedicated attention towards one thing all day. You have to have one slice of attention always aware. I don’t think most people have developed that. I have started to off-body carry a lot more. Sometimes I’ll be [have] both -a smaller handgun on me and a much larger high capacity handgun so I’ll have both going on.”   You have to be fully conscious and aware and understand that this is now a part of you. It can’t be something that you come home and just set down -VF The Importance Of Lifestyle   VF says, “If you have a life where you would put a gun in a bag and then get up and start your day in your car for 8 hours because you can’t have it in your workplace, OR you’re going to several places during the day and you can’t carry the bag in with you; Then off-body carry doesn’t make as much sense because the majority of the time you are without that gun that’s exposed. [AKA car-carry]” “The reason that I was so against OBC was primarily because of purse carry and all the accidents and child shootings that were happening because kids would dig into mom’s purse, find a gun and blast themselves or their bro or sis in their face and You got kids dying because people are unconsciously carrying a weapon off-body. And that, I am against.”   “The reason that I think it’s nice to have a dedicated kit for carrying a weapon, is because if you carry a purse every day, throwing a gun in it is not going to change the utility of the purse for all the other things that you use it for. All the things you do with that purse every single day, it’s not likely you’re going to stop doing those things just because you threw a gun in it…So [a dedicated kit], will help with that type of awareness building and understanding how to build new strict habits.” Bag Selection For Off-Body Carry Daniel’s choice: “The little sling bag from Viktos, it’s small, but it’s just the right size for carrying a large sized handgun, but it also has a very nice pouch for medical that can be used for potentially multiple casualties… I really like how its sized because when I had bigger [bags] in the past, I just keep filling them up with more stuff and next thing you know that bag weighs 20 pounds.” -DS  What about Medical Gear? “I try to stay pretty trim on it. I don’t want to carry a whole bunch of stuff. I want to make sure what I’m carrying has a purpose for me that fits between what I’m likely to encounter and what I can fit in my bag comfortably and reach a compromise there. Because I don’t like to take up tons of room with a bunch of heavy gear… and never use it. If you need it someday you might regret not having it. You have to draw the line somewhere and We all draw the line in different places…I’m a little lighter on the medical gear and maybe a little heavier on other things.” -VF     Final Thoughts? Make sure your lifestyle supports it, make sure that you are with the gun more than you are separated from it, and make sure a piece of your attention is always dedicated to that gun. -Varg Freeborn   Be real about your question when you look at yourself: Do I have the discipline to do this? Especially if you have small children around you or people who may access [your firearm] …you have to keep it ON you. -Daniel Shaw     • See live video discussions, join in chats, or ask questions during future conversations by following Daniel on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/danielshaw0369 • More information, background, and learning opportunities: https://vargfreeborn.com/. • Support the show! Use the free Twitch Prime subscription that comes with Amazon prime to subscribe on Twitch. Hit that donation button if you’d like, but remember: the best way to support the show is always to share it with your friends.     Podcast Host: Daniel Shaw Co-Host: Varg Freeborn Producer: Leah Ramsden          
We have lots of new, green gun owners taking responsibility for their own personal and family protection turning to forums and social media to gain knowledge and information. Often in the firearms industry, we see a certain kind of person who feels empowered and has a serious ego attachment to certain ideas and using the correct terminology. In this podcast, we dissect the self-proclaimed experts and terminology police, and talk about what our real priorities should be.   https://media.blubrry.com/gunfightercast/s/content.blubrry.com/gunfightercast/159-Prioritizing_Knowledge_Over_Ego.mp3 Ego in the Firearms Community  A Closer Look 1:35  DS explains, On one hand we say we need to get more new gun owners fighting for our Second Amendment…Then when they come along we get really mean to them when they call a magazine a clip. Where does this originate from? VF replies,     “People craft this ability to only talk about things that they’ve learned the standard set of information about. You’ll notice that you won’t hear these people talk outside a few topics. The reason they do that is because they don’t know everything and they don’t want to be called out in the ways they call other people out. They create this world where they live in just a few topics and they’re willing to spend this unhealthy amount of time talking about these things when they could be learning about these other topics that they avoid. They could actually become proficient in the other topics, but they’d rather spend time calling other people out like they’re the terminology police of the gun community.” Don’t be a know-it-all by using terminology to cut others down. Instead, work on continuously improving your range of skills and transfer that knowledge.    Prioritize the Right Information 5:30 I’ve had people come up to me at the end of class and say “Hey that new guy who’s never really shot a gun before and he came to your handgun class, he called this thing a clip – all day, and you didn’t say anything to him,” DS responds,  “Well why would I? I’ve got a brand-new shooter; he just got a gun, he’s showing up, he’s getting a concealed carry permit, he wants to learn how to defend his family, I’ve got 2 days that are 8-9 hours each with hi to teach him how to fight, how to defend himself, how to think – I’ve got so much information I’m trying to get across to this guy. I’m trying to change his mindset… I have 0 time to stop and tell him what something is called. When I know he’s talking about a magazine, you know he’s talking about a magazine. Who cares? I’m just glad you’re here. Let’s get some important information out there and not take time talking about the stupid stuff.” 7:40 “As a coach or instructor, you understand that a person has a limited amount of information that they can absorb at a time, and a good instructor prioritizes that information individually, based on the rate their moving at in their progression, their development, how they’re absorbing information. You learn these things over a couple of hours… If I start throwing terminology into this, about things that aren’t going to affect his performance right now, whether he calls it a magazine, a clip, or a black banana, I don’t give a shit what he calls it, but if he’s putting it into the gun properly, right now that’s what I need to focus on.” “Find ways of actually prioritizing self growth and as you get that, help bring others up.” – Daniel Shaw    Daniel Shaw on the range during a Handgun Fundamentals course. Broaden Your Knowledge Base     DS says “I hate when someone on the internet posts – oh well MY instructor teaches this. First of all, you lost me in that conversation because you said “my instructor.” That means you have one bank of knowledge you’re gaining from and one person is not going to have it all figured out. They’re going to have their own priorities, Varg’s gonna have his priorities, I’m going to have mine… and if you only had one instructor, you’re probably going to be missing a few things, I don’t care who that instructor is.” 13:40 How would somebody out there new to the gun world that just listened to a podcast for the first time ever, how would they identify the right person to associate and listen to? VR replies,  “How negative are they? …I use a rule; if you look at someone’s social media and do a quick scan of their last week of output. Do a quick estimate of how much they say is negative and how much is positive. And that’s probably the first indicator. For example; if I find 75% of what comes out of them is negative or smack talk, or attacking someone- boom you’re done.” “What you do online is your brand. Even if you don’t have a company, you are your brand, you are your own advertisement and how you present yourself is who you are… If your output is mostly negative, no one is going to think you’re [a] good person.”   • See live video discussions, join in chats, or ask questions during future conversations by following Daniel on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/danielshaw0369 • More information, background, and learning opportunities: https://vargfreeborn.com/. • Support the show! Use the free Twitch Prime subscription that comes with Amazon prime to subscribe on Twitch. Hit that donation button if you’d like, but remember: the best way to support the show is always to share it with your friends.   Next up: Off-Body Carry… It depends Podcast Host: Daniel Shaw Co-Host: Varg Freeborn Producer: Leah Ramsden  
In episode 158 we discuss individual/personal mission and its importance particularly in the context of current events. We are seeing substantial division across the country on social media, in the news, on the streets (often in the form of protests and even riots) emphasizing the civil unrest. Helping people understand their mission, particularly in the context of self-defense or the defense of others, is important for many reasons — not least to demonstrate the dangers of stepping outside your mission. https://media.blubrry.com/gunfightercast/s/content.blubrry.com/gunfightercast/158-The_One_Thing_You_Should_Practice_Everyday.mp3   Listen to the podcast for some fresh, new content. Below you’ll find a few excerpts. Some (by no means all) of the topics you’ll hear include: 2:25 Host Daniel Shaw identifies his personal mission 3:48 Discrepancies between mission and action 5:52 Knowing when to intervene 6:10 Two examples of mission: Shooter Rughi 8:10  Having a clear mission with a clear plan 9:34 Mission violation and how it happens 11:30 The consequences of violating mission 12:21 The role of ego 13:44 Self-control as a practice 18:00 What host Daniel Shaw wishes he had learned earlier in life Varg Freeborn teaching on the range: gun-handling skills are important if you’re going to carry a firearm, but so too is the proper mindset. Crucial to a proper mindset is an understanding of a personal mission. The Importance of Mission Defining It 1:00 Asked what mission means to a regular armed citizen [or] law enforcement officer, VF responds,   “Mission is, primarily what you’re willing to do, what you’re allowed to do, who you’re going to do it to, having all those questions answered before anything ever happens.It’s made up of boundaries, external and internal parameters; External being the use of force policies or rule of law – what’s allowed for self-defense in the area or municipality you live in, understanding those things helps determine your mission. And your internal parameters; what are you willing to kill or die for. How can you set yourself up for the moral aftermath of what might be involved in defending yourself, is that a part of your parameters? Your mission is built from understanding what lengths you’re willing to go through and what your limitations are.  – that’s going to determine your gear, how you train, it really is what drives the whole train.” Violations: Mission vs Action “If you step out of your house every day and you say your primary mission is to protect your family and yourself so you can live out your life with your family…then you go out and you get involved in every fight that you see happening because you want to be the hero. That’s a discrepancy between mission and action… If you can’t have a majority of these decisions made before the fight, you’re going to stumble during the fight. You’re going to have hesitations and, you’re going to have uncertainties, those are things that we train to eliminate in fighting so that we can be effective…And you can’t do that if you’re unclear about; what you’re willing to do, who you’re willing to do it to, when you’re willing to do it.” “There’s this huge plethora of consequences, unintended but very avoidable consequences that will come from violating your mission…You could have consequences that you are not properly equipped because you stepped into something bigger that what you [had prepared] for.” Before you step forward to intervene in something you must weigh that action and its possible consequences against your mission. Will taking that action impede your primary mission? Does it put anyone else – who actually be your mission – at risk? Is it prudent, proper, or pragmatic to take action? This holds true whether you’re at the grocery store or caught up in riotous civil unrest. Importance of Self Control: Separating Ego 14:00 Asked, How do you practice self-control? Is it easy for you? VF responds, “Absolutely not! If anyone gets angry about stuff… I’m up there… If you allow [your ego] to push you into a confrontation, I would hope that you didn’t have a mission to get into every ego-based confrontation that you could find in a given day because somebody makes you mad. The way to handle situations like that is to put your ego aside and understand that your ego and your feelings don’t have anything to do with your mission and it needs to be separated. You can never allow your emotions or your ego to push you into a confrontation because that simply cannot attach to a well thought out, properly formed mission.” “…Hatred is at a high, all this hatred, all this division – it gets worse and worse and people think they can say whatever. Self-control is a constant thing in [our] environment. All day long you deal with annoyances and disruptive behavior by people. Every single instance of that is the opportunity to practice self-control.” “Self control isn’t just something we practice on the range or in the gym, it’s something we practice all day […It could save your life].” –Varg Freeborn A book covering the topic of self-defense from Varg’s, first-hand perspective. It covers criminal violence, self-defense, lethal force, mindset, firearms training, and concealment. • See live video discussions, join in chats, or ask questions during future conversations by following Daniel on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/danielshaw0369 • Get your Violence of Mind copy today: https://amzn.to/38UlNRZ • More information, background, and learning opportunities: https://vargfreeborn.com/. • Support the show! Use the free Twitch Prime subscription that comes with Amazon prime to subscribe on Twitch. Hit that donation button if you’d like, but remember: the best way to support the show is always to share it with your friends.   Be safe, self-disciplined, and mindful of your mission! Looking to get some more learn on? Take a look at other episodes of our tactical podcast. Next up: More the knowledge, lesser the ego Podcast Host: Daniel Shaw Co-Host: Varg Freeborn Producer: Leah Ramsden
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