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Archive for the 'Top Gun Life Lessons' Category

Do You Intend to Win? (re-posted from August, 2006)

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 4th September 2009

Do you intend to win? I’d bet you want to win. I was reminded of the question two weeks ago while watching Tiger Woods win the Buick Open and his 50th tournament title. Tiger intends to win. I saw it again last week as he won the PGA Championship at Medinah, IL by 5 strokes. This weekend (8/28/06) Tiger won once more at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational despite stumbling several times. Intention is not a guarantee, it’s just the foundation for accomplishment.

There’s a huge difference between “wanting” and “intending.” It applies to golf, business, relationships, “life” and especially to winning. We all want stuff, but I assert that we seldom actually, really intend to have it. We don’t demand to have it.

Intending is a conscious decision, a “no kidding” commitment to yourself.

The dictionary says:

1 : A course of action that one intends to follow.

2 : A determination to act in a certain way : RESOLVE

3 : What one intends to do or bring about

synonyms INTENTION, INTENT, PURPOSE, DESIGN, AIM, END, OBJECT, OBJECTIVE, GOAL mean what one intends to accomplish or attain.

If you’re a shooter, a competitor, or desire to survive an armed confrontation, work on your intention. Give this conversation some thought.

We’ve all met “wannabee’s” who focus on wanting the goodies in life, the success, the recognition, the wins, the money, the prizes.  When you hear someone talk about what they want in business, life or the shooting sports what do you really hear?  Can you hear their intention (or lack of it)? You may not have thought about this but actually, you do listen for it. We all do. I request you listen for it in yourself.

If you notice, you can often tell who simply wants something and someone who intends to have it.

You know yourself as well. There’s a lot that you want, but what do you really intend having?

The test might be that you see yourself in action to achieve what you intend, that you are unstoppable, persistent, committed.  You certainly notice that in others, judge their intent by their actions in support of what they say they are committed to having.

I suggest you actually give this some thought.  What do you actually intend?  What are you willing to put your butt on the line for?  What will you declare to someone else that you are committed to having?  Do you intend to win?  Do you intend to develop the skills necessary? Are you willing to get the training you need?  Will you survive an armed confrontation? Someone said, “we either have the results or the reasons why not.”

Notice if your actions reflect what you say you are committed to accomplishing. See if you can feel the intensity of commitment and intention you see in Tiger Woods. You may find a new level of power to have what you want for yourself.

There is recent brain science that suggest that your brain will organize itself to bring about what you say out loud and intend to have happen.  It’s way beyond “woo, woo stuff.” It’s called intention.

If you intend to succeed in business, your career, your relationships and certainly in shooting competition or in surviving a potential armed attack then distinquish intention for yourself.  Have a conversation about it with other like-minded friends. Have a look for yourself, at yourself, to see if you just want it or if you intend to have it.

I invite your thoughts and discussion on this topic.

tuckergunleatherlogo2

Posted in Top Gun Life Lessons | No Comments »

Meet Lance Thomas

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 17th April 2009

Lance Thomas owned a watch store in Santa Monica California. There were four attempted robberies by armed thugs over several years.

All the thugs are dead or in prison. Lance finally had to close his store after the last two tried to rob him. You see, he killed two gang bangers and the gang was out for revenge.

Here’s the story on video. Lance Thomas on YouTube

One point is clear. You must prepare for this kind of armed encounter.

As Jeff Cooper once said, “Owning a handgun does not make you any more armed than a guitar makes you a musician.”



Posted in Top Gun Life Lessons | No Comments »

Buried Carry

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 4th December 2006

I see people wearing IWB with the gun buried in their pants with the trigger guard way below the belt line and the grip barely accessible. I have people who request a low ride height like that with one of Tucker’s IWB holsters and strongly recommend against it. It can get you killed. It’s slow and risky under stress.

Some will justify whatever they’re doing no matter what professional advice is given because they’re a “unique and wonderfully skilled” human being who’s practiced doing it “their way.”

If you wear your gun low in your pants, you will not be able to get a full firing grip and draw in one motion. You will have to use thumb and two fingers to get the pistol moving out of the holster and the re-grip the gun during the presentation.

You may say that you have no problem with your “buried carry” method and you just like what you like, do what you do. Under the stress of “hurry up or die” it may let you down. Your small muscles lose their touch when you think you may die in a defensive confrontation. 

It’s not like practice at all. Listen to the guys who’ve been there and read the reports. It’s never like you imagined, not like you practiced and you’ll live or die by the proper fundamentals designed to work when your nerves are bathed in adrenaline.

This picture below of Tucker wearing his “Answer” IWB shows the proper ride height. It allows you to get your fingers all the way around the grip, put your hand high on the gun with your forearm properly aligned with the barrel/slide. It allows you to respond to threat with a smooth drawstroke with no fumbling and re-gripping.

Set yourself up to succeed and survive. “Buried carry” can lead to another kind of burial. Then you can tell St. Peter  and Jeff Cooper how well it worked in practice.

Pictures080802 017.jpg

Posted in FAQs, Good To Know, Top Gun Life Lessons | 3 Comments »

Will You Be Hit By A Home Invasion?

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 22nd September 2006

What Are Your Chances of Being Hit By a Home Invasion?

The New York City-based Insurance Information Institute suggests that everyone protect against “a physical or virtual break-in,” especially during the summer months when a greater number of home invasions occur. (I can’t get too excited about their suggestions because we figured this part out a long time ago.)

The institute suggested some tips to prevent residential burglaries:

  • Keep exterior lights on at night and put indoor lights on a timer.
  • Don’t make it easy for crooks to break in. Slow down burglars with dead-bolted windows and doors.
  • Get a burglar alarm that will notify police and fire if your home is broken into.”

These tips are insufficient. All your preventive measures may not prevent home invaders from gaining entry. Then, if it happens, you can’t ask for a time out while you wait for the police. Can you even alert the police? Are you going to stand there with your thumb stuck in a dark place mumbling, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”

Have you ever discussed this with your family? Do you have a plan? Often there’s little time to respond. There’s certainly no time for planning during a surprise entry.

I assume you have a firearm and are trained to use it. Have you told your family to retreat to a defendable area with a telephone, lights and where a firearm is accessible? Will there be time to execute that plan?

The bad news is that the odds are with the bad guys. They have the element of surprise.

Usually, they do something to bring you to the door and open it.  It’s rare that that they use a battering ram (So say the statistics.) 

Do you have a door that’s “hell for stout” with well attached hinges and a sturdy dead bolt?  Do you have a dang peep hole? It’s surprising how many doors are sold without them.  Got a chain to at least slow them down momentarily? Obviously, you have to be very careful to whom you open your door, especially at night. Many people I know answer with gun in hand (out of sight).

What are your chances of being hit?  Do you deal drugs (surely not you)? Are you a jewelry wholesaler? Do you keep a lot of cash in the house?  Do people think you have a lot of cash in the house?

If you’re an average homeowner, you may not be targeted. You can evaluate your risk by clicking here:

I’ve just touched on home invasions here, but we all owe it to ourselves to be smarter about this. Some of you may have made plans already – some good plans.

What are the plans you’ve made and resources you recommend?  I’d like to hear from you.

Posted in Top Gun Life Lessons | 2 Comments »

What Were You Thinking?

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 20th September 2006

I remember when the English Actor, Hugh Grant, got caught in public with a professional lady and Jay Leno interviewed him on the Tonight Show soon afterwards. Jay was the first person to ask the obvious question, “What were you thinking?”  It got a big laugh.

I don’t want someone asking you, “What were you thinking,” after you’ve been attacked, robbed, knifed, shot, clubbed or had to defend yourself in a street fight.  “What were you thinking going to that part of town at that time of night? What were you thinking?” “Why did you let that guy piss you off? What were you thinking? Why did you put yourself in harms way? Why did you overreact to that numskull?”

(If you want to be Charles Bronson in “Death Wish” this isn’t for you.)

I’m clear that odds are, with good headwork, you can survive unarmed. I read most of the gun forums daily and it’s a very rare occurrence for someone to have to draw their gun in self-defense.  I want the right to protect myself and my family so I will exercise my right to self-defense, but I also hope it’s unlikely I’d have to do so.

I don’t want to shoot anyone.  I don’t need an adrenaline overdose.  I don’t want my family at risk.  As a result I don’t go bad places, I don’t do foolish things and I don’t hang out with people who will get me in trouble. I know that’s no guarantee, I’m just thinking out loud.

Should you encounter provocative idiots, remember - “they’re not responding to you.”   “It ain’t personal.” 

If someone is out to argue or act agressively, it really has nothing to do with you. It’s time for you to stay in control and respond with authority, not get hooked and escalate the level of emotion. You already know that, of course, and I’m reminding myself as well as reminding you.  We must make a decision ahead of time, when we’re calm and rational on how we will react if provoked.

You have to watch agressive cretins carefully, avoid them whenever possible and calm them down when they begin to puff up. You don’t have to defend your honor.  Vocal jerks don’t know a thing about you.  You could be anyone. It really is not personal.  What I’m suggesting is that you decide ahead of time, right now, that you will not be provoked, get hot under the collar and escalate a situation with a loud mouth ”butt head.”

Sure, you may have to act to defend yourself, but if so, have it be totally reasonable and appropriate so that you don’t get asked the question, “What were you thinking?” You especially don’t want to hear that question from a prosecutor in front of a grand jury.

If I’m preaching to the choir, so be it.  You will get value if you take this opportunity to make some decisions in advance on how they will react to certain possible situations. A decision I made in advance kept me from a terrible mistake once in the past. I’m a believer in thinking through my actions in advance. I want you to make some critical decisions ahead of time (right now would be good) and then you won’t have to answer the question, “What were you thinking?”

What is your best strategy? 

 

 

 

Posted in Top Gun Life Lessons | 1 Comment »

Knife Fight – Follow Up with Video

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 14th September 2006

My blog post Don’t Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight has created a thundering herd of great responses on several forums.  I want you to be better prepared to deal with a knife-weilding bad guy, so I recommend you investigate Dennis Tueller’s methods of close combat and defense against a knife.  This 1983 article will give you a great start and so will this information on the Tueller Drill.

I strongly recommend learning unarmed defensive techniques to complement the shooting skills you already possess.  A method you can learn quickly without years and years of drills is called Krav Maga, developed by the Israeli Defense Force. People who are older or not physically fit can learn Krav Maga and use it effectively. Check it out.

When it comes to using a gun to defend yourself against any threat, you must be able to access it quickly. That requires a “full firing grip.” That means that your holster exposes the entire grip above your belt line (and with no excess leather to block your grip) so that you can get the best grip possible from the get go.  Some holsters ride way to low, requiring you to pick up the gun with your thumb and forefinger to get it coming up out of the holster. Then you have to regrip it under stress as you press to get your gun on target.

Tucker would never put you at risk with a holster that does not ride in the perfect “sweet spot” allowing for a full firing grip every time.  Count on it. You can see what I mean in this picture.

Glock in TX HeritageCrop1.jpg

You are very likely be cut if your attacker is determined, even if you are able to shoot and get center of mass hits. Here’s a video by a police department in South Africa that shows an simulated knife attack on an armed police officer from differing distances. It should wake us all up to what could happen.

Samurai on the Firing Line forum puts it well, “…unless you hit a hard target (bone in the hip, torso, or head), the gun is not going to have the “knock back” effect necessary to stop the charge.” Despite beating the knife guy to the draw you will both be hurt, and you may be hurt worse.”

Tucker was Army Airborne and a Ranger, as well as a police officer.  I asked him what he would do if attacked by a knife. Tucker’s a man of few words.  He said, “I’d block with my left arm and shoot him.”  I guess that says it all.

Posted in Top Gun Life Lessons | No Comments »

Don’t Bring A Gun To A Knifefight **WARNING** Graphic Images!

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 8th September 2006

“Don’t Bring a Gun to a Knifefight?” 

Sure, you better bring a gun, bring a clear mind and the will to act, so you don’t get cut.

Yes, I know. The old joke is about don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. This is no joke as you’ll see below:

These pictures will wake you up – if you need it.  They will add to your mental preparedness and decision-making by removing the hesitation to act in the face of a knife.  An attacker can cover a short distance from their position to yours faster than you can draw your weapon.

If your weapon is drawn, they can reach you faster than you can fire to stop them if you hesitate for even a fraction of a second. 

I think this is a good illustration of why you don’t want to get cut. You can’t be complacent when confronted by an opponent with a knife. 

Some of the public think that police officers should try to disarm someone armed with a knife but anyone who has had training in knife fighting will tell you that, even if you win, you are going to get cut. Keep this in the back of your mind when confronting someone armed with an edged weapon.  Be forewarned, these photos are graphic.”     

**WARNING!!!**  The images are below this line. prepare yourself first:

 

 

 

   POLICE_OFFICER_STABBED__2.BMP 

 

  POLICE_OFFICER_STABBED__1.BMP 

 

  POLICE_OFFICER_STABBED__3.BMP

DON’T LET ‘EM CUT YOU!   Comments welcome from you specialists on hand to hand and edged weapons out there.

Here’s a link about the Tueller Drill. You might find this very interesting when thinking about defending against a knife.

If you would like to be notified of new posts on the Tucker Gunleather blog just click here for information on Free Home Delivery.

Posted in Top Gun Life Lessons | 4 Comments »

Do You Intend To Win?

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 27th August 2006

Do you intend to win? I’d bet you want to win. I was reminded of the question two weeks ago while watching Tiger Woods win the Buick Open and his 50th tournament title. Tiger intends to win. I saw it again last week as he won the PGA Championship at Medinah, IL by 5 strokes. This weekend (8/28/06) Tiger won once more at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational despite stumbling several times. Intention is not a guarantee, it’s just the foundation for accomplishment.

There’s a huge difference between “wanting” and “intending.” It applies to golf, business, relationships, “life” and especially to winning. We all want stuff, but I assert that we seldom actually, really intend to have it. We don’t demand to have it.

Intending is a conscious decision, a “no kidding” commitment to yourself.

The dictionary says:

1 : A course of action that one intends to follow.

2 : A determination to act in a certain way : RESOLVE

3 : What one intends to do or bring about

synonyms INTENTION, INTENT, PURPOSE, DESIGN, AIM, END, OBJECT, OBJECTIVE, GOAL mean what one intends to accomplish or attain.

If you’re a shooter, a competitor, or desire to survive an armed confrontation, work on your intention. Give this conversation some thought.

We’ve all met “wannabee’s” who focus on wanting the goodies in life, the success, the recognition, the wins, the money, the prizes.  When you hear someone talk about what they want in business, life or the shooting sports what do you really hear?  Can you hear their intention (or lack of it)? You may not have thought about this but actually, you do listen for it. We all do. I request you listen for it in yourself.

If you notice, you can often tell who simply wants something and someone who intends to have it.

You know yourself as well. There’s a lot that you want, but what do you really intend having?

The test might be that you see yourself in action to achieve what you intend, that you are unstoppable, persistent, committed.  You certainly notice that in others, judge their intent by their actions in support of what they say they are committed to having.

I suggest you actually give this some thought.  What do you actually intend?  What are you willing to put your butt on the line for?  What will you declare to someone else that you are committed to having?  Do you intend to win?  Do you intend to develop the skills necessary? Are you willing to get the training you need?  Will you survive an armed confrontation? Someone said, “we either have the results or the reasons why not.”

Notice if your actions reflect what you say you are committed to accomplishing. See if you can feel the intensity of commitment and intention you see in Tiger Woods. You may find a new level of power to have what you want for yourself. 

There is recent brain science that suggest that your brain will organize itself to bring about what you say out loud and intend to have happen.  It’s way beyond “woo, woo stuff.” It’s called intention.

If you intend to succeed in business, your career, your relationships and certainly in shooting competition or in surviving a potential armed attack then distinquish intention for yourself.  Have a conversation about it with other like-minded friends. Have a look for yourself, at yourself, to see if you just want it or if you intend to have it.

I invite your thoughts and discussion on this topic.

 

 

Posted in Good To Know, Top Gun Life Lessons | 1 Comment »

Can’t Believe This Is Happening to Me

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 24th August 2006

In defensive situations, people deny that they are actually being attacked. “this can’t be happening to me”, “why would this guy want to hurt me?”

It’s predictable. People even say it out loud, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”

People who are victims of violence have a hard time understanding what is happening to them. People often get so wrapped up in what’s supposed to happen, or should happen that they’re not present to what is happening.

We’re just not used to violence. Most of us have no experience of it.  It doesn’t seem real when it occurs. Most adults have never been in a violent confrontation. 

How do you go from the comfort your “mental recliner” to the fires of hell? How do you shift your reality that fast and react decisively, with the intention to survive? 

Tucker and I had a part-time shooting school in the mid 1980’s.  I lived in the country and I had a 50-yard shooting range with a big dirt backstop 8 feet high and 50 feet wide. We decided to teach people defensive shooting and had success attracting students.

One day, “Annie” came with her mom and two aunts – four ladies, all with Charter Arms .38 Special revolvers – wanting to learn to shoot defensively.  We split the day alternating between classroom sessions and shooting. They all did well since we concentrated on distances from 3 feet to a maximum of 7 yards. 

We taught them to combine speed and accuracy. We discussed the fact that people who were threatened or attacked often said, either out loud or to themselves, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”  We felt we had given them a good grounding in the law, mental conditioning, confrontation avoidance and shooting skills.

Several months later, I received a phone call from Annie’s mom.  I was shocked to hear her mother say, “Annie’s been in a shooting.”  My heart jumped. I didn’t know the outcome until she told me Annie was okay and the guy who attacked her was dead.

The story was that Annie, newly divorced, had been out late at a club. She left her purse in the trunk of her car, taking her keys, money and I.D. into the club.  Her Charter Arms .38 was in her purse. When she came out after closing time, she returned to her car, opened the trunk and retrieved her purse. After closing the trunk she opened her driver’s side door.

At that moment a young guy poked a gun in her ribs and told her to get in and slide over. As I recall, his gun was a .25 auto of some kind. Thank goodness he wasn’t interested in her purse.

He drove her car and pointed the gun at her as he drove.  Annie told us later that she actually said to the guy, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.” She said it several times.

After 20 minutes they were in a lightly populated area.  He turned into the drive of a burned-out house, stopped the car, opened his door and got out.  He turned back, pointing the gun at Annie, and told her to get out of the car and leave her clothes in it.

What he didn’t know was that Annie had gotten over her panic, placed her purse on her right side by the passenger door and slipped her hand into it.  She had a good grip on the little revolver.  When he told her to get out and leave her clothes in the car, she knew she had to act. There was no assurance that he’d let her live.  Even so, she hesitated.

In our classroom we had discussed reaction times.  She knew she had the element of surprise even though he had a gun. The guy felt in control and he relaxed. Still, it takes something to shoot another person, even when you want to survive.  It was then that he reached in, grabbed her left shoulder, pointed his gun at her and yelled a command to hurry up or else.

We had told the Annie in class to fire two shots to center of mass, then assess the situation to see if more shots were required.  Annie’s hand came out of the purse and emptied the gun into the threatening mass.

The first shot X-ringed the center of his chest, the second was in the same vicinity.  The third shot hit him in the side as he turned away. The fourth shot hit the back of his shoulder and the fifth shot went over him as he fell face-down outside the vehicle. The little revolver only held 5 rounds.

She had forgotten all about firing two shots.

Annie got to a phone, called a friend, called the police and was no-billed by the grand jury. One bad guy takes a dirt nap and one young lady gets to live and take care of her young daughter.  After a few days, Annie felt remorse and questioned her actions.

Tucker went to see her since he’d been in real life shootings as a police officer and could offer some real world experience.  He had her see that she had done the right thing and that the bad guy had caused his own demise. She was okay with it and glad to be alive.

One last twist to the story is that Annie wanted to get rid of the little gun that saved her life. She didn’t want it reminding her of the incident. Guess what she did – she swapped it for her mom’s identical Charter Arms .38 special revolver and has carried that since so far as we know.

Thank goodness Annie had the time and the control to go beyond “I can’t believe this is happening to me” and took the action necessary to survive.

Posted in Good To Know, Top Gun Life Lessons | 4 Comments »

The Mental Side of Self Defense

Posted by Rob Longenecker on 29th July 2006

“Alpha Bravo 413, Eject! Eject! Eject!” 

How’d you like to hear the Air Boss shouting that in your headset just as you launched from the USS John F. Kennedy into the blackness of the pre-dawn? You might be on fire or have had a “cold” catapult shot and the air boss is trying to save your life.

To hell with the airplane. You’ve got 2-3 seconds to act and no second chance.

As a well-trained Naval Aviator, you wouldn’t pull out the emergency procedures manual from it’s pocket in you G-Suit to see what to do. You’d have thought this situation over ahead of time, over and over again. You’d have made your decision way in advance.  All it would take was the right “trigger” and you would take the predetermined action. You’d eject.

Have you given the same pre-planning to self-defense? Your job is tougher than mine was as a Naval Aviator because you may find yourself in a variety of situations where the threat, the environment, the safety of bystanders, legal ramifications and your desire to survive might cause indecision.  It might be easy to react too quickly – or not fast enough

But you’ve only got a split second to decide.

I talk a lot about this in my Free! special report “You Can’t Miss Fast Enough To Win A Gunfight!” There’s only one way to get it and that’s sign up for in that box in the upper right corner. And if you’ve already done that then you have the report and know all about taking the necessary precautions in advance of needing them.

I hope you’ve given it a lot of thought already.  If you haven’t, then it’s time.

Remember also, your skill level will be your “performance envelope” giving you a range of alternatives in a life or death situation.  Poorly trained individuals may react poorly, shoot too soon and cause unintended consequences they’ll regret.  The better your skills, the more confident you are in your abilities, the more pre-planning you have done, the greater the likelihood you will act appropriately and effectively.

There’s no time to pull out your “emergency procedures manual,” so prepare now. Professional training would be something wise to consider as well to expand your “performance envelope.”  There’s a lot at stake.

Posted in Top Gun Life Lessons | No Comments »