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TEOTWAWKI is NOW! Overcoming Normalcy Bias: Critical Thinking for Survival

One of the most important skills for survival that must be mastered, or at least practiced at a journeyman level, by the prepared individual, family, and tribe, is critical thinking. Of all the practical, tactical training and preparedness you can can do, the single most important, most often overlooked, is basic critical thinking skills. As I write, travel and teach, and interact with contemporary people, I regularly witness the lack of this in the broad majority of people. I’ve even been known to suffer from it myself.

People, even in the “firearms,” “tactical training,” “preparedness,” and “militia” communities, suffer from a pronounced lack of critical thinking skills, all too often.

An example of this can be seen in the recent frenzy within the preparedness and liberty-minded communities, over the Jade Helm 2015 UW exercise. For months prior to the beginning of the exercise, we saw unfounded, unsourced reports by sensationalist outlets in the preparedness and militia communities repeated across the preparedness “media” and social media as “fact.” Here we are, a full month into the exercise, nearing the stated end of the exercise, and most of the original source reporters have either stopped talking about it completely, or have taken a 180 degree course shift from their original stance, of “it’s an imposition of martial law,” to “well, it’s still an attempt to normalize seeing military personnel operating on US soil!”

This is despite the fact that COUNTLESS recent Special Forces veterans within our own virtual communities (yes, myself included), have spent an inordinate amount of bandwidth trying to explain to people the concept of a “theater-level” exercise, and pointing out the recent historical precedents for this exact type of exercise.

It’s funner, and far more entertaining however, to imagine resisting against martial law, in some form of masturbatory Red Dawn scenario, than to use critical thinking to recognize, “Hey, maybe we SHOULD at least listen to what the guys with actual experience in THIS EXACT TYPE OF TRAINING EXERCISE have to say, before we jump to conclusions. You know what happened as a result of the hyper-paranoia induced within the preparedness and militia communities by these Harbingers of Doom? The virtual community lost even more credence with the average Joe and Jane Citizen, who saw the community represented as a bunch of farcical, paranoid lunatics. Seriously.

That was a lack of critical thinking. It’s easier to blindly repost scary memes on Facebook though.

A similar example can be seen in the oversimplification of “use-of-force” scenarios among the preparedness and survivalists. Too often, discussions of use-of-force end up being artificially simplified to, “I’ve got mah .45! Ah’ll jest shoot that there sumbitch in the eye!” Or, “I’m going to use my gutterfighting, dirty tricks to gouge his eye out and skull-fuck him to death!” While those may work as standard responses to dangerous encounters in a TEOTWAWKI “Zombie Apocalypse,” the simple reality of life is, we’re not dealing with a Zombie Fucking Apocalypse. We’re dealing with an entirely different TEOTWAWKI situation. In the real TEOTWAWKI life we’re living, right now, today, those responses as standardized responses, will only end up in one result: getting buggered in the ass by your cellmate. Oversimplification of any scenario is, in itself, a failure of critical thinking, in recognizing that the world is NOT black-and-white, and there are always shades of gray involved. Maybe not fifty shades, but damned sure more than two.

The above example of the REAL TEOTWAWKI leads directly into the one failure of critical thinking that is currently, and will continue to be, the leading killer of otherwise solid, prepared individuals. This ranges from armed citizens, to soldiers, to armed police officers on the street. That is “normalcy bias.”

What is “normalcy bias?”

Wikipedia, that paragon of journalistic objectivism, defines normalcy bias as “a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to undestimate both the possibility of a disaster and its possible effects….The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur….People with normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to something they have not experienced before…”

That’s actually—surprisingly for Wikipedia—a pretty accurate description. So, how do armed citizens, who have actually, apparently overcome their normalcy bias at least enough to recognize that something bad enough to warrant needing a gun MIGHT occur, suffer from normalcy bias? How do soldiers and police officers suffer from normalcy bias? How can I say that preppers, who obviously recognize the potential for a disaster to occur—that’s why their preppers, for fuck’s sake—suffer from normalcy bias?

Well, let’s back up for a few minutes first, and look at WHY normalcy bias occurs.

The Why and How Behind Normalcy Bias
Humans as a rule, in any given scenario or situation, generally “see” exactly what we expect to see. An example of this regularly occurs in the shoot house during the decision-making drills when I teach CQB. As the shooter moves around the angles of the door, he “pies” quickly, to see as much of the interior as possible, before actually effecting entry. Many times, they’ll “see” a role-player inside “pointing a gun” at them, because they do, in fact, see the role-player’s hands up and to the front, and they do, in fact, see a gun. What they don’t recognize, because it’s not what they expect to see, is that the gun is actually laying on the ground at the role-player’s feet, and the outstretched hands are palms-out, in a placating or pleading gesture. For the first several iterations, almost invariably (certainly in more than 90% of cases) the shooter engages the role-player with simulated gunfire, because they “saw” a “gun pointed at them,” because that’s what they expected to see, and that was processed faster than their brain could piece together what was actually seen.

The same thing often happens in what later turn out to be apparently unjustified shootings by both armed citizens and sworn police officers. In dealing with an aggressive, combative subject, something appears in the hands, and the good guy, conditioned by sub-par training, to “expect” a combative subject to have a weapon, engages with lethal force, only to discover after the fact, it was a cellphone or some other innocuous implement that was not really a weapon at all (it’s important to note, I’m not criticizing the individual in this case, but their training. There’s no point in criticizing someone for following their human nature).

Besides seeing what we expect to see, the second why behind normalcy bias is the human tendency to ignore and/or deny those things that make us uncomfortable. Someone who is uncomfortable with physical violence may be in denial, even as they find themselves on the pavement, getting a boot stomp party across their forehead. This happens with police officers and armed citizens with a frightening frequency, and there is ample surveillance and dash camera footage to validate it. Even a half-hearted search of YouTube, coupled with some minor objectivism when watching the videos, makes this abundantly obvious.

Finally, if something cannot be “ignored” or “denied,” we dismiss it as unrealistic. I witnessed one major example of this on my buddy Greg Ellifritz’s Active Response Training Facebook page recently, when he posted a link to an article discussing the relationship, or lack thereof, between what “gun guys” wear in tactical shooting classes, and what is actually needed for personal protection, based off the recorded use-of-force experiences of armed citizens and police officers. The argument was made that, since the chances of a private citizen getting involved in a shooting that involved them using their rifle was slim to none, that training with a full load-out, and practicing things like speed reloads and related esoteria, was largely unnecessary and irrelevant.

There’s a lot of apparent value to that argument. While I do drive around with a loaded M4 on the backseat floorboard of my vehicle, and carry a Glock 17 or 19 concealed on my person religiously, I don’t drive around with a plate carrier and warbelt or RACK on. If we look at regular use-of-force incidents by armed citizens in public, and at home, most are successfully ended with far less than one magazine out of a Glock, let alone out of a rifle. One commenter noted that if an armed citizen fired an entire magazine out of an AR15, in a defensive shooting scenario, he or she would be the lead story on the national news. If they used TWO magazines, they’d probably go in the history books.

The problem is, THAT is normalcy bias, and it leads us directly into the crux of this article: We don’t live in what most of us recognize as “normal” times anymore. I would argue that we are, in fact, in the midst of TEOTWAWKI, and most people, including “preppers” are in a normalcy bias-driven denial of that reality.

For most of us, of a, shall I say, “certain age,” normal is defined as the America we recognize from our youth and young adulthood. That America is gone, as most of us recognize. The denial in question isn’t that. The denial is expecting that “normal” as we define it is going to return.

The core of this article clicked with me several nights ago, as my wife and I watched the Republican presidential candidate debates on television. No one of the candidates was arguing for a return, or even a conservation, of “normal” America. From Donald Trump acknowledging that he had—and would continue—to buy politicians, and that it was “no big deal,” because “everybody does it,” to Chris Christie arguing that there was nothing wrong with shredding the Constitution, in the pursuit of “security,” to Ben Carson arguing that taxes are a moral equivalent of tithing, there was really none of the candidates—with the arguable exception of Rand Paul, who made any argument that even hinted at a desire to return America to “normal.”

We face constant, and increasing foreign invasion across the southern border. We face increasing socialization of our society and government, and beyond calls for electing a “Republican” to roll back the socialist policies of the Obama administration, including his “unconstitutional executive orders” (no mention was made of those of his predecessor, I noted), no one really expects any changes to that either. We see calls from Mohammedan subcultures within our country to be allowed to deal with things under Sharia Law. Rather than laugh at the absurdity of it, too often, we give it credence by even taking it seriously.

Sure, they’re serious, but the only sane response to that is a resounding, “Go fuck yourself, or go home and fuck a goat,” by the political leadership of any community that finds itself confronted with such pleas. Even giving them the appearance of legitimate consideration is admission that “normal” is no longer “normal,” and is admission that it really us TEOTWAWKI.

Normalcy bias, in this instance, is the belief that TEOTWAWKI will be heralded by some obvious, major catalyst, like an EMP or the declaration of martial law by the government. Ignoring the absolute, absurd impossibility of effective martial law in the United States, as a whole, think about the actual definition of TEOTWAWKI. It’s HERE, NOW, and denying it is normalcy bias.

Yes, use of force by armed citizens are generally solved by 2-3 rounds in 2-3 seconds at 2-3 yards. Accepting that, and determining that, because this is “normal,” then that’s all you need to prepare for, even as we argue and discuss the infiltration of jihadi terrorists, and WITNESS the radicalization of home-grown jihadi sympathizers, is a textbook example of normalcy bias.

Stockpiling beans, bullets, and band-aids, in the interest of being prepared for TEOTWAWKI, without recognition that you are in the midst of TEOTWAWKI, is normalcy bias.

Overcoming The Bias
We see media pundits every day, telling us we have to move past our biases, and accept all people as the same. While that’s absurd, on the face of it, there are biases we do need to overcome, if we’re to survive long enough to ensure that our children and grandchildren will survive. How do we do so?

1) Accept that “normal” is no longer “normal.” This requires more than simply telling yourself. It requires internalizing it as reality and truth. It’s great for patriotic, conservative, Americans to long for yesteryear, and the greatness of the Pax Americana. It’s also completely fucking delusional. America is only a superpower now, among nation-state actors. The transnational terrorist groups do not recognize American sovereignty and superiority. If they did, they would never have started fighting, or would have yielded by now. A wall along the Mexican border is great…except we already know there are more tunnels than an goddamned ant farm, traversing the border. So, sure, let’s drop several billion dollars building a wall that won’t be any more useful than the locks on your car door are (remember, as my grandfather told me when I was a kid, “car locks only keep honest people honest.”). Illegal aliens are going to continue crossing the border, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it, outside of genocide, or the total collapse of our economy.

2) Recognize what the “new normal” implies for you and yours. This may range from reduced police presence in your neighborhood or community, especially for dealing with property crimes and other “minor” issues. Think about what happened in NYC last year after two officers were assassinated, sitting in their cruiser. If you live in a really shitty neighborhood, where people are as likely to assault cops as help them, you should—justifiably–expect the same thing. As my wife pointed out yesterday, when she heard that people were “acting out” in Ferguson, on the anniversary of the Wilson-Brown shooting, “if I was a cop, I wouldn’t even respond to calls in their neighborhood. Fuck them. If they hate me, why help them?”

Recognize that, as the elevation of “special groups” of people, of whom you are not a member, for whatever reason, continues, if you find yourself engaged in a legal or political struggle with them, you will lose, because they are “special,” and you are not. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to approve of it, but if you deny it, you’ll find yourself “married” to a cellmate, and the relationship WILL be consummated.

Recognize that, ultimately, you have to rely on yourself, and those with whom you’ve built trusted relationships. That may range from dealing with community problems in an “extrajudicial” manner, to helping those who’ve lost their employment and income, by either providing employment for them, or using some gray market type of exchange with them, to allow them to procure the necessary items of life, ranging from food to shelter and clothing.

Experience Is Only A Start
Experience is a great advantage when dealing with bad situations. Experience in violence is a great advantage when overcoming the normalcy bias necessary to self-defense situations, whether that’s getting caught in traffic in the midst of a “flash mob” and recognizing that escape means driving OVER people, or it’s recognizing—and accepting—the reality that the dude coming at you in the middle of the alley, with a knife in his hand is not curious if you could spare a pat of butter for his crackers.

When we’ve faced violence before, it becomes significantly easier to acknowledge its occurrence. This is why the criminal gangbanger with a Saturday Night Special has a far better chance of survival than a white-bread suburban stockbroker with a basement full of bunker supplies, but no experience with interpersonal violence, regardless of how many AK47 and AR15 rifles he has stockpiled in his safe.

Ultimately though, experience can be as much a hindrance as a help. If you expect all future engagements with people to reflect what you experienced as a neighborhood bully when you were a kid, or what you saw in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq, you may find yourself unpleasantly surprised when it takes a different face. Experience is useful, only when it is used as a springboard metric for improvement through further training.

“Hey, I recognize that trouble can occur. It will probably NOT look like what I’ve experienced, so let me look around, do some serious studying, and see what it probably IS going to look like.”

I’m a historian. I see and recognize the parallels between the TEOTWAWKI we are experiencing, and the TEOTWAWKI other empires have faced in the past. Expecting the Vandals to come through the gates, on horseback, swinging swords and lances, behind war banners and a single leader though, would be a hindrance. I recognize that the Vandals, this time around, are already here, and more are en route daily, not under one leader, but with a common shared cause, that includes marginalization and disenfranchisement of people like me. They’re not armed with swords and lances. They’re armed with computers, reporters in their pockets, guns, and IED.

Experience is a teacher, but we have to let it teach us.

Last Open Enrollment Classes, Probably

We’ve got a few open-enrollment classes coming up in the next two months. We’ve so far had enough interest in them to go ahead and still plan executing on the classes, but we’ve had little enough interest that it’s really pushing the envelope of whether it’s worth it or not, from a time investment standpoint on our end. If we don’t get at least a few more students in each class, these will be the last open-enrollment classes I do.

When we started the MG blog, three or four years ago (legit, I sometimes can’t remember how long it’s been), it was never intended to be a vehicle for training classes anyway. So, if you know someone who can make these classes and will benefit from some legitimate, real-world training in solid tactical decision-making, under stress, while employing their weapon in the contexts of these classes, tell them to get lined up with HH6, and get their information and deposits in.

So, what exactly does a MG class entail?

1) It will be physically arduous. That having been said, no one has ever died, or even come close to dying, from drowning in sweat during one of my classes. I’ll be the first to tell you to back off and actually learn, instead of pushing to the point of passing out, if it looks like you’re sucking too much.

2) You will learn the current “best practices” for running whatever weapon you bring (and in the context of the CQB courses), the current “best practices” methodologies for fighting in/around structures in the UW/Small-Unit environment, with limited equipment/munitions and manpower.

3) Every MG class focuses on that single most important factor in shooting in the real-world: critical thinking under pressure and good decision-making on the shoot/no-shoot spectrum. This is NOT the tired “hey, shoot the guys with guns painted on the silhouette. Don’t shoot the dude with hands painted on him” decision-making you’ve seen in too many “tactical” shooting classes. Real-world shooting decisions aren’t that cut-and-dried, and teaching people that they are does the student a disservice that WILL result in negative outcomes in the form of either a) the shooter shooting the WRONG person, or b) the shooter taking so long to make the real-world types of decisions that he/she ends up getting shot instead.

Take a look at the Upcoming Classes tab, and get enrolled. Like I said, these may very well be the last open-enrollment classes we offer.

Training Priorities: Which Classes Should I Take?

One question I get asked frequently—at least weekly—is “John, what classes should I take?”

Really, the answer to that question is so fraught with variables that any generalized, universal answer is rendered almost useless from the start. Your personal training experience, your personal, objective life experiences, your level of dedication and drive, and the perceptions you hold, regarding the state-of-affairs in the world today and tomorrow, all play a role in that particular decision-making matrix. Nevertheless, in the interest of answering such a common question, let’s use some of the practical lessons we’ve learned in the Mountain Guerrilla experience, to try and determine some semblance of a relevant answer.

METT-TC Matters

Really, it does. It underlies our entire Estimate of the Situation, in determining where we are, and where we need to be. Until we know those two things, figuring out how to get from here to there is going to be….well, difficult, at least.


What is your mission? How do YOU define it? For a “prepper/survivalist,” the answer might be “to survive.” Pretty self-evident, right? It’s also completely, utterly, hopeless. I don’t want to be all pessimistic, but ain’t a single one of us getting out of this alive. It doesn’t matter how bad ass a gunslinger you are. One of the most dangerous dudes I ever knew died instantly when he turned left, instead of right, and caught a 7.62x54R round to the face. Shit happens.

Arguably the fittest dude I ever met in my life died at 36 years old, from a brain aneurysm in his sleep. Shit happens. Survival, as a goal, is not enough. We need to get past that to “WHY do we need to survive?” From a strictly biological standpoint, we need to survive long enough to make sure we pass on our biological material—our DNA—to our children, and to ensure that they survive long enough to pass it on again.

That’s a pretty solid reason, right there. It’s really still not enough. I’ve fathered three kids (that we know about….), two of whom are still alive. Major accident or homicide withstanding, both of those will make it to breeding age, and if the oldest is any indication, neither of them will unattractive enough that breeding will be an issue. My genetic inheritance is as assured as it can be.

So, why bother? Wouldn’t it be easier to sit on the couch, watch Ink Masters or Pawn Stars, and eat pudding and cake, and get fat and nasty? Of course it would, but that’s not acceptable. I don’t just want my daughters to breed with whatever white trash hillbilly will take them to their high school prom. I want to set an example for them, of a life lived well and right, so that they aspire to greatness. In his second book, Natural Born Heroes, Christopher MacDougall writes “just because men and women of our era do not live up to the myths, does not mean no one ever has, or ever will again.”

I’ve accepted that I will never be the hero of future myth. Perhaps my children won’t either, but in the face of the Decline of Empire, I’m willing to work to inspire my future descendants to be those heroes that drag their society back out of the darkness, and into the light, because I believe in heroes.

So, I need to stay alive, as long as possible, to educate my children as a positive role model. If staying alive to teach them were all that mattered though, I could keep my head down, hide in the empty spaces, and ride the coattails of better men, and point at them as examples for my children to aspire towards. That’s not acceptable though, because Edmund Burke’s words still ring true to me, two centuries later, “all that is necessary for evil to prevail, is for good men to do nothing.”

I was taught, long ago, that good leaders lead from the front, and good teachers teach by example. So, I cannot just sit by and hide in the shadows. I want my children to have an example of what a good man is, so they know who they should look for to carry on the genetic material, but also because, I want them to live in a better world than what I live in.

My “mission” is to survive the here and now, and to protect my people; my kith and kin. Yours, hopefully, is similar. Even if you’ve aimed higher however; you aspire to lead the masses of America out of the darkness of their self-imposed collectivist utopia, back to republican liberty (more power to you, Don Quixote), you still need to survive the here and now, before you can move on to greater things.

So, we need to begin by defining our “mission” as “Survive the Threats I’m Likely to Face Today and Tomorrow.” In order to do that, we need to define the rest of the METT-TC equation.


Who is the “enemy” you face? If you listen to some of the doomsayers in the preparedness/liberty/III% community, it’s American servicemen, being forced to prepare to subject you to martial law. Others will swear on their mother’s left breast, that the “Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!” in an Internet-based attempt at being the Paul Revere of our generation. While both myself and Sam Culper—amongst a host of other voices of reason—have wasted a lot of bandwidth trying to dispel that stupidity, it COULD occur. After all, provide enough thrust, and a pig can fly.

Others will insist the “enemy” is the law enforcement agencies of America, doing the bidding of their hidden masters, by falling prey to the brainwashing they receive in their morning briefings. There’s probably some validity to this. I know a lot of cops, and most of them are damned fine people, with the exact same concerns that you or I have. They’re on our side. At the same time though, there’s a lot of cops out there that really do fit the stereotype of the guy who got his ass kicked in high school, now hiding behind his badge, thinking it’s both a bulletproof shield, and a license to kick ass and stomp on puppies.

Then there is the would-be, self-proclaimed jihadi, ISIS supporter that decides to get some licks in for his fellow believers, by lighting up a shopping mall. You may agree with him that the wars in the Middle East are all a result of American Imperialism. Hell, you might even be right. It doesn’t matter though, because I can GUARANTEE you, when that dude decides to light up a Semtex vest, or mag-dump his AK-clone, while yelling “Allahu Akhbar!” he is NOT going to stop and ask first, to ensure that none of his potential victims share his geopolitical outlook. It just doesn’t matter.

Or, perhaps the enemy you should be concerned with is the sucker who has spent his entire life being told how racist America is, and he should be paid reparations because his great-great-great granddaddy got stuck on a slave ship and brought to America as a slave. Now, since he’s not getting reparations, he’s going to TAKE reparations, from you, because he’s PISSED. Guess what? It doesn’t matter that you never owned slaves. It doesn’t matter that HE has never been a slave. It doesn’t even matter that your great-great-great granddaddy was an abolitionist who participated in the Underground Railroad, and then fought for the Union Army, from Fort Sumpter all the way through to Appomattox. You’re still a target.

Or, perhaps the enemy really is a gang of Cannibalistic San Franciscans on souped-up, chopped-down Harley-Davidsons, swinging logging chains as they roll through Mayberry, USA, in a flurry of ravaging rapine and murder. It doesn’t matter that you’re white, and own a Harley-Davidson too. It doesn’t matter that you’re just as much a bad-ass as they are, in a one-on-one fistfight. It’s not about a one-on-one fistfight. It’s about gang-stomping the ever-living-fuck out of anyone that even looks cross-wise at them.

The funny thing about all these potential enemies is, you’re not going to be kitted up in head-to-toe multi-cam, with your full-on battle rattle load-out on, when you find yourself confronted with them. If you had that much warning, at this stage in the game, you’d simply not be there. We don’t go stupid places, with stupid people, doing stupid things. Right?

No, those enemies are the type of people you find yourself confronted with suddenly, because you didn’t KNOW you were in a stupid place, or you didn’t know stupid people were going to show up there. Nobody does stupid shit at the shopping mall, right?

That is what, in the detective novels, they call a “clue.”


Recognizing who the enemy is likely to be, gives us an idea of what friendly troops we’re likely to have available. Guess what? Most of the “militia” members I’ve met don’t go to the goddamned mall with their fellow militia members. In fact, for the most part, the only time they ever see, let alone hang out with, their fellow militia members, is when they get together for a training weekend. So, what are the chances, really, that when that dude decides to light up the food court at the mall, that you’re going to have a “trained,” equipped, fire team with you? Pretty slim. I’d put it somewhere between slim and not-a-fucking-chance. Worst case scenario, it’s you, all by your lonesome. Best case scenario, there happens to be an ODA of National Guard Special Forces soldiers, or a platoon of infantrymen having lunch at the food court at the same time, and they decide to join the fray….and all happen to be illicitly armed with privately owned, concealed-carry pistols. Probably not going to happen, but a guy can hope, right?
More likely, it’s going to be you, your spouse, partner, or a buddy you’re hanging out with. Really, counting on having more than one partner is asking a lot. Expecting to have more than one other person that you KNOW, and have trained with, is somewhere akin to buying lottery tickets as your retirement plan. It’d be nice, but it’s probably a shit plan.


Urban. Urban. Urban. Urban. Seriously.

Sure, there’s a chance that a gang of hard-core Mexican SF-trained banditos could raid your rural homestead/survival retreat, looking for your stash of precious metals, some semi-auto only rifles, and a box of cucumbers, but, unless you a) hang out with Mexican gangbangers, b) are a member of a criminal gang, or c) make it a point of bragging about your guns and gold and silver to random strangers who might meet one of the previous to criteria? Pretty slim chance.

Besides, if I’m a gangsta from the barrio, why in the nombre de Santo Maria, Madre de Dios, would I drive all the way out in the bumfuck back-ass end of beyond to steal your shit, when I’ve got people right down the street that I can steal it from, and not risk getting smoked by Elmer’s elk rifle, in the process?

For most people, even the most ardent survivalist/III%, in the event you have to go to guns, there is an overwhelming chance that it’s going to happen on your way to or from the goddamned grocery store, or the gym, or the movie rental place (do people still rent movies?), or the mall with the Missus.

That too, is what we call a “clue.”


Time is a big one. Far bigger than we give it credit for. How long, from the sound of the first gunshot, until the last shot rings out, does it take a dedicated jihadi to dump a magazine or two out of his Kalashnikov? How about the hood rat gangbanger with a MAC-10?

Nobody “wants” to go to a gunfight—especially against a rifle—with a pistol. How long do you really think you’re going to have to get back to your truck, grab your tricked-out AR15, don your plate carrier and war belt, and then get back to wherever the gunfire is coming from? From a standing start, with the gear sitting in the open, on the floor next to me, it takes me about 45-60 seconds to toss on my plate carrier and war belt, and run a press-check to ensure my rifle is loaded, and has a round in the chamber (if you respond with, “I don’t need to do a press-check because my rifle is already loaded,” you’re too fucking ignorant to comment, so go play with the kids, and leave the adults alone to have real conversations). I’m a reasonably fit dude. I can complete a 300 meter run in well under one minute. I can complete a 50 meter sprint in around 6 or 7 seconds. So, it really depends on how far out my truck is parked, but even at a best case scenario, we’re looking at a couple of minutes….

Do I leave my wife and kids in the danger zone, while I go get my “Rambo Gear” on, and come back? Or, do I do the right thing, and “run what I brung?” I know my answer….

“Oh, but I open carry my AR15 to the mall.” Then, you’re a fucking retard, and deserve all the grief you’re going to get. Just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it right. Sure, people SHOULD be okay with Joe Militia walking around the mall with an M4 slung across his back. Here in the real world however, they’re not, and you shoving it in their faces is NOT going to make them okay with it. If you scare the shit out of Suzy Homemaker…and playing Bubba With A Battle Rifle at the Mall, IS going to scare the shit out of Suzy Homemaker….you deserve to get hassled by the police, because really, you’re too retarded to own a gun anyway.

You’ve also lost any element of surprise and tactical advantage you might have had. Mohammed Jihadi is NOT going to decide, “Oh, look! That guy has an AR15! I better go home and rethink the error of my decisions in life.” Instead, he’s going to go, “Oh, look! That guy has an AR15! If I smoke his stupid ass first, now I get to shoot twice as many people!”

Time is of the essence, and semi-auto rifles can do a LOT of damage, very, very quickly. That too, is what we call, a “clue.”

Ah yes, that bugger of a consideration that no one remembers, if their training consists of reading FMs
produced before around 1996. Everything you do has an impact on the people around you, for better or for worse. So, preparing for Mohammed the Solo Jihadi, by walking through the mall, kitted out in multi-cam, with an AR15 slung across your back? It IS going to impact the people around you, and those people WILL have an impact on your ability to accomplish your mission.

I walk through the mall, go to the movie theater with the wife, go to the park with the kids, and go grocery shopping at the hippie natural foods store, all the time, armed. Glock 17, Ban Tang Clinch Pick (yeah, I finally got one. Thanks, Ban! Seriously, get one. Well worth the price, if simply for ease of carry…and wicked, scary sharp!), and two spare magazines for the G17. I’m not going to say I’ve never been made, carrying—although I doubt it—but I’ve certainly never had anyone, including cops in close proximity and eye-fucking me, out me for carrying concealed. So, while my scary appearance may have a negative impact, the fact that I smile a lot, and know how to say “please,” “thank you,” and “pardon me, ma’am,” goes a long way toward mitigating that….walking around in camouflage, with a rifle over my shoulder would not be mitigated by nice words and a smile.

So, let’s look at a quick summary of what our METT-TC analysis has told us:

My mission is to survive, long enough to ensure my children’s survival, and to stay free of imprisonment long enough to set a good example for them, as they grow up.

My mission is to survive, long enough to ensure my children’s survival, and to stay free of imprisonment long enough to set a good example for them, as they grow up.

The likely culprits that I may face, who would be an impediment to mission success include: rogue LEO with an attitude of cowardice, and a desire to stomp puppies, and other assorted criminal elements. More likely than not, any confrontation will occur in a relatively crowded, populated area. I will likely be alone, or with my wife and children, and armed with my EDC/CCW loadout, unless/until I make it back to my truck.

Chances are, if you look at things objectively, your METT-TC considerations are remarkably similar, regardless of where you live, or who you are.

So, let’s look at the ideal training progression, with these considerations in mind:

1) Physical Fitness

Come on. You KNEW it was going to lead the list. If you didn’t, you’re really, really, really new here. You don’t need to be a Crossfit Games champion. You don’t need to be an Olympic decathlete, or a professional powerlifter, or any other sort of professional-level athlete.

You DO need to be strong enough to do what you need to do, and you DO need to have enough endurance to do what you need to do. How fit is fit enough? Hard to say. If we look at the instances of civilian use of firearms in personal and home defense, not very. If we start looking at other instances—say “knockout games,” and similar, being fit is certainly going to be high on the list of priorities.

Rather than taking the easy way out, and assuming the enemy will be a fat, donut-eating, pastry chef with an attitude, maybe we need to assume the enemy will be younger, stronger, faster, and fitter. If we train with the goal of being as fit as we can be, then that’s the best we can do.

My recommendations remain the same as they’ve ever been, regardless of age or physical infirmities:

Lift heavy shit, often, and repeatedly. Run fast, as far as possible.

2) Fight

The root word of “gunfight” is not “gun.” It’s “fight.” You need to be able to fight. Not every life-and-death situation is going to warrant “going to guns.” Maybe it starts out as shouted angry words with some dude that grabbed your wife’s ass, in front of your kids.

Now, maybe the “mature, civilized man” would let that slide. After all, if I get killed, because I decided to say something in defense of my wife’s “honor,” I’ve done a piss-poor job of surviving, right? Unfortunately, my mission requires more than just survival. I also have to set an example for my children to look up to. If you grab my wife’s ass, you can damned sure be certain, we ARE going to have a conversation about it, and that conversation is going to involve me breaking your goddamned arm.

Of course, in order to do that, I better be able to fight, right?

What if it’s not that simple. What if it’s some dude that comes around a corner, already has a gun out, and is five feet away, demanding my wallet, or trying to convince my wife to go into the alley with him, lest he shoot me? Can I go to guns, first, and win that fight?

Maybe. I’m pretty quick.

Am I willing to risk my wife or kids catching his round if I’m wrong? Maybe, just maybe, going hands-on, and trying to gain control of his weapon FIRST, is a better option? You need to be able to fight, and six months of ninjutsu at the local strip mall dojo is probably not going to cut it. Get to a boxing class, get to a grappling class. Worst case scenario, get a bunch of your buddies from the militia together, and spend a couple hours a week just beating the shit out of each other…

Even better, if you think you can’t afford the time to get to a regular boxing and/or BJJ class? Go take Cecil Burch’s Immediate-Action Combatives course. At least then, you’ll have been introduced to the basic fundamental skills/techniques of jiujitsu and boxing, in an armed environment. Go take Craig Douglas’ Shivworks/ECQC course. Go to Paul Sharp’s MDOC course. Hell, come take my Clandestine Carry Pistol course, where 2 of the 4 days are combatives-centric, focused on fighting TO the gun.
3) CCW

Seriously. I don’t care if you get a concealed-carry permit. In fact, in a lot of cases, I recommend against it. But, carry a motherfucking gun. EVERY. TIME. YOU. LEAVE. THE. HOUSE. I don’t care if you’re going to the neighbor’s for supper, or you’re going to church. CARRY. A. GODDAMNED. GUN. Concealed.

More importantly, don’t be deluded into thinking the gun is a magical talisman of protection. Your CCW certification class is NOT a defensive handgun course. Take a practical shooting course with pistols. Here’s the catch though, not all defensive handgun courses are created equal.

It’s cool to take a course that focuses on shooting fast, accurately. In fact, that’s probably the first pistol course you should take. It helps start developing the fundamental skill sets. In the real world though, it’s entirely possible that you’ll end up shooting TOO fast, and TOO accurately.


Too many shooting courses focus any “decision-making” on simple, binary decisions. “Gun or no gun?” is NOT a valid decision-making matrix for shoot-or-no shoot in the real world. It’s more complicated than that. Hell, even “that dude is pointing a gun at me” may not be adequate grounds to drop the hammer.

A solid, practical, real-world shooting course MUST include practical, complex decision-making processes in the course work. You’ve got to learn to SEE and PROCESS information FASTER, so you can shoot SOONER. A sub-one second shot is great…right up until it takes you two seconds to determine that the apparent target is your wife/best friend/father-in-law, coming to help.

Seriously. If you haven’t had a legitimate class in running your CCW pistol, that emphasizes rapid-fire, accurate decision-making processes, under stress, you’re legitimately not qualified to be carrying a firearm in public, regardless of what certifications you may have.

4) Carbine/Rifle

Nobody WANTS to get in a gunfight, armed with a pistol. We all get it. The reality however, is that, outside of certain law enforcement situations, or being in the military, in a combat zone, in a combat arms MOS, chances are, if you ever find yourself involved in a shooting situation, you’re going to be armed with a pistol. Deal with it.

There are times when a rifle may be a viable option. Dealing with a road-rage incident, or some sort of vehicle ambush/carjacking, or accidentally driving into the middle of a fucking riot, when you have your rifle in the vehicle, and ready-at-hand; those are situations where a rifle is not only an option, but the best option. So yeah, you should learn how to run your rifle. You should learn how to carry your rifle, at home, and in your vehicle, for the best results (note to self: add rifle in the vehicle carry methods and positions to the Combat Rifle POI).

Guess what, none of the likely situations where you’re going to have a rifle handy, and need it, involve shooting motherfuckers 500 meters away! It’s about using rifles at 0-100M, and really, anything past 50M is probably stretching credulity a little bit. Shooting tight, accurate groups is important, but shooting them “tight enough” and “fast enough” is more important. How quickly can you get your rifle out of the backseat floorboard, and into action, from the driver’s seat?

I’ve got a friend that keeps a folding stock Kalashnikov tucked between the passenger seat and the console, covered with a jacket. He can deploy that thing in less than three seconds. I keep a rifle on the rear floorboard, beneath the kids’ feet. I can deploy it in 5-6 seconds, or I can let the wife get it out, while I lay down a base of fire with the Glock (but really, as the driver, I shouldn’t be shooting. I should be driving us the fuck out of danger).

Like the pistol, shooting fast and accurate with the rifle is important, but again, good decision-making is more important. If the coursework you’re taking doesn’t cover decision-making, whether it’s because the trainer doesn’t know what that means, or doesn’t know how to teach it, beyond “shoot the guys with guns painted on them, don’t shoot the guys with hands painted on them,” find another trainer.

5) Small-Unit Tactics

The next three options are really a toss-up as to which is the most important to train first, second, and third. I put SUT first, because in my course-work, it’s really the foundation for everything else.

I teach SUT, using a patrolling format as the vehicle. Some guys just teach the basic battle drills and call it good. There’s nothing inherently wrong with either approach, I just find that using patrolling as the vehicle helps put things into context better for people.

SUT, at this level, is not about platoon or even squad-level tactics, techniques, and procedures. It should really focus on two-man and four-man team tactics. How do you conduct a “break contact” battle drill with two guys? What about four guys? Can you conduct a “hasty attack” with two guys or four guys? (Yes. It won’t be pretty with two guys, but it has been—and can be—done effectively). Can you conduct an ambush with two guys or four guys? What about fighting your way out of an ambush?

Which battle drill should you focus on? When is each applicable? Are any of them NOT applicable, in the context of the METT-TC factors we’ve established? Legitimately, I don’t know many people that are putting out good POI on SUT. Obviously, I teach a class in this. Max Velocity’s class is supposed to be good, but I haven’t taken it personally. I don’t even know who else is teaching this material, and I certainly don’t know who is teaching it reasonably well.

6) Fighting In/Around Vehicles

Americans, outside of a few major metropolitan areas, have an interesting love affair with vehicles. While I know people in New York City who have NEVER been behind the wheel of a vehicle, most of us start driving at 15 or 16, and drive daily, the rest of our working lives. I spend an inordinately large amount of time behind the wheel of the truck. Even when we’re not traveling to and from classes, we spend a lot of time driving to and from town to take care of daily business, like going to work, grocery shopping, etc.

The chances that I’m going to run into a riot in the vehicle are pretty slim. I’m more likely to have the kind of shit happen like happened today, when a dude decided to run a red light, and I was the only guy in four lanes of traffic that saw him coming and stopped, instead of almost hitting him or getting hit by him. On the road traveling though? We roll through major metro areas regularly, any of which could be host to a shit storm at a red light. Even when we go to town, which is now a University town, there’s always a chance of rolling into the midst of a shit storm.

If you live in, or spend time around, a city of any size, especially with the race-baited tensions currently running rampant in America, and you’ve not gotten some serious training in dealing with a bad situation, while in and around, your vehicle, you’re fucking yourself.

Of course, like everything else, decision-making should be a major part of the curriculum. Should I just run through the crowd, and play “Bowling for Bodies” with my rig (make sure you’ve got a LOT of ground clearance, so you don’t end up bottomed out on a body….), or should I try and back out? Should I just say “fuck it!” and start shooting motherfuckers? What happens if I wait too long, and somebody is already in the car with me before I realize that he’s got ill-intent?

7) Fighting In/Around Buildings

The one place we spend more time than in our cars, is in buildings. Whether you’re trying to get OUT of a building where there’s an “active shooter” situation going on, or you’re hunting said “active shooter,” or some skell IS coming through your front door, and you need to get to the kids, knowing how to deal with the angles in buildings is essential.

Even more than every other type of material that might be covered in any given course, decision-making HAS to be incorporated into the POI for fighting in/around buildings. The speed required to effectively clear a building, without eating a faceful of bad guy pew-pew (I’ve been trying to figure out a way to incorporate pew-pew into an article!), while also taking enough time to avoid inadvertently shooting your wife, kid, or mother-in-law, requires some serious fucking quick decision-making processes. Any CQB course work that doesn’t include decision-making in the training process is fucking you, in the long run.


Not gonna lie. Running rifle/carbine classes is pretty cake, from a trainer’s perspective. Even when you start making shit a little more…should I say…dynamic? It’s still—relatively—easier to run a straight carbine class, safely, and still get valid information across to people. That doesn’t mean we should be pushing carbine classes for students, if we’re trying to honestly help people better protect themselves and their families.

One of the most important skill sets we can develop for life in general, and survival specifically, is critical thinking and sound decision-making skills. If we legitimately develop those skills, and apply them to determining training priorities, it becomes readily apparent, what direction our training planning should follow.

Focus on the 25M target.

We were in town getting groceries this evening, and I witnessed two separate instances that made me physically ill with disgust.

Produce section of the local hippie grocery store:

As we’re walking in, I caught a black shirt with POLICE written in bold white letters across the upper back. Looking closer, I understood why it was so eye-catching: the shirt HAD to be a minimum of XXXL. Dude was an easy 150# overweight, with Dunlap Disease impacting his duty belt. As we walked through the produce section, we crossed paths with this dude and his young, skinny son. The LEO (with his duty belt on still) was looking through the pre-cut fruit selection, with his back to the world, including me. As a—relatively risky—experiment, I actually bumped into him from behind, with my shoulder, on his gun side.

Even when I followed it with, “Oh, excuse me. Sorry about that.” HE NEVER EVEN LOOKED UP…

Fast-forward half an hour, and we’d already left, when the wife remembered that we’d forgotten something, so I ran back in. As I’m standing in line at the checkout, again, there is another overweight dude, mid-thirties, standing in line in front of me, staring down at his phone, ignoring his young kid that was with him. The back of his shirt had a skull inside a crosshairs, and the legend, “Somewhere, your enemy is training hard to defeat you! Train HARD!”

Now, I have my issues with people wearing cool-guy motivational t-shirts, but I really can’t talk shit about that, since I wear them a lot too. What I don’t do, while wearing them, is bury my fucking nose in a cell phone, and not know what’s going on around me.

I followed dude out of the store, and saw that he was parked directly in front of my truck, so I followed him—not even unobtrusively. I actually hyped the aggressiveness in my body language, to see if he’d catch on. Nope. Not even when he stopped, and I kept walking towards him, and shoved a hand into my pocket, and got within five feet of him before I went ahead and went around.

So, what’s the moral of this?

Maybe Officer Friendly is starting a diet and training program. Maybe he just started recently. I’m not even commenting on the PT and nutrition equation. Maybe Dude #2 just finished a shooting course this weekend, and is wearing his moto shirt once before he hangs it in the closet and forgets about it. I don’t know.

What I do know, is I see this a lot. It’s not the young, fit dudes in their twenties who have their heads up their asses, ignoring the world around them. It’s the older guy who—if you asked—would be all over the “I’ve got street awareness and combat mindset on my side!” that end up being the guy who is stuck in normalcy bias. They are the guys who seem to be wrapped around this “Shit, ain’t nothing bad ever going to happen to me. I mean, I’m just going to the grocery store/movie theater/my grandkid’s school play/water park/whatever….”

If you’re taking a carbine class, or a CQB class, or a small-unit tactics class, and you don’t even have the skill set to keep yourself from getting jacked and raped in an alley? You’re probably focusing on the WRONG target.

Yes, the Apocalypse MIGHT happen tomorrow, and you’ll need to be able to shoot cannibalistic San Franciscans in the face at 500M with your tricked-out M1A. Yes, tomorrow you COULD be raided by Russian Spetznaz troops parachuted in to execute a top-secret extradition mission on you, as a leader of the “III% Resistance.” Yes, it’s POSSIBLE that, on your way to work, you could witness a vanload of MS13 gangsters carjack a Suburban full of University of Oklahoma cheerleaders, and have time to kit up and roll out heavy with your M4 and the dude who carpools to work with you might be similarly armed and equipped, so you apply your SUT training and rescue the princesses…..

But, you know what bad shit is far more likely to happen? It’s far more likely that you MIGHT get mugged at gun or knife point in the grocery store parking lot and lose your groceries, your cash, your bank card, and your pickup. It’s far more likely that—if you’re a cop or an open-carry activist—that some dick at the grocery store will grab your gun and run off with it, leaving you winded and embarrased, when you have to report the weapon stolen, and then you find out it was used in a mass murder.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t plan for and train for worst-case scenarios. I mean, if we take the “likely to happen” thing to its obvious conclusions, I don’t even need to carry a gun. I’m 6’1” tall, weigh 215#, am obviously athletic, and have no compunctions about telling someone to “back the fuck up.” I am remarkably aware of what is going on around me in public (as much a result of trying to keep track of a very independent-minded 5 year old as any inherent tactical gifts). The chances that I’m going to get mugged realistically rest somewhere between not happening and not a snowball’s chance in Hell of happening….but I still carry a goddamned gun, religiously, because I may have to step up for someone else…or that worst-case scenario could happen, and I could get carjacked by a gang of MS13 thugs.

So, to reiterate, we’re not saying “Don’t bother doing this, this, and that.” We’re saying, “If you’re doing this, this, and that, before you’ve achieved that, this, and this, you’re living in a goddamned fantasy, and you’d probably save money if, instead of buying gear and guns, you’d just take up Dungeon-and-Dragons or some shit.

Gun the fuck up and hone the edges on your ax.

Idaho in October–Combat Rifle

Upcoming Open-Enrollment Classes

2-4 OCT 2015—Idaho Falls, ID
Combat Rifle

This beginner to intermediate level course on running the rifle effectively, under field conditions, begins with basic square range work out to 200+ meters. Course work focuses on fundamentals of gunfighting, including practical marksmanship, gunhandling under stress, and critical decision-making skills development for discrimination and stress-fire shooting, before finally moving into the application of the fighting rifle in a team environment.

For enrollment-specific information, please contact HH6 at

For content-specific questions, contact me at

Cost for this class is $500 per shooter.

Skull-Stomping Sacred Cows: People Are Dying, Because We’re Weak

I’m watching the news, just like most of America is, of the shootings in Chattanooga, TN, by an ISIS operative. I’m as appalled, but probably not for the reasons that most of America is. Here’s why I’m appalled….

1) I see people, including military personnel, calling the shooter a “coward.” This is a cultural cognitive bias that we HAVE to get past, both culturally and individually. Let’s look at this honestly…

The shooter in TN was not “cowardly.” What he was was smart. It was a criminal act, but only because he was a naturalized American citizen, which means he was a traitor, when he attacked American servicemen. This was an act of war, by an enemy combatant, against UNIFORMED MILITARY PERSONNEL. Did he ambush them? Sure. He utilized the METT-TC available to him, camouflaged himself in the urban environment, and killed UNIFORMED MILITARY PERSONNEL.

This is a man representative of a culture stretching back centuries; a culture that still remembers when the Caliphate ruled from India to the Iberian peninsula. These aren’t “goat-fucking, towel-head, camel jockeys.” We like to browbeat them as “barbarians,” but both etymologically and anthropologically, they are not barbarians. They’re simply a culture with a different value system than ours.

They are our enemies, culturally, and we need to recognize that, but for a people who like to quote Sun Tzu, we seem to spend an awful lot of time trying to forget this maxim, ““If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

If we simply look at them as “goat-fucking camel jockeys,” guess what, we’re going to succumb in every battle, and we’re going to lose this clash of civilizations.

We’re at war. ISIS knows it. We use ambushes in war. So does ISIS. Dismissing this as some “cowardly” attack, rather than a planned military operation, against UNIFORMED MILITARY PERSONNEL, just because they were unarmed, serves no purpose whatsoever, except to make the average donut eating, couch-surfing, low-information voter, feel safer. “By Gawd! Them damned terr’ists wouldna have had a chance, if our boys’d had known they was comin’! Why, they’d have gunned up, dug fighting positions, developed range cards and sector sketches, and blown that sumbitch straight to his 72 virgins!” It’s a false narrative.

What we SHOULD be learning from this is “the enemy is NOT stupid.”

2) We spend a lot of time listening to moralists tell us how barbaric these people are. By OUR measure, today, yes, they are absolutely barbaric. I mean, they cut people’s heads off! They burn people! It’s horrific. Or, are we just pussies?

We used to do shit like that to our enemies. Everybody else in the world, except our “kindler, gentler” society does shit like that to their enemies. Sure, we have a different moral code than they do. Is it a moral code that’s going to result in us losing this, a multi-generational war? Julius Caesar put people’s heads on stakes. Caeser Augustus crucified people. The Puritans of Massachusetts fucking drowned women for “witchcraft.” We used to shoot and hang criminals.

Of course, our culture has “advanced” past that. We’re too “civilized” for that, these days.

I’m not going to argue with that. There’s a whole lot about contemporary western culture that I’m appreciative of. I like indoor running water. I like flush toilets. I like not having to worry about my daughters being killed by random strangers at the playground….errr…wait….

Maybe, just maybe, Sir John Baget Glubb, had it right, when he said we were decadent, and bound for a fall, because our culture had grown weak and soft. Maybe, had those Marines been armed, they WOULD have successfully defended themselves. After all, if there’s one thing the Corps does well, it’s indoctrinate their people with a warrior spirit.

Maybe, instead of worrying that people from other cultures will judge us by OUR cultural values, we need to consider that they’re only going to judge us by their cultural values, and to ISIS, the only thing that matters, is killing. If we really want to win against ISIS, maybe we need to start letting our guys that are on the ground over there start putting some heads on spikes, without having to worry about prosecution when they come home.

Maybe we need to offer a bounty on ISIS heads. “Hey, you bring me the head of an ISIS fighter, I’ll give you $1000.” Or, we can wring our hands and shed our tears over “how barbaric those people are,” as they continue doing what they think they need to do.

This is not civilization v. the barbarians. This is two civilizations, with different value systems, at war. Do we want to win, or not? It’s common for us to claim that the world has advanced beyond that behavior, but really? Only western culture has grown that weak.

3) About arming the Marines….It’s really popular right now (and always has been. I have to admit, when I started digging for the facts, I was shocked to discover that what I “knew” for twenty years, was wrong….) for people to blame Bill Clinton for the fact that US military personnel are not allowed to carry personal weapons on post. I did it for 20 years. I mean, come on, it’s Bill Clinton, a vile, despicable man…who is actually not to blame in this case.

Unfortunately, it’s the same old “Us v. Them” divisiness that politicians keep using to keep Americans divided, instead of focusing on the civilization we’re at war with.

Before we get into why it was NOT Bill Clinton’s fault that US military personnel are unarmed on post, let’s ask ourselves one critical question? If this was the result of a Leftist, anti-gun President’s Executive Order, why didn’t that paragon of Neo-Conservative, Pro-Gun patriotism, GWB, override the EO and allow military servicemen to carry again? Especially considering….WE WERE AT WAR!!!!???

Well, mostly, because it was not an Executive Order at all. The ban that took place, in March of 1993, was the result of a Department of Defense directive, issued in FEBRUARY 1992….Before Clinton was even elected. That’s right…the DoD (DoD Directive 5210.56) directed this under President George Herbert Walker Bush…so much for a Leftist, Liberal scheme to leave American troops vulnerable to attack.

The Army initiated the directive in March of 1993 as AR 190-14, which regulation specifically says it is intended to put into action the appropriate portions of directive 5210.56.

We can continue to blame Bill Clinton, or we can try to figure out why Directive 5210.56 was reissued in 2011, WHEN WE ARE AT WAR!!!???






Make no mistake, this is not a war of civilization versus the barbarians. This is a war between two civilizations. One remembers its heritage and is okay with that. The other one is embarrassed by its heritage and wants to convince itself that it’s “too nice” to do shit like that. Who do you really think has the edge there?

So, the John Mosby, Mountain Guerrilla solution to this?

Gun the fuck up. Hone the edges on your axes. Sharpen some stakes, so you have somewhere to put the heads, and pay the fuck attention to what’s going on around you.


Upcoming Training Opportunities

18-20 September 2015 Spearfish, SD

Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) Fighting In and Around Structures

This course has not previously been available for open-enrollment courses. The course starts with close-quarters marksmanship realities and shooting in non-permissive environments, before moving into external movement in built-up areas, and room-clearing methodologies, finally moving into methods of hardening structures to slow entry by hostiles. This class involves multiple iterations of both dry-fire and live-fire entries into single- and multiple-room structures in daylight and low-light. It also includes Force-on-Force entries, under varying conditions.

For enrollment-specific information, please contact HH6 at

For content-specific questions, contact me at

Due to the “last minute” scheduling of this class, complete balances for this class are due no later than 15 August 2015. Cost of the class is $500 per shooter. A $30 range fee per shooter is necessary, and may be paid at the range upon arrival. This class is taking place on a commercial training range, with a professional shoot-house structure.

9-11 October 2015 Skull Valley, AZ

Combat Rifle

This beginner to intermediate level course on running the rifle effectively, under field conditions, begins with basic square range work out to 200+ meters. Course work focuses on fundamentals of gunfighting, including practical marksmanship, gunhandling under stress, and critical decision-making skills development for discrimination and stress-fire shooting, before finally moving into the application of the fighting rifle in a team environment.

For enrollment-specific information, please contact HH6 at

For content-specific questions, contact me at

Cost for this class is $500 per shooter. If enrollment is combined with the CQB class the following weekend, the combined cost for both classes is $900.

16-18 October 2015

Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) Fighting In and Around Structures

This course has not previously been available for open-enrollment courses. The course starts with close-quarters marksmanship realities and shooting in non-permissive environments, before moving into external movement in built-up areas, and room-clearing methodologies, finally moving into methods of hardening structures to slow entry by hostiles. This class involves multiple iterations of both dry-fire and live-fire entries into single- and multiple-room structures in daylight and low-light. It also includes Force-on-Force entries, under varying conditions.

For enrollment-specific information, please contact HH6 at

For content-specific questions, contact me at

Cost for this class is $500 per shooter. If enrollment is combined with the Combat Rife class the preceding weekend, the combined cost for both classes is $900.

We have had a LOT of expressed interested in the Arizona classes. There has been enough interest expressed that—assuming everyone who said “I’m coming!” sends in their deposits, the classes will be full. If you want in to either—or both—of these classes, you need to contact us and get your deposits in ASAP. Deposits are due by 1 August 2015, with balances no later than 1 September.


We are still getting a lot of requests for classes in the eastern US. We are completely available to make this happen now, but we have to find places to hold them. If you are interested in hosting a class in the Midwest, South, or Northeast, please contact HH6 at


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