Hello and welcome to another segment of Armed American T.V. My name is Michael Martin. I’m the Vice President of Content here at Delta Defense, but I’m also the author of the book Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals. Of course once again I’m here with Tim Schmidt, President and CEO of Delta Defense.
Hello Michael, great to be here as usual.
Good to have you back. You and I kind of joke that all these segments would have been valuable for us to have had a dozen years ago when we were starting to get into this environment. I’ve got to say today’s topic is probably is even more important to have had years ago.
I couldn’t agree more Michael. I often think we should rename this topic the top ten mistakes that Michael and Tim made and how avoid them.
Speak for yourself.
Although I’ve got that drawer full of holsters that I’m not sure where that came from. Good list. We will hit what the top ten mistakes are. We’ll go through those one at a time.
Exactly. The good news here is that in this segment today, we’re going to be talking about not only mistakes that will help you save time and money, but mistakes that can help you save your freedom and maybe your life.
That’s a good point.
Yep, so let’s get down to them. Mistake number one is selecting the wrong firearm for you. Mistake number two is making a personal protection plan only about firearms training and not about conflict avoidance and situational awareness. Mistake number three is finding the right gun but the wrong holster. Mistake number four is believing that you’ve ever had enough training. Mistake number five is doing the wrong type of training. Mistake number six is not preparing for the legal and financial aftermath of a self-defense shooting.
Mistake number seven is not testing your self-defense ammunition in your actual gun. Number eight is not building consistency into your carry practices. Mistake number nine is not properly maintaining your carry gun and ammunition. Number ten is not properly understand your state’s laws and the state laws of the states that you may visit under reciprocity agreements.
That is a heck of a list and again I’ll say that if we had this information years ago, we would have saved ourselves a lot of time and money. How about we hit that first one? Let’s talk about selecting the wrong firearm for a person, individually?
Michael it sounds great. Let’s do it.
Okay Michael, obviously we have a lot to cover here. Would you start with number one?
Are you saying that’s my most common mistake?
The first mistake we’re going to talk about is selecting the wrong firearm for you. As we talked about in one of our segments on picking a firearm that’s right for an individual personally, there are a lot of options. You go to any gun store and you’re going to see display after display after display of a lot of different handguns. Picking the one up that looks pretty or that you think looks cool isn’t going to be the right decision. We’ve got a couple, a variety of options spread out here that go across that gamut of what we explained in our other segment. We have the firearm that can fire in double action only mode, a firearm that can fire in double action, single action.
We have a revolver that can be fired in both of those modes and I have a 1911 that can be fired in single-action mode. Of course in addition to those action differences, we’re talking about size differences all the way down to a little pocket pistol with a Ruger LCP up to a full-size Springfield XD(M). The decisions have to be based upon, as we’ve said earlier, how a person carries, the size they are, the time of the year that it is. In the summer, this might be my firearm of choice, where all other months, this might be my firearm of choice. That also leads into one of those problems that we’re going to talk about in a minute, is consistency of carry.
Consistency. Exactly. Yep.
If I choose different firearms for different times of year or different dress, I might be building in some problems. The reality is though, seasons change, clothing changes, so we have to think about those different things. My advice is always to try before you buy. We wouldn’t buy a car without trying it out. My suggestion is also to get up to a range that can provide a loaner, provide a rental, or a friend that can provide access to that. If your friend, your spouse, your relative says you’ve got to get that Glock, or you’ve got to get that Springfield XD or you’re a fool if you don’t buy that 6R P229, try it out. You might discover you love it, or you might discover you don’t like the recoil, you don’t like the caliber, the trigger just doesn’t feel right for you, or the pointability is wrong, right?
Right. Exactly. We’ve talked about that before as well.
A lot of things to think through. Make the right selection for you by trying, by testing out some different things and make sure you’re truly comfortable with it as opposed to you’re being led into that decision.
Number two. I think you’ve got that one.
Okay. Number two is the mistake of making your personal protection plan only about firearms training and not about situational awareness and conflict avoidance.
That’s a great topic.
A lot of people fall into this trap of thinking, hey this gun is almost like this magic tool that will get me out of all problems.
It’s like a talisman that can protect you, which it’s not.
Therefore, they only focus on firearms training. Really, what we’ve discovered is that one of the best ways to never get into a problem is to detect it and avoid it.
The best way to survive the violent encounter is to avoid it in the first place.
That’s very easy to say, but if someone lives their life in a conditioned way, they can become a victim even if they’re armed, right?
Exactly. We went through this in a different segment, but let’s quickly run through those four conditions because…
Sure, so we’ll talk about Cooper’s four color codes.
Exactly, yeah. Number one, condition white, which like you said before, most people live in that condition. What does condition white mean?
Condition white means you’re unaware of what’s going on around you. The truth is this is what criminals look for. They’re going to look for someone who is sending a text message on their cell phone, not paying attention to what’s going on around them or have their earbuds in listening to music and completely oblivious to their surroundings. That’s who they look for as opposed to looking for a smaller, weaker victim as opposed to a larger person that can stop them. Completely unaware. Condition yellow.
Condition yellow, of course, is the condition that we always want to be in as responsibly-armed citizens. That’s a condition of heightened awareness. It’s understanding, seeing what’s in your, I guess what we call, a 21-foot bubble, right?
Maybe bigger, maybe smaller than that, depending upon where you are. It’s simply being aware of your surroundings. It’s not paranoia. It simply means you’re aware of what’s going on around you.
As a parent I realize you suddenly get some built-in yellow when you’ve got that child and you want to know exactly where they are.
It kind of conditions you to pay attention to what’s going on around you but you’ve got to live with that whether you have kids or not, whether the kids are older or not.
It’s really like sixth sense Michael, right? It’s something that you develop and you actually stop thinking about once you get used to doing it.
Living in condition yellow is actually… I find it easier than condition white.
I make it a bit of a game. In fact, one of the things I do when I’m in condition yellow is I look for people in condition white. It’s kind of fun looking for people who are completely oblivious to their surroundings. I guess I’m kind of looking at things from a criminal’s perspective.
What’s the next condition?
Something happens. Some alerts us a little bit. We’re not positive something is wrong, but we go into condition orange. That simply means that something gets our attention. Something or someone gets our attention. Maybe it’s something out of place. It might be something as simple as burned-out lights in a parking garage. Suddenly, we realize something is not right here. We decide to make some decisions based on upon what we see.
It might be backing up and heading back to the parking garage. It might be seeing someone who causes me some concern and that causes me to turn around and go the opposite direction or maybe change the path I’m on. I add here that we’re not talking about profiling people, but the fact is you’ve got to trust your instincts. You’ve got to be able to say I don’t feel right about this situation. I’m going to head in the opposite direction.
The next, of course, is condition red. Before we get into condition red, I just want to kind of underline the fact that condition yellow, or condition orange is really a luxury…
It’s a luxury, yeah.
for people who live their lives in condition yellow because if you don’t live in condition yellow, this heightened state of awareness, what happens? You’re living in condition white. You’ll go straight to the final condition, which is condition red.
Condition red. In fact, one of the comments we have is that the point that I know when I’m under attack is when I wake up in the hospital because I’ve been hit from behind…
or shot or stabbed. I love how you described that as a luxury. If I’m in condition yellow, I get those precious seconds to decide what to do. Those precious seconds might be sweeping aside my covering garment and getting access to my firearm. It might be turning around and running as fast as I can in the opposite direction.
Getting out of… exactly.
I’d much rather look like a coward and not have any external injuries on my body.
To really underscore this, I just want to… You and I just talked for the last five minutes about these escalating levels of awareness, situational awareness. Only to the very end do we start talking about firearms and having to use them.
That’s exactly right. Condition red is action. That might mean pulling a firearm out or it might mean running the opposite direction. Going throughout these mental scenarios really helps people out as opposed to just thinking that by going to the range a lot and putting holes through paper that they’re suddenly going to be able to withstand that attacker.
In a minute we’re going to talk about the kind of training that we take, or believing that we have enough training. I think we’ll get into a deeper topic there.
Right. I guess to end number two, the number two biggest mistake, spend more time on your situational awareness and conflict avoidance.
Running mental exercises.
Thinking through, perfect.
Let’s do number three.
Yep, I’m going to jump back to some of the equip