Sikh Temple Shooting

A blog reader who is also one of the Give-A-Way winner’s sent this story.

Two quotes stood out to me…

“The gunman outflanked Murphy. Even now, it’s something Murphy regrets. He thought the gunman would come straight at him, but, instead, he wheeled around.”

I think there are things we as armed citizens can learn from these men.

“I now spend more time listening to people,” Lenda says. “After 33 years you’ve probably heard most of the stories out there, most of the excuses. Now, I’ll spend time with people. To me, minutes are more precious than before. I look at how important time is.”

Not going to offer commentary, but I do encourage you read it.

Quote Of The Day

Reading Say No To Firearms Licensing Facebook today I came across an article speaking about women and self defense. In the article the author says…

“I don’t know how to convince women to be more afraid of the criminal than the guns that will defeat criminals.”

That is it. That is the challenge isn’t it? I am not sure either, but I am going to keep trying.

Here is something to think about…with proper training one can control the gun, but without that training, without that tool, there is little chance of controlling the criminal.

I am not being trite or condescending. I am sincerely asking you to stop. Stop and think about what is said in this article.

It Takes Courage

I read about this story last night and then I watched the video. Clearly her strength and bravery are remarkable and can serve as an example to other youngsters, but I think the lessons she offers can apply to so many of us. It takes courage to live your life.

The lessons here are not new. They are the same ones we have heard time and time again. They are what we all know to be an absolute truth and yet so many of us continue to struggle. We continue to let the mean guy win.

I can’t remember if I told you this story or not, so forgive me if I have.

A few weeks ago when our family went to the pumpkin patch with friends, E was standing in line to ride a zip line ride. After a few minutes she came running over to me and said she didn’t want to go on the ride. I asked why.

E- That girl is making fun of me. She is saying I have odd things on my head(she has cochlear implants) and I am slow on the zip line.

I asked her a series of questions…Are you happy here? Are you having fun? Does your family love you? Do you have friends? Do you have a safe place to live? Yummy food?

She answers yes to all of them. I then ask her if that mean girl making fun of her changes any of that. She says no. I ask her if she thinks what that girl did was nice. She says no.

Me- Then E why on earth would you let her have power over you and stop you from doing what you like with the people who are nice to you?

E smiles, runs off and enjoys the next few hours at the park despite the mean girl’s attempt to ruin it.

How many of us let the mean guy/girl win? How many times do we not go to that shooting course because we are afraid someone will judge us? How many times do we not do this or that because we are too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too slow, too awkward…how many people don’t write a blog because their grammar isn’t perfect?

Those may not be life altering decisions, but actually I think they are. I think we allow ourselves to miss out on a lot of joy because of the mean people. And make no mistake there are people who don’t like you or me and they will make fun of you and me…who cares?

One thing I hate about elementary school is they teach the kids that everyone is nice or if they aren’t there is a good reason. Example…if little Johnny calls you a name well, he didn’t mean it and its ok and just play. That is not a good life skill. I bet little Johnny doesn’t like my kid. Maybe for a good reason, maybe because little Johnny is mean, maybe because of who knows, but it doesn’t matter. I teach my kids that other people in the world will be mean and some won’t like them, but here are two lessons…

1. Do not give them power over your life. Live your life for you not them and

2. Don’t try to get them to like you.

When I broke my ribs and got some flack from a few folks, I didn’t stop doing what I wanted, I didn’t get mad, I didn’t cry, I didn’t lose sleep or spend endless hours lamenting over it with family and friends. Arete(the dude I trained with) and I didn’t even discuss it for weeks. Neither of us cared. We knew we were not going to stop, so why be upset about someone else’s opinion? Since I write a blog that includes issues on self defense I did make one attempt to explain to those criticizing me why, but once it was clear they didn’t care, I stopped. Don’t have to like me, agree with me, or even be nice to me, I am gonna live my life anyway.

Now, I don’t think those people are bullies and most didn’t mean to be mean, but the point is when many of us are confronted with any kind of judgement we willingly hand over our power to others.

While I did not let that event impact me, I certainly have let fear of ridicule control me from time to time. I have avoided doing things because I was nervous or self conscious. Few are totally immune. What I have found though, is each time I stand up for my own life, it gets easier and easier and eventually, it doesn’t even come into my conscious thought. Little by little I naturally think less and less about others view of me and more and more about my own view of self.

The judgement doesn’t even have to be real. I have never found anyone at any shooting course I have taken to be judgmental. Most are, rightfully, too concerned with their own skills too worry if I messed something up.

So many people will say to me, I want to take that course, but I worry about this or that. I will ask, “Have you ever taken a course where the people were mean?” Always the answer is no. Again the answer doesn’t matter because I know there are asshole instructors out there and mean fellow students, but many times we hand them the power before we even know they are mean.

Letting others opinions keep us locked up in our house afraid to live our lives or worse thinking about ending it, is allowing the mean guy to win. We prepare like crazy to defeat the bad guy with every ounce of our being, but many of us are letting the mean guy control our lives and take away the joy from a life worth defending. All the little moments of doing things is what makes up the entirety of a life. Some of us like the solitude and do not need or want anyone else, that is fine, but if we let anyone keep us from being joyful and experiencing what we want for fear of judgement or ridicule or embarrassment we are allowing ourselves to be victims. We are willing being victims in our own robbery. The robbery of our souls.

Don’t just fight to stay alive, fight to live!

Sports And Safety

Yesterday I read an article about a wounded Marine who was taunted in a bar. I think you all know how I feel about Marines, all who serve and sacrifice, so of course I found this sad and reading it ticked me off.

The guy being accused appears to be a bully and as such is a bad guy. No excuse whatsoever for his behavior. My first thoughts were disgust and outrage. Still are, but while reading about the incident I came across this comment on AK47.com…

“Go into “enemy territory” with another team’s jersey on… this is what will happen. Don’t like it, wear another fucking shirt.

The people fucking with him probably had no idea… and if they did, they were probably too drunk to care.

My wife is a huge Boston Bruins fan, loves to wear her Bruins garb to games.

When we go to games, we go to games in Boston. Why? Because I don’t want to get hit with fucking beers and batteries in the stands, or get into fights in restaurants after the game.

THAT is what it’s like out there kids. Shit, I had about 30 British guys looking to beat me senseless in Amsterdam once. Why? Because I had blonde hair, and the Brits had just beaten Germany in soccer.

(That’s no joke. It was a tense scene. The only thing that saved me was my American accent. When they heard it, they knew I was an American (who knew fuck-all about “football”) and they apologized and moved on.)

Not being a “sports guy,” I have limited experience in this area. However, from what I’ve seen over the years, sports tends to have a very “Nuremberg Rally” effect on people.

This is one (of many) reasons why I do not partake.

This sad episode, is one of those things that “situational awareness” could have prevented.

Just sayin’.”

Again, 100% I think this Marine as well as anyone else has a right o wear what they want and I think it is beyond idiotic for anyone to get that worked up about a sports team, or a political leader, or anything. The bully should be held accountable and I am glad the owner of the restaurant has apologized and is trying to make amends, but reading the above comment made me think of something I hadn’t when I first read the story.

In terms of personal protection, do you think about what you where before you go certain places?

Sometime They Do Listen

I was over at Trace My Preps the other day. I am so behind on blog reading, but I am trying like crazy to make it at least once a week to the blogs I really value. There are a lot of good blogs I value, so it is a challenge, but still I try.

Anyway, Trace wrote about teaching his kids to use a chainsaw. The post was about more than learning a simple skill. It’s good, go take a peak

I thought about his article last night when M was retelling us a story about her friend. Her friend is newly licensed(no M can not ride with her) and got lost. For some reason this girl called M and not her parents. We will call her S.

We have know S for a long time and we love her. Good girl, but apparently she is lacking in some skills like reading a map and staying calm.

She calls M and explains she is lost.

M-where are you and where are you trying to get to?

S- I am at the xxx near my house just passed the yyy.

M- If you are by the xxx then you can’t be passed the yyy.

S- I don’t know. I am late, I am never going to get there, what am I going to do?

M- Let’s start with…calm down. Your in town, near your house, your fine. Listening to me I will tell you how to get there.

The sweet child was so worked up that she couldn’t even process basic commands like turn right. M told the story in hilarious detail, but I can’t do it justice. Anyway, after she was done I said, “You know what is sad? That was me about 2 years ago.”

I could read a map, but if I got myself lost(outside of my town), I would tend to panic and call my husband. He would stay on the phone with me and guide me back to a place I knew, usually a freeway. I got lost in a very bad part of DC once. I was a hysterical mess.

It is vitally important to overtly teach our kids what we think is valuable. As Trace says manners and basic right from wrong, but also first aid, cooking, paying bills, saving, and even how to use a chainsaw(by the way I can and have many times for many years).

My husband told M there was no way he would let her in a car unless she knew how to change a tire, the oil, knew what all the lights meant, and knew map skills as well as letting us know where she was going and how she planned to get there. She said, “Duh” in a sweet not snotty tone.

I love that M is finally coming around to “This is how we do things now” and has stopped fighting it. Moreover, clearly she is paying attention and her own life experiences are telling her that being prepared and thinking about things ahead of time is a good idea.

Yesterday she came home from school and I asked if I could take her vitals. She said, “umm, yeah, give me a second” I take her vitals everyday. Not because she needs monitoring, but because my EMT instructors said listen to everyone you can, everyday. So, everyday, I do. Anyway, when I first started doing the gun thing or the knife thing, M would roll her eyes and say something like “You are so strange” Now, she nonchalantly says, “Umm, sure” I kind of miss her calling me whacka, but I am loving her learning and adjusting. She is getting it! She is seeing the value and she is applying them.

I am a happy, happy mama!

Trace also has a killer salsa recipe up. Totally want to try it.

QOD…The Sexy Marine

So, My joke on FB was this…

“When I get new stuff I like to use it. I am like a 5 year old. I walk around my house with my stethoscope listening to everyones organs. So, I have my Israeli bandage and I need practice. I ask my husband if I can give him a tiny little puncture wound…you know to make it realistic. He declined. Any volunteers…anyone???”

A very nice guy who comments on my FB often(thank you for that nice guy). Said this…

“Stay strong hubby. I learned the hard way when the (ex) misses wanted to practice for her corrections job. I never knew I had so many little spots on my body that could make me cry for my mommy!”

As an aside, I have never met her, but I like his (ex) wife. Not as much as him, but still…

That leads me to the quote of the day from my man…

“I will, she has wrestled me, poked me, prodded me, shanked me, and I am just waiting for the water boarding to start. I feel like my life is SERE school. – TSM”