What’s your response to her?

You believe in women’s rights. You believe in a woman’s right to choose. Rape and rape culture disgusts you. Every woman should not just feel safe, but be safe – especially on campus.

What is your response to rape-survivor Shayna Lopez-Rivas?

I do have nightmares from being raped on campus. Sometimes they are so bad I wake up at three in the morning sweaty and terrified because in my mind I am being raped again. In my mind I am there: I am forced into a secluded area, forced to unzip my pants, forced to lay down as tiny cuts are made all over my body and a man I do not know rolls on a condom and forces himself on top of me. I remember how cold the asphalt felt as I distracted myself from the sting of the knife. I remember looking into his eyes and realizing there was no emotion behind them, no sympathy just sadism. And I remember thinking: this is how I’m going to die and then getting up after it was done, tears streaming down my face and neck wondering how I even survived.

Ms. Lopez-Rivas continues:

I fight for my Second Amendment rights because I believe I should never have a chance of getting raped again. I won’t deny the possibility of getting injured, but my gun gives me a chance that pepper spray, stun guns, and pocketknives never will. It prevents a knife being held at my throat and the voice of a stranger promising me he won’t kill me. And I won’t be denied the right to have that chance of surviving a potential attack rather than being assaulted again.

Sen. Diaz de la Portilla, why are you so adamant in denying me my right to protect myself and have a gun on campus? Why have you not schedule the campus carry bill for the Senate Judiciary Committee you chair? Why have you not met with me for 15 minutes since October when I began sending you and your legislative assistant weekly emails asking for an appointment?

I hope this open letter will engage opposition to campus carry. I hope everyone will understand why it’s so important that the bill be scheduled for a vote. Senator Diaz de la Portilla: Don’t let me be raped on campus again, let me arm myself, and whether you vote yes or no, at least schedule the campus carry bill for a vote.

Her complete open-letter can be found here.

So imagine she’s standing before you.

Look her in the eyes.

What’s your response to her plea?

2016-02-10 training log

Paul’s right: This will suck if you’re not used to it. :-)

Today is 2-B “Legs, Light” of the template. Indeed, it is “light”, but there’s a lot of volume and yeah… it sucks since I’m not used to it. :-)

Pause squats. These went fine. Really had a chance to dial in form. One interesting thing was with unracking the bar and some improved chest position — both angle, how much air was in there, being “big”, hard to convey it, but it was a small thing that made a big difference. Going to try to continue exploring this.

That said, I wonder if I’m too light on the pause squats. I’m using Paul’s Strong-15 squat template (as per), and using the percentages listed there. Thing is, the pauses were very light today, even for triples. Now, it could be that I’m just at the start of things, so deal with it. But also, Paul is likely setting those percentages when the pause squats are used as back-off sets after a bunch of heavier squats — so you’re going to be tired, you don’t need as much weight. Not sure, we’ll see. Likely won’t matter much.

The extensions and curls? All I can say is that yes, this is where the suck comes if you’re not used to the volume. Gah.

Lunges were done walking. Nothing much to report there.

A light day, but still a good bit of work.

In other news… I’ve been hanging in the 209-211 weight range for a little bit. Nick and I are working to firm things up now so I can enter a formal mid. I’ve been very loose with the diet the past couple months because… I needed the mental break. I have a plan and have followed it generally, but have been happy to eat a little more here, some cheese there, etc.. And even then it’s been a little bit of work to get me back to 210-ish. So time to formalize things. I’m spending this week following my existing plan strictly to see what happens. So far I’ve lost about a pound and wouldn’t be surprised if I was at 209 on Sunday — which means the strict plan needs to be upped in order for me just to mid! But that’s what we want to find out, because we need to know strictly where things lie so I can mid properly and then start the cut. I’m not totally looking forward to the cut, but I am looking forward to the results.

Long term thinking? I suspect after I do this cut I’m going to be pretty happy with my body comp (tho who knows for sure — will see when I get there). If all is good enough, I want to formally start my quest for my next goal, which is the 3-4-5 bench-squat-dead. But… first things first.

  • Pause Squats
    • 135 x 5
    • 155 x 4
    • 175 x 3
    • 190 x 3
    • 200 x 3
  • Leg Extensions
    • 60 x 30
    • 60 x 24
    • 60 x 20
    • 60 x 16
    • 60 x 14
  • Leg Curls
    • 25 x 20
    • 25 x 20
    • 25 x 20
    • 25 x 16
  • Walking Lunges
    • BW x 20 strides
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 20

KR Training 2016-02-06 – BP1/BP2 Quick Hits

It was good to get outside, away from the computer, and spend the day teaching. Truly, helping people learn and grow is a wonderful thing, and I’m fortunate to have the ability and opportunity to do so.

In this case, I was out at KR Training helping with two classes: Basic Pistol 1 in the morning, and Basic Pistol 2 in the afternoon. Karl was out volunteering as a range officer at the Scholastic Action Shooting Program match, so running the day was Tom, Greg, and myself. We had sold out classes in both cases (tho some people got sick the night before and were unable to attend), good groups overall.

For the record, once again classes did not uphold the stereotype some wish to paint of gun owners. The BP1 class was 2/3 female. Both classes ran the gamut of young to old, male and female, and had a mixture of well… everything: you pick the arbitrary criteria of gender, race, socio-economic status, education level, whatever. Sorry, but the only thing you can truly “stereotype” about gun owners is they are people interested in their freedoms and their personal safety.

Overall, both classes ran smoothly, tho we did have a couple hiccups.

Takeaways for the students:

  • The gun is just a tool, just a piece of hardware. Yes, it’s important to find on with the proper fit, but once you get in the ballpark it becomes more important to get training and practice. Again, if you have any questions or troubles finding the right one, just drop us a line and we’re happy to help you out.
  • Still, hardware is one of the cornerstones, and you can’t build a strong house with cheap, flimsy hardware. Get good supporting gear, like belts, holsters, magazine pouches, and yes… more magazines. It pays off.
  • A lot of folks came to BP2 with small guns, few magazines, and those magazines held little ammo. The more magazines you can have, the faster and smoother class can run.
    • You can buy a big supply all at once, or do like I do: every time I’m shopping at a store (brick&mortar or online) that sells magazines, just throw one in the basket. Over time, you build up your supply and it’s rarely a big hit to the budget.
    • Get an UpLULA. Speeds and facilitates the mag-loading process.
  • Dry fire costs you nothing, but pays big benefits. Practice the skills and drills we worked in class. Do this regularly and you will see improvement.

After the BP2 class, I was talking with one student and another student joined the conversation. This other student was an accomplished competition bow shooter and he reinforced a good point to the first student about measurable skill. Do you know where you stand? Do you know how you perform? If not, measure it against some standard, then continue to measure it to see where you need work and where you do not. If you can’t measure your skill, how do you know if you’re getting better?

So in this case, the BP2 class ends with shooting the Texas LTC (formerly CHL) test. There we go: there’s a measurable drill and performance standard. The students saw how well they shot it, now they have a baseline. A way to work this is to pick a drill (the LTC test is a good one for students at this level). Shoot the drill as written but without time-limits: just work to shoot the drill 100% clean without any time pressure. Once you can do that, put your shooting against a stopwatch to figure out how long it takes you to shoot it — don’t worry about limits, this is open-ended trying to determine what your limits are. Once you know how long it takes you, now you have limits. So say the published string of fire is “2 seconds” but it takes you 5 seconds. Fine: it takes you 5, now you know, and now you have something to work against. Figure out: why am I not shooting to the established standard? Am I taking too long to get the sight picture? Am I slapping the trigger? Self-analysis, video, instructor/coaching can help here. Once you know the problem, work on it in dry practice and work to beat your standard: maybe getting it done in 4 seconds, maybe 3, working down to that established standard of 2 seconds. Once you can do it in the standard, can you beat the standard? Once you can, consider moving to a tougher standard. And repeat, while skill improves in a measurable way.

As for that thing that didn’t run so smooth: we did have a student with an interesting vision situation. We did what we could to work with the student, but unfortunately the time limits and class format didn’t permit us the time needed to fully diagnose the issue. She’s coming back out in a couple weeks to work directly with Karl – we will get it sorted out. What we (the instructors) took from it is a few things we could do a little better on the range. For example, having a gun with a laser on it as a part of the BP1 “buffet”. I also remembered a trick Tom Givens taught me towards helping diagnose sight picture issues, so keeping a “red gun” (a fake, plastic gun) in the range wagon would be useful for such events (alas, I didn’t remember the trick until we instructors were discussing the situation afterwards). There’s always ways we can make things better.

All in all, the day was good. A really good group of students, everyone leaving demonstrably better than they started. I’m happy.

And Greg is just a workhorse; the man’s got a fantastic work ethic. :-)


2016-02-08 training log

Light, but painful.

Today is session 1-B, “Press Light”. The “light” days aren’t wussy days — only the weights feel that way. They are lighter weights, but many more reps. And I tell you, when you work that many reps, that little rest between sets, the cumulative fatigue is surprising. I really overestimated things today.

DB pressing… I thought I could do X, but no… not 20 reps of X. I wound up dropping weights just to ensure I could get the reps in. I figured then my incline benching needed to drop down but oh, even overestimated that and had to drop even more. Again, the weights seemed stupid light, but man, by the time I got to inclines my triceps were pretty exhausted. It was crazy.

Speaking of crazy: lateral raises. When I do these, I try to twist my hands forward, like I’m holding a pitcher and pouring the liquid out. I forgot who said to do them that way (Arnold?), but I felt that was good to do else my hands would tilt back, thumbs pointing more towards the ceiling than the floor, and that’d hit even more of my anterior delts which I’ve already been trashing: ensure the medials and posterior get some love. Well, after I finished I looked in the mirror. Holy crap! I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a trap pump that huge. It was nuts! Hooray lots of reps.

And pressdowns. I used to really love using the rope, but I find that I can get more out of using other bars. There’s just something about the rope and I don’t get as much work on the triceps as I can with other bars. Ah well, no big. Just something confirmed I guess.

It may have been a “light” day, but I’m pretty sure DOMS will hit me pretty hard later. :-)

  • Seated DB Press
    • 20e x 20
    • 25e x 20
    • 30e x 20
    • 40e x 12
    • 35e x 9
    • 25e x 13
  • Incline Bench Press
    • 115 x 6
    • 85 x 12
    • 75 x 16
    • 75 x 12
  • DB Lateral Raises
    • 8e x 20
    • 8e x 20
    • 8e x 20
    • 8e x 20
    • 8e x 20
  • Rope-Handle Pressdowns
    • 35 x 20
    • 35 x 20
    • 35 x 15
    • 35 x 15
    • 35 x 12

Sunday Metal – Metallica

Been trying Apple Music (so far enjoying it). A playlist “Best of Thrash/Speed Metal” came up, and I thought it’d make for a good Sunday Metal series.

Metallica – Master of Puppets


The news media will paint your picture

…and you probably won’t like how the news media paints your picture.

I first wrote about “LittleLebowski”‘s self-defense incident on “How We Each Draw Our Lines Differently“. In my reading of his retelling, another thing stood out to me:

How the media paints your picture.

Here’s the full text of a story from KHON:

Honolulu police have arrested a suspect in a Waikiki stabbing.

It happened on Nohonani Street at around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Sean Hogle, 39, was arrested after police say he and a 38-year-old man were involved in a fight.

The victim was stabbed multiple times and taken to the hospital in serious condition.

There is no official word yet on what the fight was about. A witness at the scene said the altercation may have started with an argument between a man and a woman.

HPD has opened an attempted murder investigation.

Hogle has not been charged at this time.

When you read that, what impression are you left with?

Probably that Sean (LittleLebowski) is the bad guy.

Now in fairness, the article is pretty straightforward; there really isn’t editorializing or commentary. But the way it’s presented? It sure makes Sean seem like the bad guy.

Another report did say:

A witness… said the suspect stepped in to break up a domestic altercation involving an assault on a female. The suspect then stabbed the 38-year-old man.

Which is another fact, and when you hear it does paint a different picture.

Why did the first news story omit that fact? It could be for a nefarious reason, or it could simply be that reporter didn’t get to speak to any witnesses and simply didn’t know.

Regardless of why, the picture is still painted.

I know from my own incident that the news media will paint a particular picture. Once that picture is painted, opinions and perceptions and understanding will be formed. It may not be correct, but it will be what it is. Unfortunately it will likely remain the primary and only picture that people will have about the incident. You may have to fight an uphill battle to combat the image.

One way to start? Live a good life and provide a proper image of yourself online. The moment a story hits, news reporters know how to work Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo, and work it they will to find whatever information they can about you. If they can use it to create a larger story, they will. You’re welcome to cultivate whatever image and reputation about yourself that you wish: it’s your life, live it as you want. Just be aware how the public could, can, and does perceive you.

The court of public opinion has potential to do far greater damage to you than any court of law ever could. Just look at how the mob rules today with “Internet shaming”. It’s wrong, but it’s unfortunately part of how things are today.

On the same token, when you read news stories, consider your own responses and reactions. Do you have the whole story? Could the media be incorrect or incomplete in their report? Can you have empathy to those involved, instead of rushing to judgment? Use this as a way to improve your own personal responses, because someday that story may be about you.

Be sure to consider the news media, their impact, and how it affects the information of your story and thus your life. It’s an important part of figuring out “where you draw your line”.

2016-02-05 training log

That was different.

This is session 3-A “Back Light” on the LRB template. And for sure, light it was, tho still some work I’m sure my lower back is going to be feeling DOMS mid-weekend. :-)

RDL’s. I had no idea what weight to use, so I just picked things. I shouldn’t have done that. Instead, I should have started at 135, concerned myself more with technique, then work the weight up from there to whatever is right. i.e. get the most out of the light weight, get the most out of the form. I went 275 and I certainly became more concerned with the weight than technique, despite trying to focus on technique all the way up. So I dropped back to 225 and tried to just be all about the form. Still, next time I’m going to start at 135 and if I stay there the whole time but get form dialed in, I’ll take that.

Rows. I forgot that last time I did these I was taking longer rest periods. I’m trying to keep things at about 1 minute between sets across the whole session. So all I need here is a little adjustment of weight.

Hypers. I hate these, but oh, they felt alright. Here’s where the DOMS is going to come from. Trying to do them focusing on the erectors: let the torso “relax/unwind” at the bottom, then focus just on contracting the erectors to come up. Sure, other muscles are still involved, and no I don’t get up as high as if I was really trying to focus on glutes/hams, but that’s ok as I’m trying to make this more a back exercise.

And curls are curls.

Anyways, so a bunch of adjusting needed, but good stuff. I’m curious to see how the heavy back day plays out, and how the whole 2-week: heavy/heavy/light light/light/heavy plays out. So far I am feeling more rested, which I’m happy with.

  • Romanian Deadlifts
    • 135 x 5
    • 185 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 275 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 225 x 5
  • Cable Rows
    • 80 x 20
    • 90 x 20
    • 100 x 15
    • 110 x 12
    • 120 x 9
  • Hyperextensions
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 10
    • BW x 10
    • BW x 10
  • DB Curls
    • 20e x 15
    • 25e x 15
    • 30e x 9

KR Training February 2016 newsletter

The KR Training 2016 February 2016 newsletter is up.

Classes are selling out quickly, so if you’ve been thinking about taking a class, time to get moving before slots are gone.

See you on the range in 2016!

AAR – KR Training’s Beyond The Basics: Rifle

On Sunday January 31, 2016 I was a student in the first KR avisaining Beyond the Basics: Rifle class taught by Aaron Marco of Sheepdog Solutions.


KR Training’s primary focus is on the handgun. For a number of years, Karl has offered his unique Defensive Long Gun class, but it’s an all-day class (which means a lot of time/resources to allocate) and over the past some years customer demand has been oriented towards handgun instruction, so the DLG class was mostly backburnered.

But, with so many people buying rifles the past few years, certainly people were coming to Karl wanting instruction on how to use this new purchase. Karl responded by offering Basic Rifle 1, which is akin to Basic Pistol 1 for a person who may have little to no prior experience to obtain a basic introduction to the concept of rifles. As well, Karl took the Defensive Long Gun class and trimmed some things to take it from a full-day class to a half-day class: Defensive Long Gun Essentials. DLG-E maintained the basic curriculum of DLG, but dropped some things such as the role-play scenarios. This class worked well to provide people with some fundamental instruction, but didn’t require a long day to do so.

Still, once people completed that, they wanted more; they wanted to continue to improve their skills. After I returned from taking Paul Howe’s Tactical Rifle Operator course back in October 2015, Karl asked me if we might be able to use learning there to create an “intermediate rifle” class. While we certainly could, I wouldn’t feel right about teaching it. As Karl and I continued discussion and who could perhaps teach such a course, I suggested Aaron Marco. Karl and Aaron got to talking, and here we are.

Aaron is certainly a proper person for such a class. Aaron is a USPSA Grandmaster-level shooter. He’s an avid 3-gun shooter. He’s also a member of a full-time Central Texas SWAT team. So consider, Aaron has knowledge of both the “gamer” side and “tactical” side of things. He can speak to both sides equally well, and he’s uniquely positioned to comment on both “gamer” and “tactical” topics, including all the back-and-forth that those exclusive to one side or the other lob about in disparaging the other side. Aaron’s got it pretty simple: if you’re a better shooter, because the fundamentals apply to either problem set, it will always help you. Granted, there are differences (and I was a good example of that; I’ll detail this later), but on the whole if you can be a better shooter, that will always be to your advantage.


It was an unusually pleasant day: mid-70’s/low-80’s in January, sunny, clear; just an excellent day to be out on the range. We had a sold out class of 10 students, with a lot of familiar faces. I attended with my friend Charles from Tactical Gun Review, and Oldest came with me as well. Aaron running the class and Karl assisting. A range of equipment, with a number of suppressors and short-barrel rifles. I believe all but one person was running an AR-patterned rifle, some set up for “fighting” some set up for competition. Two people were running irons, the rest had optics (most popular were 1-4/5/6x scopes, a few red dots).

The class was certainly set up to be a competition class (3-gun, etc.). That wasn’t my expectation going into the class, but I was fine with it. I knew whatever skills were taught would still help me become better.

We started by checking zero. This is a good thing to have done, because people were zeroed in different places, which was fine and you could keep whatever zero you preferred. Aaron was mostly ensuring people were zeroed somewhere, but also understood the zeros. Furthermore, Aaron discussed zeroing in a 3-gun context. Whereas a lot of tactical shooting might zero at 100 yards because it rarely cares about more than a 300 yard engagement, in 3-gun you may be shooting out to 600 yards, so different zeros may be needed, such as a 200 or even 300 yard zero! The game is so much about a balance of speed and accuracy, and speed is sometimes about minimizing manipulations that consume time (e.g. reloads, adjusting your scope, getting in and out of positions). In fact, much of the class had that as the undertone.

After zeroing, we ran various drills to illustrate important concepts. For example, issues of holdover. Aaron set a target and we walked back: 10 yards, 15, 25, 50, 75, 100, shooting it standing offhand each time (let me tell you, 100 yards quickly offhand is humbling), working to help manage speed vs. accuracy, how holdover changes, and so on.

We also worked in different positions such as kneeling, prone, around barricades, off low barrels, etc..  We worked on target transitions, working on being smooth with a steady cadence.

One fun drill we shot was Kyle Lamb (VTAC)’s “1/2 and 1/2 Drill)

  • 10 rounds at 20 yards in 10 seconds
  • 10 rounds at 10 yards in 5 seconds
  • 10 rounds at 5 yards in 2.5 seconds

Here’s a video from Kyle himself:

Of course, it’s a lot of fun to blow through 10 rounds in 2.5 seconds, but it’s also very challenging. On the longer distances, you have to slow down, use all that time, get acceptable hits. On the shorter distances, you have to really go but even then you can’t rush: you still have to ensure the front sight post, the dot, whatever, is still bouncing within the target area. Then we ran the drill backwards (5, 10, 20), and that’s also a tough one because

Oh, and if you watch the video and see the results? Notice how all the hits are in the lower portion of the A-zone? That’s the holdover problem, and it’s tough because on a pistol there’s holdover but it’s not much and usually we don’t worry about it. But on a rifle it’s significant, and in running a drill like the 1/2 and 1/2, your brain gets so focused on “that target spot” that it’s easy to forget to adjust. All telling learning points.

One fun part of the day was Aaron set up a competition stage on the shoothouse berm. We pulled out some .22 rifles and ran though the stage. When Aaron was critiquing my run, he pointed out how he could easily tell I was more of a “tactical shooter” than a competition shooter because of how I ran the stage: how I’d shoot OR move (instead of shooting on the move), how I’d approach doorways, etc.. Interesting observation for sure.


I appreciated the class. It was great to finally meet Aaron (we’ve know of each other for a while, even exchanged some on Facebook comment threads; but never met in person until today). He’s very easy going, very skilled and knowledgeable. I also appreciated the extra time he took with Oldest to help him with some things.

For a first class, it was generally good. I do think there’s some room for improvement in the class flow. For example, the typical mode of operation in our pistol classes that might utilize the shoothouse berm will be to break class, everyone goes over to the berm for a briefing on the exercise/drill, then everyone goes back to the main range and continues class. Since the shoothouse drill is generally a one-person operation, then we’ll have 1 person break out from the main group, run the shoothouse, then rejoin class. By doing this the rest of the class keeps going, doesn’t stand around bored, everyone gets a run through the special drill/scenario, and things just run a little smoother in terms of time and curriculum management. In this class we didn’t do that: everyone stood around and watched while each person ran the stage. Sure, that replicates how a match works ;-)  but a class doesn’t have to run that way. It’d would have been cool if perhaps the large range was set up with an array of paper targets and people worked on “with 15 yards” walking and target-transition engagements, or some other skill. Basically, keep everyone moving.

Small issue tho, and again, this was the first run of the class so of course we’re going to find room to improve.

Me personally?

The biggest thing I got was reinforcement of fundamentals. Again, I felt the CSAT course was not a beginner course, not an advanced course, but a fundamentals course; something that anyone and everyone can benefit from. I saw how the fundamentals worked, even in “competition”; it’s all the same. I also saw how when I forgot to apply the fundamentals, I stunk up the joint. It really reinforced to me that these skills are not fully engrained in me. Need more practice.

I also continue to see how rifle shooting and pistol shooting are more alike than different. Sure there are differences, but not as much as my brain wants to put into it. My brain needs to just “shut up and shoot”; it generally knows what to do.

I was happy for the class. It was just what I needed, both in terms of instruction, and just a bit of fun! A great day, excellent weather, good people, and yeah… getting to spend time with my friend Charles (we haven’t seen each other in a while) and my Oldest… hey, all good things.

Life is good.

Open Carry vs. Level of Training

Newport News police are investigating after a man reported he was pushed to the ground and had his handgun stolen late last week…. He was wearing his handgun in a holster, open carry, on his hip, Eley said.

Emphasis added.

Full story

The article continues telling about an informal survey about open carry vs. training.

Among those who responded, there was a clear trend.

A significant percentage of open carriers had no formal training at all (no, the various required concealed carry permitting classes are not training), and those who were serious students of armed self defense (most attended at least one defensive firearms class a year) almost never open carried by choice.

The more professional defensive firearms training someone had, the less likely they were to choose open carry.

So yeah… take from that what you will.

File it under “the more you know, the better decisions you can make”.

Also file it under “you don’t know what you don’t know”. But it seems the less you actually know, the more you think you know. Y’know?

As I’ve said before, I see no particular advantage to open carry (at least for myself), and I see a lot of downsides. It’s good to have the option, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Stay safe. Be smart. Get smarter (get training, get educated).