Tactical Training Specialties
Toilet paper, eh? All joking aside, and with great respect to some absolutely hysterical Facebook posts, who/where/when/how did TP become the #1 gotta-get-stockpiled-before-we-all-die item? I was glad that when this all hit, there was absolutely nothing we needed or had to run to the store in a hurry for. We did go to get some nice-to-haves like fresh vegetables which were remarkably untouched. The desparation shopping list for other folks made empty shelves like never before. We all saw the paper aisle naked. Top shelves on the big storage racks were empty. The corner fridge at Sam’s that usually has entire pallets of milk was void (although there is a milk surplus due to restaurant and school closures). The coolers for ground beef and chicken were bare. Cold, flu, and pain meds were absent and of course the sanitary wipes, hand sanitizer, bleach and…wait for it…bottled water were gone. (BTW, bottled water returned first and there is now twice as much of it in stock than before.) Now that most of us have shared this unprecedented experience, can need to take a breath, recenter ourselves and thank God for the multitude of good things we DO have. I am encouraged by the many who continue to rise to the occasion and help others. And if you want to talk about “heroes” we aren’t referring to someone who charges a machinegun nest with a bayonet. A “hero” is a person who demonstrates courage, worthy achievement, or noble qualities. There are alot of good people who are doing good things. They aren’t asking for hazard pay for doing their job. It’s still the job, just in really difficult circumstances. And I say that with absolute respect for those who aren’t getting paid or who have lost their job entirely. That’s just how we roll. No trophies necessary for showing up, but a heartfelt THANK YOU is absolutely appreciated.
Special Note: Please do check on your neighbors, and do it during daylight so they can see you approach the front door. Folks are scared and there have been home invasions and thefts of food, and in larger metro areas like Atlanta are seeing mob activities. Safety and security precautions are appropriate. Home assist services like Meals on Wheels are following up on clients who they normally see at delivery time but when no one answers the door…someone calls to check.
We ARE going to get through this difficult historical event. But let’s do so with strength and honor, courage and humility, kindness and love. It’s important to stay informed but the national news can be difficult to watch because of the negativity and fear-promoting. The current formula is 25 minutes of overdrama followed by 3-5 minutes of a “hero profile.” They still promote “if it bleeds, it leads.” What you are doing in your family, in your neighborhood, and for your church matters and is more powerful and constructive than you can imagine. Keep it up, and thank you!
Also: Take note of Dale Roberts’ exceptionally well researched and footnoted article on Second Amendment Rights During a Declared Emergency. Dale has over a dozen footnotes that allow you to read the actual sources of information rather than just a narrative of the topic or a single article. Just click on the colored text and it will take you there.
In This Issue:
- Did You Know
- Shall We Make Lemonade?
- Second Amendment Rights During a Declared Emergency
- Smallest Spark Chases Away Darkness
- The Power of Team Unity – Advance!
- National Christian Protector’s Conference 2021
- Train With Us!
- The Superbelt
- Folks We Trust – Preferred Partners
- Give us Feedback!
- Parting Shots
Did You Know…
With the current global state of affairs (did you appreciate how I did not say emergency or pandemic?) there are some simple courtesies and safeguards we can practice that can make our lives “more gooder.” While these two things certainly intersect, there is absolutely a difference between surviving and living. It’s not just about how many guns you have or the acorns you’ve got squirreled away in a hidey-hole. Consider these activities:
- Hydrate, eat well, exercise to protect your health.
- Binge watch some, but try turning off the TV and playing a card or board game.
- Be silly and cause each other to laugh (endorphin release!)
- Walk in the sunshine naked (if you live in the country like we do…)
- Have some chocolate! (The good stuff, not just checkout aisle junk)
- Actively work on relaxing and reducing your stress; individually and as a family.
- Check on your neighbors (most of y’all be doin’ great at this!)
- Be extra careful with power tools, open flames, and firearms.
- Practice a new skill such as water filtration or renew and old one
- When you sit for dinner together as a family, hold hands when you give thanks. Let your children see and hear that a direct address to God does not have to be done with flowery prose or ornate speech. God loves to hear what you have to say in your own words, and if you stumble…that’s okay too!
Shall We Make Lemonade?
by Todd Burke
Greetings everyone! No doubt about it, this is a different and unprecedented time for absolutely everyone on Earth. A completely new experience and we are ploughing new ground. No matter who you are, where you were when this started, and where you are now…we are in it together. This is a marathon and not a sprint, and we need to pace ourselves. If you see someone struggling, slow down and help them find their pace. The difference in this particular marathon is that we win by crossing the finish line together. There is no doubt that to achieve the best possible outcome, we are stronger together than we are apart.
My experiences and Joan’s are limited to disasters on a single continent. Our first was the Great Flood of 1993 that repeated to a lesser extent in 1995. As a lieutenant on the fire department I led a daily average of 1,582 volunteers just in the historic little town of Rocheport for two weeks working 12+ hour shifts. I was even given my own police force of 24 Army MP’s from a unit headquartered in Kansas City. (The only real police action that was necessary was to stop tourists with cameras who got on the busses in Columbia that were intended for relief workers coming out to help.) Since the Missouri River runs the entire western boundary of Boone County, our community was seriously challenged like many across the country to the north and south of us. The water got so high that it was striking the bridge abutments and splashing onto the driving lane of westbound I-70. Look and reference that the next time you cross the bridge! I look back at the incredible resources and logistics we put in place to stabilize and recover from that disaster, but it was all driven by incredible people and many leaders who were up to the task. Thousands of incredible people who were willing to do what it took while remaining connected to humanity and the needs of other humans. We craved personal contact if for no other reason than to talk it out, have a beer, and look into each other’s’ eyes just to know we were OK. We were able to fulfill that craving as we took care of each other.
Fast forward not quite ten years to September 11, 2001. Each of us remembers where we were at 0745 CST, a beautiful, clear Tuesday morning in Columbia, MO as well as in NYC. American Airlines flight 11 was crashed into the north tower, and Joan called to me saying, “Todd, you need to come here and see this.” Eighteen minutes later, at 0803 CST, while watching the television and holding my 3-year old daughter Farley, United Airlines flight 175 was crashed into the south tower. Gasping at seeing this happen, I said to Joan, “The world as we know it just changed forever.” At 0837 American Airlines flight 77 was crashed into the front of the Pentagon. At 0907 the fourth and final aircraft, United Airlines flight 93, was crashed into a field in Somerset County Pennsylvania after passengers and crew members mounted an offensive to retake the plane. One of those passengers, Todd Beamer, immortalized their actions with his words, “Let’s roll!” What I remember most about the aftermath of this unbelievable incident that cost thousands of lives and, to this day, continues to claim the lives of responders with respiratory illnesses and cancers, is how quiet our culture became. I remember less “noise” and arguing in the form of inconsequential BS and trivial things, and more of a focus on human kindness and simply being close to other people as we lifted each other up. I witnessed a resurgence of courtesy, simple manners, and a consideration for others. Once again we craved personal contact and we fulfilled that craving in taking care of each other.
Today we are fighting a war of a different kind and against a new enemy. There is not a vaccine yet, but there will be, and probably more quickly than many of us expect. We have seen this kind of enemy before just not to this extent. We have intelligence and information for how to conduct the battle, but it is important to listen to our leaders and experts and not go crazy with MISinformation ffrom the internet, Facebook, etc. (Example: The hair dryer and spray bottle video for how to kill the virus by pointing the nozzle at your face and inhaling hot air.) This battle may require different tactics and techniques, but each of us must assess and focus inwardly on our personal, family, and community responsibilities. We must assess and understand what we need to do as well as what we need NOT to do. One of the unique difficulties in this battle requires that we need to physically distance ourselves from each other. Travel restrictions, quarantines and isolations are difficult and add an emotional and psychological component to this war. Employment suspensions and losses increase the burden. My family feels this pain too. Folks, the world as we know it has changed forever…again! That does not mean that it is “over” and I sure hope you don’t opt-out.
On December 7th, 1941 Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” On December 8th, America said, “Let’s roll!” This resolve may seem harder to draw upon since this current enemy does not have a face or geographic center. But our country, and the world, continues to rally. As we did in WWII, industry has pivoted in response. Automobile manufacturers are making ventilators, distilleries are making hand sanitizer, textile plants are making filter masks. Industry, small business, and individuals are doing kind and amazing things in consideration of others. Sure, there are some dumbasses who have tried to profiteer their 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, but that is the exception.
My parents and Joan’s parents have gone Home. I am confident that my mom, dad, and brother Tim, are saving me a seat in Heaven’s Ultimate Irish Pub where I hope to join them when I finally atone to my Maker. Both Joan’s and my father were Army veterans. My father Patrick Burke was a sergeant in the First Armored Division (Old Ironsides) during The Korean War and Joan’s father Chet Williamson was an infantryman who liberated the concentration camps in World War II. They played a part in fighting an enemy during war on a global scale. We can learn much from looking back and emulating their attitudes, behaviors, and personal disciplines as examples to follow. Most of us have never stood in a breadline, traded ration coupons, conserved or recycled materials because our lives and the lives of our countrymen depended upon it. We have not done without because of a supply problem. And our Governor said recently during a daily briefing, the bare shelves in the stores is not a supply problem, it is a demand issue! No matter how much “stuff” people have squirreled away in their bunkers, we have to learn a different way of doing things and realize we may not be able to run to the store and get everything we want (not necessarily need) at a moment’s notice. America produces food (grain and meat) and oil. That’s mostly it. Right now, we can’t even put cars together unless the parts come from out of the country. Everything else is made in China; we’ve known this for years. (A bit of hyperbole, but not by much.) Our collective values and beliefs are much different than 50 years ago when we were more together in mind and spirit. Our country today is divided in half and millions seem to entertain the possibility that it’s time to bring socialism or communism into our way of life or even let it lead the country. And our government is full of haters, not leaders. OK, as Dale says, <Soapbox Off>
Listen, we can do this! When it comes to crisis of any kind, Americans have stood up, stepped up, and pushed forward since the inception of our country. (Insert your favorite scene from your favorite action or disaster movie here.) But this is not a movie, it’s the real deal. Don’t despair because you were not a “prepper” yesterday ’cause we’re all preppers now. And this is not the time to watch The Andromeda Strain, The Road, Children of Men, or I Am Legend as a reference for what to do, how to live, or what will happen tomorrow. I can recommend Disney+ as an excellent value and there is a TON of good stuff there. Sharpening your tactical skillset is always a good idea and hey, I know a guy! May I suggest a couple of video links to review because…well, they apply here and they make ME smile:
“Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO! and it ain’t over yet!”
Click here to enjoy Animal House clip.
We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi, we’re not Spartans, we’re Americans. Do you know that that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world! We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog…we’re mutts! But there’s no animal who’s more faithful, more loyal, more loveable than the mutt…We’re mutants, there’s something wrong with us, something very, very WRONG with us…we’re soldiers, but we’re American soldiers. We’ve been kickin’ ass for 200 years…all we have to do is be the great American fighting soldier that is inside each one of us. Now…do what I do and say what I say…and make me proud!
Click here to enjoy clip from Stripes.
Friends, the world as we know it has once again changed forever but that in and of itself is not a bad thing. What it will look like on the other side will depend upon our mindset and beliefs, how we take care of ourselves, and how we treat others. It’s never about the incident, it’s about how we respond to the incident. I hope we will learn and respond well from the many things we have identified as problems. And make up your mind to lead, follow, or get out of the way!
So, if it is lemons we have been served, what do you say about some Lemonade. I’ve got a bag of sugar and I will share! Hey guys…let’s roll!
Second Amendment Rights During a Declared Emergency
by Dale Roberts
We all know better than to believe everything we read on the internet. (If you are reading this newsletter on the internet, disregard that last statement!) Seriously, there is so much misleading and inaccurate information on the web that an intelligent person must really search to find a reliable source. I have seen web pages claim to be ‘THE’ source of Second Amendment law yet they publish information that is glaringly wrong. At the end of this column I will list a couple of sources that I have found trustworthy. (Editor’s Note: Click on red font to be taken to source documents.)
So, why should you trust me? You shouldn’t! You should not trust me or anyone else unless whatever you are being told is backed by references to the source. As we lawyers say “cite your authority.” This is something I admired about Todd the first time I sat in on one of his classes. Todd cites the statutes that support what he teaches. Hopefully, you have noticed that I provide footnotes with citations to the law that supports what I’m telling you as well. When someone tells you “You can legally…(fill in the blank.)” You should respond “I’m from Missouri, Show Me!” Show me where the law says that. Insist on proof or dismiss the claim.
So, do we retain our Second Amendment rights, here in Missouri, during a declared state of emergency? An acquaintance of mine recently wrote “If you had told Americans a month ago that they were 30 days away from it being against the law to eat in a restaurant, go to their gym, go to a movie, or worship in their church, people would have assumed you were crazy!” What was unthinkable just 30 days ago is, at least temporarily, our new normal.
On March 27th, Governor Parson signed an executive order mobilizing the Missouri National Guard to help with the state’s response to COVID-19. On March 26th, President Trump approved Governor Parson’s request for a federal major disaster declaration for the state of Missouri.
Nationally, the news is filled with reports of government entities using the pandemic to close gun stores and stop issuing permits:
- L.A. sheriff orders all gun stores closed amid coronavirus shutdown.
- San Jose orders gun store to close.
- Gun-rights coalition sues New Jersey governor for closing gun dealers during coronavirus pandemic.
- Castro Valley Gun Shop Owner Claims Store, Ordered Shut, Is ‘Essential Business.’
- Philly Gun Store Sales “Booming,” But City Says the Shops Must Shut Down.
- New Orleans mayor signs emergency orders that can restrict sale, transportation of firearms and alcohol.
- Philadelphia Police, Other Pennsylvania Counties Stop Issuing Concealed Carry Permits.
Meanwhile, other authorities have attempted to close gun stores and suspend the issuance of CCW permits but have been convinced, perhaps by the threat of litigation, to reverse their own decisions.
- Pennsylvania Governor Wolf decided gun shops were “non-essential” businesses in his emergency declaration. But later, ‘Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Backs Off Gun Store Shut Down Order.’
- Delaware Backs Down, Allows Firearms, Ammo Sales, S.A.F. Confirms.
Things may seem crazy in Missouri right now but they aren’t nearly as bad as in those other locations. Missouri is blessed (and it is a blessing) with a super-majority of legislators, past and current, who believe in and support our Constitutional Rights, especially those enumerated in The Bill of Rights, and certainly the Second Amendment.
Protecting the rights of Missouri’s citizens is one area where Missouri has been quick to learn from the mistakes made in other jurisdictions. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, New Orleans Police Superintendent Compass made clear, “No one will be able to be armed,” and, “Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.” After the emergency passed, Police department spokesman Bob Young said it has stored (only) 552 guns that were confiscated. However, after being sued in federal court, New Orleans police made about 700 firearms available for owners to claim if they could present a bill of sale or an affidavit with the weapon’s serial number.
Think about that. Citizens were required to abandon their homes, 80% of the city was literally under water and damage to homes was widespread and catastrophic. Firearms were seized from law abiding citizens and two years later the only way a citizen could reclaim a firearm was to meet a rather burdensome demand from the New Orleans Police. Few people could present proof of ownership. Do you have receipts that show the serial number of your firearms and is that proof stored in an indestructible and floodproof location?
Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about that. Upon seeing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Senator Kevin Engler (R-3, Farmington) filed Senate Bill 257. The bill language was short and to the point: The state, any political subdivision, or any person shall not prohibit or restrict the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transportation, storage, display, or use of firearms or ammunition during an emergency.
Senator Bray (D-24, St. Louis) repeatedly tried to amend the bill with gun control provisions. Her attempts to do so were each voted down by a sizable majority and the bill passed exactly as filed. It was signed into law on April 16th, 2007, by Governor Matt Blunt. In other words, Missouri statute prohibits any Missouri official from taking your firearms or ammunition during an emergency. This is the statute in its entirety.
Title V MILITARY AFFAIRS AND POLICE: Chapter 44 Civil Defense: 44.101. Firearms and ammunition, state of emergency, no restrictions permitted. — The state, any political subdivision, or any person shall not prohibit or restrict the lawful possession, transfer, sale, transportation, storage, display, or use of firearms or ammunition during an emergency.
Once Missouri’s Governor declares a state of emergency, the Governor enjoys broad powers over transportation, fuel, housing facilities, hospitals, food and other public safety issues. Nevertheless, it does not matter whether you are ‘sheltered in place’ or you are in the process of evacuating, neither the Governor nor any Missouri law enforcement officer or municipal official may lawfully interfere with your right to keep and bear arms.
But what about Federal law? If the state cannot take your firearms during a declared disaster will the feds do it instead? Again, the short answer is ‘No!’ The Federal law is much wordier but it does protect your Second Amendment rights during a declared disaster. That law prohibits confiscation of firearms by any federal employee or member of the Armed Forces while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency. [42 U.S. Code § 542 U.S. 207. Firearms policies]
The Federal law specifically prohibits,
- The seizure of, any (legally possessed) firearm unless it is seized in the investigation of a crime,
- The registration of any firearm unless registration is already required by law,
- Enacting any provision that would prohibit possession of a firearm, in any place where such possession is not already prohibited.
The law does allow anyone whose firearm rights have been violated to seek relief in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper court proceeding as well as allowing an individual to bring an action for return of a firearm in the United States district court. Perhaps importantly, the law also allows you to recover your attorney fees!
The law does allow law enforcement to temporarily take your firearm while you are being transported by the feds as long as they give it back to you as soon as you get off the vehicle.
In closing, I must remind everyone these rights could be drastically limited, or possibly removed, by some future group of legislators. All it would take is an election that changes the balance. Pro gun-control legislators from Kansas City, St. Louis, and a few other areas of Missouri continue to file bills to remove your Second Amendment rights. We must continue to financially support and reliably vote for legislators who fight for our rights.
My state Representative is Sara Walsh and my state Senator is Caleb Rowden. They support my rights and I support them. But they couldn’t be effective if they were in the minority. So, I also volunteer to help, and give money to, other PRO Second Amendment legislators such as State Representative Chuck Basye and State Senator Eric Burlison. It’s in our interest to ensure the majority of legislators reflect our views. Sending $50 to a few extra candidates won’t bankrupt me but it will help protect my rights.
Oh, I said I’d share some reliable sources of information:
- GUN FACTS (not Gun Myths):
- Second Amendment Foundation – Legal Cases
- Crime Prevention Research Center: Dr. John Lott
- Where Can You Carry?
Prepared by Dale H. Roberts, J.D. Not offered as legal advice, you should consult your own lawyer before taking any questionable action.
Stay Safe, Dale Reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s Note: Once again, this article is the result of a significant amount of time and effort on Dale’s part. Thank you Dale! Freedom isn’t free! Stay informed! Communicate with your legislators and here is the link if you do not know who yours is https://www.mo.gov/government/elected-officials/.
The Smallest Spark Chases Away Darkness
by Matt Sapp
My Name is Matt Sapp. I grew up in a large family (7 kids) with hard-working parents who believed in being self-sufficient. My father would say, “The good Lord filled your toolbox, but it’s up to YOU to learn how to use them” and “ If you want something, WORK for it and earn it.” I am married to the love of my life and we just celebrated our 35th anniversary. At age 15 I pointed her out to my best friend and said, “That’s the girl I’m going to marry.” 8 years later I did! My wife recently retired after teaching public school for 33 years. We have two sons we are quite proud of ages 29 and 27.
I started my adult working career as an offshore oil field worker on an exploratory vessel for Global Marine Drilling Company. After getting married I earned my Associate’s Degree with the Kansas City MO Police department as a Patrol Officer. I then worked as a Tactical Response Unit Officer; 270 Squad and 670 Squad. I had many assignments with Federal Units and Task Forces; FBI, DEA, Secret Service and US Marshals. An injury and surgery diminished my physical abilities to continue as a Tactical Unit Officer, and I moved on to work for the Associated Press in their Global Satellite Network and Communications Department. Working through many different assignments and titles I ended up as the Senior Operations Manager. I then became a small business owner and am now semi-retired; not sure what I want to do next.
I have been a member of Rock Brook Church for the last 18 years and have watched it grow from meeting in a hotel ballroom to having 5 services every weekend to accommodate our members. My wife and I have hosted a small group bible study for several years and we have been involved members.
I recently was asked if I would consider serving on our Church Safety/First Responders Team since I had a Law Enforcement background. I agreed to serve. After joining the team, I was asked if I would consider getting a CCW permit to be armed during Church duty. I own weapons and would still shoot with some regularity; I just did not carry one anymore. That surprises many people who know me and some of my history since I am openly a firm believer in the Second Amendment rights of American citizens.
As a tactical officer I trained regularly with my assigned weapons in the use, care and protection of them. After leaving law enforcement, I was not committed to training any longer and decided if I was not committed to train, I should not carry. Trust me, it was hard being that honest with myself.
Carrying a firearm is a double-edged sword; on one edge you have a tool to protect your family, yourself or others if the situation arises. Carrying a concealed weapon can also offer a sense of security when knowing you have trained and are proficient in its use. The other edge is the burden you accept by carrying. Now you must also be able to protect and be responsible for the handgun you carry; not only from being disarmed by a wrongdoer but all the little “what ifs” of keeping the handgun safe on your person. I thought of all these things and decided to commit to regular training before I said I would get my CCW permit and carry at church.
My Church had found a way to use my SHAPE (E=experience) and sent me to the Strategos 4-day Tactical Applications of the Pistol course. Todd Burke was the lead instructor, I listened as he described what the course was about and the philosophy on gun safety and training.
I was sold …..he was open and honest about his beliefs and methods, they were common sense and real-world. The structure of the training was building-block style with the foundation holding up what followed. As the course progressed I began to see a few people become a little discouraged with their performance. Yet the building blocks continued with exercises and drills, gentle pressure and encouragement. Those same people were now showing skill and confidence. Toward the end of the week, we were doing some drills that required partnership and working together with another student. We had a large class and had to split into 2 relays on the range so I was able to watch the second relay work. Near the end of those drills, I noticed them working and moving together as a group. For me, it was like watching a graceful choreography.
After completing the course I reflected on the training, and even though I had had some previous specialized training, I marveled at how well thought out this training was and how well it equated to real-world scenarios. I must say I have a deep respect for Todd Burke and his crew, they are committed and passionate about training.
I will offer you this: be honest with yourself if you choose to carry. You MUST commit to continue to train! It does not always have to be range time. Use a prop gun, practice your movements, visualize what you will do in your mind’s eye. All these things are valuable training too. We know evil walks this earth with the intent to terrorize people of peace. If you have made the choice to be the person who will stand between evil and peaceful people, commit and be prepared.
One of my favorite quotes says, “Even the smallest spark chases away the darkness.” I encourage you to be a well-prepared spark.
Editor’s note: Compliments and kind words are always refreshing and fun to share. But look at the important points that an armed professional with many years of experience at high levels points out. Matt says to be honest with yourself, commit to train, vary your training, be prepared! As my brother coach Cody says, you don’t have to be a super-secret-squirrel-ultra-tactical-ninja to get the job done. Keep the faith and the fire and treat what you are doing as a professional endeavor. Yes, unpaid volunteers this applies equally to you! Professionalism is defined by the quality of your actions and the integrity of your intent…not your paygrade! What did we learn from Jack Wilson on December 29, 2019 at the West Freeway Baptist Church in White Settlement, Texas? We know what the “final exam” looks like. How you prepare for it is up to you. Thanks Matt Sapp! If you would like to correspond with Matt you can contact him at email@example.com.
The Power of Team Unity: Advance!
By Mike Martin
Dear Reader: the priority is “you”. “You” means [you], your family and your loved ones. I hope that at the time of your reading this, “you” are well, healthy and experiencing a peace in your heart that surpasses understanding. That in the midst of a time when storm winds are blowing, you have an anchor holding you steady and allowing you to press forward.
We continue to see restrictions to life-styles due to the Coronavirus in our nation and in our world. Good, sound recommendations by leaders in the health community to socially distance and stay inside are being communicated in order to help stop the spread of this virus. I believe in these measures and support them, and my family and I are abiding by them, in an attempt to protect others and ourselves.
Unfortunately, sometimes, when restrictions are placed on people, we are inclined to become afraid, withdraw and isolate. Fear of the unknown imposes itself in the minds of people. It breads additional fear which leads to further disconnection by people from others. This can be detrimental and leads to gridlock. Uncontrolled fear cripples people, causes panic and can counter all the positive characteristics in people that were in place from good leadership and a part of being a part of a team.
Think about it. When we are used to being a part of a team, regularly seeing those we are partnered with, committed to a common goal with and those we are sacrificing for and all of a sudden that changes in a specific moment. Normalcy is gone – change occurs.
Change can paralyze people. If we are not able to thrive in a time of change, we are set up troubling times personally and professionally. Withdrawing and isolating cause disconnection. Studies in the medical field have shown isolating from others and withdrawing from regular interaction with society and others yield significant adverse effects on the human mind and body.
Now more than ever, this is a time to move forward, advance and inspire others to do the same. In a sense, empowering everyone to fight back against an enemy we cannot see. This is what leaders do! We must adopt, display and bring to life a “Can Do” mindset in others. The only way to overcome any adversity in life is “together”. To withdraw and isolate is the polar opposite of “together” so you can imagine what the outcome of doing so will be.
There is a difference between “Thriving” and “Surviving”. In every situation in life, we must do one or the other! If one’s focus is solely to survive, you will disengage, step back from the team you are a part of and try to go it alone; self-preserve and try to remove oneself from the threat at hand. In the military these are people that continually fallback from engagement in battle. They leave their fellow brothers and sisters to fight the enemy on their own, thinking if they gradually pull back to a perceived safe-zone, they will have a strong chance of surviving. The truth is, those people often become the victim of a skilled sniper appointed by the enemy to be on the lookout for just those individuals.
Yet, to thrive means staying in the heat of the battle, fighting for and sacrificing for our brothers and sisters against the enemy. We stand firm, inspire each other and help each other advance against the enemy. So, while caring for ourselves and our loved ones in the ways that we have all been encouraged to do, if we can change everyone’s mindset to “thriving” during this difficult time, we can drive back an enemy we all face. We have heard our nations military leaders advising we are “At War” with this and just like in war, it is often difficult to see the enemy yet we take the fight to them. The same is true with the Coronavirus in that we are in a war with an enemy we cannot see. The only way we will beat this is to inspire everyone to thrive, to attack back and keep on fighting for each other. That is, keeping everyone engaged with each other, bringing hope to those bound by chains of fear and inspiring everyone that we need each other, now more than ever.
This unseen enemy we face can be defeated. We all can and will THRIVE in the midst of this. Let us be the ones to champion a Can Do mindset in others and encourage them to do the same. President Ronald Reagan had a great quote that is so applicable to a time like we face right now: “Evil is powerless if the Good are unafraid”. This is good leadership ladies and gentlemen. To stand in the face of an evil enemy and care for others, inspire others and help others believe “they can”. Keep Leading! Keep Empowering! Keep prioritizing others as you care for yourself and loved ones. We CAN and we WILL do this!
Editor’s Note: Pictured third from the left, Mike Martin lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his beautiful family seen here. Mike serves as the Athletics Chaplain for the University of Nebraska – Omaha, he is a member and the former director of a security team and the life safety ministry for a large church in the Omaha metropolitan area, and he is a devoted husband, father, and friend. A true warrior in his own right, Mike epitomizes the concept of being humble and meek. Having known Mike for almost ten years, I can tell you that there is no better man to have in your corner when times are difficult or uncertain. If you wish to communicate with Mike, or inquire about his newsletter “The Power of Team Unity” he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article he shared with us is his 67th edition.
National Christian Protector’s Conference – Rescheduled
March 25-27, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri
The second annual National Christian Protectors Conference is dedicated to equipping and inspiring protectors to live a courageous faith. This conference will be packed with many tactical training sessions, world-class keynote speakers and nightly worship. Sessions include Church Security, Compliance and Control, Low Light Firearms Applications, Child Protection, Ministry to First Responders, Lockdown Procedures, Crisis Casualty Care, Pastoral Protection, Tactics and Firearms Handling, and more! For more information and to register for only $99.
Click here for website. Lower rates are available for “early birdies” and groups of 4 or more! I look forward to seeing you there!
Train With Us!
CCW1: Carrying a Concealable Firearm
February 15 or April 11, 2020, 0730-1600, $100
This 8-hour program which will qualify you to obtain your permit for carrying a concealed firearm according to Missouri State Statute. This is also an excellent class for those wanting to learn or refresh firearms safety and basic marksmanship skills. Our coaches are credentialed operators and instructors with significant experience and we enjoy helping others learn. Our course is approved by the Missouri Department of Public Safety – Police Officer Standards and Training.
Practical Pisol Skills – Indoor Course!
To Be Announced (Fall 2020 or Winter 2021)
This class is 1⁄2 day requiring no ammunition. It is cost-effective and completely skill-oriented! We focus on motor skills, how to make your equipment work, and how to move in a crowd with your pistol in hand. We will show you practical applications, use scenario and case study examples that have actually happened. You will practice threat assessment and awareness skills so you can make tactically correct decisions while under duress and in a compressed time frame. Participants should be in good cardiovascular health and capable of moderate physical activity, mostly walking. We will provide you with a study guide and after-action summary for practicing and training at home.
CCW2: Principles of Personal Defense
Saturday, May 2nd, 0800-1600, $175
This dynamic and skill-oriented class addresses the realities of combat and the skills necessary to effectively fight and defend yourself with a firearm. We use a building-block approach to ensure that participants learn safe, proven, and tactically sound methods of handling and manipulating their firearm, and they are comfortable with how their firearm operates. We ensure that this occurs through repetitive drilling with constant positive and constructive feedback.
Tactical Rifle Camp 2020
Friday & Saturday, November 6 & 7, 0800-1600, $350
This two‐day camp will help you build skills, tactics, and the ability to communicate and problem solve under duress. This is not a beginner’s course. You should be able to safely manage your equipment in a controlled manner while on the firing line with others and you must have a conscientious command of safety skills. This training involves moderate physical activity so participants should be in good cardiovascular health. Drills include walking forward, backward, and laterally with a firearm indexed in the “up” position for short periods of time. Participants with orthopedic issues will not be required to kneel. Operators will benefit from our excellent coach‐to‐student ratio and a wide array of skills, drills and scenarios geared for real‐world.
The Superbelt – Now Sold Internationally!
I have been wearing a Superbelt, made right here in Mid-Missouri, for about 3 years. I use if for both IWB and OWB carry and I have been very happy with it’s performance and wear. It has several characteristics that uniquely qualify it as the perfect stabilizing platform for mounting a holstered pistol upon. A couple of my friends who are U.S. Secret Service agents are currently wearing this belt on protection assignments. Ellis Benus is the owner/operator of The Superbelt and he has made a short video explaining exactly what the Superbelt is, options you can choose, and why you should have one – it’s a fun watch! You may also take advantage of a 10% product discount if you enter the coupon code “tacspec” at checkout. Good stuff! Watch Superbelt video here!
Folks We Trust and Do Business With…and You Should Too!
ADVERTISING – THIS IS HOW WE ROLL…Many have asked how much it costs to advertise in The Shooting Times. The answer is ZERO. I don’t currently accept paid advertising. The folks you see in our newsletter are people I know and trust and do business with myself. They share the good word about me and I do the same for them. Same kind of barter thing that helped get our country going. Still works today. So when you see an ad, a business card, or a referral in The Shooting Times, they didn’t pay for it…they earned it! Thanks everyone!
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