If one wants to be an owner of firearms for self defense, whether just at home or also carrying while out and about, there is a moral responsibility charged to you from within the firearms community to get training and continue to practice. It is not enough to know where the safety is; understanding how your chosen tool mechanically functions, and things you can do to make you a better owner are critical. For example: carrying a spare magazine. It is there to serve as a source of ammunition should your first magazine fail or you find yourself the target of multiple assailants. On sights: if you can’t see them clearly, speak to a certified firearms instructor or do some google research. XS Big Dot would be a foot set in that instance, but for most of us, 2 or 3 dot sights will be fine.
Day or night sights? I prefer night sights but know this: if you can’t clearly identify your target, don’t shoot.

On firearm mods: again, consult with some instructors and do some google research to see what others are doing. Be cautioned: you should run at least a few hundred rounds through before you decide to change anything. The problem, like a stiff or heavy trigger, may work itself out during the break in process.

Mods I recommend:

1. Sights-if you don’t like the factory sights, find another set

2. Grips-if the gun slips out of your hand or is uncomfortable, find a set of grips that work or apply grip tape (most polymer pistols don’t have removable grips)

3. Action enhancement package-a smoothing of the “action”.  Includes trigger, trigger bar, hammer, and sear (hammer and sear if hammer fired)

4. Extra magazines and extra magazine springs-Magazine bodies and followers generally don’t wear out that often, but the springs sure as heck do.  Have extra springs for your magazines, they are much cheaper than you buying another magazine.

5. Extra parts for your firearm-extra springs, guiderod, bushing (1911 style pistols), action parts

My personal favorite is the Beretta 92FS.  After spending a butt load of time and thousands of rounds on one in the Corps (technically an M9, barely different) I decided to buy one.  A quick list of the things around it, from the top right running clockwise are: add-on SGS-type Compensator, Surefire rail adapter, Surefire X200 Flashlight, and a spare 9mm magazine.  I’ve got about 15 magazines somewhere in my house, only 4 are loaded with 9mm ammo right now.  The rail adapter clamps on to the trigger guard and the light clamps on to that, so you have a flashlight on your pistol.  Useful at night INSIDE your house.  Don’t go outside your house after someone, and don’t use this like a “flashlight” inside your house or you might find yourself pointing a pistol at a loved one just to make sure they’re a loved one.


So in summary: be a responsible owner by getting training, keep practicing, modify your firearm for your needs.  If you need mental health help, go get some.

Live Your Life

If you’ve never seen the movie “Act of Valor” you’re missing out.  Well, maybe.  My wife would say that the dialogue in the beginning is obviously scripted, forced, and sounds unnatural.  I agree, but they’re SEALs, and they sound just like Marines trying to act: shitty.  After the “shit gets real” everything clicks, and acting and dialogue sound like the should, which is what they’d sound like in reality.

Anyways, at the very end, after a character dies, a letter to the dead character’s son is narrated by one of the members of the SEAL Team.  The original poem by Tecumseh is a bit longer; and while all of the bits are important, I believe AoV made a very powerful bit of inspiration with its excerpt, listed below.  I think this, combined with “Invictus” are the two most powerful sources of written inspiration I’ve had the privilege to read.

“Live Your Life” excerpts

So live your life that the fear of death never enters your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.  When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.


“I am the Master of my fate; I am the Captain of my soul.”