The Survival Chain


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1. All guns are always loaded. Anyone can  clear a firearm and unload it. The trick for this rule to be effective  is to understand our own fallibility and treat a firearm as if it is  loaded regardless of the condition that it is in.

2. Never allow the muzzle to cover anything you are unwilling to destroy
This rule applies whenever the firearm is able to fire. In the holster, in a
bag, or where ever it is, the muzzle may not cover anything. When you set
your gear up (holster, sling, etc) discipline how it is set up by this rule.

3.Keep your finger off the trigger until your 
sights are index on target and the decision 
      to shoot has been made. Still not following?
Please reread rule #1

4. Know your target and what is beyond
Constant situational awareness



Tactics are how we deploy and  operate our equipment. Tactics are how we move, how we keep our firearms  running, even in most cases, how we aim. How we use cover and how we  move. Here are some examples of tactics. The goal is to simplify all  these processes. Remember that all tactics are limited by how we deploy  our equipment with out breaking any of the universal safety rules.


  • A Holster (that fits the gun) All guns have a holster no matter where the firearm is stored (purse, hip, IWB, yada yada)
  • A gun that will do the job
  • tactical (practical) flashlight (Elzetta is my favorite!)
  • A simple first-aide kit. Add this to your list and practice with it
Photo courtesy of Leatherhead Custom Holsters


Col. Cooper's Color Codes of Awareness

Condition White:  Unaware and unprepared. If attacked while in this condition the only  available action is to react, which could mean that the damage is done.  As is stated in the military's officer's school's, and I am  paraphrasing, "it can be understandable to be defeated, but to be  surprised is unacceptable.

Condition Yellow. Say for instance that someone  enters a room we are in. We simply address this change and determine if  something need be done. A knock at the door is another way to look at  it.

Condition Orange. We immediately analyze the situation, something that  we already do, and determine what should be done. If we are driving and  we see we have a green light, we see a car approaching perpendicular to  us. It only makes good sense that we address it and determine if we must  take action to avoid a catastrophe. Same with a self-defense scenario;  if our situation changes, do we say "hello" or do we have to potentially  act to save our own lives.

Condition Red is the "flight or fight" response. Notice that I did not  add in "freeze" into this condition. Freezing is a response of surprise  and entering mentally a condition of a mental loop of analyzing the  situation. This condition can stem from a lack of proper training and  preparation. In Condition Red is we have seen that change in our  environment and we must address it, we must act, if you will. The car  approaching is obviously not stopping and we must slam on the brakes in  order to avoid a crash. Perhaps at the mall someone has followed someone  from store to store. Noticing this, and we notice this person seems  intent to make some type of contact, we feel compelled to do something.  We may simply say "hey, what do you want?" or maybe something more  compelling. In Condition Red, we begin to prepare to fight or flight.  "If this person does "this" I am going to respond in "this" matter." It  may not all be about being a fight. It may mean that we find an  authority figure, or leave the area. Not fighting is always an option if  it is still available. If it is the only recourse.


Flash-Sight Picture-  A flash-sight picture is using the body, the  "platform" as I call it, to allow the body to "aim" the firearm. Once  the firearm is presented, then a visual confirmation that the front-site  post is properly positioned on the target/threat then a firm and even  press on the trigger can be made. The trigger press does not have to be  slow, depending on the occlusion of the target, but it must be as  deliberate as the situation will allow for a perfect hit.


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