When it comes to personal defense, we have learned to take the attitude of a student first because there are always people who know more than we do. Even though we sometimes call ourselves “instructor” or “trainer”, we are always looking for ways to improve our shooting, our teaching and our overall knowledge of concealed carry and personal defense. Almost everyone we’ve met in the industry is eager to help anyone learn, but most have also retained this sense of open-mindedness and a willingness to be a student. Personal defense is a life-long journey so we thought we would share some of our favorite places to soak up valuable information – besides AthenasArmory.com of course!
HandgunLaw.US – This is the most up-to-date and easy to understand website covering all the different states’ concealed carry and firearms laws. Check here a couple times a year or if you’ll be traveling to make sure you know what you’re getting into when you carry.
Rangemaster Newsletter – This monthly newsletter is short and sweet and is built upon Tom Given’s decades of real-world experience and his affinity for gun and crime statistics.
ACLDN Network Journal – The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network is one of the premier providers of assistance for those involved in defensive firearm incidents. The board members have decades of first-hand experience and a vast network of associates within the industry. In short, the network has their finger on the pulse of the industry and long-time instructor and industry author Ms. Gila Hayes delivers a broad spectrum of valuable advice via the monthly Journal.
Law of Self-Defense Blog/Podcast – Andrew Branca’s book The Law of Self-Defense is the premier book on the legal justifications for self-defense with a firearm (you have read it, right?). He keeps everyone up to date on current legal rulings and court cases in this fantastic and detailed blog and podcast page.
Ballistic Radio – I will admit I am a newcomer to podcasts, mainly because I don’t have a lot of dedicated time to listen intently. However, if you have a long commute, can listen at work, or spend a lot of time with headphones at the gym, this is one to check out. John and Melody find a way to balance the seriousness of the subject with a lot of humor and sarcasm. The interviews are really good, but I especially like the Facebook Q & A shows where they get to talk about real issues that people struggle with on a daily basis.
American Warrior Show – Here is another podcast to check out. This one is from Mike Seeklander, a top instructor and competitive shooter and former Marine, law enforcement and Federal Air Marshal. Mr. Seeklander is one of those guys who has done a little bit of everything at a very high level. His show covers a lot of ground surrounding personal defense and competitive shooting including a lot of the mental and physical fitness aspects of becoming a “warrior”.
Pistol Forum – This one is for those of you who like to mine for gold in forums and probably not the best for those who new to forum format/usage or to pistol shooting n general. If you’re looking for something specific, chances are there is an answer here. Many top instructors and competitors frequent this site to discuss every aspect of pistol shooting. The knowledge level is super high and opinions are like, uh, elbows…yea that’s it.
Active Response Training – This is one of those websites that I can get lost in for hours, trying to catch up on everything that I’ve missed since my last visit. Greg Ellifritz is a top law enforcement and civilian trainer and provides logical and straight to-the-point analysis and links to other current event articles and information sources from around the web. Due to his background, some of his articles have a slight bend toward law enforcement, but there is plenty for us civilians as well. Pick any “Weekend Knowledge Dump” and you’re guaranteed to learn something useful.
Limatunes’ Range Diary – One of the original firearm blogs for women by a woman, Melody Lauer (aka Limatunes) provides data driven analysis on a variety of concealed carry and self-defense topics, especially as it relates to women/mothers. Her Contextual Handgun: The Armed Parent/Guardian class (co-taught with John Johnston from Ballistic Radio) was a great experience for me and is recommended training for any parent who is serious about protecting their little ones.
The last two offer both digital and traditional print versions:
Concealed Carry Magazine – Put out by the United States Concealed Carry Association, this is the only monthly magazine dedicated to the concealed carry lifestyle. You’ll find a ton of information on gear, training, legal issues and lifestyle topics as well. Whether or not you are interested in becoming a member of the USCCA, a subscription to the magazine is a no-brainer if you want to stay on top of your game. Full disclosure – I am a paid contributor to the quarterly women’s section of the magazine on occasion.
RECOIL/Concealment – Once per quarter, RECOIL magazine publishes a Concealment issue focusing on the concealed carry lifestyle. It is full of in-depth gun reviews and new gear features, information on other everyday carry topics and a variety of expert articles on various training principles. Concealment is geared towards a more experienced shooter, but everyone including beginners will find something useful on its pages.