The Guardian Broadcast
"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."
A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
"Pat’s Craziest CCW Story; A Terrible Joke; Education vs. ACTION; and Col. Dave Grossman"
This week Pat will cover some life wisdom about how to develop an educated position and how to strike a balance between education and action. These are skills that will serve you well in the concealed carry realm, and life in general!
Listen using the audio player above OR read the text transcript of this podcast below.
Note: 100% accuracy on text transcription is not guaranteed.
Someone recently asked me, what was the craziest thing I’ve ever heard from someone who carries concealed?
I did some thinking, and here’s what I came up with. I once received a more or less anonymous email from a middle-aged man who lived in the heart of Chicago. He was a professional, it sounded like he had some serious money, and he had some questions for me about training and tactics. During the conversation, I asked him: “Now, are you actually carrying concealed in Chicago?” This was before the laws changed, and handgun possession – let alone concealed carry – was illegal there.
“Yes,” he said, “You read correctly: I live and work in Chicago. Concealed carry is illegal, but they refuse to do anything about all the illegal handguns in the city, and crime is out of control. So, I bought myself a snubby revolver off the street. I taped a plastic bag around it, and I carry it in my front pocket. If I ever need to use it, I’ll throw the gun in a dumpster and destroy the bag. It’s not ideal, but I feel it’s my only option to guarantee my safety in this city.”
That’s what he said – very intense!
Okay, this week I have two important things to share. Two concepts, and these are a lot bigger than concealed carry - a bit of wisdom that I’ve picked up over the years. And if you’re wondering why a young man feels entitled to share wisdom, I should remind you that while I may be young, I identify as a 75 year old man, and you’re required by law to treat me that way. Just kidding!
First, I want to share my formula for discovering the truth. My father, who retired as a captain from the Michigan Department of Corrections, naturally, was forced during his long career to undergo thousands of investigations, almost all of which came down to the word of a bunch of convicts versus the word of an officer. But my dad was not a ‘good old boy’. He would always tell me: “Pat, there are three sides to every story. The convict’s side. My officer’s side. And then there’s the truth.”
As a kid, I just chuckled. But in the end, I’ve come full circle to realize that there’s a lot of truth to this, and we can apply it to discovering truth in all areas of life: political, religious, and even strategic and tactical truths with regard to concealed carry.
See, what I’ve learned is that we can never forget that everyone is biased: every speaker, every author, every human being. And we also can never forget that while our elders and coaches usually do their best, it’s extremely unlikely that the things we were taught to believe during our journeys is the absolute truth. And unless we investigate everything we believe to be true and form our own conclusions based on data, we’ll never know if we’re suckers who put all our chips on one guy’s word – OR if we were right to begin with. We’ll never know, and if you’re inquisitive like me, we’ll therefore never be confident.
Unless we find the truth.
Well, my formula goes back to my dad’s old line about there being three sides. However, we can’t talk to the truth, we can only talk to (or read books written by) other people. So what do we do? Well, my formula for investigation is this:
First, you talk to the most education person you can find who HATES the thing you’re investigating. Maybe they hate the law, or the politician, or the religious doctrine, or the pistol model, or the carry position. You find the person who stands totally against it, and they actually LIVE totally opposed to this thing. You ask them WHY they hate it – what are their reasons. And, you make your notes. Then, you find the most educated person you can who LOVES this thing that you’re investigating. Someone who not only loves it, but someone who lives it. And you ask them: why do you love this thing? What are your reasons? (And, for very large matters, you may spend years reading all kinds of books or talking to all kinds of people on all sides of very large issues – such as should the US have nuked Japan, or is it a good or bad idea to pay for our kids’ college tuition.
I find that very often, there’s no contest. When you sample the educated extremes like this, it becomes evident VERY quickly that one side has no leg to stand on. One side is using logic, while the other is shooting from the hip with gut feelings and deceptive emotion. Or, one side has a concrete stairway leading to their conclusions, while the other is simply doing what their father did with blind faith.
Other times, it’s not so clear. Both sides seem to have good reasons. In these cases, more investigation is needed. And we must never forget the possibility for the matter we’re investigating being a divergent truth rather than a convergent truth. For convergent truths, there is only one right answer. But for divergent truths, there are as many different correct answers as there are humans in the world.
So, there’s that.
Now the final thing I want to focus on today is what I call my ‘Education and Action Parity’ concept. This concept argues the need to make sure that the amount of EDUCATION we get is always in prudent proportion to the SPEED and THOROUGHNESS with which we act on that education. In other words, our goals must be to be both creatures of learning and doing. We can’t fall to one extreme, otherwise we’re disordered, and our lives will not be effective or satisfying.
I like to think of our brains and bodies like a big blast furnace or stove with a conveyer belt constantly feeding it with wood, or coal. Our education is what shovels wood or coal onto the conveyer belt. Our bodies, or our ACTION in life – the impact we have on people or things around us – this is the furnace itself.
Now, about half the people have a tendency to want to sit back on the sidelines and collect information before acting. This is healthy to a degree, but then it becomes a problem. For example, we all know career college students. People with three degrees, going back for another, and they don’t even have a good job yet. This is when we have hardly any fire burning in our furnaces, but we just keep shoveling coal onto that conveyer belt. It piles up and smothers the little fire that’s there. These people need to recognize that they’ve learned enough and they need to take action. Get moving. Make a dent in the world, and burn all that fuel you’ve collected.
The other half of the population has a tendency to just want to move, move, move. They don’t want to learn, and they probably haven’t read a book in 5 or 15 years. They are all about the action, getting their hands busy and they want to learn as they go. Again, this is good to a point, and healthy to a point. But in this case, we have a situation where hardly any fuel is coming down the conveyer belt, and that fire will eventually burn out. This person will keep making the same mistakes over and over in life, and they’ll stagnate in their relationships and projects.
So again: the goal is balance. To properly order our intake of information and education with getting busy and getting our hands dirty and putting that information to practice.
I think it’s probably pretty obvious that my personal temptation is to collect education indefinitely. I want to learn everything, because I enjoy the act of learning. But I have to push myself, and my wife (who is much more balanced than I am) inspires me to do this. She reminds me: “Someday, that ugly mug of yours and the brain in it are going to be six feet below ground, and all that stuff you learned is going to evaporate into dust. Pat!” she says, “You know you can’t take your money or vehicles with you - your knowledge is the same thing.” She’s dead on, and it’s a great reminder that we have to get busy. We have to leverage what we learn to impact the lives of other people or to create things that are beautiful and good.
This is definitely in line with what I’ve learned to be true about concealed carry. It’s fun to talk about and think about and learn about. But the value we derive out of concealed carry as a discipline is amplified greatly when we put this education to practice. When we carry concealed often. When we fight to remain aware of our surroundings, and we stop thinking about the news, and start making character assessments of the people around us. And when we get to the range, and get moving and shooting.
Alright, that’s all for this week, but I do have one last thing I want to say.
Of all the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve been privileged to make in this world, the retired army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is one of whom I’m most proud. This is the guy who wrote On Killing and On Combat, among a few other excellent books. He’s an incredible man, and I really see him as a national treasure. One of the most pure and selfless voices in our industry.
Well, he’s about to release a new children’s book and he’s shared a copy with me ahead of publishing. It’s called Why Mommy Carries a Gun. It's incredible. And I’m going to tell you when this book is ready, but here’s what I need your help with today. His first children’s book came out a few years ago, and it’s simply phenomenal. The copy that he personally inscribed to me and mailed to my house is a centerpiece on my bookshelf. The book is called SHEEPDOGS: Meet Our Nation’s Warriors.
It’s a perfect picture book for us to use to explain to our kids and grandkids WHO we sheepdogs are, why we’re different from sheep, who wolves are, and what it is that we Sheepdogs do. But for me, the value of the book goes so much further and explains to our kids the entire concept of good and evil in the most palatable and understandable way I've seen for this age group. The book brings tears to my eyes every time I read it, and I'm not just saying that.
This book will make you very proud to be a sheepdog, and if you have any young people in your life, I’d say between the ages of 5 and 15, this book is a must. And guess what: Any copies you order from Amazon right here in the near future are going to be PERSONALLY SIGNED by Col Grossman. For me, this is an astounding honor, and I hope you take Dave up on it. I can't think of a better way to thank him for his contributions to our mission.
I’m going to include a link to his Amazon listing in the text version of this Guardian Broadcast which you can use to make your purchase. Or, you can just search 'Sheepdogs' on Amazon and it’ll be around the third listing from the top. Listen: this isn’t an affiliate link and I’m not making a penny off this recommendation. This is simply a book that I want you to own.
Here's a direct link to Dave’s site (preferred by Dave): www.SDKandG.com
And here’s the Amazon link:
Okay, peace be with you my friends and fellow Guardians. God bless!