The Guardian Broadcast
"Providing Concealed Carry & Armed Self-Defense Wisdom."
A podcast by Patrick Kilchermann, founder of the Concealed Carry University.
"Fire Safety & the Survival Mindset"
This week Pat dives into the subject of fire safety with a humorous story… and a very serious and tragic story… and some wise and perhaps timely advice. We also discuss the concept of neural plasticity and how this can and should change the way that you practice carrying concealed!
Listen using the audio player above OR read the text transcript of this podcast below.
Note: 100% accuracy on text transcription is not guaranteed.
This is a true story.
It happened in June, back in the 1960’s. My dad and his brothers were on their porch in a tiny, impoverished village of mid-Michigan when they noticed smoke beginning to pour out of cracks in the roof of their neighbor’s house. First, they called the fire department and then they called the small tavern in a neighboring village where they knew the owner of the house would be, drinking his day away. They asked if Chuck was there – "Of course he's here, who in the hell is this?" They said: “Well put him on, wouldja??" And then: "Chuck! Your house is on fire! We already called the fire department!"
The line went dead, and my dad and his brothers went back to waiting and watching. The fire department showed up and begin unrolling their hoses and getting their gear out – by now, smoke was billowing from every crack and hole in the old house and flames could be seen in a couple of the windows. Just then the roar of an ancient Ford truck came over the hill – it was Chuck! The truck zoomed down the hill and came to a screeching halt that carried it off the road, through the ditch, and up onto his front yard. Like a madman, Chuck was out of his truck shouting curses at the fire department for being slow and running to the front door trying to kick it in. After a moment, he pulled his keys out, unlocked the door, and despite the rush of smoke that spewed out, in he went.
One of the firemen called over to my dad and his brothers: “What, has he got kids in there?" My dad shook his head slowly, bewildered. Chuck lived alone. He could only say: "I don't know...!"
The seconds ticked by - and pretty soon the firemen were panicking – “We've got to get in there, we've got to get him out and whoever else is in there!” Just then, Chuck burst out of the front door, blackened by smoke, hacking and coughing. In his arms was a bundle wrapped in a blanket. What was worth Chuck risking his life for? Who or what was in this bundle? Chuck's sprint carried him about 15 yards away from the burning house before he collapsed and passed out on the front lawn, with the contents of the bundle spilling out in front of him for everybody to see: There it was – his precious cargo. A dozen or so bolt action rifles and shotguns...
Hello and welcome to the Guardian Broadcast. I'm your host and founder of Concealed Carry University, Patrick Kilchermann.
This week I want to ask you a very important question: do you have the survival mindset? I think you do, or at least I think you are on your way to developing this mindset. It is a mindset that too few people who carry concealed have, and yet it's one that we all need to have. Now, we've talked a lot about the warrior mindset –
and within the context of a fight, the warrior mindset is what will carry you through – in fact it will carry you through any struggle, be it physical or spiritual or economic. But the survival mindset is something even larger-scale – the overall operating system that the warrior mindset lives within.
For example: I just shared with you a funny story from my dad's childhood, but recently in this country we all heard a story that wasn't funny at all.
I'm referring to the fire in the abandoned warehouse in Oakland back in early December which killed almost 40 people.
The reports from this fire were disturbing indeed – where the result was that most of the people who were on the second floor of the building did not make it out and died. Why? Because they were unaware of the fire burning below them, and so the building completely and totally filled up with smoke before they even began attempting an escape. By then it was too late, and even though the building was old and lacked some of the safety features that we expect all buildings to have these days, the alarming fact is that the manner of these people's death was not that extraordinary: it is estimated that up to 80% of all fire fatalities happen not because of burns, but because of smoke inhalation.
Think about that – smoke from the kinds of materials found in our buildings creates an environment that is pitch black; zero visibility – possibly not even three or six inches in front of your face, stinging and burning your eyes so that you can't even open them. And all the while, every breath you take makes you weaker and weaker, to the point where you may only have 20 or 30 seconds of effective operation before you pass out. And that is when you either die of asphyxiation or the fire catches up to you.
So, when it comes to concealed carry and fighting off a violent attacker, we ask ourselves: can we access our pistol from many body positions? Can we draw and fire that pistol in less than two seconds? Have we ever tried to achieve good and fast combat accuracy while we are running backward or moving laterally? In the same way, the development of our survival mindsets demands that we ask ourselves other important and challenging questions related to fire safety. We have to ask ourselves: could you wake up in the middle of the night – and with your eyes glued shut, within the span of 30 or 45 seconds, get your kids, get your spouse, and get out of there? Keep in mind that your kids might have moved on their own, in their own attempt to escape.
Or what if you have a bunch of kids and you make it out with the first few, and now you've got to go back in? Can you get to the rest of the bedrooms within 30 seconds to grab them and bring them out?
That fire out in Oakland definitely caused me to reevaluate the reality of the answers to these questions in my own life. And now, I've built two kits that I hope will help me be a little bit more effective in either of those situations. Both at my home and at my studio (which is on the upper floor of a gigantic reclaimed factory building here), I have two fire escape kits which contain the following:
One of my surplus wool watch coats
A fire extinguisher
A 1000lm flashlight
And most interestingly important of all: A $40 device called a "fire mask.” This is a small, vacuum sealed mask that you can tear open and pop over your head and seal around your neck which has a special filter and canister that can guarantee you 60 minutes of purified air. When I found these things, I thought they were the most brilliant invention, and I've made sure that both my wife and I have them and know how to use them, and that I've got one for up here in my studio.
Given the idea of trying to exit a building that was completely and totally filled with smoke, the idea of having 60 minutes to figure it out versus 40 or 60 seconds sounded well worth 40 bucks to me! Now I'm not affiliated with this company at all, but the ones I bought were from a company literally called Fire Mask, found at firemask.ca from Canada. They have a five-year shelf-life and they work pretty simply. If 40 bucks is no big deal to you, buy an extra and you and your family can practice using the spare.
Alright, now that's enough about fire safety. The point is, developing a survival mindset is not a box that we check in life, but instead it's something that we will be working on until the day that we check out for good. Like concealed carry itself, survival is a discipline. It's something that yields a high return in overall wisdom – wisdom that gets better with time.
Now, I'm not referring to stockpiling years of food and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition or moving to Wyoming and living in an abandoned nuclear missile silo. That's not me. I'm only referring to making a list of the risks that we face in life – things that could happen to us or to our loved ones that would interrupt our quality of life or our ability to live life itself – and working down that list with simple practical measures that mitigate those risks and our potential for loss.
The survival mindset is all about balance and perspective and soundness of the mind. While some people might be willing to cause their families to suffer as they fuel their weapon or prepper passions, that's not you and I – that's not the Concealed Carry University way. You and I keep family at the center of life. Some of us – myself included – keep God at the center of family. Or at least I try to, and on some days I actually succeed. But family is at the center, and everything else supports the family: our income, the place where we live, the house we live in, our vehicles, our hobbies, and the guns we carry and how we carry them – all of these things must point inward to the family in order to remain in balance. And if they do, then there is no way that our survival mindsets will ever become a distraction – but instead, they will always remain one of the more important services that we can accept and fulfill for these people who are important to us.
You already have a very good head start in developing your survival mindset – otherwise, you wouldn't be here. You would be over at GlockTalk or XDTalk arguing about which handgun was better. Or, you would be petitioning your Senators to ban guns so that we all can sleep a little easier at night so that you felt like you did your part. But you are here, and you have proven that you are willing to invest in yourself and your mindset. Kudos to you, and I thank you for your participation and in joining me in my own lifetime as I make this same journey with you.
And so, with balance, let us continue to push forward down the path of prudence and wisdom. And if we are going to carry concealed handguns for self-defense, then by God let us learn to use them and to think with them in our hands and to act with them in our hands as effectively as we can.
That is why I created the new program that I have been pushing very hard these last couple weeks during this short introductory Alumni Special.
I do not believe there is a clearer or more efficient path in front of you toward dramatically boosting your own survival mindset than by going through this program. Please, consider this:
There is a concept that has to do with our brains called “neural plasticity.” This is the idea that the actual, physical structure of our brains can change very rapidly to adapt to our behavior or to the demands of our situation.
And tied to this concept is a fascinating experiment I recently read about that proved that doing something with your mind – literally only thinking about it – can give you some of the payoff of actually doing that thing in real life with your hands and body. Also consider this:
It has been proven that athletes who have sustained sports injuries and must remain bed-ridden for an extended period of time lose their skill at a far slower pace when they undergo mental practice. A hitter lying in bed imagining pitches being thrown at him and imagining swinging that bat and making contact - doing that over and over literally keeps him sharp compared to athletes who do not do this. In some cases, people have reported that their skill has actually increased more dramatically through this kind of mental rehearsal and practice than those who ONLY get physical practice. How could this be? Like I've been saying these last two weeks about what is generally regarded as the best training out there, Simunition® gunfights, – they simply happen too fast in order to learn a whole lot within. But in our minds, or in reviewing these gun fights over the shoulder of somebody like me – you literally do gain tactical skill and critical thinking ability where there was none or very little before, and if ultimately you combine both of these things – the mental rehearsal and education along with practice – you will be vastly better off than most people.
Consider one more experiment in neural plasticity please:
On a Monday, two individuals were handed a sheet of music and said that in six days, they would be asked to perform a piano recital. Now both of these individuals were skilled pianists, but where one of them was given a piano and the music, the other one was only given the music. They were both asked to practice for one hour per day. For the man with the piano, practice was simple: just play the song a bunch of times. But for the man without a piano, they ask him to sit down on a bench and look at the music and actually imagine that he was playing the piano. To reach his fingers to where he thought the keys would be and to imagine to the best of his abilities playing that song.
Now the control subject was asked to sit down at the piano and look at the music and play the song – as expected, he stumbled through it roughly the first couple times.
Now, one week later, the pianist who had been practicing the music on his piano all week played the piece perfectly for his audience. And then the individual who had only been given the music sat down. The result? His performance was almost indistinguishable from the expert performance of the man who had been practicing on a real piano all week.
This is neural plasticity in action. This is literally an example of somebody educating and training their mind and body on how to do something without even doing that thing. This is the power of the human brain. This should reveal to you then some of the benefits that you will receive if you join me in this new Concealed Carry University mission that is the “3 Seconds From Now” series.
The first volume which is now shipping is called "Decisions Under Fire,” and through this volume we explore seven real gunfight situations. You watch the gunfights, and I ask you to critique them. And then, we critique them together. Slowdown time; we pause the videos. We examine them from every angle and extract every bit of strategic and tactical wisdom possible. We explore what they did correctly and what they did incorrectly. If they won, we talk about why they won. If they lose, we talk about why they lose – and what they should've done differently in order to win. And when helpful, we tap into the Force-on-Force arena where we reenact these gunfights so that I can demonstrate the proper way to gunfight within each of these scenarios.
If you join me on this “3 Seconds From Now” journey, I can guarantee you that it will be a journey you never forget – something you are excited about and grateful for in years to come.
OK, that's it for me this week. If you want to get your copy of “3 Seconds From Now” look toward the middle or bottom of the email you were sent that delivered this Guardian Broadcast. You'll find a button there that will take you to a page where you can learn more and place your order for this program.
Just keep in mind – the Alumni Special I'm running right now is your opportunity to save good money on this program and also to get some excellent freebies that I'm throwing in just for you. Once this Alumni Special is over and we go public, I won't be able to do that anymore.
Thank you so much for your time, God bless you, and have a great week.