Secure Your Base (Your Soul)

Portrait of Carl von Clausewitz19th-century military strategist Carl von Clausewitz was a Prussian general who fought against Napoleon. In 1832, his book On War was published and military experts regard it even today as the definitive study of warfare.

In the novel Dr. No, Ian Fleming writes, “Clausewitz’s first principle was to have a secure base. From there one proceeds to freedom of action.” Fleming’s paraphrase of the famous war strategist’s philosophy is worth adopting. Securing your base means establishing a self-sustaining, shock-resistant “headquarters” that’s well-defended against disruptions from external forces.

In a letter written to his son, Gen. George S. Patton said, “Defeat is not due to losses but to the destruction of the soul of the leaders.”

For the SemperVerus Brotherhood, a secure base begins with a strong, healthy soul that directs your moral compass. Keep Psalm 73:26 (“Maybe my mind and body will become weak, but God is my source of strength. He is mine forever!”) before you in order to accomplish 1 Corinthians 10:13.

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Centuries ago Clausewitz wrote, “The talent of the strategist is to identify the decisive point and to concentrate everything on it, removing forces from secondary fronts and ignoring lesser objectives.”

Let’s apply his definition of strategy to the small and big decisions we make every day from the basis of securing our base:

Identify: Perceive and analyze the everyday situations you face with a worldview rooted in biblical teaching. Exercise wisdom to discern the good path from the bad path before taking action. For example, use Luke 6:31 as one of your guiding principles. In the words of the military, “intel precedes ops.”

The decisive point: Marketers call it the unique value proposition. It’s the most important, pivotal, and centralized determinant from which to organize all your decisions and actions. What’s your decisive point? How about Proverbs 4:23. And Mark 12:30-31.

Concentrate: Once your decision is made to stay true to what is right (1 Timothy 4:16) in any given situation, focus your attention on following through on it. According to military historian Basil Hart, “all the lessons of war can be reduced to a single word: concentration.” Keep looking straight ahead, without turning aside (Proverbs 4:25).

Remove: Making choices to act rightly means deciding what we will not do. Remove whatever hinders you from achieving the optimum results (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Ignore: Cultivate a disciplined mind and a steadfast character. Don’t be distracted by inferior goals. Keep your main objective to be: “staying true to what is right” (Philippians 3:13-14).

[Adapted from Von Clausewitz on War: Six Lessons for the Modern Strategist]

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Interview: Building a Church Security Team

Lew Gosnell is a Rangemaster at Gunsite Academy and 20-plus year police officer and firearms instructor in California. He served as a Tactical Team Supervisor in the Marine Corps Military Police and worked private security, in addition to being a champion shooter in IPSC, 3-Gun, and cowboy action — including the first-ever Single Action Shoot Society End of Trail competition.

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GUNS Magazine podcast host Brent T. Wheat interviewed Lew about how he got his start at the renowned firearms training academy, what he teaches students in his single-action pistol and lever gun classes, and his advice for congregations starting their own church security teams, which begins at the 15:50 mark in the embedded audio player below.

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He says places of worship, by definition, want to be welcoming to people, so they have special training needs to ensure proper security practices at their facilities. He offers suggestions on how and who to select volunteers to serve on church safety teams, equipment needs, and draw development procedures.

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Worldviews and Emotional Assumptions in the Gun Civil Rights Debate

Heated debates about law-abiding responsible American gun ownership civil rights tend to start and end as emotional arguments stemming from dug-in presupposed assumptions and predetermined worldviews, rather than inquiring open-minded attitudes that lead to acceptance of convincing proof.

Unalienable human rights, such as the Second Amendment, are based on the steadfast recognition that there are certain nonnegotiable, self-evident givens in human nature, prior to the state’s involvement, which the state is obligated to respect. Natural human rights are meant to be inviolate; incapable of being reduced to merely legal rights or privileges.

A myriad of statistical analyses are already available that support how the gun civil rights position is effective in crime control, such as

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Important Judicial Decisions Regarding Self-Defense Law ]

Because the facts are readily viewable online, the following chart is an attempt to help you recognize the underlying basic emotional premises from which each side approaches the subject. Once these perspectives are identified and acknowledged, perhaps feelings will subside to the facts, helping to deescalate emotional-only arguments.

Quality Training Builds Character

IDPA target to illustrate the importance of firearms trainingAn article in Psychology Today suggests that training seriously and responsibly for armed self-defense contributes to developing a sense of human empathy and strengthens human character.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The Greatest Man… ]

The article’s author, David Yamane, professor of sociology at Wake Forest University, writes that those who are dedicated to improving their self-defense knowledge and skills “see that it is indeed appropriate at times to use our human capacity for violence pro-socially, in defense of self, loved ones, children, the weak and infirm, and other innocents. Gun Culture 2.0, to borrow an idea from sociologist Harel Shapira, sees defensive violence as ‘civilized’ rather than barbaric.”