I – Prepare

The 4 Basic Rules of Gun Safety

An image of the four gun safety rules

Col. Jeff Cooper (1920–2006) was a US Marine, the creator of the modern technique of handgun shooting, and an expert on the use and history of small arms. He introduced the concept of the mental alertness color code which indicates the degree of peril a person is willing to act upon and which facilitates a person to move from one level of mindset to another (situational awareness) to enable the person to properly handle a given situation.

As a way of encouraging universal firearm safety, Col. Cooper also advocated a simple 4-point set of rules anyone can understand:

  1. EVERY gun is loaded until proven otherwise.
  2. Point the muzzle ONLY at what you want to destroy.
  3. Put your finger on the trigger ONLY when you’re ready to fire.
  4. KNOW your target and what’s behind and around it.

Spiritual Fitness in the USA Military

The US Air Force defines spiritual fitness as “the ability to adhere to beliefs, principles, or values needed to persevere and prevail in accomplishing missions,” according to Air Force Instruction (AFI) 90-5001.

Spiritual fitness is one of the four pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness, which focuses on building a thriving US Air Force comprised of comprehensively balanced individuals who strive to be mentally, physically, socially and spiritually fit.

According to a 2013 RAND Corporation study commissioned by the Air Force, spiritual fitness “can affect an individual’s resilience and readiness to perform military duties” and “influence resilience and well-being by buffering stress.”

Emergency Preparedness Checklist: Prepping for Beginners

Life is unpredictable. You assume routine living will repeat day after day, but that’s not realistic. The unexpected happens. Change occurs. Emergencies appear. And “normal” is suddenly gone. You need to prepare yourself and your family for whenever an inconvenient new “normal” confronts you.

Common Sense Prepper Rules:

  • You can’t predict what’s going to happen. Don’t get tunnel vision or caught up in whatever people are freaking out about on social media.
  • Data and reason should always win over opinion and impractical ideas.
  • Follow the 80-20 rule to focus on the right things and get the most value.
  • It’s impossible to be 100% prepared for 100% of scenarios.
  • For gear or skills to be useful they must be as simple, practical, and reliable as possible. That means good preps are always ready and double dipping is bad.
  • Prepping should not dominate your life or make it worse. Spend a reasonable amount of time, money, and energy.

Building An Iron Mindset

Your mindset determines how you show up in any given situation. Using these four mental techniques (The Big 4) developed by the US Navy Seals can assist you to build and maintain a strong mind and stay focused on your success to conquer any challenge.

  1. Goal Setting: Goals should be SMART—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound—and formed using the WIN method—What’s Important Now
  2. Mental Rehearsal: Visualize in your mind all aspects of a task before entering into it to be better prepared to execute it
  3. Positive Self Talk: Intentionally replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts
  4. Arousal Control: To help stay calm in a chaotic and difficult situation, use Tactical Breathing by inhaling through your nose into your diaphragm 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale out of the diaphragm through the mouth 4 seconds, hold 4 seconds, and repeat. Also perform Progressive Muscle Relaxation by tensing the 4 major muscle groups for 5 seconds, then relaxing them for 5 seconds moving progressively through head and neck, arms and shoulders, chest and back, and legs.

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