To have or to be in the world of security.

Posted on 29 October, 2013 by Patrick Estebe in General Security

A great many concerned citizens have bought emergency equipment, firearms and ammunition. Some others have even made contingency plans would the principle of law give way to the principle of force in times of crisis. Others have acquired firearms for self defense, and when mandatory also have a concealed weapon permit. In most cases concerned people have acquired what they could possibly need and believe they are ready comes hell or high water. Many could be mistaken; to have the right stuff is not enough. In fact in the world of security, to be is more important than to have. One must be absolutely proficient with his firearms and equipment. One must be trained, one must be prepared, one must be alert without being nervous or paranoid.

It is not enough to go to the gun show; one must go to the gun range… regularly!

Importantly, unless one has the means to ask whatever trouble comes by night to go away and be back when there is  enough light, one must also find a way to train by night where it is permitted or find a way to train as if it was night. A poor alternative is to have the training by day, supervised by an instructor who can see, monitor and correct mistakes, while one wears double welding goggles. This is a poor alternative because it works well for the procedures, but prevents one from experiencing the blinding effect of one’s own muzzle flash and the consecutive loss of night vision possibly leading to a loss of orientation. These are important elements to experience if one wants to keep the initiative. While you are at it practice reloading the magazines by night; not dropping anything. The chances that trouble will come at night are way above 50%; not training for these circumstances means you are training for less than half the probabilities. We all know instinctively that trouble prefers darkness; why do we train fighting with a firearm the way we train for golf? The two activities have very little in common; only the spectators are at risk in a golf game.

If you have not been to the range for a long time start getting your grove back first and then practice seriously with your weak hand… alone. Then try the same right after running a 1/4 mile as fast as you possibly can. We all know life has a funny way to put us in situations much worse than we had anticipated; we should train accordingly.kenya-attack

Do not forget  to hit the gym as well! No excuse, no alibi. Unless you truly believe that being out of shape will grant you immunity. Not being as young as one used to be is not excuse either; grey hair will not protect you; the older we get the more we look like an easy target. Which if we truly train as much as we can could prove a big mistake for those who would forget that the 60s are the new 40 and the 70s are the new 50! At least for those who keep training, and working out.

Man is the only animal who even thinks about retirement; there is no such concept in nature. Do you expect some accommodation because you are well past your prime?

Hit the gym at least twice a week, unless of course you have enough discipline to practice on your own, and hit the gun range at least twice a month, or do not pretend you are ready to those who may depend on you.

PGT entrainementOne must absolutely know at what true level are his perishable skills. Commercial pilots who have not landed by night for 90 days must re-qualify and execute at least three takeoffs and landings before taking passengers by night (same applies by day), this is certainly reassuring for those who depend on these pilots. When did you last re-qualify for night shooting proficiency? Last three months?

Those who have all the required stuff, but are not proficient with it in every possible configuration are not only at risk along with their dependents but they put all of us at more risk as they may just become the suppliers of firearms and ammunition to those who will take it from them after they are dead.

In the world of security to be is more important than to have.


  1. Great post…thank you!

  2. OK, I might be more of a HAVE than BE. Now working on the BE! Although here and in FL, I practiced considerably with my gen 1 night vision.. It does take practice to take advantage of the technology….


  3. Nice article. Always makes me look at what I do, and improve.
    Thank you.

  4. “To be is more important than to have” so darn true, Patrick…

    I’m currently working in North-Africa for Oil&Gas industry. No personal weapon allowed, while very little protection is granted by the legal government. PM himself was abducted from his “secure” hotel one month ago, and oil exportation terminal have been locked out for the last three months by rogue military units supporting rival factions. On the top of that, AQ affiliates are roaming freely across Sahel region through Algeria and Tunisia from Morocco border to Egypt.

    Our capacity to survive rests on our ability to analyze local conditions, to respond incidents at their earliest stage and to avoid putting ourselves in desperate situations. We use intensively social tools as Tweeter, google maps, and network 24/7 with fellow-expatriate security managers and western embassies.

    We also individually plan well in advance for worst-case situation by always identifying escape routes and safe haven areas, both in town and in the desert.

    Last but not least, we use our free time to train and increase our vital capacity through a daily practice of jogging, stretching and, whenever possible, martial arts. Most of us also pray.

    I am 60, therefore what I do is also achievable by almost any citizen mindful of the security of his loved ones.

    Wish you peace and happiness.

    Assalam alekum.



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