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This is probably the most useful and entertaining book on the subject of personal safety for civilians, because it will appeal to the widest possible audience while covering the fundamentals effectively. It is not academic or written for professional consumers. Rather, it seems to me to be written more like a father (who happens to be a retired military special operations leader) would write the book for his own teenagers as they head off to college. I've actually been waiting for someone else to write this book for several years, so that I would have something just like this to recommend when appropriate.
The points where my own opinions and experiences differ from the author's are predictable. He tends to toe the party line of the US military profession a bit more than I do, even to the extent that he downplays the actual threat level in Mexico with inaccurate statistics and tries to dissuade readers from acquiring firearms and becoming proficient in their use. He goes so far as to recommend "mace and a tactical pen" as sufficient self-defense weaponry. For the home, his advice is "get a baseball bat." He also suggests (rather strongly) that bladed weapons are not effective self-defense tools. As a guy who has actually been in a number of fights involving knives as a civilian, I strongly disagree. Furthermore, the author suggests that LE will see a knife as an "offensive weapon." Well, having been in one of those fights when I came to the aid of 2 off duty cops, I will say this: neither officer attempted to disarm his attacker of the knives on their belts in plain view before attempting to subdue them. After the fact, both cops...gassed and dealing with the effects of adrenaline...said it was a huge mistake before I said a word while standing between them smoking a cigarette. I am quite confident they would not have handled that situation similarly if those 2 punks had pistols holstered on their belts. So this assertion will vary depending on the cultural norms, specific context, and laws of the region. Context is king! In rural areas and in the building trades, knives are viewed as tools which can be used as a weapon -- like a baseball bat or crow bar. Don't ever take a tactical pen to a knife fight! That's MY advice. Another piece of "tactical pen" advice? A tactical pen a) CAN get taken from you by security screeners (I've seen it happen), and b) is better than nothing -- a LITTLE BIT better than nothing. Ironically, the author steers readers away from knives by claiming they require a lot of expertise to wield effectively in self-defense, and...almost simultaneously...recommends the tactical pen. As a bona fide expert in the self-defense use of fighting sticks and blades, this stuck out to me as a good example of cognitive dissonance. A simple, "Tac pens will probably get you in less trouble than a switch blade in most situations," would have sufficed. But the pen is NOT mightier than the sword in close combat, I don't care who you are!
Those are minor nit-picks. The book is well written and the audiobook is well orated (by the author). I used both to "read" this book. 99% of the content is on point. And the book is almost as entertaining as it is informative. I've already forwarded my copies to someone else. So that's a pretty strong endorsement.
P.S. A retired SOF LTC getting his custom racing rig stolen while thrill-seeking in Mexico is probably funnier to military veterans than to non-vets. It's a great way to point out that a) nobody is perfect, b) no plan survives first contact with the enemy, and c) it can happen to anybody. So keep it light, my friends!
Great primer for basic survival skills in any scenario. Dan does a great job of Simplifying the mental side of survival situation’s. If your mind isn’t in the right place, it almost doesn’t matter What kind of gear or training you have.
Just started to read this book but the first chapter has me hooked. In this day and age it is always good to know how to keep yourself safe and what YOU can do to make that happen. The author writes in a very day to day manner so you don't need to be schooled by the KGB to grasp what he is saying. A very worthy investment in self, to add this book to your collection.
1. Have good situational awareness to avoid any issues is the cornerstone 2. Look at things from safe, unsafe, familiar and unfamiliar type. There’s a great image in the boom 3. Trust your intuition. Better be safe than look or sound rude
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 21, 2021
Fans of Gavin de Becker's "The Gift of Fear" will love this perfect companion that provides more practical solutions that make you and your loved ones safe. Whenever an Air Force Combat Controller speaks, make sure you listen.
A phenomenal book with an excellent way to approach life with awareness and without paranoia. The Author has the background and chops to deliver easy to understand and readily digestible lessons. The personal stories of operators that parallel the practical rules add realism and depth to the book. My best read of 2021!