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  • Writer's pictureMemphis Beech

10 Links I wish I had 10 years ago

Now let's be clear. When I say I wish I had it 10 years ago, I mean exactly that. Either they were not yet available, did not exist yet, or I simply didn't know about them. Either way, these articles & links can cut years off the learning curve for folks that get started today.

If you are a little more seasoned with this, I want you to count the number of times you say aloud to yourself, "Aw MAN I wish I had that when I first got started!" If you know someone that may benefit from this, please share it with them with love.

*NOTE* I intentionally left out the additional aspects of personal safety (empty handed skills, less lethal options, medical, legal, after actions, etc). I'm trying to write a blog article, not write a book.

I hope you enjoy!!

#1: The Universal Safety Rules, presented by Citizens Safety Academy

The version of the safety rules taught to Marines varied deeply from what Col. Jeff Cooper (USMC, Ret) originally articulated. The NRA Safety Rules can further muddy the waters. Thankfully Aqil Qadir & Tiffany Johnson at Citizens Safety flesh this out in beautifully plain English. I definitely would've benefited from these simplified but detailed descriptions.

Honorable Mention: a YouTube video of The Colonel himself addressing the Safety Rules

#2: "Beyond the 1%," by Karl Rehn

I believe in the importance to drive home just how rare it is for folks to seek out deeper understanding than just a concealed carry permit or an armed guard license. I personally went years without even realizing that follow-on training was even a thing.

#3: The Archive of the late Dr. William Aprill, by Personal Defense Network (PDN)

Dr. William Aprill was an accomplished mental health professional that studied criminal behavior. He combined this with his experience as a deputy sheriff, a Special Deputy US Marshall, and a competitive shooter. I had chances to train with this man, but I came into the training community much too late to know any better. Now all I have of this brilliant mind is this impressive collection of his teachings. I hope that, while he was here with us, he caught a glimpse of how much his work was appreciated.

Honorable Mention: Dr. David Yamane's archive page to Dr. William Aprill

#4: "Why You Aren’t a Better Shooter," by Melody Lauer

This article is the one singular article that started me down this entire track so many years ago. There I was, ready to buy another case of 9mm, and I see this in the lower right of the screen. I didn't know who guys like John Hearne or Ernest Langdon were or why I should care. I didn't know what IDPA or USPSA was. And I definitely didn't know what skill looked like, much less how to get any. So this was the spark that lit my fire. I hope it does the same for others.

#5: Handgun Self-Defense Ammunition Ballistics Test, by Chris Baker

How do you know that the ammo in your carry gun is any good? Have you seen any testing? Yes you could go to YouTube, but this collection of ballistic gel tests is searchable and detailed. This, and asking my cop friends about street performance, were the main data points that brought me to what I carry: Federal HST 9mm 124-grain, standard pressure. If it's out of stock, really ANY 9mm HST is still more than enough for me.

Honorable Mention: Once you decide on your preferred ammo, go to and find the lowest prices and cheapest shipping. Don't be surprised that ends up high on that list for Federal HST.

#6: The Basics of Concealment Mechanics, by PHLster Holsters

If there ever was a step-by-step guide to getting started and for troubleshooting concealment issues, this is it. There aren't many people that enjoy reading through droves of ultra-detailed information. Fortunately, I AM one of those people. If you are not, you will want to scroll down the page for the how-to videos that walk you through how to hide your gun.

Honorable Mention: Probably the highest quality holster under $50 at the time of this writing, the Dark Star Gear Apollo, is going for $39.99 right now. Man I wish I had something like this when I first got started.

#7: Justified Shooters, by

This collection of real world newspaper articles was compiled by Jacob Paulsen, Riley Bowman, and Matthew Maruster. These guys don't just bring you links, but they also include detailed breakdowns from a tactical, legal, and moral standpoint as well.

Honorable Mention: also has multiple other tools, such as:

#8: The Active Self Protection App

This site/app brings together literal thousands for videos of violent street encounters, and combines it with full length recordings of classes and seminars. When I first got started, ASP & ASP Extra on YouTube taught me a lot about what violence looks like. This is an absolutely amazing resource that I would've killed for when I first got started.

Honorable Mentions: If you're looking for more resources that teach us what violence looks like, and how to better deal with it, you can also go to Force Science Institute ( and Police1 (

#9: LTT Discover, by Langdon Tactical

This project is a well-developed knowledge resource to guide you on your CCW journey. This was initiated as a starting point for beginners, as well as a tool for practitioners to sharpen their edge.

#10: The FBI Pistol Qualification, described by Greg Ellifritz

How good do I need to be with a handgun? What can I use as a standard of proficiency? I can think of no better qualification that the FBI Pistol Qual. Greg makes an excellent case for this, as well as reporting on his own run with this course of fire. It's an interesting read that can hopefully make the reader curious about legends like Massad Ayoob & Tom Givens.

Honorable Mention: It is no surprise that the cleanest scoresheet is provided by the nation's largest women's shooting league, "A Girl & A Gun."

#11: (BONUS) Free Online Resources at

I'm faced with a golden opportunity to plug my own growing collection of free printable targets, drills, and tools for concealed carriers. Please feel free to share this around as well.

So just to recap, I know you said this to yourself, "Dang I wish I had that back in the day!!" How many times? Let me know if the comments. And more importantly, if you know folks that can benefit from this article, please share it with love.

Is there a place for a "Start Here" document or article like this? Let me know in the comments.

4,786 views4 comments


Drew Pruhs
Drew Pruhs
Aug 26, 2023

You mentioned, "The version of the safety rules taught to Marines varied deeply from what Col. Jeff Cooper (USMC, Ret) originally articulated. The NRA Safety Rules can further muddy the waters." Do you have those old Marine Corps rules to reference? Thanks, Drew Pruhs

Aug 26, 2023
Replying to

I do.

Instead of “All guns are always loaded,“ the USMC said “Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.” The Colonel affirmed that it was a mindset. You have to assume that the gun is loaded, and “treating” it as if it were loaded will leave too much mental wiggle room.

USMC: ”Never point the weapon at anything you don’t want to shoot,” instead of “not willing to destroy.” This leaves too much room to shoot things without destroying them.

USMC: “Keep the finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire” instead of having your sights on the target or until you made the conscious decision to fire. This difference is just as distinc…


Doctor House
Doctor House
Aug 18, 2023

Here is a good one, written for the same reasons you stated:

Aug 23, 2023
Replying to

Phenomenal! Thank you!

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