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 Cover art for David Kenik's "Surviving Mass Shootings) (courtesy

The content of this booklet was contemplated, written, rewritten, and endlessly modified in the very difficult weeks following a series of tragic, mass-shooting events. It deeply saddens me to write this. More to the point, it saddens me that we live in a society with so much senseless violence that something like this needs to be written. Truth be told, sad is not the best description of my state of mind. I started writing this when I was angry. I was angry when I completed it, and I am still angry . . .

I will carry this anger for a long, long time. I am angry at the monsters that killed innocent people: the mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sons, daughters and worst of all, the small children. My anger does not stop there, it proliferates to the gun grabbers, who, without a stitch of shame, stoop so low as to exploit these tragic events to promote their lies and fear mongering in ongoing attempts to further disarm law-abiding citizens . . .

Click here to download the rest of Surviving Mass Shootings by David Kenik

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  1. Susanne Hupp said her anger was not at the man that killed her wonderfull parents, it was at the people who were working their damnedest to see that this happened again in the form of gun control. We simply need to struggle for our civil rights, we will overcome, somebody dig up Cochrane,King, where are they when we need them, Randy

    • With all respect to Ms. Hupp, a proper response would involve anger toward the murderer. You’ll notice how little the propaganda organs (formerly known as media) mention anything like justice toward the shooters. And it’s not just because they’re dead or crazy–all the condemnation is directed at gun owners, or at the gun. In the end, it was the killers who did evil. But the killers aren’t cherished enemies of a certain political class.

      • Unless you are the one in the exact position at the time, you have no idea what a proper response is. We are all individuals, there is no such thing as proper response. I loved my grandparents greatly yet I didn’t cry when they died. Many would say that I didn’t have a proper response. I say bullshit!

  2. Rabbi,

    I think the text should be much more concrete and prescriptive about defeating body armor than it is now. Specifically, you should be giving the reader simple, comprehensible instructions that could be recalled if needed. This is what I was taught, so I offer it as an example, but of course it should reflect whatever you teach:

    “If you think someone is wearing body armor, your first two shots should still be aimed for center-of-mass. Make sure you’re actually hitting the target before trying for a more difficult shot outside the area protected by body armor. Your follow-up shots should be aimed for the largest visible area above or below the “vest area”. The pelvic region is the easier target, but the head is more likely to be visible.”

    Things may have changed, but in my experience basically none of the instructors teaching civilian courses talk about defeating body armor for fear of inadvertently aiding someone in a LEO shooting. I don’t think you need to worry about conflicting with what the reader’s CCW instructor might tell them, as they’re likely to be silent on this topic.

    • My last four firearms courses were taught by LEOs. All four of them taught about defeating body armor.

      When you talk about “instructors teaching civilian courses,” what exactly to you mean? LEO’s are civilians so all instructors are teaching civilian courses unless the course is strictly for military. We must get the idea that LEOs are anything but civilians out of our heads!

  3. OK, so I just started skimming over this, and I will read the whole thing in detail, but I’ve only gotten to page 3 and I already have a problem. This thing reads like it’s written by the freaky paranoid gun nut that the CDM wants to portray all of us as. In that way, I’m sorry, but you’re not helping.

    On the very first two pages, titled “Preparedness,” you talk about not attracting attention, dressing to blend in, etc. I dress how I dress, and that varies based on the environment and activity I’m involved in. I am not the “gray man,” because I’m just a guy. I’m not a spy, I’m not involved in espionage and intrigue, and I’m not trying to not be noticed. Then you go on to talk about how flipflops might be comfortable, but I should “wear shoes that will enable you to run.” I live in Orlando, and I spend upwards of 90% of my time either barefoot or in flipflops. It’s ludicrous to expect that I would suddenly start wearing “runnable” shoes simply so that I’m prepared for a black-swan event that I will likely never encounter. I’m specifically referring to a mass shooting, because that’s the point of view from which you wrote this.

    Many of your other suggestions are clearly correct, like “carry your gun” and “be aware of your environment,” but drastically changing your entire style of dress and manner of living simply so that you (think you) can be prepared for a completely random and very, very (very) rare occurrence is an unreasonable level of paranoia. I carry a gun, I practice, I get training, I practice some more, but man, if you actually give legitimate consideration to your choice of footwear for a trip to the mall based on whether or not you’ll be able to run if a statistically nonexistent shooting breaks out… then dude, I don’t want to live in your world, or your head.

      • Up for the task? What task? The task of wearing running shoes to go see Django Unchained just in case someone decides to shoot up my theatre? In case you missed it, the title of this piece isn’t “The Guide to Stopping a Mass Shooter,” it is “The Guide to Surviving Mass Shootings.” I’m going to the movies, not preparing for battle. Footwear is not a consideration.

        • You’re absolutely right, Matt!
          Bob is trying to instigate, with a nonsense comment. I’m out in CA., and roll in flops whenever the weather is right too. I’m sure (if you’re able to carry legally like I am) that you’ve also already prepared yourself to go barefoot if it comes down to it.

          *I haven’t read the entire guide yet

        • To be clear, the rest of the pamphlet contains a lot of really good information, but there’s definitely a little “paranoid prepper crazy” scattered through there as well.

          As I said, you’re not preparing for war, or even a relative certainty of conflict. You’re simply trying to be ready to survive an extremely unlikely random event. As such, there probably is such a thing as “too prepared,” when it starts to significantly impact your life and/or lifestyle.

        • Matt in Fl, “I’m not preparing for battle”, ??

          Interesting response; True, the chances of a mass shooting are miniscule, about what it is for being struck by lightening, but people do get struck by lightening.

          As it stands Matt, just by carrying a gun, you are considered a paranoid, fearful, compensating for a small package, just waiting for the chance to shoot some one ,wanna be Rambo with delusions of John Wayne hood gun nut by the anti-freedom crowd,

          Being prepared for the unlikely event of a mass shooting is just a little icing on the cake; embrace it and know that nothing you do or say, once you cross to the side of freedom and liberation by picking up and carrying that symbol of personal freedom and responsibility, will change the minds and opinions of those who have chosen to be minions and sycophants, servants and outright slaves to thier god, the state.

          In the mean time, “I’m not preparing for battle?

          If you don’t prepare for battle, what do you plan to do if you get mugged by a human predator walking back to your car from the movie theatre where the mass shooter didn’t show up?

          Because whether you have one mad man intent on killing alot of people or one man intent on injuring or killing you for the money in your pocket, you still have a battle to fight, whether you are prepared or not.

        • People don’t have specific standards of dress to prepare for the off chance they’re struck by lightning.

          I understand what you’re saying about the anti-freedom people, but I’m not concerned about what they think. If you’re dressing the way you are because you’re concerned about what the cops will think of you after you’re involved in a DGU (or for that matter, if they show up mid-incident)… well… I don’t know what to tell you. You should always wear a suit, because everyone looks more respectable in a suit. If I want to wear, as rabbi says, “old jeans and a black hoodie,” then by God I’m going to.

          As far as the “prepping for battle” thing goes, it doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. I know how to run my gun, I stay aware of my surroundings, and I do practical training whenever I can. But my “prepping” is basically limited to things that directly involve my firearm and things immediately related. I just simply don’t take it so far as “I need to wear running shoes instead of flipflops in case I have to run from a bad guy.” It’s a continuum, and if you were really trying to be prepared you wouldn’t stop at running shoes, you’d be wearing soft body armor everywhere. But of course, that’d be silly. That’s where you draw the line. I draw the line at running shoes. It’s a calculation of “how much am I willing to change my life/lifestyle” vs. “how likely is me being in this situation.”

    • Agreed, the commentary in this is just ranting.

      I would never conduct or participate in a discussion with this kind of language, and even though I’m sympathetic to your position, it is painful to read.

      It might not be what you are going for, but if you stripped out the “gun grabber” hate language and kept to facts, it would be shorter and stand a chance of being read. As it is, I couldn’t possibly recommend this to anyone.

      • +1
        Tevas are great.
        For shoes, If I cant run or fight in them, I shouldn’t be wearing them in public.

    • Matt,

      I’d like to agree with you, but a couple of points.

      1. Dressing like the army surplus guy or a wannabe gang banger is not the look to go for in the midst of a mass shooting. Police confuse targets.

      2. Flip flops have have horrible tactical value. Try pushing a stalled car, running through a fire, or negotiating rugged terrain in flip flops. Some of the strappy overpriced deals from REI would be ok, but your basic flip flop is worthless.

      Dress how you want, and live how you want. We still have some freedom to be enjoyed becore we vote it into oblivion. However, if you were to find yourself in an emergency situation, “normal” clothes like jeans or business casual will suit you much better. I never wished for flip flops when I pulled an old lady from the path of a moving train two years ago.

  4. Thanks for submitting it.

    For our brethren stuck in Soviet America, perhaps you could write a follow on book titled “How To Defend Yourself in A Gun Free State”.

  5. Good stuff. I’m going to save a copy. So just to be clear, it’s intended for free, unrestricted distribution? Some of us may have blogs or websites or similar forums where it could be posted (with proper credit, of course).

    Good, but it could be even better. I see what some of these comments are saying about the tone of voice; righteous anger is a good thing, but a little goes a very long way. If you’re going to reach people who want to defend themselves but have doubts about the legitimacy of carrying and using guns in public places, a calm and reasoned tone is the way to go. The final section would probably be more effective in third-person, not first-person; tweaking some of the terms in that section would probably help your argument, too.

    It just so happens that I’m a professional marketing writer and copy editor…. Rabbi, if you read this and you’re interested in giving your booklet a little more shine and polish, just leave a comment and let me know how to reach you. I’d love to lend my expertise (free, of course).

      • Cool. I’ll send you an email later today. I would’ve responded last night, but I have the worst ISP ever (it’s down more often than not), so I’m reduced to furtively emailing freelance clients on my work breaks.

  6. Rabbi,

    I haven’t read through it yet, but I want to say thank you for sharing your writings freely with the community.


  7. Rabbi-
    Well done! It’s always a good idea to have someone else proofread for you (first-hand knowledge here), and maybe using “frustration” instead of “anger” would lessen its harshness.
    I think there is a lot of good info in your guide, though much of it seems directed at LE (like myself). I don’t carry to go surfing, or when I’m having some drinks with the guys. When I do carry, I don’t bring a back-up or extra mags. I know some friends who do, but in my opinion that is excessive. I am tactically-trained, and will hopefully know how best to respond and when.
    You wrote about Hiding, Understanding the situation, and keeping your weapon holstered until contacting threats (for non-uniformed people). I think the LE position generally would be to have your weapon in your hands at all times, until the situation is resolved. If I’m off-duty, I know that I wouldn’t be readily identifiable even by my own co-workers! It would depend on some factors, but I would probably only confront the threat in front of me and not go searching for bad guys. Not only would you be at risk from the shooters and responding LEO’s, but you just might run into another CCW with the same idea!
    Overall, a very good effort here though! I would suggest adding more links (for example; to tactical medicine sites, etc.)
    I REALLY liked your “gun facts” conclusion. I hadn’t heard some of those stats and, if true, they are a compelling argument against gun control!
    Thanks for sharing it with us; I’ll pass it on.

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