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Old February 15, 2013, 03:24 AM   #1
pax
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Good books: Train your Brain

Everyone watches videos now. But books are still good. They convey a lot more information than you can get in a video, and in more depth. Plus, you can always set the book down to think deeply about something the author wrote -- something we rarely or never do with information that comes in through the tube.

Here are some I've read or re-read recently, and would recommend.
  1. Extreme Fear: the Science of Your Mind in Danger, by Jeff Wise. This one takes you through some fascinating research at the edge of human experience. It explains the reasons why your body and brain act the way they do under extreme stress, and how you can use those reactions to improve your own ability to cope with danger. It's a very academic work, but lively with lots of stories and anecdotes to pull you along.

    An excerpt:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Extreme Fear by Jeff Wise
    If military trainers have agreed for two thousand years that automatizing a soldier's skills is the surest way to keep him useful under intense stress, a corollary question has been much more hotly debated: Is it better to train to high proficiency before trying to use those skills under stress, or to train from the beginning under intense stress similar to that in which the skills will have to be used? Better, in other words, to drill frightened or calm?

    Several studies into this question all support the conclusion that trainees should be allowed to gain proficiency before stress is added to the learning environment. Getting a student's cortisol flowing before a task has been fully automatized yields poor results, since high stress shuts down the C-system before the skill has been transfered to the X-system. A study of skydiving students, for instance, found that novice jumpers had a hard time memorizing lists of words while falling through the air. In their paper, the researchers quoted the wisdom of one of their skydiving instructors: "No matter how smart you are on the ground," he said, "you get stupid the first time you fall out of a plane."
  2. Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal about Getting it Right when you Have To, by Sian Beilock. Another brain science book, this one explores the question of how to perform well under stress -- in sports, in business, in academic settings, and in life. It would be a very helpful book for a competitive shooter, I think. It wasn't as easy a read as Extreme Fear, but still very accessible.

    An excerpt:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Choke by Sian Beilock
    Choking is suboptimal performance, not just poor performance. It's a performance that is inferior to what you can do and have done in the past. We all have performance ups and downs, but choking occurs when performers perceive a situation to be highly stressful and, because of the stress, they screw up. Choking is most noticeable when an opportunity to win is squandered, perhaps because this is when the pressure to excel is at its highest. Choking is not random.
  3. Mass Murder in the United States: A History by Grant Duwe. Another academic study. This one is a fact-filled look at the statistics and trends in multiple-victim murders from 1900 through 1999. It's a tough read, but a good reference book, if only to show your friends that everything they "know" about mass murders -- is wrong.

    An excerpt:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mass Murder in the United States by Grant Duwe
    This study has shown that, contrary to popular belief, the mid-1960s did not mark the onset of an unprecedented and ever-growing mass murder wave. Rather, mass murder was nearly as common during the 1920s and 1930s as it has been since the mid-'60s.... After mass murder was redefined in the early 1980s, claimsmakers adduced the surge in high-profile cases since the mid-1960s as evidence of an unprecedented mass murder wave. Drawing upon the high-profile cases, claimsmakers typified mass murder by characterizing it as a gun and, to a lesser extent, as a workplace and school violence problem. Claimsmakers were modestly successful in constructing mass murder, as they were able to use high-profile cases to bring about a federal ban on assault weapons and changes in policy concerning workplace and school violence.
  4. Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide -- Understanding How Police Determine Appropriate Use of Force by Rory Miller. This one is a must read! Miller has written several books on violence and its proper use (Meditations on Violence, Preparing for Violence, and Scaling Force). He's not a mere theoretician, but a skilled martial artist who spent decades in law enforcement as a corrections officer and tactical team leader in a medium security prison, and who "stopped counting" his own uses of force at over 300 events. The book very clearly articulates what standards law enforcement officers must meet, and why those standards are important.

    An excerpt:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Force Decisions by Rory Miller
    Hard Truth #1 -- The only defense against evil, violent people is good people who are more skilled at violence.
    Throughout history, civilized people faced with people willing to use violence to attain their goals have tried a number of strategies.

    .... The ideal of peaceful resistance only works when backed by the big guns of public opinion and economics, and only then if those two things matter to the person or institution that one is trying to change. ...

    Hard Truth #2 -- In a truly totalitarian environment where the authorities cannot only kill, but have control over who finds out about it and have control over the means to respond, the populace is helpless.

    .... If a person can do so safely, it is easier to steal food than to grow it. It is easier to beat the weak into submission than to earn their respect. It is far easier to rape and abandon a woman than it is to raise children. All provided it can be done safely. Society, or someone acting on behalf of society, must make that kind of behavior unsafe.

    A peaceful individual is ill-prepared to deal with a violent human being. The tactics of the courtroom, the boardroom, or the mediator simply don't work on someone who wants something and has no problem injuring someone to take it. A peaceful society compounds this by allowing the peaceful individuals to believe that their worldview is normal. It is a beautiful ideal, but for most of human history, and even within individuals in the most civilized of societies, it doesn't hold true. There are people for whom violence is a natural way to get what they want.

    Civilized people must come to terms with the fact that only force, or the credible threat of force, could stop a Hitler, a Pol Pot, or a John Dillinger.

    It's often been said, "Violence never solved anything." The simple truth is that when you are slammed up against the wall and the knife is at your throat, when a circle of teenagers is kicking you as you curl into a ball on the sidewalk, or when the man walks into your office building or school with a pair of guns and starts shooting--only violence, or the reasonable threat of violence, is going to save your life. In the extreme moment, only force can stop force.
What's on your nightstand?
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Old February 15, 2013, 10:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
What's on your nightstand?
Bassham's With Winning in Mind.

Selk's 10-Minute toughness.

Enos' Beyond Fundamentals.

The Peaceful Warrior is well worth watching. I haven't read the book, but it's likely very good.
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Old February 15, 2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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Just ordered With Winning in Mind. Thanks.

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Old February 16, 2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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Books worth reading....

Skill training & mindset are sometimes over looked for armed citizens or armed professionals(security sworn LE military EP specialists PIs etc).
Owning firearms & knowing how to use them are different issues.
In general here are a few non-fiction book titles to aid gun owners/armed professionals;
NOTE: some titles or book edition content may have changed or the author names may be wrong.
No Heroes(the start & organization of the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team/HRT), Cold Zero(about the HRT & how the FBI trains snipers/SWAT tactics), First Seal by Roy Beihm(the US Navy officer who helped train SEALs & UDT ops), No Second Place Winner: Bill Jordan(a top level shooter who served in the US Border Patrol & was a WWII combat veteran), Stressfire & In The Gravest Extreme by Massad F Ayoob, www.massadayoobgroup.com , Rogue Warrior & Red Cell by Richard NMI Marcinko, www.dickmarcinko.com , Dead Clients Dont Pay & The Bodyguard Manual by Leroy Thompson, Delta Force by COL Charles Beckwith(the US Army officer who created the elite SFOD-1/Delta Force), John Plaster's books about the elite spec ops unit; MAC-SOG(Special Operations Group or "Studies & Observations Group"), Robert Boatman's Living With ... series; www.boatmanbooks.com , No Lights No Siren(about the NYPD by a highly decorated officer), On Killing & On Combat by LTC Dave Grossman(a retired US Army officer who researched death-PTSD/killing), One Ranger by J Jackson(a retired Texas Ranger & NRA board member), Inside The Delta Force by CSM Eric Haney(US Army-retired), One Perfect Op by Dennis Chalker(retired US Navy specwar & plank owner of SEAL Team 06), American Sniper by Chris Kyle, KBL by John Weisman, Special Forces by Tom Clancy, Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab(about counter terrorist units & the elite 22nd SAS Regiment), Talk To Me(about hostage-crisis negotiators in the elite ESU; Emergency Services Unit New York City).

Other good gun & tactics related books include; Clint Smith, Elmer Keith, Jeff Cooper, John Farnam, John Shaw(Mid-South), Jim Cirello, Lewis Aleback,
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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Because you brought it up, I just ordered:
"Mass Murder in the United States: A History" by Grant Duwe
and
"More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws", Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) by John R. Lott Jr.
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:16 PM   #6
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Other good books...

I'd add the gun & knife law guides. Note: some legal guides & books are updated due to new gun-use of force laws.
www.gunlawguide.com the gun & knife guide by David Wong(a lawyer who works with gun/LE issues).
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:17 PM   #7
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Wow, some great additions to my reading list. May need to move to a bigger place. I'm pretty much drowning in books.

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Old February 18, 2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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A few additions

Rob Pincus Combat focus shooting second edition. Just Finished.

Everything By Masad Ayoob.

Gun Digest Book of the Revolver Grant Cunningham.

Set Of The Sail BN Woodson.

The Bible. Dont mean to preach.

Anything By Teddy Roosevelt.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:25 PM   #9
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Also, don't forget the local library is a good source to read when limited funds.

We also just got, "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws". We have checked out very many books from our library.
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Old February 19, 2013, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Force Decisions: A Citizen's Guide
Just bought it on Amazon, paid $15 shipped.

Thanks Kathy!
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Old February 19, 2013, 07:50 PM   #11
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No Second Place Winner by Bill Jordan.
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Old February 20, 2013, 02:23 AM   #12
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Frank: What I've begun to do to alleviate a similar situation is replace my low-value physical books (particularly paperback literature/scifi) with ebooks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBorland
A very good book, more of a psychological study of shooting than the title implies. It's now available as an ebook! Awesome!
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Old February 26, 2013, 04:58 PM   #13
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My nightstand book? Holy Bible, New King Jamers Version (NKJV)
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Old February 26, 2013, 06:40 PM   #14
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Good books: Train your Brain



A few days and already almost half way through. Awesome book. Thanks pax
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Old February 26, 2013, 06:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
What's on your nightstand?
My library up north contains many books, mostly of the coffee table variety such as , Small Arms of the World, Cartridges of the World, and Safari Rifles, but also some of the greats like Unintended Consequences, which I am about to start reading again. Sitting in my living room up there to read is just about as relaxing as sitting at a 100 yard bench firing a bolt-action .22, and I intend to do much more of it. I'll put these on the list of future buys. Thanks, pax.
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Old February 27, 2013, 03:21 AM   #16
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Quite welcome, guys.

Today on the plane I read another awesome book: The Unthinkable, a book about who survives disasters ... and why. Fascinating insights into denial, delay, and freezing responses to danger.

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Old February 27, 2013, 03:27 PM   #17
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Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected by Rory Miller is a book that was really enlightening to me.

My favorite gun writer is Ayoob, and I have much of his stuff.

This is a good thread. I will be sure to check some of these other books out.
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Old February 27, 2013, 04:30 PM   #18
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Thanks to pax now, I'm a huge Rory Miller fan. Actually the police officer who took me under his win is named Rory.
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Old February 28, 2013, 12:47 AM   #19
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Constantine,

It's pathetic that I'm such a fan-girl of his stuff, but I am. Nice to know I'm not alone.

... well, on the fan- part, not on the -girl bit.

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Old February 28, 2013, 12:00 PM   #20
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PAx
I am looking for a book that explains such things as double action, single action, striker fired, various types and grains of ammunition and the reasons to choose them. The basic books I have found seem to spend so much of their word space on gun safety that they forget to address the other aspects. I am not denigrating safety, but you can find that everywhere and more of the same is not what I am searching for.

I have just ordered "With Winning in Mind" by Lanny Bassham and "The Perfect Shot" by Albert H. League but I don't think the "The Perfect Shot" covers the very elemental information I am looking for.
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Old February 28, 2013, 01:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
I am looking for a book that explains such things as double action, single action, striker fired, various types and grains of ammunition and the reasons to choose them. The basic books I have found seem to spend so much of their word space on gun safety that they forget to address the other aspects. I am not denigrating safety, but you can find that everywhere and more of the same is not what I am searching for.
Hey Kate, welcome to the forum. That's a simple fix. Click on pax's link at her signature. Buy that book. All you need for the time being.


Quote:
It's pathetic that I'm such a fan-girl of his stuff, but I am. Nice to know I'm not alone.

... well, on the fan- part, not on the -girl bit.
No worries! I'm a huge fan now too. His writing is excellent. Can't wait to finish this one and get "Unthinkable" already.
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Old February 28, 2013, 01:29 PM   #22
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Are you telling me the book, "The Unthinkable" is what I need to buy to answer my basic gun and ammo questions? Or are you telling me to read "The Cornered Cat"? I have read many of Kathy's articles including the one on ammo but that does not answer most of the beginner questions I have. But it is a great article and I printed all 19 pages.
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Old February 28, 2013, 02:06 PM   #23
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Kate, this may be a good starter.

Guns 101
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