Customer Reviews: Armed Response: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Firearms for Self-Defense
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on August 13, 2006
David Kenick does a great job of covering most of the major issues you must consider if you are going to carry a firearm for self defense.

He starts off by discussing the misconceptions people have regarding police protection, the Body Alarm Reaction, the fact that action always beats reaction and empty hands defensive skills. He then covers the basics of gun handling - safety, trigger systems, jams and malfunctions, concealed carry, drawing from a holster, etc... The final parts of the book cover competitions, consequences of a shooting, other safety tools and gun control.

Some unique items in this book you will not find in others...what to do after the bad guy drops his weapon and surrenders? The reality that empty hands skills are necessary regardless of what you carry and a realistic discussion on stopping power and ammunition selection.

Overall, this is a very good book written by a responsible citizen. His lack of affiliation with law enforcement and the military, unlike many self defense authors, makes the book easier to read and understand.
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on December 29, 2005
For a gun owner or potential gun owner, there are so many necessary things to be learned. That there are so many things to know that it may, at times, just seem like noise. Here is a well written, clear and concise exciting new book that cuts through the static. One that comes in loud and clear.

What is owning a gun for self-defense really about? This book, among other things, is about understanding what responsible use of lethal force is about. It's also about the possible threats to your survival and constantly assessing their potential impact on your situation.

One of the best chapters in this book is about the dreadful impact of using your gun for self defense. Paper targets cannot shoot back or lunge forward with a knife. Your assailant may, can, probably will.

The book cuts through much of the hype and just plain wrong information that issues from gun publications and, worse, from Hollywood.
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on December 7, 2007
I bought this book hoping for what the title said: a comprehensive guide to using firearms for self-defense. Unfortunately, the book title is seriously misleading. I can only remember not finishing about 10 books in my life, and I read at least four or five a month - but this one is about to make the short list.

This book really glosses over just about everything it touches, and on top of that, it is so male-oriented as to be next to worthless for a female reader, particularly when it comes to concealment options. Women may want to see Effective Defense : The Woman, the Plan, the Gun.

The basic concepts of the book? Don't trust gun magazines; they have to please their advertisers, and both the magazine and the author are generally in it for the money. A person can cross 20 feet in 1.7 seconds. Know how to defend yourself unarmed because altercations may start or end up that way, and you won't always have time to get to your weapon. Buy a gun you shoot well. Shooting well means being able to pull from a conceled holster, not just at a range at a target. The stress of a real altercation has serious phsyiological and psychological effects that will have an impact on your shooting. Get training in combat-type situations. Know the law in your area regarding self-defense shootings. Keep track of your training.

I think you're probably better off reading In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection by Massad Ayoob if you're looking for a comprehensive look at self-defense shootings. Then read On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace by Grossman for a good look at what actually being shot at or attacked does to your body and mind, and how it affects fighting back. And then look in your area for training on shooting under stressful conditions, and unarmed self-defense training.
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on February 10, 2006
I enjoyed the book, but as with all books of this nature it does rehash some of the same principles that all of the books do.

Particurally it covers the standard safety and clearing sections that most other books include as well. Not that this is necessarily bad, as new readers will be happy to potentially pick up some new pointers, but again this material might not be of much benefit to people who are allready CCWing.

I did enjoy, and find particurally helpfull, Ayoob's discussion on the consequences of having to defend onself, as well as his analysis of the steps to take in this type of situation. He was helpful in determining how to conduct oneself immediately after the situation, and the effects of certain phrased sentences/statements.

Overall its a good starting choice if you are considering purchasing a book of this nature, but if you allready have multiple ones, you might want to flip through this book to determine if there is any additional beneficial information.

Some good sections of the book that I found helpful:

Responsible use of Force- This included classifications, situations, etc.

Discussion of Trigger systems- nothing really new here, but nice to have it included in one concise reference.

Properties of Survival- discusses the color system of alertness
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on June 11, 2006
good information and primer on the subject of firearms in self-defense. I just wish there was MORE information, I mean expanded on what is already there. I appreciate the author's tone and method of explaining himself to the reader, very clearly and not with superiority, but as a teacher and friend. Some typos in the text, but that just keeps it real for me. Read it, and bought it as a gift. Highly recommended!
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on April 27, 2007
The problem with books of this type is authors assume someone just bought their first gun THAT DAY along with their book. "Armed Response" is for someone new to guns for defense purposes (as opposed to hunting and target shooting). Although the book starts with a bang, it squibs in the middle -- with previously well-covered material -- and picks up again toward the end. It is not comprehensive in terms of depth as it claims; it is an overview. Truly, books by Ayoob and Spaulding have covered this ground better.

The author's dislike of the "new" double action/single action trigger systems and unreliable 1911 single action triggers for defense is just plain odd. The author is at his best when he is "real-world" voice and speaking from the place where personal truth lives.

If you have been around guns for a while, you will find most of the middle of this book rudimentary. I give it three stars for being average and leaning a bit toward silly in some regards. However, if you bought your first gun today, it would a good companion to keep you from buying two better books: Ayoob's "In the Gravest Extreem" and Spaulding's "Handgun Combatives" among others.
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on March 4, 2010
After watching a few of the author's videos, it was obvious he knows what he is talking about. Unfortunately, the book is filled with simple grammatical errors, repeated sentences and out of order pages! Even if you overlook the printing issues, you won't find much content. The majority of the information is common sense. It hardly lives up to being a comprehensive guide. It's like they published the first draft of a basic safety lecture. The chapters might pass as blog posts but I expect a higher standard when you print a book. I am considering returning it. Hopefully, the author will write a decent second edition in the future.
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on November 15, 2010
What does a book have to do with workmanship? Plenty, when it is absent.

For one thing, this book is replete with printing and/or proofing errors. A by no means complete list: text is missing on pp. 77, 79, 84, and 101; duplicated on pp. 81, 86; and p. 22 is entirely missing (instead, we get a repeat of p. 12). Minus one star from this review for these errors -- and I do feel I'm being generous.

In addition, the author, to be blunt, is not a very good writer. You may be an expert in your field, but if you can't write in grammatically correct sentences, you need a competent editor. Otherwise, you'll only muddle your message and hurt your credibility. Subtract another star.

Another annoying tendency was the author's use of incorrect laymen terminology. For instance, he consistently refers to loaded rounds (cartridges) as "bullets." Hey, guy -- the bullet is the thing that exits the barrel; a loaded round has other components too. Is it too much to ask that a how-to book employ proper terms of the field?

For the most part, the author knows his stuff, although much of the information is rather elementary. But his opening advice to believe only half of what you read is most apt to his own book. Some of what he claims is highly debatable, if not actual misinformation. The most jaw-dropping to me was his claim about semi-auto pistols on p. 46: "In the last few years, a new fad of double/single-action triggers has become inexplicably popular." Forget the redundancy of using "fad" and "popular" in the same sentence; in a book copyrighted 2005, this claim is indisputably false. DA/SA trigger systems have been very popular and readily available for at least the 40 years that I've been shooting pistols. To confirm my own memory, I consulted my old dog-eared copy of George C. Nonte's "Pistol and Revolver Guide" (1975). Nonte lists numerous DA/SA semi-autos, from makers such as Astra, Beretta, Heckler & Koch, Mauser, Smith & Wesson (including the Model 39, which I myself owned back in the '70s), and Walther. As Nonte notes about the latter maker, the Walther PP and PPK date back to well before WW II. What I can't find in Nonte's book -- and what seems a new fad to me -- are the DA-only pistols that Kenik favors. I'll put his preference for DA-only in the debatable category; I favor the old DA/SA triggers myself.

In the highly debatable category, I'd place his advice to grip a handgun hard enough to make your fingers turn white when shooting near the top of the list. In 40 years, I've never heard any firearms instructor give that advice. How would you do that without inducing tremors in your hand and (probably) jerking the trigger? Kenik also advises to release a manual safety only after acquiring the sight picture. Meaning, your thumb motion will inevitably cause you to lose the sight picture, and you'll have to re-align your sights. I can think of a faster way to shoot without compromising safety.

Overall, not a bad book. But I'd definitely advise waiting for a competently-written and -printed version before shelling out your money. I plan to ask Amazon for a refund due to all the defects.
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VINE VOICEon March 4, 2007
In "Armed Response" author David Kenik takes the reader through the steps of deciding whether the citizen even wants the awesome responsibility of being a firearm carrier. This is followed by a detailed explanation of what physically happens to a person's body when confronted with a shoot/no shoot situation and the considerations that must decided on in micro-seconds.

From here, the author lays out the different types of revolvers and pistols, carrying styles, holsters available and ammunition types that will help the new carrier understand the strengths and weaknesses of these important pieces of equipment. Armed with these choices, the informed carrier can decide for themselves what will work best for them.

He continues on with important narrative on confrontation techniques that will win in a gunfight but having done that, what the shooter will be faced with in the aftermath. Just as important these days are the self-protection steps that are suggested against attacks from lawyers.

Overall, an excellent read for the new or experienced concealed carrier.
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on February 12, 2007
There are many, many resources out there for those citizens that are considering carrying a weapon for personal or home defense. Many if not most of these have been written by current or former law enforcement officers and may contain tips and guidance that are not optimal for private citizens.

This book is written by a private citizen who has attended extensive and exhaustive training from some of the best in the business, and is now offering his insight from "the regular civilian" perspective.

I have read many books and periodicals on this subject over the past thirty years. I still learned quite a bit and had to rethink a number of ideas I had assimilated from other authors.

In my opinion, this book is a mandatory addition to the reference shelf of any armed citizen.
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