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April 4, 2023

April 2023 ADC Newsletter

There's plenty to cover in this month's newsletter; some good news and some ...let's say "cautionary."

Adaptive Defense Concepts - Idaho Status

I have been searching for local ranges where I might hold classes here in Eastern Idaho and I think I may have finally found one that will be cooperative. I still need to meet with their board to discuss things, but a conversation with the club president last week went very well. Idaho is a bit of a trip from New Mexico by car: about a 12-hour of scenic drive. If I get a class scheduled here it would make for a good long-weekend trip though, and the range is nearby to some excellent scenery like Mesa Falls.

As soon as I can get some dates scheduled, I will post them in this newsletter and on the website. My goal (which may be somewhat ambitious) is to hold 3 live classes this year: Defensive Pistol Elements, Black Rifle 101, and my Scoped Rifle Workshop.


gas block
I received notification from my handguard manufacturer that the rifle-length version of my Adaptive handguards are in production. I should also be receiving the updated prototype of my hybrid-railed gasblock any day now. Once I have them in stock, I will be posting all kinds of pics and they will be available for order on the Armory page.

It has been a little over 9 months since I shut down my New Mexico operation. Today I finished the final "checklist" item to get things operational again here in Idaho by getting my credit card payment processing back up and running. I have been fighting with my website for a few evenings, but it's almost ready to go again. I am hoping that I will be ready to take class registrations and payments again before the end of the week - just in time, as I am starting to get calls from around the state for the Armorer class I will be putting on at Idaho Falls Police Department this summer.
If you have attended one of my concealed carry classes, you should remember a discussion on "triune brain theory." Neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean originally formulated this model in the 1960s and propounded it at length in his 1990 book "The Triune Brain in Evolution." Several authors focusing on defensive mindset and use of force have expounded their philosophies about how the stress of a violent confrontation fits well within the triune brain model.
To borrow from my own classroom material: There are 3 main "levels" of the human brain. The most primitive, central part of the brain is called the "protoreptilian formation." It is part of the autonomic nervous system responsible for reflexive actions governed without conscious thought, such as reflexes like the withdraw response – pulling your hand back automatically after touching a hot stove. All physical movement comes from nerve impulses that originate in this portion of the brain. This arrangement enables us to react reflexively to physical stimulus without the delay of conscious decision making. Sometimes people refer to this part of the brain as the “Serpent Mind.”

Next is the "paleomammalian formation" It supports a variety of functions, including emotion, behavior, motivation, sense of smell and the formation of memories. Going back to our hot stove example, that action causes us to experience pain, and while the serpent part of the brain is responsible for creating the sudden impulse to pull our hand away from what is hurting us, the memory of that event is recorded in a part of that paleomammalian brain. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the memory. Without this capability to remember events and the emotions they evoked, we would look at things like hot stoves and either not recognize the danger or not care. This is the "monkey brain." emotional and reactive.

Lastly, the "neomammalian formation", or the conscious, thinking part of the brain that makes us human, is the part of the brain that processes visual imagery, and LOGICAL decision making.
This logical "human" portion of the brain is insulated from the action or "reptilian" portion of the brain by the "monkey brain." This structure is what enables what Daniel Goleman (in his book "Emotional Intelligence") refers to as "emotional hijacking," or "amygdala hijacking." A simplified explanation of this would be that some stimulus that evokes a strong emotional response (anger, fear, stress, etc..) makes the body respond chemically by pumping out adrenaline and cortisol, and to respond mentally by letting our "monkey brain" grab the steering wheel. A simple exercise to demonstrate this would be to asking someone who is upset to "calm down." The classical response is for them to angrily retort "I AM CALM!" Is that the rational, logical human brain? or is that the "monkey brain?" A person in this mental state can react with more adrenaline, more speed and physical strength, but not with the most precise logic or rational decision making.

Typically I bring this up in the context of the need for training under controlled stress to classically condition the reactive part of the brain to respond correctly to threatening situations relevant to the armed citizen. Today, I want to talk about it in the larger context of what we are experiencing nationally and globally. We have agitators that are pushing all of the buttons right now. They are blaming YOU, they are blaming YOUR fundamental rights. This is a measured tactic to get people emotionally engaged. The indictment of former President Trump (regardless of your personal beliefs on his character or politics) is a measured tactic that emotionally engages people - not only by attacking a public symbol, but also by perverting our justice system. Bank collapses, central bank digital currency, banning your gasoline vehicles and gas stoves, attacks on traditional ethics and morality... These things are all about YOU. They are about getting you emotionally engaged. Here's why:

It isn't someone's deeply-held religious or philosophical convictions that makes them a potential terrorist. It isn't someone's experience with weaponry, firearms, explosives, etc... that makes them a potential terrorist. What makes someone a potential terrorist is their emotional engagement. The more someone's buttons can be pushed, the more that "monkey brain" begins to take over for some people. If the provocation is strong enough, they can be convinced that aggressive violence is a legitimate, or maybe the only possible course of action.

All of these stories that are pushing society's buttons are an attempt to get people emotionally engaged and entice the most vulnerable into throwing that first punch. We already know what the reaction to that will be: more laws, more restrictions on Constitutionally-guaranteed rights, more public outcries against our way of life. I have full confidence that none of my clients or students will act rashly to this provocation, but I do want you to consider the dangers presented by a more easily-triggered segment of the population. The anger is reaching a boiling point - on both sides of the political aisle. This is a time for cooler heads to prevail. Take a step back, take a deep breath. Put the "monkey brain" back in the trunk and ensure you are thinking logically. That will give you the best advantage at preparing yourself and family for whatever the future may hold. If we can get enough people to start doing that; thinking clearly and preparing responsibly, it will help our communities.

That said, stay frosty and be ready to protect yourself and family effectively if and when trouble comes to your door.
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PO Box 219 Rigby, ID 83442
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