Niki Jones: It seems lately like all we hear about are terrible crimes committed against innocent people—and not just in big cities. Is the world less safe than it was ten or twenty years ago? If so, why do you think that is?
Jeff Gonzales heads up the staff of diverse trainers and instructors for Trident Concepts, his reality-based company specializing in personal protection tactics and training for armed and unarmed conflicts. Jeff was a decorated and respected US Navy SEAL and has worked in a variety of environments and capacities through out the globe. His goal is not simply to train his students, but to better prepare them for the worst-case scenario. Jeff is the author of the book Combative Fundamentals, An Unconventional Approach and currently writes his Trident Concepts’ “High Ready” Blog.
Jeff Gonzales: I believe the world has become more violent, not necessarily unsafe. Safety is a matter of perspective; violence is pretty cut and dry. There are a lot of reasons we see violence on the rise; the economy is a big one. The ones we don’t like to talk about are our failed foreign policy and illegal immigration. I see them directly impacting our national security, which will only have a trickle-down effect on personal safety. If ever there was a time to take your personal safety seriously, now is it. NJ: While situational awareness and defensive mindset is important no matter one’s gender, what are some of the ways personal safety is different for a woman? JG: I think a big way is in the physical stature of most women. Many are not physically as strong and while training, weapons and mindset are all ways to level the playing field, it will still be somewhat lopsided. NJ: Do you think a firearm is the best choice for personal protection for those who live in places where it is an option? What about those who do not live where they are allowed to carry—what other choices are available? JG: I believe it is an excellent option. It is hard to beat it in many cases, and for those who cannot [carry] due to legal reasons, many of the other options might also not be legal. My next best suggestion is a good knife, but if all else fails, one of the best tools would be a powerful handheld light. So many discard this as only being a light, but in the hands of someone who knows how to use it as an impact tool, it is pretty effective. NJ: What would you say are the three most important things to consider when choosing the best firearm for personal protection? JG: You need to define your mission first. Why are you choosing to carry a firearm in the first place? Don’t sugarcoat it; be honest with yourself. If you cannot answer this question, then anything I say will be largely ineffective. If you are looking at concealed carry, are we talking on-body or off-body? Women can carry off-body with a purse, but it adds safety concerns that on-body doesn’t have. Then there is caliber—I will say it now and I don’t care if some find it offensive. The minimum defensive caliber is a 9mm. Now, some will be put off by this claim, so I will follow it up with “a gun is better than no gun.” There are no guarantees, but a 9mm in a solid-performing defensive round hedges your bet. Next, you want to talk capacity, and for concealed carry our minimum requirement is 10 rounds. Since most confrontations occur with more than one threat having enough ammunition to avoid a reload or running dry makes for a very important consideration. There are other minor considerations such as the feel and aesthetics, but when you get right down to it, these are the major considerations. NJ: I’ve heard you cover this topic in your classes, so I’ll ask it for the readers: Which is better: software or hardware? That’s a trick question, they are symbiotic. In other words, you can have a solid mindset as you are looking down the barrel of a gun unarmed. On the flip side, if you have the hardware, but lack the software, you potentially create greater risk. With that being said, it starts with software and you develop your hardware. NJ: How can one prepare for conflict/combat? JG: The best thing you can do is acknowledge evil exists. This seems to be a big hangup for many people of both genders. Once you recognize evil exists, [determine] what is the best way to confront evil. From there it takes discipline; there is no easy way to sharpen the blade of a knife. It takes discipline, it takes knowledge, it takes sweat and sometimes blood. This process is important because it prepares the individual to survive conflict by progressing. It is a process and there are no shortcuts; hard work make for hard women.
10 | sure shots mag | issue 15
Sure Shots Mag Issue 15