Okay all...less than a week to go until we embark on our Black Friday shopping mission. As I KNOW (I hope) I am preaching to the choir...all of you who are going willingly, or like me, at the behest (read that told to by the wife) of the wife...you WILL be armed and ready. So, let's talk about a couple of things... 1. Equipment. Obviously, you will need a defensive sidearm of sufficient caliber to stop a threat with all possible speed. You will need at least one reload. I don't care if you carry a wondernine or uberfotay with a hi-cap magazine...the magazine is the weak link in the semiauto, and as such a spare is just good thinking. If the one in the gun goes to hell...you have a ready-made repair kit. FLASHLIGHT! You will probably be going out in the dark and waiting in line OUTSIDE in the dark (make sure your batteries are fresh...if not shame on you and good luck with that candle). Common sense say...have 'em light! Sharp knife...do I need to explain that? CLEAN HANDKERCHEIF....even if your nose never runs, you have a clean BANDAGE handy. Cell phone...again...do I need to explain? 2. Have some protein. Whether it's a bar or jerky...have some in your pocket. If it's cold outside, you burn energy, get sleepy, and are not as alert as you should be in a crowd of people you don't know. 3. COFFEE! Mainly, just because I love my coffee...BUT...a large cup of steaming coffee in your OFF HAND makes one hell of a good non-lethal liquid projectile into the face of someone who is about to attack you physically. Think about it....SPLASH to face, step back and you now have a little more time in which to employ your defensive measure. I like to call it "Tactical Coffee". It works. I know this from EXPERIENCE. 4. Keep your eyes moving AT ALL TIMES. Duh. 5. Do NOT look like a target. Remember...'tis the season for carjackings (and assaults, purse snatches, muggings, strong arm robberies....etc...etc...etc...) Now, down to some brass tacks....remember CONCEALED MEANS CONCEALED. Don't wave your CONCEALED weapon around for ANYONE to see. You don't need to show anyone. If you are new to concealed carry..."letting your roscoe show" does NOT make you cool. It makes you a douche. All you need is some mall ninja asking you to leave the shopping venue you waited in line for hours to get into. Bin Laden is allegedly dead. Ghadaffi is allegedly dead. Some are still probably pissed off that Sadam is on the other side of the dirt. It IS the 10th Anniversary of 9-11...can you think of a better time for some sort of "retaliation"? In the shape that our economy is in, can you think of a better disruption than our busiest shopping day of the year? KEEP YOUR DAMNED EYES OPEN. Plan for, and know where the closest exits are at all times. Do NOT engage foolishness UNLESS you are close enough to be SURE OF YOUR SHOT to stop the threat RIGHT THE **** NOW. If you have NO experience in active shooter engagement, and you are more than an easy pistol shot away...GET YOUR FAMILY TO SAFETY. If you have a friend who will be with you, and armed...share responsibility for watching one another's backsides. I will have my wife, who is a currently serving officer with me...she's a pretty good partner...so I am not worried. Our daughter will be home with Grandma, a shotgun, and four 90+ pound landsharks, therefore, I will NOT have to worry about protecting my cub. Also, remember, you are NOT a damned sheepdog. Your responsibility is to your safety and the safety of those who count on YOU to protect them. I am not saying abandon people to slaughter...but if you are too far away to make a difference, GET THE HELL OUT and take as many to safety as you can with you. DO NOT engage. Your rounds flying willy nilly will probably hurt more than they will help. UNLESS YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE SURE OF A STOPPING SHOT! Be safe, be aware, and have a good day.