Personal safety is more than just carrying a gun. Any reasonable person would rather avoid a deadly force confrontation instead of engaging in violence to defend one’s family. But, how many credible books are there on decreasing your likelihood of being targeted while still offering excellent information on using a firearm should it come to that?
The good news is that in my Defensive Living review, I’ll tell you about an excellent primer that does just that. Written by a pair of experts, this book is a good starting place for anyone who has decided to take their personal safety and home security seriously.
What’s This All About?
Defensive Living is a short, but a very well-written book on personal safety. Written by Ed Lovette and Dave Spaulding, the book is written to preserve “your personal safety through awareness, attitude, and armed action.” This book, now in its second edition, is an excellent primer for anyone taking responsibility for their own safety.
Compared to some books, this work is relatively short at 112 pages. This makes it an easy read with information that is direct and to the point. There isn’t a lot of fluff in this book. Rather, it is dense with actionable information.
Covering many of the basic aspects of self-defense inside and outside the home, the authors of Defensive Living speak from obvious experience. Defensive Living can make a significant impact on your mindset, especially if you are just starting your journey for self-reliance. It also offers valuable insight and information to people already well along the path.
Among the topics explored in Defensive Living:
- the ‘fight or flight’ response (aka: body alarm response);
- recognizing potential threats;
- conditioned responses;
- legal issues in self defense;
- threats to you in your home;
- threats to you while in your car;
- handguns for self defense;
- mental preparation;
- firearms safety; and
- gun handling skills.
Defensive Living is not a gun book, per se. Rather, it is a holistic approach to the concept of self-defense. Firearms are an obvious part of the book, but so are other topics such as situational awareness and criminal mindset. A gunfight you can avoid is a gunfight you’ve already won.
If you are looking for just a gun book, this one may still scratch that itch for you. In the handgun section of Defensive Living, there are step-by-step instructions on establishing the best grip, perfecting the draw, indexing the weapon, using flashlights, and much more. Photos are included to help you visualize these skills.
Who Are the Authors?
With the freedoms of self-publishing in the modern era, anyone can write and sell a book. Knowing something about the authors can help you decide if the book is a credible source on the topic of self-defense.
Lovette speaks about self-defense from experience. He is a retired CIA operations officer, a prior commissioned officer in the US Army Special Forces, and a 10-year law enforcement veteran. While I do not know Lovette, I have met people who have said good things about him.
Spaulding is a firearms instructor and retired sheriff’s lieutenant with 28 years of law enforcement experience. He has written a great deal on firearms and training. While I have found much of his work to be very good, I have really taken an interest in his studies on vision during combat. His writings in this area have spurred me to do my own research.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dave Spaulding, and based on my impressions of him he is a no-nonsense, find what works kind of guy. I did not get the impression when reviewing this book that there was any agenda other than keeping the reader safe.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, I highly recommend this book to the citizen who is just starting out, seeking to take responsibility for their own safety. Defensive Living will open your eyes to a variety of issues you may have never considered.
I also suggest that the “old hands” to self-defense and concealed carry consider Defensive Living. While some of the gun-related information you may have already gotten in other training classes, the book explores other areas not covered in typical CCW and firearms classes. It’s an easy read, and if one little tip helps you avoid having to kill someone in self-defense, it is worth your time.
Last Update – July 30, 2021
All reviews you read should have full disclosure of what biases might have influenced it. Unfortunately, few in the gun industry provide these disclosures. If they do, they tend to be glossed over. I give disclosures a full section in the article so you can plainly see how the article came to be and how I earn money.
Neither the authors or their publisher asked me to review the book. I received no money or other compensation to write this article. Other than the brief meeting that I’ve had with Spaulding, I don’t have any relationship with any of the involved parties.
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