Edward Wilks - The Tradesmen Gun Store - 128 East 3rd Street Rifle CO 81650 Colorado - Advanced Combat Training

Edward Wilks - The Tradesmen Gun Store - 128 East 3rd Street Rifle CO 81650 Colorado - Advanced Combat Training

Edward's Project: The Five 8's

Edward's Project: The Five 8's

     Because of my actual involvement and real experience, I have discovered that if I want to be safe and secure, I should carry (or have available) what I have dubbed...  The 5 “8’s,” or... five “ate’s.”  (It used to only be three, and then four, but then I added one final element and will explain the reasons for this change a little later.) 

     I do not leave my home (nor travel with my family or others whom I love) unless I have five specific things.  When working as a police officer, body guard, or on a protective detail or in any other potentially dangerous environment, I double up on each item.

     People see me tapping and patting on the sides of my body and on my pockets before leaving and ask, “What are you doing?”  I simply look at them, bewildered that they do not think and behave in the same manner and say, “Gun, light, knife, phone, keys!”


     By that, I mean...

Annihilate: Gun / Firearm – Can you annihilate or eliminate the threat?  Can you stop the attacker?  Are you capable of completely neutralizing whatever risk or threat may be eminent?  How do you propose to defend and protect yourself and others?  With what?

Illuminate: Light / Flashlight – Most deadly encounters happen at night or in times or lacations of darkness or even where power or lighting has been deliberately interrupted.  Also, unexpected darkness can lead to panic which creates opportunity for evil men.  In darkness, house cats become lions.  Can you illuminate the area to fight, hide, or escape?  If you cannot see, you cannot function.  Period.  Also, how do you know where to aim your firearm?  Have you identified the threat?  Are you going to hit them, or an innocent by-stander, or worse, a family member?

Facilitate: Other / Knife / Multi-tool / Etc – You would be surprised how often a simple tool (or any environment-specific device) can get you out of sticky situations.  The ability to cut, break, or fix your way out of a problem is often underestimated or underappreciated.  You can make fun of MacGyver all you want, but intelligence coupled with tools equals great potential.

Communicate: Communication Device / Phone / Cell Phone / Radio – Where is help?  Where is backup?  Where is rescue?  None of those will occur if you cannot communicate your dangers or needs with those who can assist.  How long are you willing to stand there, holding a violent attacker at gun point?  That only works for so long.  Get safe, then, get help!  (Side Note: If you find that you are without a cell phone, I’ll bet you the bad guy has one.  Use his if you have to!  Better yet, make him call 911 and explain the situation to the police.)

Evacuate: Keys / Vehicle / Lock & unlock as needed...  Are you capable of escaping or evacuating the area?  Can you lock or unlock all the doors you need to?  Are you able to SAFELY get to your vehicle and drive away?  If you can, you should.  Sometimes, you should stay put and hide.  Other times, you need to get clear, get out, and get away.

     Many ask which one is the most important.  Well, that should be obvious.  You will notice that “gun” is, of course, number one on the list.  If the threat is dead, you may not need to see, implement, call the police, or even flee.  In fact, I could argue that your pistol can do, or will do, all the other tasks needed.  For example: I will use my pistol to engage and deter or destroy the threat.  Also, my pistols all have lasers.  These are enough to illuminate both the bad-guy, and the dark places that surround me.  (And, do not forget about muzzle flash.)  Remember in the movies when the person shoots a door bolt or a lock open and solves a problem by using their gun?  What about the next one one?  How can your pistol call 911?  No one is surprised how well three to seven shots ringing out in the middle of the night communicate distress.  Not only does the sound of gunshots warn bystanders to get down and get away, but neighbors and other citizens will call the police for you.  Finally, shooting at an attacker (if it doesn’t kill them) usually causes them to run away.  Therefore, they are conducting the evacuation for you.  Instead of removing you from the dangerous environment, they are removing the dangerous environment (themselves) from you.

     Now... NONE of this should be construed as an excuse to not carry the others.  But, if I can have only one item, I choose Glock over DROID.

About Violence...

     The word, “violence” is not a bad or vulgar word.  We all commit acts of violence each and every day.  Violence, applied in proper direction and measure, is beauty, health, and life.  Using violence to keep a seven-year-old girl from being raped and murdered is not only acceptable, it is magnificent, and even required by all tenets of reason and morality.  Acupuncture is violence.  Physical therapy is violence.  Yoga is violence.  The implementation of medication is a form of violence.  All of these acts attack and kill negative aspects of life or energy.  When you accept the fact that dangerous germs, toxins, and forces come in all shapes and sizes, you become more ready to defend.  Then, you realize...  There isn’t a problem in the world that violence cannot solve.

Side Note: As mentioned above, this list was originally 3, then 4, and now 5 items.  I have adapted it to “five ate’s” for a few reasons.  Three didn’t cover all aspects, and five fit in a new and more fully-encompassing way.  Also, I constantly employ acronyms to facilitate learning and success.  So, in case nobody caught on above, this list is coincidently, (or is it) an easy-to-remember acronym: Gun, Light, Other, Communication, and Keys spells out...  you guessed it, GLOCK.  (Isn’t that what the custom license plate on my Durango says?  I think it is...)

     My dear students and friends, I love you all.  I appreciate your willingness to learn and consider new realities.  I am blessed and happy to work with all of you and know the world is a better, safer place because you choose to walk this path by my side...  Just remember to be on my left side because I’m “guns-front/right.”

-Edward Wilks