Among the most eminent instructors of armed citizen self-defense in our time are Tom Givens and his wife Lynn. Together, they run the annual Rangemaster Tactical Conference, scheduled for March of this year in Dallas.  The Evil Princess and I will “be there with bells on,” as usual.

Tom began his career as a street cop in a large and particularly violent American city. He went on to become famous for gathering and disseminating real-world collective experience in how potential victims in the here and now (as well as cops investigating after the fact) can understand and defeat violent, predatory criminals.  Tom publishes a monthly electronic newsletter that he makes available to the public (he knows that not everyone can afford to train with him) at his website,, where you can also see about signing up for the Tactical Conference (the “Tac-Con” in serious gun people parlance).

Here is a very small excerpt from his December newsletter, in which he touches on BS myths propagated on the public.  Below, in Italics, Tom discusses – and KO-punches – just one such myth:

Letting civilians carry guns will result in all sorts of needless violence.

Wrong. The exact opposite is true. States that have high rates of carry permit holders have significantly lower crime rates than states which do not. In addition, permit holders are the most law abiding segment of the population. Texas has a million CHL (Concealed Handgun License) holders, and the state tracks them very carefully. This is from an official Texas government report: “On January 1, 1996, the Texas Concealed Handgun Law went into effect. This law states that the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) “shall issue” a concealed handgun license (CHL) to any Texas resident who meets the application requirements for character (background check) and training. This is an analysis of arrest data for Texas concealed handgun licensees that was performed on data from the subsequent years of 1996 – 2000. A comparison was made with the arrest data for the entire Texas population for the same time period, showing that, on average: male Texans who are over 21 years old and are not CHL holders are 7.7 times more likely to be arrested for commission of a violent crime than male Texans with a CHL; and female Texans who are over 21 years old and are not CHL holders are 7.5 times more likely to be arrested for commission of a violent crime than female Texans with a CHL. Of the violent crime cases that have been adjudicated, approximately 26% of CHL holders who were arrested were convicted, and 44% are cleared of the violent crimes for which they were arrested.”

Speaking for myself, I take at least one Tom Givens lecture in person every year.

You can learn from him too…and you should.


  1. Mas,
    I lived in Dallas at the time and took the class. Felt a bit odd being fingerprinted…;-)
    Many thanks for all that you do.

    • Funny, I too lived in the Dallas area (actually Carrollton, a north suburb of Dallas) in 1995-1996 when the law went into effect. I can remember one Texas Sheriff literally declaring that “blood will run in the streets with shootouts at every traffic dispute.” (He later publicly apologized when, of course, this didn’t happen).
      Being fingerprinted was not a new thing as I had a Top Secret/Crypto security clearance and my “whorls” were practically worn off…..

  2. If a person could only take two classes from the myriad of folks advertising themselves today as firearms instructors, my advice would be to take MAG-40 and Tom’s Combative Pistol. Both provide unparalleled information that will help develop the proper mindset, gun handling and marksmanship skills. I am privileged to be an alumnus of both courses as well as others from both of you.

    • Mark,

      Yes, wasn’t that gun a SAA clone? If so, then Alex Baldwin first cocked the hammer back, aimed at the camera (with the cinematographer behind it), and pulled the trigger. As everyone here knows, a single-action revolver’s trigger will not move unless the hammer is cocked back.

      Alex and his lawyers believe they can lie to the public and the judge. The media will convince them the gun fired by itself. Alex neither pulled the trigger nor aimed it at the cinematographer. That is the lie they are selling.

      • This “Rust” movie negligent shooting is truly amazing! In addition to SAA revolvers that cock, aim and fire themselves (did that revolver have the name “Christine” carved into it’s grips? 🙂 ), you also have “ghost” ammunition appearing, mysteriously, on the set. See this story:

        It looks like they are willing to throw anybody “under the bus” that is necessary to save Baldwin. Not only do they blame armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who indeed may bear some responsibility, but they are also trying to ensnare her father, Thell Reed, too!

        Whatever it takes to validate Baldwin’s Left-wing “Get out of Jail” free card will be done! Depend upon it!

        That is the brand of “Justice” which is handed out in Today’s America.

      • Possibly Alex Baldwin inadvertently thumbed the hammer part of the way back and let go of it, which likely could trip the primer enough to fire the cartridge. Or somebody else cocked a faulty hammer before the handgun was handed to Mr. Baldwin, and the hammer started its fall spontaneously. Or Mr. Baldwin actually only “pressed” the trigger without “pulling it,” and now is also an innocent victim of some kind of amnesia. Some people may also believe that the Earth is flat, and others that the moon is made of Swiss cheese.

      • Strategic Steve,

        On the news I saw excerpts from an interview Alec Baldwin did with George Stephanopoulos. I think Alec said he pulled the hammer back, and then his thumb slipped or something. So, it sounds like it was an old-style SAA with the firing pin protruding out of the hammer.

        I definitely remember Alec saying that the round may have been in the gun from a previous filming production. If that is the case, then why was there live ammunition on that set?

  3. Thanks Mas… Tom has quite the archive of newsletters listed on his site. Looks like I have reading to do.

  4. The state of Florida issues Concealed Carry Licenses and has a very thorough vetting process that I have high confidence in and I with my son took advantage of it to obtain our Licenses. We are both Veterans while my son is still on active duty and thus far have had no incidents that required us to use our God given right under the US CONSTITUTION but God preserve us, it sure is a tremendous comfort to know you have the means although you pray you never have to use it !!!!!! 😁👍🏻🇺🇸

  5. Those data are from the first five years of Texas’ current shall-issue regime. I’m curious whether the trends have held up over the twenty years since?

  6. Mas, you and Tom have been the steady voice of reason from day one of my CCW training. The main reason I’m a member of ACLDN and MAG40 student. Looking forward to adding instruction from Mr Givens as well.
    Be well brothers.

  7. Tac-Con sells out early all the time. I haven’t gone, on the waiting list. Hope someone changes their mind for me!

  8. On January 1, 1996, the Texas Concealed Handgun Law went into effect.

    I well remember those days. I was in the third instructor class, and we could start training and sending in applications September 1, 1995. Between Sept.1 and Thanksgiving, Bill Mildner and I held two classes of 24 students every week. Then it tailed off, the initial flood having passed. Our students could start carrying January 1. That first year, about 300,000 CHLs were issued, trained by about 3,000 instructors.

    “Everybody” knew fender-benders were going to turn into firefights and blood would flow in the streets. As usual, it didn’t happen.

    I remember when the study was published, and worked with the author on another project.

  9. From the DPS website:
    Conviction Rates for Handgun License Holders Reporting Period : 01/01/2020 – 12/31/2020
    Total Convictions in Texas 26,304
    Convictions of Texas LTC Holders 114
    LTC Holder Percentage of Total Convictions 0.4334%
    “Offense” means an offense prohibited under Chapter 411, Subchapter H, Texas Government Code or under Title 5, Chapter 29, Chapter 46, or Section 30.03, Texas Penal Code.
    “Convictions of LTC Holders” includes any conviction reported to the Handgun Licensing Program for which the convicted individual held a license to carry a handgun at the time the offense was committed.
    “LTC Holder Percentage of Total Convictions” is a percentage derived from the ratio of LTC holder convictions to total convictions for the offense.

    Details are at

    • WJW,

      Thanks! Now show us the statistics on how many Texas police officers were convicted during that period. People have stated that LTC holders are more law-abiding than police officers!! If so, the statistics should prove that.

      • I have seen police stats for Texas that put them between the concealed license folks and the general public but can’t locate them at the moment. Since there are so few ofiicers by comparison (about 80K IIRC) that the stats would be easily skewed.

  10. Mas,

    I see that, in the myth-busting quote above, Tom Givens uses facts and numerical statistics to prove his point. How quaint. Doesn’t he realize that approach will only work on half the American population, the half that knows how to think?! Har-dee-har-har!

  11. I’ve not been fortunate enough to train under Mr. Tom but I do read his newsletter.

    The world is full of those who pontificate yet say nothing. You and Mr. Tom are two of the few I trust to relay information regarding guns, tactics, laws, etc..

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