Knowledge and Ignorance

Ignorance is no excuse for being stupid, or doing stupid things.  Ignorance is a merely a tool of awareness that tells us that we do not know something and should learn it, that is, if we are listening.   Once you gain knowledge of your ignorance, in a particular matter, you must then seek the answers to extinguish that ignorance with knowledge.  It is a simple formula that becomes an integral part of your awareness.

I remember, like yesterday, when I first figured this out.  It was 1978 and I was thrashing through the Jungles of the Philippines with two other warriors.  They were discussing, with enthusiastic detail, a very popular literary piece.  I had not read the book so I was not party to the conversation.  In fact, I had no say at all.  I felt stupid because I was ignorant.  Here, my brother warriors were caught up in a passionate, joyful, conversation and debate, and I was an outsider.  Becoming aware of this ignorance as a threat to my knowledge,  I became aware of opportunity to learn and I acquired the book the very next day.  I read with a vengeance.  I carried the book with me everywhere, read it at every opportunity and gained the knowledge that I sought.   I was no longer ignorant of that particular subject.  I now had the ability, the power, to discuss it with my own passionate opinions.  The most important knowledge I gained from this experience was the knowledge that I had the power to gain knowledge.  I, alone, recognize my ignorance and choose what information I will seek to exterminate the ignorance.  I alone have the power to fuel my mind with knowledge.

Unfortunately, lack of passion, drive, or just plain lazy, is a, seemingly accepted, barrier to gaining knowledge for so many.  Lazy, is the great miss-manager of life.  Lazy is a demon within us that will limit our knowledge and our potential and lead to regret.  Regret is the emotion of a lifetime and should be avoided at all costs.  To avoid regret you simply do what needs doing.  There is only one true limit to learning all that we should.  This limit is time.  Time is science that marches on with or without us.  There is not enough time to learn everything.  Knowledge is infinite, but our lives are limited, therefore we must prioritize what we choose to learn.  This requires balance.  Not enough sleep will make us too tired to learn.  Too much sleep and we have wasted hours that cannot be replaced.  The watching of something mindless on television can relax our minds, too much of it will make us idiots.  Too much of this, not enough of that, must be recognized.  We need to balance our lives, but we need to leave very little time for lazy.  Lazy is the waste of time that can never be replaced with something worthwhile, like knowledge.   Limit lazy, but don’t waste it either, do it with a book.

Success is made through good equipment and a strong and enduring body, but these are supplemental to the mind.  The mind will allow us to succeed or cause us to fail.  The mind powers the body and runs the equipment.  We must load the cognitive mind with two things, knowledge and experience.  We have the ability to make good decisions based on both.  All experience is good.  Failure is good experience that we should never waste.  It is stored in the mind as knowledge of what we should not do.  How we overcame failure is knowledge of what we must do to succeed.

The stronger our knowledge, the more we believe in ourselves and our abilities.  When we exterminate ignorance we also rid lack of confidence.  Training the body to properly run the equipment is knowledge too.  Knowledge is based on what we study, what we experience, what we do, and how we train.  Ignorance is simply the tool to make us aware of what we must learn.

To ignore ignorance is to accept stupidity.  We cannot go through life being stupid, and doing stupid.  Stupid will get you killed.  If you survive being stupid, it will only fill your life with regret.  Gain knowledge, extinguish ignorance.   Discover what you need to learn, and learn it, with passion.  Know what you need to do, and do it, with a vengeance.  That is what Sheepdog Warriors do, what are you?

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are rights provided by our forefathers, but our Founders did not intend us to be spoon fed success and granted personal protection. Hope has nothing to do with gaining success and happiness, our only entitlement is the freedom to EARN it. The responsibility lies with the rugged individual to defend rights, life, and family.  Every good American is obligated to prepare with good equipment, strong body, and a trained, superior mind.  While American sheep graze through life, hoping for the best, and waiting to be taken care of, sheepdogs, on the other hand, continue to equip, train, and prepare.  Sheepdogs create their own outcome for life, and when met with sudden death and challenge the Sheepdog confidently unleashes equipment, body, the mind with earth shaking vengeance…and takes care of business- Brian Hoffner

Hoffners Holsters and training Academy thank you for 28 years of building Sheepdogs and we invite you to join us as we continue to move forward, building a stronger America one Sheepdog at a time.

Are you Sheep or Sheepdog?

Today could be peaceful, or; you could be suddenly attacked and in a violent deadly force situation.  We should not be surprised when it happens.  Disbelief is a barrier to action.  On the contrary, we understand that this sudden reality, is indeed real, and must be dealt with.  The decision is made, by the bad guy, to imminently deal serious bodily injury or death upon you or those you are protecting, therefore they are making a request.  They are requesting that you stop them and you are obligated to do so.  Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness may be guaranteed to us under the bill of rights but there is a responsibility and obligation to be defended by the individual.  When you suddenly and violently have seconds to live or die, choose life, but no one else is going to do it for you. You must already be prepared for this moment with good equipment, strong body, and a trained, superior mind.  To put training off until another day is an invitation to defeat.  Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one, and it is certainly not guaranteed to be peaceful.  Sheep enjoy grazing through life, with hope for the best, until they are taken by the wolf.  Sheepdogs, on the other hand, look for the wolf, hope to find him first but are not surprised if ambushed by the wolf.  When suddenly confronted…the Sheepdog confidently relies on equipment, body, the mind, and with a sudden release of well trained, earth shaking vengeance…takes care of business.  Good day.

Ronald Reagan, The Great Liberator

The Great Liberator

With the words “Tear down these walls” Ronald Reagan is known as the Great Liberator for his mammoth role in ending the cold war and Communist totalitarian rule behind the Iron Curtain.  No one can discount the immensity of his underdoing and the affect it had on the world as a whole.  In my opinion his true legacy is that of the liberation he created within our own borders with his demandReagans of self-reliance within our own citizens and the freedom that it secures for individual and country alike.  Since the days of our Founding Fathers, when we founded a new country on self- reliance, the message has been lost.  It was not until John F. Kennedy, found it important to remind Americans, after our citizens got the first taste of entitlements through FDR’s New Deal, stated “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”.  Reagan, sensing the danger of Americans being enslaved to entitlement mentalities, spent his entire presidency making America strong by making the individual American stronger.


The words of Ronald Reagan:

“I have always wondered at this American Marvel, the great energy of the human soul that drives people to better themselves and improve the fortunes of their families and communities”.

“We learned from our parents that individuals determine their own destiny; that is, it’s largely their own ambition and hard work that determine their fate in life”.

 “Millions of American today have had to tighten their belts because of the economic conditions, and its time to put Washington on a diet, too.  Gaining control of the size of government, getting our economy back on track, will not wait”.

“The time is now, my fellow Americans to recapture our destiny, to take it into our own hands”.

“More than anything else I want my candidacy to unify our country; to renew the American Spirit and sense of purpose”.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children through the bloodstream, it must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same”.

No president since Ronald Reagan has pushed the American Citizen to again be self-reliant and therefore lift up, and return our country to the might of the industrial age, the knowhow of the technical age, and the power of a people to create, and work hard to improve the fortunes of family and community.  The rights granted by the founding of our country of “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are the foundation of our freedoms.  Free to defend our own life, maintain our liberties through self-reliance without dependency on entitlement, and free to pursue with hard work, sweat, and determination…happiness.

We do not know who will be the next Ronald Reagan.  We do not know who will lead this country back to its former glory and strength.  But we, as individuals and as good Americans, must defy the lure of the entitlement drug, and take responsibility for our own fate, we must take action to lift up ourselves, and in doing so lift our country upon our backs and make it great again.

Brian Hoffner

Citizens or Subjects?

Governor Mario Cuomo and New York Lawmakers agreed to pass new gun control laws that further punish all law abiding citizens for the acts of a very few mentally deranged people. The New York legislation does include provision that a therapist who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally would be required to report it to a mental health director who would have to notify the state. A patient’s gun could be taken from him or her. All the other provisions in the law do nothing more that punish the law abiding citizen while further limiting their rights under the Second Amendment, such as reducing magazine capacity from 10 to 7 and require that citizens must sell their 10 round mags out of state within a year. Any rifle with a pistol grip will be illegal.

“This is not about taking anyone’s rights away,” said Sen. Jeffrey Klein, a Bronx Democrat. “It’s about a safe society … today we are setting the mark for the rest of the county to do what’s right.”

Senator Klein’s statement makes me, as an American, tremble. There is nothing safe about limiting a citizens Second Amendment rights to defend self, family, and country, while the bad guys, terrorists, and a tyrannical government have no rules that concern them.
While New York is exercising their Tenth Amendment Rights as a state, apparently Texas will do the same…with the exception that Texas wants to protect their citizens not punish them.

AUSTIN – State Rep. Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands) has begun the process to file legislation assisting the protection of the Second Amendment of the United State Constitution.
The “Firearms Protection Act” bill would make any federal law banning semi-automatic firearms or limiting the size of gun magazines unenforceable within the state’s boundaries. Anyone trying to enforce a federal gun ban could face felony charges under the proposal.
“We can no longer depend on the Federal Government and this Administration to uphold a Constitution that they no longer believe in. The liberties of the People of Texas and the sovereignty of our State are too important to just let the Federal Government take them away. The overreach of the federal administrations executive orders that are do not align with the Constitution, are not very popular here in Texas,” said Toth.
Along with Wyoming, Texas will lead the country in continuing to stand for the sovereignty to run Texas as Texans see fit while exercising the Bill of Rights Amendments 2& 10 to “prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers … [to] extending the ground of public confidence in the Government.”
Along with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has already filed more than 23 suits against the Federal Government, Toth will continue to stand with other Texans to encouraging the promotion of personal responsibility and liberties while actively guarding against outside parties attempting to erode the freedoms enjoyed by Texans so that the people of Texas may have more confidence in their government

Wyoming has passed similar laws. New York will call these actions products of a Wild West mentality but it is nothing more than logical legislation during a time when so many Americans seem ready to quietly give up their rights for what their elected leaders say is best for them. A large percentage, perhaps even a majority, of Americans have pathetically handed the will of the people over to their government to decide their fate as if they were only subjects. They have forgotten that the continued cost of freedom will, from time to time, will be painful, hard, and even bloody. Instead they forsake their own freedoms for what they envision as their safety and security under the rule of government. I can’t help but re-emphasize the words of Ben Franklin “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

Logical Americans understand that gun free zones are magnets for crime and evil. I stated the logic in arming capable teachers in my last blog “State of the Nation Dec 31, 2012”. In Harrold Texas, school teachers with concealed carry permits carry concealed handguns while teaching since 2008. You have to believe that a pimple faced loser feeling sorry for himself is going to think twice before going into one of Harrold’s schools where teachers are prepared to stop them with lethal force.

New York is a nice place to visit but I would not want to live, work, or run a company, in a state that governs their citizens like subjects. Deciding for them what is right, wrong, good, bad. Out lawing drinks with certain calories and guns with certain bullets, making New York City a gun free city so it will be safe, safe for whom? The terrorists? The muggers? The mentally ill? The evil doers? The Government? Ridiculous! No, I choose to be free. I choose to be self reliant. I choose take responsibility for the safety and success of self and family.

I choose to be an American. I choose to be free! I choose the land of the free…I choose Texas!

State of the Nation, the Challenge Before Us

Kramer-Art-ReducedMy voice is that of an American, with a deep love of country and my fellow citizens, and the land on which, not so very long ago, we shed our blood against the tyranny of a King and, with our Founding Fathers, we laid birth a Democracy that has provided us rights and opportunity like no other humans ever in history.  In these great United States of America we are provided the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Rights that we must hold so dear to our hearts that the only way we part with them is to part with the very blood that beats for them.   Our Democracy, the great experiment as viewed by much of the world, has met and overcome many challenges in our relatively short history.  The challenges will continue and as we move into the unknown.  We the people must not simply stand on the sidelines and watch idly as history issues each challenge.  This is our country, of the people, by the people.  We must be as involved in the direction of our country as we are in the events of our day.  We must ensure not just the success of self and family but the continued success of our nation.  We are no longer subjects of a tyrant, but individuals of a nation.  The challenges of our nation are a direct challenge to each and every one of us, as Americans.   How do we meet this challenge?  We, the people, with the right of free speech, have our voice, our American voice.   It is our responsibility to be heard in the name of freedom.  I will certainly say what I think needs to be said and I will challenge you, my fellow Americans to do the same.

Challenge #1
Above all else, we must protect the constitution and the 2nd Amendment.  You will be asked by government and politicians to support new laws and possibly even amendments in the name of making our children safer, protecting our citizens, etc.  We must always keep in mind that freedom comes before, and stands above securities.  Without freedom, security means little.  For centuries tyrannical kings promised security to their subjects by imprisoning or beheading those who spoke against the king.  Now with H.R. 4310: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, we face the indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens to be passed into law…in the name of security.

The Newtown shooting has brought gun rights back to the table.  The unjust and violent deaths of so many children are just the ammunition that anti-gun groups and politicians have been waiting for, but logic must guide the process and our future freedoms.  Ben Franklin said it best, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

Our Forefathers were very wise and had vision far into the future.  Thomas Jefferson said, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man”.

Logic tells us that gun free zones are magnets for crime and evil, history continues to prove it.  The 2nd Amendment secured our right to own and bear arms for more than just hunting and self-protection.  Politicians are saying “Why do we need these assault weapons to hunt and protect ourselves?  I will reply that the 2nd Amendment assures us the right and the ability to #1-Hunt, #2-Protect self and family, #3-Protect our country from invasion-our enemies know that there will be an American behind every blade of grass with a “Defense Weapon”…who had the right to name them assault weapons in the first place? And #4-Protect our country against a Tyrannical Government.  I may have missed it but there seems to be no discussion of #3 & #4 in the media or from the government.

Combine the loss or increased limits of our defensive weapons and the military’s right to indefinitely detain or imprison U.S. citizens and you have a path to a much more powerful government and potential tyranny.  Thomas Jefferson also said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”.

“By calling attention to a well-regulated militia, the security of the nation, and the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy.  Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger in our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important” John F. Kennedy, April, 1960.

So, in what direction should the coming gun legislation go?  The government must not punish the law abiding citizen by limiting their rights to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but instead target those who are doing evil with guns.  We have tools in place to identify the mentally ill and unstable.  We no longer institutionalize them but we treat them and medicate them, therefore we identify them.  Legislation must keep firearms out of these people’s hands.  Families must keep firearms secured from mentally ill family members and held accountable.

We must also replace gun free zones with responsible firearm security.   We can demand that schools put an armed guard in schools but many local governments are already strained with their budgets, but it should be known that a lone guard is often a sacrificial lamb.

After 9/11 we trained and armed our nation’s pilots and we trust them to keep us safe.  Do we not trust our teachers to keep our children safe?  Not all teachers are capable of doing so but many have the capability and are willing to train extensively and carry a firearm concealed to assure the safety of our children.  Currently these mentally unstable individuals know that they can prance into a school and have a turkey shoot in a target rich environment with no one to stop them.  They would think twice knowing that teachers are armed and ready to defend the children.  Logic says these are the directions that legislation must move forward.

Challenge #2
Work Hard, do good work, and insist that all others, who are capable, to pull their own weight.  This is something we do not here from our government since Theodore Roosevelt “The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight”, John F. Kennedy “Ask not what your country and do for you, ask what you can do for your country”, and Ronald Reagan “We learned from our parents that individuals determine their own destiny; that is, it’s largely their own ambition and hard work that determine their fate in life”.  Now; the government insists that those who work hard and gain success should be punished, pay more taxes, do more of “their share” to support the countries spending habits, while enabling those who refuse to do their share to be compensated and entitled to the same quality of life.  This way of thinking in the nation and in the government is very dangerous to the future of America.  I say “Those who taste the drug of entitlements tend to enslave themselves to it”.  When the government continues to issue more and more and more food stamps, unemployment, welfare, the population of those entitled grows and grows and grows until there are more entitled than there are those working.

Alexis De Tocqueville said “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.  “The power of one vote is the same for the citizen that pays no taxes as it is for the citizen that pays taxes.  The entitled will always vote for their drug, for their entitlements, and the party that provides it.  When the entitled population outnumbers the working population we will only have one political party that can ever be elected.  Thomas Jefferson said “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”.   One party rule is not democracy; it is totalitarianism, a dictatorship.  We, the hard working Americans are heading in the direction of being ruled by “A government by the entitled, for the entitled”.  We must recognize it, speak of it, and refuse to allow it.  Hard working Americans believe that hard work is “our right” and that success is to be emulated not hated.  That hard work, innovation, and risk are rewarded.   It is only with reward that it will be repeated and a country made great again.  One year ago I Founded American Tactical Apparel, knowing that it would be costly and difficult, because I decided to do what most clothing manufacturers do not, manufacture in the U.S. using U.S. materials.  Why?  It’s a risk, but I know that it’s good for America and I know that we as American must work to make America strong again and not be ashamed of it.  We must insist to our congressional representatives that we be allowed the freedoms to make our own destinies  and rewarded for doing so and that we cannot allow those who simply refuse to pull their own weight be entitled to the quality of life of those who pay the debts of this country!  “It is time to reawaken this industrial giant, and to lighten our punitive tax burden.  On these principles there will be no compromise” Ronald Reagan.  Speak up hard working Americans and be heard by congress, our President, and our country!

Challenge #3
Insist that Congress and the President balance the budget and end the spending spree that endangers the very foundation of our country.  Cicero said more than two thousand years ago “The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt.  People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”  Our government shows absolutely no willingness to tighten the belt, curtail spending, and reduce the debt that will destroy our future.  We, the people, are the financiers of the government.  We must insist that the government be responsible with what we pay them not by taxing us further so they can simply spend more.  “Millions of Americans today have had to tighten their belts because of economic conditions, and it’s time to put Washington on a diet too.  Gaining control of the size of government, getting our economy back on track, will not wait” Ronald Reagan.  A government for the people by the people must only listen to the people when the people speak loudly, clearly, and with insistence.

I challenge you, and all responsible Americans, to speak up, be heard, and fight for your freedom.  Stay in constant contact with congress.  Speak clearly, logically, and responsibly, and let your thoughts be known

Congressional Directory:
How to write your congressman:

Challenge #4
Sheepdog up Americans!  You own guns, many of you carry guns, but if you are violently and suddenly attacked you may not be able to adequately defend yourself and protect your family.  Why?  Because you do not train, practice, plan, and prepare adequately.   Col Jeff Cooper said “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician”.  When you wake in the morning, you do not decide to be attacked, the attacker chooses.  You had better be ready.   Good friend and mentor Charlie Landrum spoke very true words when he said “you have to train constantly or you will not have the ability to react appropriately in the blink of an eye”.  When you and your family are suddenly in an active and violent situation the opportunity to prepare is no longer present and behind you.   The ability to act appropriately comes from tens of thousands of hours and redundant repetition to build your reactive tool box with tools and skills that you can count on.  It takes commitment.   Your life is the sum of the choices that you make and the level of commitment that you see them through.  I challenge you to give yourself, family, and country a recommitment to excellence and remain steadfast in your disciplines.  Legionnaires do not sit around congratulating themselves in the wake of every victory, nor are they idle in peacetime.  Rather, they are constantly training and refining their warrior skills, so as to be ready to act at a moment’s notice.   I submit that I will give you, your family, and our country, all that I have, in lecture, on the range, and by your side.  In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”  What you do with the critical micro-moment of time and space, whether you live or die, is based solely on your training, equipment, skill, and confidence.  Life is good and life is safe when you’ve got it…so get it!  Let us train together and together we shall face adversity and danger without fear, and with the knowledge that we are “Warrior” because of our action, our discipline, and our commitment!  “The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

For twenty seven years, as Director of Hoffners Training Academy, I have included the research of fight science, along with neuro-biological capability, and evolving, what I believe is the world’s best system of self-defense training for Law Enforcement and responsible citizens.  A system of one warrior, all weapons, with hands, body, knife, pistol, shotgun, rifle, and the mind, to which all else is supplemental.  I truly believe in the great quality of life provided by commitment to this training.  I invite you to join me in training, in the making of your life successful, confident, honorable, and wonderful…as the master of your destiny…as warrior.  So, in closing, I challenge all Americans to Sheepdog Up, protect your 2nd Amendment rights and Commit to training so you can live a life that is secure, confidant, and free.  A life lived on your feet not on your knees.   To be safe we must be disciplined, to be free we must be willing.

It’s your choice, Lead, Follow, or assume a fetal position.

Brian Hoffner
Hoffners American Voice

Director-Hoffners Training Academy
Founder-American Tactical Apparel
President-Hoffners American Holsters