CARL FUERST

MASCULINITY IS NOT THE PROBLEM

EPISODE VII: Masculinity is NOT the Problem

Toxic Masculinity is defined as adherence to the traditional male gender roles that restrict the kinds of emotions allowable for boys and men to express, including social expectations that men seek to be dominant (the “alpha Male”) and limit their emotions primarily to expressions of anger.”

In the mid-seventies my Father coached my little league team. We were “The Mets”. My Father and I would show up to the field at least an hour before practice to play catch and prepare for the upcoming activities. My Father was an executive with an international manufacturing plant and was in charge of safety and security. He did not own a pair of sneakers or jeans. He coached in his suit pants and dress shoes. He dressed the same way to cut the lawn, build a shed, watch TV, ice-skate, everything. I never saw him wear anything other than some configuration of a suit. Dressing down for my Father was rocking a white tee-shirt with dress slacks, but, only if it was eighty-eight degrees or over.

My father ran that team, like he ran his department at the company. You showed up on time, you did not call out sick and you worked hard.  I remember we lost our first game, (they kept score back then) and the team asked my Father if we were going for ice cream. My father said simply, “Ice cream is what the winning team gets.” The team was heartbroken, but also angry. The team bonded over thinking my Father was an A-Hole and I was all in with the team. A funny thing happened though; we won the next three games and we ended up in the playoffs. We didn’t win the championship, but we did pretty well overall. This pattern never changed; wins meant ice cream, and losses meant none. We were taught the difference of winning and losing. We understood that hard work was rewarded, and that was a lesson we could take with us throughout our lives. On a side note, at the end of the season, Dad still bought the team pizza, for a great season, despite not winning the championship.

As I grew older, another memory from that summer stuck out. A few days after every loss, my mother and I would end up at Dairy Queen getting sundaes and talking about the week. It didn’t occur to me until I was older that that was the band aid for the loss. We never spoke about it and as a ten-year-old kid I couldn’t put it together, but Mom was doing her job. Teaching me the nurturing part that all of us need to have to function in a civilized society. Mom understood that Dad was better at teaching physical and emotional toughness, and she was the compassion part of the equation.

The definition, or as I think of it, “collection of words that develop a bunch of PC agenda driven bullshit”, that I wrote at the beginning of this was done to point out our supposed “progressive” society’s demonization of the traditional American Male as well as their war on all things traditional. That being said, let me explain that it’s not masculinity that’s toxic; it’s lack of learning how to be a Man. Men are not what that PC definition describes; angry brutes who’s only emotion is anger. That’s an insult. That definition is describing what, in my opinion, is known as unmanly jerk-offs. Bullies and those who abuse women and children are coddled, entitled, little members of the male gender who never learned to be mentally tough enough to stand on their own two feet and can only express themselves through anti-social behavior.

There is a difference between being a male and being a Man. Being male takes only having a certain DNA Code (and this is not something that you can just decide you want to change because of how you “feel”). Men are built by caring men and women who teach them the ways of life. I may be old fashioned in some ways, but the strong masculine men, who served as my role models taught me to respect and honor the women in my life. The taught me to stand up for what was right and protect those who cannot protect themselves. To stand up to bullies and not allow myself to be bullied. These lessons were taught at home and we did not need some government school program to teach us not to be A-Holes.  The men of my generation didn’t stand around watching while some loser beats up his girlfriend or lets a gang of cowards beat down some lone victim. We would jump in to stop it. That’s true man code. Hell, that’s just human code.

Today these supposed “progressive” social individuals will video these incidents and put them on unsocial media. Do the colleges and lower educational socialized indoctrination camps have any definitions for those who participate in that type behavior? I have one “Dangerous Unhinged D-Baggery” or D.U.D.–“The act of being weak disrespectful and entitled dirt bags with no honor”.  That’s right punk ass assaulters and videorers, I’m calling you out. You are DUDs. DUDs in life, DUDs in Society, DUDs in love. You’re defiantly toxic, and about as masculine as a Victoria Secret’s storefront window. Hipsters look at these miscreants and just shake their heads.  Don’t bother applying for your man card, you’re not welcome. Man-cards are earned through earning respect and by giving respect.

I read that many “prestigious” universities in our great country now offer classes on “Toxic Masculinity”. Sadly, I’m sure the brainwashed youth of today will be attending with eager abandon. I have some advice for the so-called “educational” systems and colleges out there. How about a new class on “Being a Man. Instead of having some progressive, social justice warrior, snowflake, socialist agenda driven, out of touch Professor teach it, or having some overpaid, morally scrupulous professional athlete teach, lets change it up. Find respectable, hardworking, men in the community who give back every day. Those who take care of their families and are a positive influence in the world they live in. Some of the things taught could be; opening the doors for ladies, starting a lawn mower, changing a tire, you know, basic life skills. Nobody cares about your weak assed feelings. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Sacrifice for others and toughen up. There are bad guys out there and it’s your job to protect those you care about.   Just think how much money would be saved if we didn’t have to build “safe spaces” and “cry closets” if the school curriculum had a few classes like that.

One more story about my Dad. One summer in the seventies my cousins spent the summer with us. Before they arrived, they stated that they wanted to get jobs as they were going to start college in the fall and jobs on the jersey shore would be fun. My cousins were older than me and their father had passed away a few years earlier, so they had been raised by their mother and grandmother. My Dad became their long distance male role model. My Dad helped where he could, but he knew they needed jobs, as money was going to be tight for the family. They had shoulder length hair, which was the style back then, and my cousins were so proud of that hair. Of course, my Dad hated it and would tell them on a daily basis. Telling them to cut it was useless though, so my Dad just made fun of them. That was his way. My family had an in-ground pool, and my Dad told my cousins that if they had long girl hair they had to wear swim caps, so their hair didn’t clog the filter. The only swim caps my Dad had were frilly 1950’s style with big ridiculous flowers on them. My cousins protested, but my Dad never backed down. After a few days of wearing these caps and looking silly, my cousins went to the barber shop and got crew cuts. Two days later Dad took the boys to a hotel in town where he knew the owner. The hotel was known for paying really well, a lot better than the usual Jersey Shore boardwalk jobs. My cousins were hired, and they enjoyed their summer. My dad knew that money would help them and their family. My Dad also knew the owner hated “Hippie Hair” and didn’t hire any guy with it. I guess that was some tough love psychology on my cousins. My Dad, though not perfect, was a Man and a teacher to future men. I learned from him, and other men I’ve had the privilege of knowing, what being a Man is. To show love and accept love back. To respect others, and to help my community, by sharing what I know. I can only hope I’ve done them proud.

If they want to call that “toxic masculinity”, well so be it, but, I’m sure I could even find a couple of Hipsters with man buns to raise a toast to not giving an F to what they call it. Because we are Men. Hey Hipster Bro, you don’t Toast something like this with Soy Latte. WTF.

Carl Fuerst-The Fuerst Option
RSO, Trainer, Blogger
cfuerst@royalrangeusa.com

The Fuerst Option Safety Suggestion

If you carry your firearm or self-defense tool off body, such as backpack or purse, have a designated pocket for just that tool. Also have that tool and a proper holster and have the holster secured to the inside of the pocket. This will assist you in accessing the tool when it is needed, and you will be carrying in a much safer manner. Be careful out there.

DO NOT GET C-LOCKED

EPISODE VI: Do not get C-Locked

I get asked a lot of questions at Royal Range. Questions like; 1. How tall are you? 2. Is that your real hair color?  3. Why would your wife be with you? 4. Is Scott here? And my all-time favorite, 5.  What’s up with you and Jerry?

Here are the short answers to those questions; 1. 6’8” 2. Yes, but if you could buy it, it would be called “Cool Badass Thor”   3. It’s a mystery to everyone, especially me.  4. I don’t know, Jeff.  5. Don’t worry about it.

On the other side of the spectrum comes questions from our customers. I would say that the most frequently asked question from customers is “what’s the best firearm to have”? Since at Royal Range we only sell quality firearms, you really can’t go wrong, but in my humble opinion, you should choose one from a major manufacture with a positive track record.  Your firearms should suit your needs and it should be the right fit for you. You should also find it cool. Just saying.

Another common question is “how do I become, more situationally aware”?

This is an important question, albeit, not always easy to answer. Situational awareness varies from person to person through different lifestyles and surroundings.  For instance, a person travelling to Afghanistan to conduct business is in a much different situation than a person out and about in Downtown Nashville. Despite being worlds apart, there is a principal that connects these two people: The belief and understanding that there are evil people out there and these evil people will do them harm. Without this belief system in place it is very difficult, if not impossible, to spot and avoid dangerous situations because you have your head in the cultural sand.

It is my belief this principal is the most important piece, the foundation, of the defensive, situational awareness mindset. The PC, “my feelings are offended” Crowd has pushed their “don’t ever judge anyone for any reason (unless they disagree with me)” agenda to the point that the practicing of good situational awareness is now offensively wrong, because people could get their feelings hurt. So, these, “I listen to the social justice warrior” crowd (aka Sheeple), put in their earbuds, pull up their hoodie hoods and march into potential oblivion, while they are checking their twitter posts and making sure their selfies show just how much an instrument of the fight against fascists they are. But at least they aren’t hurting anybody’s feelings. Thumbs up, good job, you f-ing knuckle heads.  This is what I call, (Cultural Loss of Consciousness) or (C-LOC) and I believe it to be the biggest threat to our families, our communities, and ourselves.

When I teach Active Aggressor Training or Situational Awareness type training I recommend a book, “The Survivors Club”, by Ben Sherwood. This book chronicles the real stories of everyday people who were involved in different types of potentially deadly situations and how they survived. It tells the stories of the mindset that helped them survive, the mindset, that in some ways, lead them into these situations, and what they learned from these experiences. This book was written through interviewing the actual people involved, and for me, it is an honest, powerful, and educational read.

One story that always stood out to me, was that of a woman who was alone in a sparsely occupied building late at night and was waiting for the elevator. When the elevator door opened, she saw a male inside and he immediately made her feel uncomfortable. She knew something wasn’t right and she was scared. She also felt that it would be rude to not get on the elevator because the man inside might be offended. Against all her better instincts she got on that elevator. She was raped and nearly killed. But for the grace of God she lived to tell, but a hard lesson was learned. Humans are part of the animal kingdom and we are supplied with some similar protective instincts. These instincts are very effective, but only if we don’t ignore them. When Peter Parker feels his Spidey Sense tingling, he doesn’t just sit there drinking his coffee with Mary Jane, thinking to himself,” Isn’t that interesting”. No, he jumps up, throws some cash and cab fare on the table, gets that suit on and gets ready to kick some Doc Oc Ass. Sure Mary Jane gets pissed, but that’s life, she will get over it or she won’t. Don’t get on the elevator. Offend the F*** out of whoever you must to feel safe. Spiderman knows when you sense danger, danger may be coming., DO NOT IGNORE IT! Retrain your brain that it is ok to offend people. It is ok to be rude, especially when your safety is involved.

I’m from New Jersey. I offend at least seven people a day here in Tennessee, and sometimes I’m not even trying to. Rudeness saves lives. I realize that being from New Jersey I have the advantage of not being offended and not caring if I offend those around me. This is a skill that is cultivated all through our formative years. It is a necessary Jersey survival tool that all responsible Jersey Parents teach their kids. We are nice until its time not to be nice. I call it “Tactical Rudeness”. Trust me, it works like a charm. I may be on to something, note to self, pitch “Tactical Rudeness Class” to Art. I think It’s time to take this concept NATIONWIDE. The point is, leaving Mary Jane at the table may be rude, and Mary Jane may be offended, but there are lives in danger, and proper etiquette must be tossed to the side when it’s time to get down to business. If Spiderman can offend MJ and be alright with it, then you can offend some creepy stranger on the street. This concept may in and of itself be offensive to some of you but, I say, “F the creepy stranger on the street”, you and your family’s lives are important than Creepo’s soft assed feelings. Mary Jane always forgives Spiderman. Spiderman recognizes danger. Then Spiderman reacts to that danger. Be like Spiderman.

C-Loc, (Cultural Loss of Consciousness) is a take on the term generally used in aerospace physiology called G-Loc, (Gravitational Loss of Consciousness) where pilots lose consciousness due to exposure to sustained and excessive G Forces. C-LOC is caused by a sustained exposure to political correctness, liberalism, and the general weakening of our entire culture.

People don’t become SHEEPLE because they are inherently stupid, they follow the crowd because it’s trendy. BUT, trendy sucks and trendy is dangerous. Sheeple start to listen to the easily offended yogurt and granola eating dipsters that are so happy to live their blissful unaware lives in a coffee shop, believing that the bad things only happen to others, that they soon begin to believe the same thing. Cultural indoctrination camps, (IE colleges and educational systems) teach fairness, tolerance, and everybody wins because they participated. They seem to promote tolerance and diversity in all things, except diversity of thought. If you don’t believe this, browse the internet for video on the recent school walkouts. Many of these walkers seemed united in using this event to get a school sanctioned day off. While others were united in tearing down American flags and damaging police vehicles. What I failed to see, was very much honoring of those poor people killed by some demonic monster. The policies put in place to stop these incidents either failed due to lack of implementation, or the policies themselves were ineffective. But, only one side of the argument was represented, the side of having armed good guys in the building to stop the bad guys seemed to be demonized. Some schools reportedly suspended students who did not participate in the walkout simply because they did not want to be part of what they believed to be a political social agenda they did not agree with. I heard from friends with children in the local school system, that their children were bullied for not participating. True tolerance in action, right there. This is C-Loc in action, group think that focus on symptoms of the problem, instead of the solution. Metal detectors, locked doors., gun free zone signs, anti- bullying programs, background checks and armed police officers were all in place and this did not stop anything. Why? Because the human element failed. No mention of that in these walkouts. Why? Because in my opinion, the culture, drives these school administrations to force the police and security leaders to water down response and bend to political correctness. Sometimes there is no response at all. It’s sad, dangerous, and deadly. This is why they go along with blaming the gun, there are many instances when guns stopped these murderous rampages before they could get started. No mention of these situations, I guess they didn’t fit the agenda. These political correctness/anti- gun warriors seem to be constantly given the loudest voices, in the struggle to keep these school children safe. Why? They use every excuse to avoid the obvious, we need more good guys with weapons. Taking security advice from these people, is like asking a vegan how to grill a steak.

I’ve been given a voice. Perhaps my voice is small, but with that voice I want to do what I can to prevent the totally preventable. To awaken people to the danger of the SHEEPLE/ VICTIM mentality. Forget the crowd, the crowd doesn’t care about you and your family, that takes the power of rugged individualism, sometimes you have to stand alone. Be rude when needed, hurt feelings, offend people, trust me, these concepts help save lives. It may be difficult, but nothing of importance is ever easy. But, I believe Tactical Rudeness is the key to breaking the C-LOC. Spread the word. It’s your duty. Be careful and God Bless.

Carl Fuerst-The Fuerst Option
RSO, Trainer, Blogger
cfuerst@royalrangeusa.com

The Fuerst Option Safety Suggestion

One especially for the ladies, If you’re out on a first date, or blind date, upon your introductions request to see the gentleman’s drivers license and take a picture on your phone and send it to two trusted friends. Pre plan this and make it show and be obvious and tell the gentleman and what you’re doing. If he is a good guy, he will gladly do it, and probably think it’s a smart idea. If he has a problem with it, you or refuses, he is not a good guy, so leave the date immediately, right after you take his picture and send that, just to ensure you get home safely. It’s the practice of Tactical Rudeness. If you find a love connection, with a good guy, you’ll have a fun story to tell. You can give this advice to daughters, sisters and friends. Be Safe out there.

A CAR CULTURE SHIFT

EPISODE V: A Car Culture Shift

America had always been known for a few things: greatness, badassery, guns, and the car culture. Great movies like Bullitt and Smokey and the Bandit, put the Mustang and Trans Am vehicles out front which made them true icons of American culture. If you are a man and haven’t watched either of these movies, it is a must that you do so or tear up your man card and light that shit on fire. If you are a male Hipster, Millennial, Antifa Member, Social Justice Warrior, Easily Offended and/or work at a Starbucks, these are required movies you must watch… if any of you I just mentioned, ever decide to apply for your man card. The fifty, sixtys and seventies were the muscle car years, big cars with big engines, cruising boulevards or strip mall parking lots showing off these great looking machines with pride. In my opinion, those were the greatest decades of car culture. Off-road trucks and SUV’s tearing up dirt roads and big box store parking lots, their footprints in American culture larger than their huge mudder tires make in an open pasture. The car culture of these modern times is much different. The vehicles are much more technologically advanced, but lack soul. The Asian vehicles of today are excellent in the reliability and gas mileage department, but they don’t actually stir the soul, like an IROC Camaro or Corvette. I can never understand why these car companies cannot bridge these two concepts, “stirring the soul” good looks and new school reliability and technology. I drive a Dodge Durango powered by a 5.7 liter Hemi engine. It sure does bridge the gap of the “holy crap that truck is Badass and has amazing technology.” It gets about three feet to a gallon and it’s too new to gauge its long term reliability, but its fast as a rocket sled on the rails and looks like a beast and makes environmentalists pee themselves. I love that!

Recently, a friend of our family’s son stopped by to show off his new car. His name is Tammeron, I think that name sounds like a spice I’d put on my Christmas Egg Nog, but that’s apparently a name. I have a soft spot for this kid. His Dad left the family for a nineteen year old Waffle House waitress, so when he comes to talk to me, I try to give him support. I get where he’s coming from, I grew up in New Jersey and we didn’t have Waffle Houses but we did have Diners, and our Diners were great. Anyway, my dad had a “friend” named Lola, who was a waitress at the local Diner, who he would spend weekends with from time to time. Lola had a unique look. She was a cross between 1992 Kathy Bates and 2018 Madonna. Lola’s hair was bleached more aggressively than an Abercrombie and Fitch Model’s teeth. That hair was piled ridiculously high, even by Jersey standards. Lola’s hair was higher than Snoop Dog. It took about twelve cans of Aqua Net to hold the shit in place. Lola talked in a Minnie mouse style voice and cursed like a Philadelphia truck driver, all the while snapping her Juicy Fruit Gum like Indiana Jones Snapped his whip. She was a real pleasure. But I digress, I try to spend time with Tammeron, since his dad isn’t around. I try to be there for some man influence. Obviously there was no man influence, during the car buying process, because parked in my driveway was a black Econo car. I didn’t notice it as a car at first, I thought it was a hockey puck souvenir from last night’s Predator’s game. I honestly don’t even know, who the manufacturer was, they all look the same. Tammeron stood next to it smiling proudly asking for my opinion. My true reaction was to fall to my knees and weep in sorrow for the death of Tammeron’s masculinity. I was good though, and saved his feelings. I gave him a thumbs up and said, “Cool ass color”. Tammeron excitedly told me he was capable of getting something like a thousand miles to a gallon. He asked me what he would be capable of getting if he would have bought a Durango. I wanted to say the truth, “The respect of his male peers and girls to date him.” But I just shrugged and said, “You will surely be able to get a parking space in front of an upscale coffee shop.” Tammeron invited me to take a ride, and being the supportive older adult figure, I ran inside and switched out my Sig P320 I was carrying, for my Glock 42, so the weight of the firearm didn’t throw off the vehicles balance, than I jumped in. How did it feel? The initial thought was that the vehicle felt as sturdy as the $19.99 piece of exercise equipment my mom would buy from some television shopping channel. Bought on January first to jump start the new Year’s resolution and broken by February, folded and shoved under the bed, with my old Rockem- Sockem Robots. I closed the door of Tammeron’s car and the rear vew mirror turned all the way to the right and down. It hung there, in defeat like those flying Martian”s eye balls in The War of the Worlds movie.   Tammeron gleefully gunned it and said “I better be careful, I don’t want to get a ticket.” Ticket?? that car couldn’t reach the speed limit if it dropped out of an airplane! Freeway entrance ramps were a far scarier experience, like seeing Rosie O’Donnell in Yoga pants. The whole ride was bumpy, shaky and uninspiring, like experiences I’ve had when I deal with a Y wellness floor manager. My coccyx bone prayed this torture would soon be over; but, he seemed to be enjoying himself and I guess that’s what mattered.

My first car was 1970 Pontiac LeMans. It was gold and had a gas guzzling V8 engine that roared and it burned rubber. Airbags were for space shuttles in those days and your seatbelts were waist belts only. It had an AM/FM radio and the knobs stuck out like Benchmade Knives. Things were less “safety controlled” back then. Everybody who was lucky enough to have a car, it seemed, had something cool. The new cars of the day were too expensive for the High School and Community College kids, which was probably a good thing looking back. The soul was quickly being removed from the new vehicles, where the cool spoilers and other personal accessories, were being replaced by pedestrian square people movers. I believe it was great experiencing the Americana of car culture, hanging out in the parking lot front of the Lincroft Krauzers, drinking large fountain sodas and listening to music blasting out cassette era hair band music from the car speakers, the brown haired beauty, who I just knew would be my wife, was at my side. We would talk about the future and dreams and laugh with our friends. We swore we would hang out like that forever! The friend’s part were pipe dreams of course. Some are lifelong friends, but sadly most friends come in and out of our lives like waiters and waitresses. Like most things, time and life interfere with best intentions. By the grace of God and her monumental patience, I still have that beautiful Brown haired girl, and she is more beautiful each time I look at her.

Although America’s true car culture is a thing of the past, I have found that America’s gun culture is going strong. I look around the Royal Range and I see it as the old parking lots of the past. We have moved indoors and cars have been replaced by guns! Men, women and entire families hanging out in the range showing off their modified pistols, rifles and shot guns. Their weapons painted and accessorized to show their personalities. Good natured ribbing over who’s the better shot and which brand handgun is the most reliable. I’m a retired police officer and I must say that at times I miss being a part of that culture, but I have found a new community of likeminded people. I have made, what I believe, are more lifelong friends here and that makes this place special. I hope there are others who have found similar experiences. These types of experiences always make me feel nostalgic and maybe these changes and swapping out old cultures for new ones isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t mean that the new culture is better than the old. They’re just different. Cars and Guns are America. They’re both badass ingredients that make up Americana. So perhaps there is hope out there for the American Male and American Badassery……you just have to keep a 1911 on your hip and maybe a Remington 870 in your hatchback. Keep it in the center, remember that vehicle balance.

God bless.

Carl Fuerst-The Fuerst Option
RSO, Trainer, Blogger
cfuerst@royalrangeusa.com

The Fuerst Option Safety Suggestion

This is maybe more for men than women given the plumbing situation. Men instead of using the standing urinals, which are usually out in the open, when the need arises, use the stall, and be sure to lock the door. This goes for the ladies also, and if the door has no lock, hold it closed with your hands or feet. Ladies try to make sure your gun is safe and accessible. Being in the stall behind a secure door, gives you an extra layer of protection and a little extra reaction time. So remember- Watch your butt when it’s time to pee.

TOUGH TOYS

EPISODE IV: Tough Toys

I was recently cleaning out my basement and came across some of the toys my daughters had as kids. It got me thinking about the toys I had as a kid. The technology of todays toys sure has advanced since I was a kid but, I wonder if they have really gotten better? My generation did not have these high tech video games or electronics, but the toys we did have were tough. They weren’t rechargeable, they took batteries, large heavy D-cell batteries, which were always sold separately, and you never knew that until you got home. I remember my Dad mumbling under his breath about “f-ing batteries” and “for that F-ing price, batteries should be included .” Dad would do this while getting up to take the batteries out of his black metal police flashlight. This happened every time, whenever I think about it, I can hear his voice……t makes me laugh just a little. I remember having disagreements with friends and cousins, it taught you restraint, because hitting somebody with a toy back then could involve a hospital visit, for the recipient. Our toys had the bility to injure us….even through normal play. These toys had heavy metal moving parts that could crush and pinch fingers. Pointy corners and edges sharper than Flagrant Beard knives. Our toys could truly F you up. The toys made kids tough. We didn’t have these visually beautiful worlds or action packed battlefields created in video games. We were forced to create these worlds in our imagination. We would share our imaginary worlds with friends and playmates, and they would do the same. Attacking imaginary enemy strongholds together, with toy guns, going ‘Rat A Tat Tat”, or gun shaped sticks. Afterward we would hang out in a ramshackle fort built out of abandoned  wood and bent nails.  We would sneak tools out of our father’s garages, internally vowing to bring them back, but always losing them and facing Dad’s wrath. Those old school toys forced you to communicate with each other…. to learn about each other and depend on each other. These concepts have seemed to be lacking for quite some time! Our toys gave back. Our toys gave us friendships and memories. I walk through stores today and toy guns are a pretty rare site. Toy guns have been demonized by the “everyone gets a trophy culture”. Take them toy guns away, they make kids violent! The amazing thing is that my generation grew up with toy guns, and I don’t recall any horrible school shootings from that time period. Sadly, the “toy gun grabbing, easily offended generation” can’t say that. I don’t think it’s the toy guns.  I believe those old school toys helped prepare us for a life of critical thinking and expanded imaginations. It’s those mental tools that we use every day that  help sharpen our situational awareness. Critical thinking is important to knowing what danger looks like and how to avoid those dangers. How to react to those dangers. Imagination is important as it helps us imagine what the dangerous people can think up and to have scenarios in place, in our minds, before the crisis happens. The time to plan for a crisis is before the crisis, not during it! It’s extremely difficult to come up with a workable plan while the crisis is occurring.

My Favorite toy ever, was my Evel Knievel, motorcycle riding, action figure. This action figure was based on an actual American Icon of the seventys, motorcycle stunt sportsman, Evel Knievel. Evel was a living example of the American Spirit. He would do incredible stunts, jumping his Harley Davidson motorcycle over obstacles that were completely insane. Evel Knievel would be dressed head to toe in red, white and blue. He was the Elvis of stunt cycling.  Evel probably crashed more times than he stuck his landings and was rumored to have broken every bone in his body at least once. Evel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in 1974. He attempted this jump in a rocket shaped vehicle called a Skycycle X-2, just the name of this thing is cool as F. The Skycycle had an open Indy car style cockpit and was powered by steam. F-ing steam! WTF??  It was like an old west locomotive.! This was a major event and was televised live on the Wide World of Sports. The attempt was not successful, but what I took away from the footage of the Skycycle plummeting into the canyon, and the subsequent retrieval of Evel, was this…..he Skycycle itself had a parachute attached to it, much like a parachute on the back of a funny car. Evel on the other hand wore no parachute at all. What a set of balls! All these X Game weirdos with their dreadlocks, lip rings and skull tatts, probably don’t even know the name Evel Knievel. That’s sad, because without Evel Knievel their sport probably wouldn’t exist. Evel Knievel passed away on November 30th 2007, but he inspired millions of dumb kids like myself, to jump over garbage cans on our Huffy bikes. It was no surprise that a toy was built in honor of one of the toughest dudes ever, but, the toy would have to be tough as well. It did not disappoint. This toy was badass, tough and grizzled. The only motorcycle dude tougher than my Evel Knievel Toy is our own J.D. riding around town on his Harley Trike, Glock on his hip and wearing his biker vest over a Royal Range Tee-Shirt. By the way J.D. if you’re reading this, your rain suit is in.  Action figure Evel Knievel could kick a Hipster’s ass. Understand what I’m saying here. I’m not talking about a Hipster –Action figure. I’m talking about an actual living, coffee-drinking, house dwelling, Hipster. Here’s how the toy worked: you would attach the bendy Evel figure onto the Motorcycle, then hook it up to the revving machine and thenou would then turn the wheel handle as fast as you could. This would rev up the motorcycle motor and it would release from the gear wheel, sending the motorcycle and Evel across the room, at a relatively incredible rate of speed. This amazingly strong, plastic and metal toy would slam off of walls, table legs, siblings and parents, causing damage to everything it hit! Your brother would limp into the kitchen, crying to mom, with a small motorcycle handlebar shaped laceration on his ankle. The toy always suffered zero damage. I sent my Evel off ramps which would send the motorcycle ten feet into the air and watched it crash to the ground. I literally sent this motorcycle with Evel, left hand above his head in victory, off the roof of my house and watched it crash onto the driveway. The toy suffered minor scratches, but worked just fine. Evel Knievel and its motorcycle worked every time on everything, indoors, outdoors, wood floors, carpet, concrete, dirt, gravel, grass, it never stopped working. It was the Glock of toys! As the years went by, I lost track of my Evel Knievel. It was lost to adulthood and time. Time is the ultimate thief. The older I get, the more evident that is. As I write this, I am in another transition period of my life. This week my oldest daughter moved into her own apartment and my youngest daughter turned twenty. They are wonderful, smart, caring and beautiful young women. They get all those traits from their mother. I understand it’s the job of the parent to raise their children to eventually move on and start their own lives, and I’m proud and grateful to God, to have been given the privilege to have been a part of it all. I’m proud of them both. But, I’m still a little sad that they had to grow up. I sometimes wish I could go back in time, even for just a little while, and have my little girls back. I know that’s impossible. I wonder if I got my hands on an old Evel Knievel toy, could I get two adult daughters and a wife, to build a ramp and play with an old action figure with their old man? It’s worth a try, now I need a Hipster to help me get on EBAY.

God bless.

Carl Fuerst-The Fuerst Option
RSO, Trainer, Blogger
cfuerst@royalrangeusa.com

The Fuerst Option Safety Suggestion

When in a dark room and using a flashlight, instead of pointing the light out in front of you to search and clear the room, try this trick, point the flashlight beam up to the ceiling. The light will bounce off the ceiling and light up the room like a fifteen watt bulb. Be safe out there.