I tend to use a lot of acronyms when I speak as well as when I write. This way, I can be very specific in what I mean without having to sound redundant. Some of these are military terms, some of them are used among the survivalist community, some are offroading slang and some are pop culture references. Either way, if there’s on I use often, I plan to define it here.

The SAFE Principle – S.A.F.E, or simply the “SAFE Principle” refers to Security, Access, Food, Energy. These are the cornerstones of prepper ideology and the methods we must live by if we’re going to survive, and thrive, in a disaster level event. More about this in my article “Are we SAFE?“.

Ready State – This is a term used in the firearms community to describe the capacity of a firearm to discharge a round. They are often referred to as Ready State 3, 2 and 1. Ready State 3 refers to a firearm that has a magazine loaded into it but a round has not been chambered for firing. The safety, if the firearm has one, is one. Ready State 2 refers to a firearm that has had a round loaded into the chamber but the safety is on. In the case or revolvers, this would have a round in the firing chamber but the action is uncocked. Ready State 1 refers to a firearm that is loaded and ready to fire, all safety mechanisms are turned off and you are a trigger pull away from discharging the weapon. In my opinion, you should never carry (concealed or otherwise) in Ready State 1. It typically carry in a state somewhere between 2 and 1. Since I carry a semi-automatic magazine fed handgun most days, I load a magazine into the weapon, disengage the safety but do not chamber the round. For me, having to slide the round into place before firing not only decreases the possibility of an accident discharge to near zero but it forces me to take that extra step, ensuring that I could never act in the heat of the moment. It also ensures that others who might get their hands on my weapon can’t immediately discharge it at me (or others).

CCW/CWP – Depending on the state you live in, these two acronyms are used interchangably. This is a permit issued by your state to allow you to carry a concealed weapon. This doesn’t necessarily mean just a gun. Some states require CWPs for knives and a host of other weapons. Laws vary greatly from state to state on requirements, as well as costs, so you will want to check with your state boards.