Feedback on Texas Hold’em Self Defense

I received an email and share with permission here.

Small Cover THSD

Mr. Smedley,

     I recently finished reading your book “Texas Hold’em Self Defense”. I want to say first, I really enjoyed the read. Your writing style is different; easy-going and laid back. Your sense of humor comes out here and there and I can easily imagine that you can be a real trip in person. Second, I want to ask you to go a bit further in your short look at the world that people think they live in vs. the real world. This is a very important point that I think you addressed, but did not emphasize enough in the book. Look forward to hearing back soon!


Edwin P.

Duluth, Minnesota

After emailing him back, the part he is speaking of is this:

            “To be fair, and also for whatever it might be worth; I agree that you should be able to go anywhere you choose without being raped/robbed/murdered – and I will up the ante and add that you should be able to do so without being inconvenienced in any way.

            I’m all for it!

It just isn’t going to happen.

            You should be able to, but that is not the world we live in. The world we live in has bad people in it. We can tell them not to be bad, or tell them we understand why they are bad, or try to make them feel guilty for being bad, but they are going to continue to be bad people because it is their nature to be bad. Just as there are good people who do not have to work hard at being good people, so it is with bad people. They are not even trying to be bad people, they just truly are bad people. It is their nature.

            And then there is the whole issue of personal responsibility.

            Personal responsibility mandates that you make wise choices to avoid undesirable consequences. If you are going to gamble, at least be smart about it.

None of that is the popular thing to say, or the politically correct thing to say, or even the nice thing to say. But it remains the true thing to say.

We live in a world that wants to move to a place where there are no negative consequences for bad decisions. This place is a fantasy, but some people have decided that it should be real, and wish to be allowed to conduct themselves accordingly.

            No good gambler makes a bet without at least some understanding of the odds. Making wise choices must include the information regarding the world we really live in. If all of your personal safety plans are based on the world that should be, you are well and truly screwed.”

In this section I was addressing the fantasy world that people create and pretend is real There are huge section of the population that are honestly trying to end violence and bad behavior through understanding. The object is to make the bad people feel bad about doing bad things. When a rattlesnake bites you, it is not being bad, it is being a rattlesnake. Same with a mosquito.

 Everyone has a natural state. It is easy to forget this, but the most evil people you have ever heard of did not believe they were evil. They were doing what they do as a natural action of their natural state.

When we put blinders on and refuse to acknowledge the fact that bad people exist, we limit our understanding of the threats we face. With only a partial understanding of the threats we face, how can we ever hope to be fully prepared to meet those threats?

I hope this makes my position on the subject a little more clear. Sometimes we have to face facts, even the unpleasant ones. Platitudes and cute, pseudo-tough slogans do not change this.