We are well into 2017, so I guess it’s time for my New Year’s column about my plans for the future and my review of the past and all that sort of stuff. You know, touching emotional garbage that makes everyone smile and think about how bright the future looks: puppies, rainbows and the like.

Can you tell I’m really not into that sort of stuff? I want bullets. I want to have my bullets and shoot them, too.

Leading up to the election, I bought a bunch of bullets, magazines and even a couple of guns — just in case. I can’t call that a mistake, but since the election kept another Clinton out of the White House, the expected ammo shortage and price increases on guns and magazines never materialized. I guess that is good and bad. But, in the long run, let’s call it mostly good.

I am typically not the ranting, raving political guy. I vote my conscience and I encourage other people to get involved, but I don’t engage in angry political arguments on social media. I’m not in this business to call people names and belittle their political positions. Those people are wrong and they have the right to be wrong. I will do what I do. That will include responsibly supporting the political positions I feel strongly about.

As a firearms trainer, I continue to seek new ways to help people learn to overcome adversity. And I will do that going into the New Year and each New Year for as long as I am able. By adversity, I mean deadly encounters with people who have no regard for human life. If we are lucky, we will never encounter one of those people, but luck is not a strategy and none of us will ever learn any new fighting skills in the middle of a fight. So I encourage people to train often. It’s the right thing to do. If you are the type of person who makes resolutions, resolve to learn more about your personal defense. Now follow through on the resolution.

Where do we go from here? What does that even mean?

I suggest that every responsibly armed American lead by example. Make it a habit to do the right things: live the safety rules, teach others, promote the concealed carry lifestyle and accept responsibility for your actions. Once you fully accept responsibility, you will do the things you need to make you a better protector and defender of yourself and your loved ones. Keep doing those things. Concealed carry is not something you do once and call it good. Living this lifestyle is a matter of ongoing activity, continually updating your training and knowing that if you don’t use your skills, they will disappear.

Don’t wait for spring. Figure out a means of training where you are with the materials you have on hand right now. Dry fire in your basement. Work on your draw while watching TV. Practice magazine changes in the shower. I just put those last three words in there to see who was reading closely. Right now someone is thinking, “This guy didn’t say anything about safe dry-fire training or triple-checking that the firearm is clear before working on the draw stroke.” I wish we lived in a world where I didn’t have to remind people to be safe, but we don’t. So I will remind you again: Make firearms safety the key element of your training regimen.

We are well into this New Year. From a firearms training standpoint, I am planning on more of the same: More training. More education. Greater situational awareness. All pieces of a great big puzzle; one I hope I never solve. I want to keep doing this for as long as I can.