About When the Balloon Goes Up!

The term “When the balloon goes up” has been used since the American Civil War when observation balloons were used to gather intelligence, exposing troops and triggering enemy fire. Its use was reinforced in WWII due to the use of barrage balloons being lifted in preparation for air raids. Historically, the ascension of balloons has been a sign of impending incoming fire.

Today the term is used to describe the start of a critical incident that could range from an acute threat of physical injury at an ATM or Home Invasion to a systemic breakdown of society following a Katrina type natural disaster. As a law abiding civilian or LEO, we do not get to pick when the balloon goes up, only how well prepared we are to respond to it.

WTBGU! started in October of 2011 as a blog focused on training and preparations for self-defense, competition and the 1st 72 hours after a critical incident (either dynamic, acute or social), and it remains that today.  After a year we decided to expand the mission on the site in include the on-line store with the following values…

Our Mission: Provide the best gear available for training, competition and preparing to survive the 1st 72 hours after a critical incident.

Our Strategy: Provide access to gear that meets our high standards, with fast delivery, at a competitive price.

Our Gear: Selectively stock only the best gear to ensure it doesn’t fail you when you need it most.


The WTBGU! Contributors

Ron Larimer

Ron Larimer

Ron is the Founder and President of When the Balloon Goes Up! Like many shooters he was exposed to firearms at an early age by his father, a retired police officer, but he didn’t take shooting seriously until after having kids.

While Ron competes regularly in IDPA and is an ESP/Expert, his focus is on concealed carry, home defense and analyzing equipment to find “Gear that Just Works!”

Focus: CCW/Gear
CCW Gun: Glock 19
CCW Holster: Comp-tac MTAC
EDC Knife: Griptillian 551
Comp Gun: Glock 19

Lee Bautista

Lee Bautista

Lee first shot a pistol in February 2009 and joined IDPA soon after. As of November 2012, he holds an IDPA Expert classification and competes in USPSA Production B Class. He still wonders why more gun owners aren’t getting away from the doldrums of the square range and instead taking the opportunity to shoot on the clock in IDPA and USPSA; but he’ll keep up the good word in hopes that more people join in on the fun, be a better shooter, and practice their skills on an ongoing basis.

Focus: Competition
CCW Gun: Glock 19
CCW Holster: Comp-tac MTAC
USPSA: Production/B Class
Comp Gun: Glock 34



  1. says

    Sorry Kenny. It will be back up in the next few hours. The web admin is a moron and deleted the sub directory in the DNS set-up during the recent redesign… but the site is faster now right?

    Ron (AKA “the web admin”)

    • says

      Hi Ron,

      We are starting up a brand new association called Concealed Carry Association of North Carolina. We are trying to provide current and accurate information for concealed carry owners in NC. One of our goals here at CCA of NC goal is to connect permit holders with local instructors, ranges, and shops. The other is to provide our members with the information and training they need to feel comfortable when they choose to carry. We are looking to partner with writers and experts like you to build a database of content for our members. As we are just getting started, we do not have any reservations about using previously published articles to create this database. We are interested in possibly purchasing some of these articles as well as new, unpublished material in the future as our membership grows. These articles can range from product reviews, tactics and techniques to avoidance of dangerous situations. We are set to launch on April 12th and are hoping to have your support. If you could email me at lauren.lowry@ccaofnc.org so we could set up a time to chat, I would be happy to share what we envision for the CCA of NC.
      Thank you for your time,

      Lauren Lowry

      Concealed Carry Association of North Carolina


  2. says

    Dear Ron,

    My apologies in asking this in the open comments, but I couldn’t find a “contact us” on your site…so:

    I’m looking for experts to review a new line of innovative gun mounts. We are also looking for high quality content sites that offer advertising. Please contact me via email to discuss.

    Thanks,in advance.


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