Category Archives: decision making

Who’s there?

“Who’s there?”

Learn to say it in your sleep.

https://www.tampabay.com/news/breaking-news/2020/11/05/stuart-man-thinks-he-hears-an-intruder-fatally-shoots-pregnant-wife/

“When you have a home where you have family members, you have to be even more careful and wait that extra second and do everything you can to make sure you know what you’re dealing with when you’re about to use deadly force,” [Martin County Sheriff] Snyder said.

Well said, Sheriff Snyder.

Many of my colleagues disagree with my assessment that decision-making is far more important than marksmanship and technical proficiency but I’m sticking to my guns on the subject. Every incident like this I read about makes me more of a ‘bitter clinger’ to my opinion.

“Daddy, where’s Mommy?”

“I accidentally killed her before you were even born. I’m so sorry I took your Mommy from you.”

If anyone thinks that man will ever sleep through the night again, they’re wrong. My prediction is that he will also die young, leaving his child without any parents at any early age.

Have a plan

As the late William Aprill was fond of saying,

Spontaneity is overrated.

“That’s what heart surgery is,” he said with a soft laugh. “It’s a script. To you, it probably looked like I was just sewing those collars into Meeko’s chest any old way. But every motion was planned, tested, practiced. Turn my hand eight degrees and poke the needle through; swivel my hand back 22 degrees and draw the needle up four inches; turn my hand back just so and bring it to the left a half inch: a precise number of stitches, pulled just so tight and no tighter. What heart surgery takes is remembering an incredibly long and complicated script and following it exactly, step by step.”

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/no-pulse-how-doctors-reinvented-the-human-heart

The idea of having a script, i.e., a very specific game plan, doesn’t just apply to heart surgery. One of the learned aspects of firearms competition is to develop a plan ahead of time and then follow it through.

https://www.20min.ch/story/schusswechsel-nach-einbruch-in-geschaeft-eine-person-verletzt-108142673425

The quaint Google translate version of the story’s precis reads:

That’s what it’s about

* On Friday [note that the incident actually occurred the previous Wednesday] night there was an exchange of fire between the owner of a gun shop and burglars who had tried to gain access to his shop in Wallbach AG [Switzerland].

* What the perpetrators did not expect: The owner is a marksman and former Swiss champion in dynamic shooting [IPSC].

* One person was injured in the shooting. The POlice assume that this is one of the perpetrators, as no injuries were found on site.

Whether it’s IPSC, IDPA, GSSF, ICORE or some other form of competition is largely irrelevant. What is important is the concept of having a game plan ahead of time and then putting it into action when you get the ‘GO’ signal.

Once you can shoot…

Some instructors, including myself, had an interesting discussion on Facebook about the phrase “once you can shoot.”

My question to the group was ‘What does that mean?’ I asked it as a serious question. The personal journey I’ve made in answering that question over time has been interesting. My answers to myself about it have changed dramatically as a result of some related research I’ve done. The two most significant areas of research were Negative Outcomes and what higher level thinkers in the POlice community had to say. The discussion was involved enough that I wrote a Patreon post about it.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/43213970

I’m making the Patreon post public because I think it’s a much neglected philosophical discussion. At The Mingle this month, I asked the ladies present to write out their personal policy about when to draw or present a weapon. It was the first time that many of them had ever been asked to do that. We need to realize that ‘Have Adequate [Hard] Skills’ is only one aspect of the issues we face.

Marksmanship is a hard skill but soft skills are important too.

Fall without breaking things

Learning to make contact with the ground (breakfall) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breakfall without becoming a casualty is one of the most important Personal Protection skills we can learn. How to teach that to senior citizens who have no experience is outside my lane but its importance in hand to gland combat is undeniable. It’s also very useful if you live in an area where there is ice in the winter or if your house has any steps, as I can personally testify to.

Police: 80-year-old man dies after being shoved to the ground during mask dispute in New York bar

https://www.kptv.com/general/police-80-year-old-man-dies-after-being-shoved-to-the-ground-during-mask-dispute/article_c8f908a4-65ba-5d08-a71d-43fd2585c7da.html

Another lesson in the incident is that discretion is the better part of valor, especially when you’re a senior citizen. This poor gentleman was concerned about decorum to the bar staff and coronavirus but the cause of his death was a broken skull. According to the District Attorney, the two were familiar with and disliked each other. In all likelihood, this was an example what Rory Miller terms ‘the monkey dance.’ It’s foolish and dangerous.

Note that the person charged with his death is also a senior citizen so don’t think that it’s only ‘White Punks On Dope’ who can cause your demise.

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Your Best Defense: Staying Out of Trouble

I was able to spend some time talking with Michael Bane last week about ‘Staying Out of Trouble.’ That means emphasizing the ‘Avoid’ and ‘Escape’ steps in the Avoid, Escape, Confront, Resist paradigm.

We had a great conversation that will be of interest to new gunowners, those who have been at it as long as Michael and I, and everyone in between.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

The Law is what it is

I shared this on my personal Facebook timeline and from there dozens of other people have shared it.

Texas grand jury: No action against killer of church shooter
https://apnews.com/article/fort-worth-shootings-archive-texas-f38e8ef6437e96a9e60fb44662c71494

Several questions and comments have repeatedly been raised as a result.

  • He should never have been charged.
  • Why did it go to a Grand Jury?
  • Why is this even an issue?

He wasn’t charged. The issue went to a Grand Jury because Texas requires homicides, and all potential felonies, to be presented to a Grand Jury.

Another issue to consider is that the incident occurred December 29, 2019. The Grand Jury returned a No-Bill yesterday, September 28, 2020, nine months later. Because all potential felonies have to go to a Grand Jury in Texas, they’re busy. Although in this case there was little doubt of the outcome, Mr. Wilson still had potential legal action hanging over his head for the better part of a year. It is likely that his family thought about this just as much as he did, perhaps more so.

The Law is what it is, not what we think it is, nor what we think it should be. Many people don’t understand the importance of that distinction.

Tactical Professor books are available from the menu at the top of the page.

Why we practice marksmanship – number 2

Investigators say Mills walked into the bathroom where the female homeowner was showering. She screamed and her husband ran in to confront Mills. Police say Mills had a knife and stabbed the husband in the face and stomach before running from the home.

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/brookhaven-couple-attacked-their-home-yesterday/VFLHWHIBVNANFJ4JIF5NEGR6OY/

A downrange drill including standoff.

Once again, we’re more likely to need to do a close range precision shot on a predator than a 25 head shot on a terrorist. Let’s use ‘hit a 4 inch circle at 10 feet’ as a definition of ‘close range precision shot.’ That’s the standard to pass the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course. Just like BOPS, our standard should be 100% hits for a five shot string.

Helping or hurting your case

The justifiability of this shooting will be determined in the courtroom. However, it’s fairly safe to say that not reporting a shooting/killing to the POlice and subsequently tampering with evidence, i.e., throwing the spent shell casings in the dumpster and concealing the revolver, is unlikely to help your case.

Win, Lose, or Draw; the cost of this killing will be high, both psychologically and financially.

https://www.wiscnews.com/baraboonewsrepublic/news/local/crime-and-courts/woman-accused-of-homicide-tells-sauk-county-investigators-she-acted-in-self-defense-during-sex/article_60167eb2-b368-5cd6-8d0a-93c264bbf957.html

Also, the optics of two shots to the back of the head are not good.

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Priorities of Work

Someone on Instagram asked me about doing 65 yard headshots with a pistol. My response was that it doesn’t really concern me. I’m much more interested in teaching as many gunowners fundamental skills as I can and then integrating decisional training along with those skills. As long as a person can pass an entry level CCW Qual Course, they’re probably ready to start working on the decisional aspects of Personal Protection.

Skip Gochenour, who ran the National Tactical Invitational for many years, and I had a conversation about this years ago. Skip’s opinion was that we need to get training about human dynamics and decision-making into the training sequence much earlier. I agree with him 100 percent. Decision-making is what makes us or breaks us when the situation starts getting dicey.

I’ll be testing my theory at The Mingle 2020 in a couple of months. In the meantime, I’ll be starting a new 3 dollar Patreon tier for teaching marksmanship and manipulation skills early next month (September).

The way it’s going to be structured is by using CCW Qual courses as a baseline and a learning vehicle. The head of the US Army Ranger School once commented that the purpose of Ranger training is to teach leadership under conditions of stress. Patrolling is just the vehicle or method used to teach leadership to Ranger Students. I think we can use qualification courses in the same way. Given the ammo shortage, it will be largely dry practice with an occasional live fire session.

Here’s the first set of videos that show the first Course of the series. There will be demos for both autoloaders and revolvers.

One using the SCCY pistol:

One with a 317 revolver:

As always, Tactical Professor books can be purchased from the menu at the top of the page. They are NOT FREE but if you would be interested in knowing how to better operate the firearms you own during the American Insurgency, they will be useful.

Another off body carry incident, with a twist

https://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/manteno-man-shot-6-times-in-domestic-dispute/article_02ca9150-f8f4-5d2a-8d76-6a8b93d8301a.html

The incident occurred in September of 2016. The shooter was convicted of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm at a bench trial in November of 2017. This month, the Appellate Court reversed his conviction. He’s been in prison ever since his arrest.

Bottom Line Up Front:

A woman invites a man she’s never met in person over for sex. While they are in the midst of the act, her boyfriend shows up. The naked man grabs his pistol from under the bed and shoots the boyfriend because the man feels threatened. He is eventually arrested, tried, convicted, and sent to prison. Four years later, his conviction is reversed on appeal.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROBERT D. WILLIAMS, Defendant-Appellant.

https://courts.illinois.gov/R23_Orders/AppellateCourt/2020/3rdDistrict/3180189_R23.pdf

Although the case has some lurid traits, it’s also very interesting from both the legal and tactical perspectives. I’m summarizing it on my Patreon page https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor but the Appellate ruling provides a lot of detail you can read for yourself.

As always, should you or your loved ones be interested in learning to use your equipment better during the American Insurgency, my books are available at the menu at the top of the page.