Category Archives: decision making

My Patreon page is live

I’ve created a Patreon page and it’s now live. My plan is to create at least four posts monthly about Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection.

https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

I’ll still be posting a few short articles here monthly but the Patreon page will allow me to do some things I wasn’t able to before.

My first article is an evaluation of the H&K VP9SK pistol. My object is to create a more rigorous and standardized evaluation process than I generally see pistols subjected to. I will not be accepting any compensation for the hardware reviews I do. Each month I’ll be reviewing one handgun with an emphasis on subcompact and compact guns because I think those are the real concealed carry pistols.

There’s also a printable trifold brochure that describes the shooting tests I plan to use. It’s a good reference guide for anyone who wants to use it.

trifold pic 2

 

Other subjects I’ll be addressing will be things like the decision process, incident analysis, practice drills, non-firearms personal protection topics, surveillance detection, et al.

I hope you’ll subscribe to my Patreon page. I guarantee it will have value for you.

 

‘Good Guys’ is a relative term in this video

From my Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection Class:

Triumvirate of Success in Decision-Making (adapted from David Brin’s The Uplift War).
In no particular order:
• Consequences [nee Cost and Caution] – financial, political, and physical.
• Decency or Civility [nee Propriety] – honor and nobility. Actually being ‘the good guy.’
• Courage [nee Beam and Talon] – Aggressive spirit, daring and seeking out opportunities.

Failure to achieve some balance of the three factors significantly increases the possibility of a catastrophic failure to achieve the objective. In this incident, there was no sense of decency or civility among the ‘Good Guys.’

Unintentional Discharge (causing the death of an innocent) – Serious Mistake

Mistaken Identity Shootings – Serious Mistake

After the fact beatdown of an innocent party – Serious Mistake

Most likely spending a long time in a Brazilian prison – Negative Outcome.

What gets people in trouble is usually not marksmanship but instead Serious Mistakes in the Decision-Making process. There are exceptions but that’s the general rule. The reason we become proficient with firearms is not because the marksmanship problem is likely to be difficult but rather to avoid having the tool (firearm) become our focus in the moment instead of the situation.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

Worst Possible Case and 100 percent Standards

#Fridayfundamentals

Last night, I had an interesting conversation with John Daub of KR Training about the new NRA CCW Course. KR Training is one of, if not the, premier provider of firearms training in Texas, so his thoughts about the CCW Instructor Course he and Karl recently completed were something I wanted to hear. One of the most interesting items of the conversation was that the NRA has adopted a 100 percent hit standard for the NRA’s Qualification Course, if instructors choose to use the NRA’s Qual Course.

I’ve been a big believer in 100 percent standards for a long time. The importance of an exacting standard was emphasized by a recent Incident where a woman in Oroville, California shot and paralyzed her husband as a result of taking a Hostage Rescue shot on a home invader. Although she killed the home invader when she “emptied the clip” at him, her husband is now paralyzed for life. That incident reminded me of how imprecisely we use the term Worst Possible Case.

‘Worst Possible Case’ discussions inevitably devolve to one of two possibilities; TODD, the heavily armed criminal who is as impervious to gunfire as Superman or becoming involved in an entangled fight. However, there are numerous possibilities of what could be the Worst Possible Case as listed in Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make. So there actually is no single Worst Possible Case, there are various Negative Outcomes; it’s situationally dependent. The situation will dictate which of the possible Negative Outcomes is the ‘worst.’

It’s very important for us to understand our capabilities. The CAN, MAY, SHOULD, MUST paradigm developed by Steve Harris, Esq. puts CAN first for a reason. CAN, what are you able to accomplish at that moment?, has two components – Mental and physical. The Oroville woman had the mental part of CAN but not the physical. Let’s compare and contrast her incident with that of Meghan Brown, who also shot and killed a home invader during a struggle.  Ms. Brown had been to the range with her pink Taurus revolver and knew she was not a very good shot. As a result her strategy was to close with the struggle and take the shot at a point where she was sure she could make her hits.

The ‘Downrange problem,’ in which an innocent person is downrange of the shooter, is far more common than we think. Those who keep a firearm for Personal Protection need to keep in mind that the situation may not be ‘self-defense’ but rather protecting another person.

How to put this into practice becomes the question. The Decisional Exercise Family taken hostage from Concealed Carry Skills and Drills is one example. Simply use two sheets of paper as the hostage. Put them on the same side as your Support Hand so you maximize your opportunity to hit them if you jerk the trigger. If you hit those two sheets of paper, assume you seriously wounded or killed a member of your family.

Q hostage 4

To add some realism, you can put a facial photo of a family member above the printed sheets or just draw a face above them. Here’s a Non-threat PDF Printable Non threat Silhouette torso that is included in Advanced Pistol Practice and Shooting Your Black Rifle. When practicing on an indoor range, you probably won’t be able to set up the full scenario but you can still do the individual strings.

What’s the Worst Possible Case? It’s a situationally dependent individual decision. Using a little forethought and doing some practice may help you solve it without a Negative Outcome. Going to the range and figuring what distance YOU can make 100 percent hits will give you a very important piece of information in the context of Personal Protection.

Tactical Professor goes to Burger King

#fridayfundamentals

I had lunch at Burger King yesterday. Say what you will but I enjoy the BK Lounge. Their fries are the best IMO and a Whopper with cheese is pretty tasty.

While I was there, a bum (aka ne’er do well) came in, went to the drink dispenser, and refilled four empty Coke bottles he took out of his backpack. Then he left. I.e., he stole about four liters of Coke and then took off.

His brazenness about it was interesting to watch. So was either the apathy or completely unawareness of the employees. I was tempted to not intervene so I didn’t. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

musical monkey shines

Getting stabbed for 50 cents worth of Coke was not on my To Do list for the day. I assume all bums carry a knife and that they are likely to act irrationally.  As John Hall, former head of the FBI Firearms Training Unit said:

Every encounter carries with it an element of chance.

Another interesting aspect of the BK visit related to PERSEC (Personal Security).

This particular BK asks for your name for the order. A lot of places do that, for instance Starbucks. I never give my right name.

An attractive woman was in front of me. She had walked in with her son but left him in a booth to order their meals. Of course, she gave her right name when asked. Being behind her, now I know her name.

When her order was ready, the cashier called her name loudly and she got up to get the food. Once again, her son was left alone in the booth.

I was tempted to do a little Sport MUC with them just to see how much personal information I could get out of her and the boy just by knowing her name. I had other things to do so I didn’t.

Not all fundamentals concern establishing grip, seeing the sights, trigger manipulation, and follow‑through.

Tactical Professor books

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

Avoiding Mistaken Identity Shootings

Another Mistaken Identity shooting occurred last week. A teenage girl came home from college to surprise her mother with a visit and got shot instead.

https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/police-report-mom-mistakenly-shoots-daughter-in-girard/

The teen’s mother told police that she was in her bedroom when she heard a commotion inside the house. She said the noise scared her and that she was not expecting anyone.

The mother said someone came running into her bedroom and that’s when she fired one round from her handgun. She then realized that she had shot her daughter, the report stated.

Obviously, in between hearing the commotion and firing the shot, the woman armed herself. It’s unlikely that she said anything in the process or her daughter probably would have said something back. The ‘surprise visit’ was most likely a bout of homesickness.

decision inputs dont understand

As I mention in my book Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, any ‘bump in the night,’ or in this case “commotion inside the house,” carries with it a set of competing probabilities. It could be an intruder, which is the assumption most people make when they hear it, or it could be a member of their household. The member of the household is the most likely scenario. Why is this true? Simply because they live in the same house as you do and they are not constantly updating you on their location. Where teenagers, such as the unfortunate shootee in this incident, are present, the chances of them leaving the house and returning without informing their parents is extremely high. This fact has to be figured into the home defense plan of any parent or adult in the household.

Competing probabilities

Continue reading →

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make – The Book

So many people asked me for a book version of my Serious Mistakes CD that I sat down and wrote it.

It’s available for download at http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

This book is not about techniques of shooting firearms; it is about Decision Making, specifically what leads to Bad Decision Making.

Our Mindset leads to our Decisions. Our Decisions lead to our Actions. Our Actions lead to our Outcomes. This sequence controls our destiny in everything we do, including using a firearm for Personal Protection. Unfortunately, decision making in the firearms community tends to focus on the tool, the firearm, instead of the desired outcome for owning it. Endless debate goes on about caliber, action type, ammunition capacity, and other material oriented aspects of ownership. In the broad context, these are extremely minor considerations as long as the owner can operate the firearm adequately.

Where the discussions don’t go nearly enough is the circumstances involving the usage of firearms and the decisions about our internal software that we have to make. “Usage” doesn’t always mean shooting the gun, either. There are a host of other issues, such as storage, legalities of carrying, and even possession, that aren’t often discussed. But those internal software issues are much more likely to determine the difference between a Positive Outcome and a Negative Outcome than hardware issues like type of gun and caliber. The amount of misinformation that runs rampant within the gun community leads many new owners down the wrong path in their Mindset and potential Decision Making.

This book provides some insight about how to avoid the Serious Mistakes.

It’s available for download at http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

https://store.payloadz.com/go/?id=2617872

It is a PDF document. If you want, you can send it to your Kindle or Kindle app on your SmartPhone. PDFs can be converted to the Kindle format so you can take advantage of functionality such as variable font size, annotations, and Whispersync.

To have a document converted to Kindle format (.azw), the subject line should be “convert” when e-mailing a personal document to your Send-to-Kindle address. Instructions for sending documents to Kindle and Kindle apps are available on Amazon’s website.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle/email

How to send a document to your Kindle:

To find your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address, visit the Manage your Devices page at Manage Your Kindle.

Documents can only be sent to your Kindle devices or apps from e-mail accounts that you added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List. To add an e-mail account, visit the Personal Document Settings page at Manage Your Kindle.

To send a document to your Kindle device or app, simply attach it to an e-mail addressed to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail.

It is not necessary to include a subject in the email.

Straight talk about Incident Research

Mickey Schuch, of Carry Trainer, was kind enough to do an interview with me. We talked quite a bit about incident research, among other things.

We also talked a little about my My eBooks.

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

Figbars of the Imagination

My latest Ballistic Radio interview is up on the BR website.

What I like to do is to think about what works for normal people in their daily lives.

http://ballisticradio.com/2019/08/18/fig-bars-of-the-imagination-podcast-season-7-ballistic-radio-episode-302-june-30-2019/

Because let’s face it, you and I and the rest of the training industry are not normal people.

Evaluating handguns for YOU

Before you buy a gun, you should go to a range that rents guns and try different ones out to see which one is best for you.

What does “try them out” mean? How do we measure “which one is best for you?” Here is a list of worthwhile items to evaluate for you to make an informed decision about an autoloading pistol. For those who are helping a prospective purchaser, demonstrate the technique but then place the pistol in a sterile (unloaded with slide forward) condition and let them do their own evaluation without comment or coaching. You won’t be there to coach them if they need to use the pistol for real; that’s part of the evaluation.

  1. Load the pistol. This has two components.
    1. Load a magazine to full capacity.
    2. Load the fully charged magazine into the pistol and chamber a round.
  2. Manipulate the controls of the pistol.
    1. If the pistol has a decocker, decock the pistol after loading it.
    2. If the pistol has a safety, engage it, and then disengage it.
    3. Remove the loaded magazine from the pistol.
    4. Engage the slide stop while safely ejecting the round from the chamber. The muzzle must remain pointed downrange during the unload sequence.
    5. Inspect the chamber visually and physically (with a finger) to be sure it is unloaded.
    6. Let the slide go forward.
  3. Shoot the pistol.
    1. For new shooters or prospective purchasers, use a standard silhouette target.
    2. Experienced shooters should use a more meaningful target.
      1. An 8 inch circle at 3 yards.
      2. A sheet of paper in landscape orientation at 5 yards.
      3. Two sheets of paper stacked one above the other in landscape orientation at 7 yards and 10 yards.
      4. A suitable target can be downloaded here. Printable Silhouette drawn face
  1. Fire six shots at each of four distances (Stages); 3 yards, 5 yards, 7 yards, and 10 yards. This will replicate the difficulty level of most States’ Carry License Qualification Courses of Fire. A Carry License Qualification is the most likely shooting task the average purchaser will use their handgun for so you may as well evaluate the ability to pass it. This shooting evaluation consists of 24 rounds so two different pistols could be evaluated with one fifty round box of ammo.
    1. The six shots for each Stage should be fired in three Strings of Fire. The magazine should be loaded with six rounds only except when evaluating stoppage clearance.
      1. Fire One shot
      2. Fire Two shots
      3. Fire Three shots
      4. If the pistol has a decocker, decock the pistol after each string and then disengage the decocker.
      5. If the pistol has a safety, start each string with the safety engaged.
      6. After shooting at each distance, czech to make sure the pistol is unloaded, let the slide go forward, and decock, if the pistol has a decocker.
      7. Record how many hits were made on the target and then cover them with masking tape. You should bring a roll of masking tape with you to the range.
      8. Start the next distance’s shooting by loading the pistol from a sterile condition.
    2. The 3 yard string should be fired with the Primary Hand Only, i.e., One Handed.
  2. Evaluate your ability to reduce stoppages of the pistol.
    1. When shooting the 5 yard Stage, start with the chamber empty and a six round magazine inserted. Attempt to fire the first shot on an empty chamber. After the click, tap the base of the magazine, cycle the slide, and then fire one shot (Tap-Rack-Bang). This is a simulation of clearing a bad round or a partially unseated magazine.
    2. When shooting the 7 yard Stage, start with the slide locked open and a six round magazine in the pistol. Eject the magazine onto the table, pick it up, insert it into the pistol, release the slide, and then fire three shots. This is a simulation of an Emergency Reload because most rental pistols will only come with one magazine. After the three shot sequence, fire the two shot String and then the one shot String.
    3. When shooting the 10 yard Stage, start with the chamber empty and a six round magazine inserted. Attempt to fire the first shot on an empty chamber. After the click, remove the magazine, cycle the slide three times, re-insert the magazine, and then fire three shots. This simulates clearing a double feed. After the three shot sequence, fire the two shot String and then the one shot String.

This evaluation procedure will give you a good idea of two different aspects of how well the gun works for you or a prospective purchaser. The ability to shoot the gun to pass a possible standard for obtaining a Carry License and also manipulation tasks that are frequently overlooked.

Here is a downloadable checklist you can take to the range with you. Autoloading Pistol Suitability Checklist

We’ve got to do something!

No, we don’t.

A rare editorial commentary.

In the wake of the recent ‘mass shootings,’ an amazing amount of rhetoric has arisen on both sides of the political spectrum and from the Venn diagram of those who bridge the continuum. Both sides are wrong. I’ll probably annoy some people with this commentary and lose some subscribers but so be it.

On one side, commonly referred to as the Left, we hear renewed call for various forms of gun control, ranging from Universal Background Checks to outright banning of ‘assault weapons.’ These calls are the continued extension of a propaganda campaign that would have made Nazi propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels proud. In numerical terms, the probability of being involved in a ‘mass shooting’ is so small a possibility that it’s not even worth considering in our daily lives much less for making public policy. There were more one-on-one homicide victims last year than in all the so-called ‘mass shootings’ of the 20th and 21st Centuries combined. I feel sorry for the victims of active killers but no more so than for the Dekalb County murder victims who annually outnumber ‘active killer’ victims but who get about one minute of news coverage every few days.

The whole ‘mass shooting’ thing is an invention of the mass media elites to boost their ratings and push forward the topic of gun control. Anyone who thinks that media personalities making millions of dollars a year care one whit about the plight of the average person is seriously naïve. What they care about is their ratings and how much money and power they can accumulate.

Continue reading →