Category Archives: home defense

Riding Shotgun With Charlie

#mindsetmonday

I almost never listen to podcasts I’ve been a guest on, which is probably a mistake. Since Charlie put the clip of me with my long gun (Zombie MP5) in his intro, I had to listen to this one, though.

RSWC CW with MP5 airsoft

There’s a lot of good information in this episode that doesn’t usually get touched on in the industry. I’m very happy that Charlie gave me the opportunity to share it with the community.

e.g. My father used to say to me ‘son, you’re much more sophisticated about this than I am’ and I want my clients eventually to be more sophisticated about this than I am.

The Negative Outcomes mentioned are detailed extensively in my book Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com/ .

The LAPD Retired Officer Course and numerous other courses that can be practiced at both indoor and outdoor ranges is in my book Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Fundamentals of dry practice

Although dry practice (aka dry fire) is often recommended, many shooters are unclear about the specifics of dry practice. Here is a short video, first in a series, to get gunowners started.

A short dry practice explanation

This series will include a video about safety procedures and a few sessions. I hope it will be useful to my readers and clients.

If you enjoy my content, please consider supporting me on Patreon. I post more in-depth material there for serious students of Self-Defense and Personal Protection.

https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

Walking Back the Cat

Walking Back the Cat is a term used in the Intelligence community for deconstructing events to learn from them. This is the first in a series I’m calling #Walkbackwednesday. It’s useful just to have an idea of how events unfold even from a simplistic viewpoint. A visual representation often leads to a better understanding of what occurred. Veterans will recognize this as a ‘sand table’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_table#Military_use exercise.

There are a number of lessons to be learned from this incident. These will be discussed in the future. The original story is here. https://myfox8.com/news/juvenile-shot-taken-to-hospital-after-burglary-attempt-in-winston-salem-police-looking-for-2nd-suspect/

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.

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.

‘I live in a nice neighborhood’

This week, a 50-year-old transient man (aka bum) was sentenced to 141 years to life in state prison after being convicted for a 2014 crime spree in the high end Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles.

https://da.lacounty.gov/media/news/man-sentenced-carjacking-kidnapping-pacific-palisades-crime-spree

scumbag-BRIAN-THOMAS-CRUZ

Note from his picture that he was already a violent bad actor. The criminal used a box cutter as his weapon for this series of crimes. The crime spree occurred on August 11, 2014. He was sentenced on July 6, 2020.

There were three crime scenes in the high end neighborhood where the day’s drama began on a sunny Monday morning at 7:45 a.m. First, there was a home invasion in an apartment complex, which currently has a rental rate of $4,800 per month. After two subsequent crashes, including a second car that he carjacked, he invaded a home which currently has an estimated value of $2,705,500. In that home, he threatened the female occupant and stole the occupants’ Lexus.

Lessons to be Learned

Keep your doors closed and locked. Have a plan and be ready for unwelcome visitors. Serious crime knows no borders, regardless of how nice your neighborhood is.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)

Crawl, Walk, Run

A discussion came up on a Firearms Instructor group that decried the fact that many indoor ranges only allow NRA training https://firearmtraining.nra.org/ and don’t teach ‘Concealed Carry’ classes. Let’s bear in mind that 999 out of 1,000 gunowners only have access to an indoor range. That’s a calculated number, not a SWAG.

More people don’t carry than do. According to John Lott, the current figure for those having some kind of weapons carry license is 18.66 million people. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3463357 The Gallup Poll indicates the 43% of US households have a gun. https://news.gallup.com/poll/264932/percentage-americans-own-guns.aspx That would be 51.4 million people, which is probably underreported as compared to licenses. My personal experience is that the demographic with the economic means to afford training is most likely to NOT have a carry license.

When we teach people, either formally or informally, we do ourselves and the gun owning public in general a disservice when we place so much emphasis on the techniques for carrying a gun. It’s unfortunate that the NRA’s philosophy of Personal Protection training is buried in the Instructor manual for the Personal Protection Outside The Home course.

A synopsis of the NRA concept as excerpted from that manual is as follows:

The NRA Basic Personal Protection Series is based on the building-block approach, moving from the simple to the complex.

The first course in this series is the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course, which develops in your students the basic skills of handling, shooting, and cleaning the firearm, as well as a thorough grounding in firearm safety.

The second course in this series is the NRA Basics of Personal Protection In The Home Course, (which builds on the skills already learned in the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course). In this second course, participants learn to use a defensive or flash sight picture, …

The third course in the series is the NRA Basics of Personal Protection Outside The Home (which builds on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned in the NRA Basics of Personal Protection In The Home Course).

A very intelligent female friend explained to me her personal journey to carrying a gun. It involved five phases over the course of three years for her to consistently carry a gun and feel comfortable with it. That’s far more common than most people who teach, either as formal instructors or just friends giving guidance, seem to realize.

The NRA philosophy has a great deal of logic behind its structure. It pains me when our training community ignores it. We spend a fair amount of time talking about the ‘Crawl, Walk, Run’ approach to training but what we actually teach is ‘Run and then Run some more,’ period. Maybe it would be a good idea if we tried to guide people through a process one step at a time instead of ‘feeding them with a firehose.’ There’s a reason I wrote Indoor Range Practice Sessions before I wrote Concealed Carry Skills and Drills.

crawl-walk-run

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Conducting a Defense – Terrain Analysis for the Homeowner

The AR-15 rifle has become popular as a tool for Home Defense. However, there hasn’t been much discussion about how to use rifles to deal with deadly threats outside and yet threatening one’s home. The escalation of Civil Disorder has heightened our awareness of a broader range of necessary home defense. Conceptually, this might be considered FORWARD Home Defense.

One of the first aspects of preparing for such a Forward Defense is to conduct a terrain analysis of the area outside the home. This analysis should consider both the Area of Influence (where a homeowner could actually disrupt an attack) and the Area of Interest (where a homeowner could detect an attacker’s intent outside of the Area of Influence.) We can use the Terrain component of METT-TC as a structure for our terrain analysis. The 1992 edition of Field Manual 7-8 INFANTRY RIFLE PLATOON AND SQUAD https://www13.shu.edu/offices/rotc/upload/FM-7-8.pdf describes the analysis as follows:

(3) Terrain. The leader considers the effect of terrain and weather on enemy and friendly forces using the guidelines below (OCOKA):

(a) Observation and fields of fire. The leader considers ground that allows him observation of the enemy throughout his area of operation. He considers fields of fire in terms of the characteristics of the weapons available to him; for example, maximum effective range, the requirement for grazing fire, and the arming range and time of flight for antiarmor weapons.

(b) Cover and concealment. The leader looks for terrain that will protect him from direct and indirect fires (cover) and from aerial and ground observation (concealment). (Author’s note: Cover and Concealment also applies to what the Enemy might use.)

(c) Obstacles. In the attack, the leader considers the effect of restrictive terrain on his ability to maneuver. In the defense, he considers how he will tie in his obstacles to the terrain to disrupt, turn, fix, or block an enemy force and protect his own forces from enemy assault.

(d) Key terrain. Key terrain is any locality or area whose seizure or retention affords a marked advantage to either combatant. The leader considers key terrain in his selection of objectives, support positions, and routes in the offense, and on the positioning of his unit in the defense.

(e) Avenues of approach. An avenue of approach is an air or ground route of an attacking force of a given size leading to its objective or key terrain in its path. In the offense, the leader identifies the avenue of approach that affords him the greatest protection and places him at the enemy’s most vulnerable spot. In the defense, the leader positions his key weapons along the avenue of approach most likely to be used by the enemy.

(f) Weather. In considering the effects of weather, the leader is most interested in visibility and trafficability.

Some aspects of the terrain analysis may surprise you. For instance, Google Maps can be used to measure distances around your home. You might find that the distance from your front porch to the furthest Avenue of Approach and Point of Likely Cover is 236 feet (79 yards).

Doing a terrain analysis gives you an idea of the area you need to defend and also what tools you might use to defend the approaches to your home.

There will be further explanation on my Patreon page https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor but this is worthwhile food for thought to start.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Store guns out of sight and inaccessible

A very recent incident related to me by a friend.

  • A man (and his live-in girlfriend) were given a handgun by his grandfather during the Beer Plague.
  • They live in a small apartment on the second floor in a large city.
  • He placed the gun on top of the bedroom dresser.
  • This week, a thief used a ladder to get to the bedroom window and cut the screen to get in.
  • The handgun was immediately apparent so it was the first thing the thief picked up.
  • The man, who was alone at the time, was sleeping on the sofa in the other room when the thief made entry.
  • The thief awakened him at gunpoint.
  • The thief stole much of the couple’s possessions, including clothes, laptop, etc. in addition to the gun.
  • The thief also demanded the keys and took them.
  • After the thief departed, the man called the POlice.
  • The POlice Department took the report about the home invasion over the phone.
  • The man arranged to have the locks changed but that will take a while.
  • The next day, the thief came back and tried to unlock the front door with the keys he had stolen. The door has a cross bar that was in place so the thief was unable to get in. The man yelled at him and he went away.
  • Unsurprisingly, the man and his girlfriend are concerned and frightened.
  • Fortunately, the thief did not injure the man.

Lessons from the incident

  • This is a clear example of a Negative Outcome.
  • The purpose of this type of incident report is not to denigrate the person it happened to. Rather, it is to provide important lessons to the rest of us, our family, and our friends.
  • Leaving guns in open view is NEVER a good practice.
  • Store guns where they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
  • Even a small lockbox or toolbox would have prevented the thief from immediately gaining access to the handgun. The man might have then awakened on his own and been able to achieve a more Positive Outcome.
  • For the mechanically handy, most nightstands can be fitted with a drawer lock. While this will not deter a determined thief for long, it will not allow a thief to immediately gain access to your weapon. Such a lock will also prevent children from gaining access to a firearm.
  • Guns that are on display as heirlooms or for other reasons should be disabled.
  • Some burglars are also known as ‘Second Story Men’ https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/second-story%20man for a reason. Do not assume that living above the ground floor prevents unlawful entry. Even upper story windows should have devices that prevent them from being opened too far when ventilation is wanted.
  • Criminals are opportunistic. This incident started out as burglary and then turned into a home invasion. If the man had struggled when he was awakened, it could easily have turned into a murder or homicide. Neither is desirable.
  • Even if keys are not obviously taken, you should assume that a burglar has them. This means locks need to be changed and door locks supplemented until the change is made.

“There’s three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few that learn by observation. And the rest have to touch the electric fence.” –often incorrectly attributed to Will Rogers, American humorist

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Sad incident

Restraining orders aren’t worth shit; I want a Glock.

–a former gf who was in a position to know

Well-known sex therapist murdered, former boyfriend arrested

https://abc7chicago.com/well-known-sex-therapist-murdered-ex-boyfriend-arrested/5938962/

“According to TMZ, Harwick had “recently expressed concerns about an ex-boyfriend.” The Los Angeles Times reports that Harwick applied for orders of protection against Pursehouse twice before, in 2011 and again in 2012. A judge granted Harwick’s request for protection following evidence given by Harwick and Pursehouse. The restraining order ended two weeks before Harwick’s death, according to TMZ.”

https://heavy.com/news/2020/02/gareth-pursehouse/