Category Archives: planning

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.

Another ‘Worst Possible Case’ – Interrupting a Murderer

As I have commented before, there is no single ‘Worst Possible Case.’ Several news outlets reported the murder of an entrepreneur and venture capitalist this past Monday (7/13/2020). The murder occurred in his expensive ($2.25 million) high rise condo in New York City. It was a gruesome crime with the apparent intent to ‘disappear’ the victim.

https://nypost.com/2020/07/14/decapitated-dismembered-body-found-in-nyc-apartment/

There are several pertinent points but one that is seldom talked about is our reaction to finding a body. We have no idea what a killer’s timeline is nor even if the killer is still present or nearby.

Another source added it appeared that the killer had been “interrupted.”

A working theory is that because the body parts were still present and the saw still plugged in, the murderer hadn’t finished with the grisly task of dismemberment. Although the victim was attacked and most likely killed early Monday afternoon, his relative (either sister or cousin, the reports conflict) discovered the body on Tuesday afternoon. All things considered, the ‘cleaning up’ may have been going on for over a day.

wolfe cleanup

Probably the best Course of Action upon discovering a body is to RUN the other way as fast as you can and when in a safe place, call the POlice. Secondarily, if you are armed, be prepared to engage the killer without hesitation. If they’ve already killed someone else, they may not think twice about trying to kill you.

Note also the macabre, but most likely unintentional, dark humor of the POlice describing the decapitated victim as “unconscious and unresponsive.”

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/founder-of-ride-hailing-app-gokada-found-dismembered-in-new-york-apartment-20200716-p55cgn.html

As is often the case, follow the money to the alleged murderer.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/17/us/fahim-saleh-killing/index.html

To avoid any confusion, I won’t list my books in this post because they’re not free. If you would be interested in purchasing any of my shooting workbooks for handgun or rifle, they are available from the menu at the top of the page. As the American Insurgency escalates, you may find having a functional knowledge of the weapons you own to be useful.

‘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)

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)

Things you should know about body armor

I have body armor and am a firm believer in keeping it close. Since I’m not an expert, here’s better information than I could provide.

https://www.activeresponsetraining.net/seven-things-you-dont-know-about-body-armor

You won’t be able to fire that ammo or eat all that stored food if you get shot and die because you didn’t have body armor.

The package deal for my books is still going. The package is available as an immediate download of all four ebooks at this link:

https://store.payloadz.com/details/2644448-ebooks-sports-shooting-drills-package.html

 

Making friends with other gun carriers

(second in a series)

DALE CARNEGIE’S SECRETS OF SUCCESS (nee The Golden Book) is a valuable resource for improving our relationships with other members of the gun carrying community. The hard copy I have is six pages long. I’ve kept it on my desk for over 20 years since I went through Dale Carnegie training. The book is available online as a free download.

https://www.dalecarnegie.com/en/resources/dale-carnegies-secrets-of-success

The first part of the book is a three page section called Principles from How to Win Friends and Influence People. It covers three topics.

  • Become a Friendlier Person
  • Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  • Be A Leader

Each of the topics has a series of numbered bullet points that can guide our interactions with people. Here’s how we might apply those Principles in the situation of seeing someone whose way of carrying isn’t what we would ordinarily recommend.

Become a Friendlier Person

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

5. Smile.

2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.

  • You’re carrying a gun – Excellent!
  • Your holster has a safety strap.

6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

  • Introduce yourself
  • Ask the other person’s first name if they don’t give it in return.

7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

  • What kind of gun is that? (Regardless if you know what it is.)
  • How long have you been carrying?
  • Have you done any training?

Questions are powerful, much more powerful than criticism, condemnation, or complaints. By starting a friendly interaction with a person and then asking kindly questions, we have the opportunity to be guides to people who are less knowledgeable than ourselves. It puts us in the position to Win Friends to our community and influence them to Success. Our people skills are the single most powerful weapon in our arsenal.

We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.

–Benjamin Franklin

The Role of Questions in Personal Protection

Who is around me and what are they doing? – Tom Givens

What are you capable of? – Ken Hackathorn

What’s the object of the exercise? – the Tactical Professor

What is the best use of my time right now? – Alan Lakein

METT-TC is a well developed structure for asking questions when developing plans for Personal Protection.

  • Mission
  • Enemy
  • Terrain and Weather
  • Troops and Support Available
  • Time Available
  • Civil (Legal and moral) Considerations

SALUTE is a good structure for gathering information in the moment.

  • Size
  • Activity
  • Location (proximity)
  • Unit
  • Time
  • Equipment

When we are children, we are constantly asking questions. As adults, we usually get in the habit of providing opinions, experiences, and self-promotion instead of asking question. Information gathering is a vital skill in Personal Protection. Putting ourselves back into the question asking mode requires a shift in our thinking patterns that requires practice.

asking the wrong questions annotated

My thanks to John Correia of Active Self Protection for stimulating my thinking about the topic.

My Patreon page is where I go into more depth on Personal Protection topics. https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

The Downsides of Intervention

Family mourns loss of single father of two girls

https://fox17online.com/2019/09/05/family-mourns-loss-of-single-father-of-two-girls/

The number of people who feel obligated to Intervene in other people’s quarrels simply amazes me. Someone commented on my Tactical Professor Facebook page that “Society is a better place when people practice self sacrifice.” That’s not the way our ‘system’ in America is set up. The American system of social controls has changed a great deal over the course of our history as a nation. At one time, we had to help each other. Unfortunately, the evolution of the Criminal Justice arena (and I use the word arena deliberately) during the 20th and 21st Centuries means, with regard to intervention in criminal events we are not directly involved in, that time is long past. Even the POlice take a risk when they intervene in others’ affairs despite the fact that it’s their job, they are equipped for it, and they have legal protections for doing so.

Your family is depending on you and they are your first and foremost obligation. No one will be a better father or mother to your children than you are. Don’t jeopardize that long term relationship for the short term gratification of Intervention for which you are unlikely to receive any thanks anyway. Intervention is all risk and little to no reward. No benefit accrues to the person intervening on another’s behalf.

child-crying-kid-boy-39815

Crusading against Intervention has become a big issue for me since I began researching Negative Outcomes. Much like advocating taking a Defensive Driving Course, it’s largely Quixoteish but I feel the need anyway. It’s my own form of Intervention, I guess.

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

Proverbs 26:17

At one time, I had it in my mind that Intervention was a good idea but my Father always advised me against it. When I was a teenager, he told me about a guy he knew who was stabbed to death during the course of an Intervention just like the incident above.

Don’t get involved, Son.

Over time, I realized that it was one of those issues where the older I got, the smarter my Father became. My research into Serious Mistakes completely confirmed the wisdom of what he told me. The Intervention section of my Negative Outcomes database is huge. Some of those Negative Outcomes are so bizarre and so unexpected that they bring to mind something the Real Dr. House mentioned at last weekend’s Hemorrhage Arrest Course.

The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.

Of all the books I’ve written, I still think Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make is the most important. Life is a minefield in many ways. Knowing what they look like helps to prevent you from stepping on one.

Tactical Professor books

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions downloadable eBook. http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

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

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

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com/

Any of the books are easily converted for Kindle use.

Protecting and Securing Firearms

I shouldn’t have gotten in trouble for it but I did get in trouble.

– my cardiologist

I had to make a visit to my cardiologist last week. We had an enlightening conversation about the gun story of his childhood. He comes from a country where there is no gun culture to speak of but double barrel shotguns are sometimes found in rural homes. As a young boy, he visited his uncle’s country house. There, unsecured in a mud room, he found the uncle’s shotgun. Being an intelligent and inquisitive young child, he picked up the shotgun and brought it into the house. The gun was loaded. Fortunately, a family member came from behind him and took the gun away from him before any harm resulted. Then, he got in trouble. Although incidents where a child causes an unintentional discharge tend to be well publicized, the ones where a small child gets hold of a gun but doesn’t fire almost never do. I’m willing to bet there are many many more incidents where the gun doesn’t go off, fortunately.

What probably happens in those cases is the same thing that happened to him; the child ‘gets in trouble’ and is either scolded and/or punished. In our times of constant media bombardment that guns are bad, per se, having an Early Childhood Trauma https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/early-childhood-trauma involving a firearm is likely to prime the platform for that child to dislike and fear firearms. I would call that a long term Negative Outcome for our Second Amendment right.

Continue reading →

Shoot/Don’t Shoot and METT-TC

Every time we pull a gun on someone, a binary decision, ‘Shoot or Don’t Shoot,’ immediately ensues and continues until the gun is put away. That decision is not necessarily either conscious nor intentional. Because of that, we need to be very mindful of when we choose to place ourselves into that position. Two recent incidents, one involving a personal friend and one involving a gun celebrity, have reinforced that to me. In fact, we probably should change the common usage to Don’t Shoot/Shoot instead of vice versa.

Continue reading →