Category Archives: training

Informal Instruction

A colleague of mine had the opportunity to give a short (15 minute) informal block of instruction to a friend of hers. Most firearms instruction in the US is informally done between friends or relatives.

Their session didn’t involve any live fire and was conducted in their office. It was simply a short briefing on basic safety rules, gun handling, and model specific instructions on how to operate her handgun.

An interesting comment came up in our discussion about the session. It’s worth keeping in mind any time we teach somebody something, whether the subject is firearms related or not.

I talked with her not at her.

When we teach an adult, it’s always worth remembering to approach it that way. Even if we are a Subject Matter Authority, the person is one of our peers and deserves to be treated respectfully. They should be treated like a client in an Adult-Adult relationship, not a grade school student in a Parent-Child relationship.

Mutual respect will garner the rapport necessary for the instruction to be effective and add value to the person’s life.

Thinking about what’s important

Man shot in neighbor’s home charged after allegedly undressing in 12-year-old’s bedroom during break-in

https://www.wdrb.com/news/man-shot-in-neighbor-s-home-charged-after-allegedly-undressing/article_184841ce-5f90-11e9-be1f-e328e3b39e3e.html

Although this incident occurred in April, it recently re-surfaced as an example of a Defensive Gun Use. As is frequently the case, Internet common taters had numerous things to say about it.

  • Needs more practice.
  • Only six? Should have emptied the magazine!
  • Too bad the dirtbag’s not in the morgue.
  • Etc.

It’s easy to focus on the unimportant aspects of an incident. All of the commentary focused on feelings, which are unimportant, instead of Lessons to be Learned (LTBL), which are important.

How do we focus on what’s important? One way to start is to identify who was involved by role rather than name. Most the time, news stories use last names but that tends to obscure who did what. Substituting a role for names in the story leads to more clarity about the actions of the participants. For this incident, it would look as follows.

Cast of characters in the drama

Donald Oliver – Intruder

Tina Burton – female of household (Female)

Ali Bracey – male of household (Male)

Daughter

Important aspects of the incident

  • The Male knew there was an actual intruder because of the Daughter’s text.
  • Despite knowing it wasn’t just a ‘bump in the night,’ the Male went to confront the intruder unarmed.
  • The confrontation between the Male and Intruder started verbally and then turned physical.
  • It was either an entangled fight or within arm’s length.
  • When it went physical, the male employed an improvised weapon, to wit: a broom.
  • The broom was apparently ineffective in the confrontation, so the male continued using unspecified improvised weapons.
  • They had a gun but didn’t think initially to bring it to the fight.
  • The Female eventually brought the gun to the Male to use.
  • There was a weapon handoff from the Female to the Male.
  • Shooting the gun caused the Intruder to flee.

Unimportant aspects of the incident

  • The intruder wasn’t killed.
  • The householder didn’t practice enough at the gun range.

Lessons To Be Learned (LBTL) and other important aspects

Guns are not useful if you don’t bring them to the fight. Have a plan ahead of time about how to handle an intrusion.

You can’t practice appropriately for an entangled or close range fight at a gun range anyway. This would most likely have been best handled as a retention shooting situation. Retention shooting is a skill best learned by taking a class from someone who knows what they’re doing. Few instructors are qualified to teach this task. I can recommend Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant, Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training, and Craig Douglas of Shivworks.

Males of the household will often confront an intruder unarmed. It’s not uncommon for another family member to have to access the firearm and bring it to the fight. A handoff to the Male periodically occurs at that point. This means that several implied Personal Protection tasks for the other family member come into play.

  1. Know where the gun is.
  2. Be able to access the gun. Is it in a safe and can the family member open it?
  3. If the gun is not stored Ready to Fire, be able to place the gun into Ready to Fire condition.
  4. Move safely from the storage location to the fight location. Having an Unintentional Discharge en route will probably be a Tactical Disaster.
  5. Either be able to engage the Intruder with the firearm, or
  6. Safely hand off the firearm to the Male engaged in the confrontation. If the confrontation is physically entangled, a handoff may not be safely possible.

Whether the Intruder is killed or not is completely irrelevant. Let’s keep in mind The Cost of Killing. Achieving a Break In Contact is our objective as Non-Sworn Citizens. Note that in this incident, the Intruder had to be taken to court in a wheelchair. That probably means that he has some serious injuries, perhaps debilitating for his entire life.

We need to focus on the important tasks in Personal Protection incident analysis and not our feelings, which are unimportant. That is what I will be doing in the monthly incident analysis on my Patreon page.

https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

Training Opportunity

Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant will be conducting Pistol Essentials and Beyond in Raymond MS on Saturday, October 26 & Sunday, October 27, 2019. Raymond is just west of Jackson, MS.

As a Rangemaster Certified Instructor, Brian is one of the up and coming trainers in the firearms community. His block of instruction at the 2019 Rangemaster Tactical Conference was well received by all 20 clients who took it. He is a very thorough and patient trainer; a teacher of my own style.

More information about the format and goals of the class is available here. Note that this particular class is in Raymond MS not in Dahlonega GA.

Registration information is available here. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/boondocks-october-26-27-2019-pistol-essentials-beyond-in-raymond-ms-tickets-59855488377

For those interested in moving to the next level in your skill development, I highly recommend this class.

Screenshot_2019-09-25 Pistol Essentials Beyond

 

Civilian Carry Radio Podcast Tonight

I will be the guest on Civilian Carry Radio tonight. The co-hosts for the show will be Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant and Lee Weems of First Person Safety. Our topic is Effective Practice on an Indoor Range.

https://youtu.be/r2oVZAFpfqI

Some of the things we may be discussing include some of Claude’s Numbery Things. Data is frequently better understood in a visual way so here are some infographics and pictures that may help.

Size of the training base.

training base w numbers

Access to outdoor ranges in the Atlanta Metro area.

ATL outdoor opportunities

Nature of the indoor range environment.

IRPS Cover

Ability to do low light shooting.

Autreys neck revolver crop

I think my readers will find it to be an informative discussion.

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

Let’s Get Real About Active Shooters

It’s all hype by the media to boost their ratings. The active shooter possibility is so small it wouldn’t even be worth talking about if the media didn’t stir up such a (you-know-what) storm about it. Look at the breakout for 2017, the latest year exact numbers are available. Note that the mass shootings number for 2017 includes the Las Vegas concert incident so it’s higher than other years.

2017 homicides

Source: CDC and Time

In comparison, how often do you hear about multiple fatality car crashes on the news? They rate one minute, once. Then they’re out of sight and out of mind. In 2017, the CDC figure for car fatalities is 40,231. Dead is dead, period. Run an internet search for “multiple fatality car crash” and limit the search period to the past month. The number you’ll find is shocking.

Continue reading →

A Well Regulated Militia

The Bill of Rights

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

There continues to be controversy about the meaning of the Second Amendment. Advocates of Gun Control maintain that it only refers to the National Guard. On occasion, even firearms owners will say that regulated means ‘trained.’

The_Federalist_(1st_ed,_1788,_vol_I,_title_page)

The Federalist Papers (#29 by Alexander Hamilton) gives this interpretation of a ‘well regulated militia.’

“Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; [emphasis mine] and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.”

I.e., everyone should own an assault rifle, a basic load of ammunition and be required to show up for an inspection thereof at least annually.

Hamilton alludes to the difficulty of having the entire citizenry participate in military maneuvers sufficient to develop proficiency at a unit level. Any soldier who has been on a Field Training Exercise (FTX) can understand this. But having military weapons in the hands of the People seems to be a viable solution to him. Maintaining individual proficiency with those weapons isn’t something he speaks about.

James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 46:

“Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Yet another reference to the value of citizens owning arms.

Madison also makes reference to “that the traitors [emphasis mine] should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment.” In a time when a member of Congress talks about using nuclear weapons against the American people, it’s even more important that the people at large possess military weapons.

Professor Eugene Volokh of the UCLA Law School provides some References to the Militia in The Federalist.

The Second Amendment has never been about hunting. That has always been a fiction. The intent of the Founding Fathers was for the people to able to resist a tyrannical central government.

Shooting Your Black Rifle book

http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

Cover shot

 

Online Firearms Safety Course

I just completed the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan POlice Department Online Firearms Safety Training Course. It’s actually well done and informative. There are a few parts particular to D.C. laws but other than that, nothing odious. The animations are generally well done and informative for newcomers to firearms ownership. The course took me about half an hour to complete.

MPD Firearms Safety Course completion CW redacted

There were only two errors noticeable to me, one technical and one typographical. I’ll let the webmaster know about them.

Continue reading →

I hated guns

My friend Ralph Mroz wrote the following in his book Defensive Shooting for Real-Life Encounters.

I hated guns (no, I’m not joking). In my mind they were for fat, lazy rednecks without the ambition or self-discipline to sweat in the dojo! Then one day, about 10 years into the [martial] arts, I had an honest conversation with myself:

“OK, you’ve got 10 years of training. You get into a fight with someone without much training or experience. What are your odds?”

“Good.”

“Right. Now this guy has training and/or experience. What’re your odds now?”

“50/50?”

“Close enough. Now there’s two guys, both without training, but mean. Odds?”

“I dunno, probably less than 50/50, in all honesty.”

“Right. Now two guys with training.”

“My odds suck.”

“One guy with a knife?”

“Oh shit!”

The conversation went on for a few more steps, but you get the idea.

The next week I was looking for a pistol…

The entire book is available for download https://thestreetstandards.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/defensive-shooting-for-real-life-encounters-text-bw1.pdf  on his blog The Street Standards.

It works both ways, though. People who think that owning a gun without having any degree of physical skills are not setting themselves up for success, either.

 

The Mingle 2019

The Mingle is an Invite Only Ladies event for women in the firearms and personal protection industries. It is hosted by The Complete Combatant and sponsored by numerous organizations and manufacturers of the industry. The 2019 Mingle was held on May 18-19. This was the first year that it was a two day event. Day 1, as in years past, was a networking event featuring a short presentation by a guest speaker. This year’s speaker was Chief Deputy Lee Weems of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. He gave an abbreviated version of his ‘Standing Your Ground’ class, which is about the dynamics of using deadly force. Lee’s presentation was sponsored by the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.

After the presentation, a buffet lunch was served and the ladies had some time for networking. Approximately 60 ladies attended and had a good opportunity to meet others from their own and other segments of the industry. At the end of the event, a multitude of door prizes was given away, including a Glock pistol. Each attendee also received a goodie bag with various and sundry small items.

This was the first year that a second day was added. Day 2 was devoted to live fire training at The Complete Combatant’s Dahlonega Georgia range. Day 2 was limited to 24 ladies who had to either be instructors or have had attended a previous training class of some sort.

The day’s events started with a demonstration and trial fire of the VP9 pistol by Heckler & Koch.  H&K presented a short briefing about the pistol and then provided both pistols and ammunition for the attendees to try out.

VP9-Web

The balance of the day’s activities consisted of three blocks of instruction and finally a short Qualification Course for the ladies to fire at the end of the day. Each block was two hours, with a lunch break between the first and the second. The Qualification was conducted concurrent with the third block. Each lady brought her own pistol and holster. All the major pistol manufacturers were represented in the ladies’ choices. They shot approximately 300 rounds during the day.

The first block of instruction was Developing the Concealed Draw by Brian Hill, head coach of The Complete Combatant. This class focused on Fundamentals and developing a repeatable, efficient, and accurate draw stroke. Some of the ladies had not drawn from a holster previous to Day 2, so this was an important piece of instruction.

Second came Close Range Precision Marksmanship by Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor. This class focused on developing the ability to accurately engage small targets within conversational distance.

face shooting

Several innovative targets from Advanced Pistol Practice were included in the class to provide a more realistic approach to target engagement.

eyes and murderers

The final block of instruction was Image Based Decision Drills by Shelley Hill of The Complete Combatant. Each lady had to react to four different scenarios based on images on cards they turned over at random. The scenarios required a variety of responses ranging from disengagement to using deadly force. Tools such as inert cell phones, flashlights, and pepper spray were included in the drills.

Image based Decisional Drill 2

The group was split into two and while half were doing the Image Based Decision Drills, the other half shot a short Qualification Course derived from the Los Angeles POlice Department’s Retired Officer Course. In this Qualification, the shooters had to use several different skills.

  • Draw from a holster and Shoot
  • Challenge an attacker
  • Shoot from Low Ready
  • Shoot with the Dominant Hand Only
  • Reload
  • Make a Head Shot

Mingle qual

It was a challenging course but all the ladies were able to make the requisite 70% passing score. Several made clean runs.

After the shooting tasks were completed, the ladies cleaned up the range, had a short debrief of the day, and then departed. All the ladies said the day had been an enjoyable and enlightening experience.

The Mingle 2020 will be held May 16-17, 2020. Interested ladies should contact The Complete Combatant for an invitation.