The Tactical Professor’s SHOT Show Odyssey (Part III) – Site visit to the Duel at the Dumbster (continued)

More thoughts about the Duel at the Dumbster

Legal issues aside, the Duel also demonstrated how proxemics come into play during Defensive Gun Uses. Shootings and gunfights involving Private Citizens almost universally occur in Social Space (4-12 feet) as defined in the science of Proxemics. That’s my conclusion after studying the over 5,000 DGUs in my database. When they start out with ‘Monkey Dancing,’ as this one did, it’s unavoidable that the shooting will be close. Monkey Dancing can’t be done at much of a distance. While Law Enforcement Officers need to be concerned about the Tueller Principle, the dynamics of Private Citizen encounters are far different.

Proxemics

Diagram by WebHamster

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The Tactical Professor’s SHOT Show Odyssey (Part II) – Site visit to the Duel at the Dumbster

Phase 1 of the Odyssey – The drive there

Since we were driving through the Southwest, I felt compelled to make a visit to the site of the Duel at the Dumbster in Abilene. Actually seeing the lay of the land always helps me gain a better understanding of the dynamics of shootings and gunfights.

For those unfamiliar with the incident, here’s a quick synopsis. A father and son confronted another man about placing a discarded twin mattress by the dumpster in the alley. After approximately two minutes of monkey dancing between two prideful fools and a man with mental health issues, gunfire erupted. A few seconds later, the individual with mental health issues didn’t have to worry about his issues anymore because he took a load of ‘scattershot’ to his head, along with other wounds. The fools are now in jail awaiting trial for Murder.

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The Tactical Professor’s SHOT Show Odyssey

I just returned home after a two week Odyssey to and from the 2019 SHOT Show. My approach to the Show this year was completely different from previous years. After two weeks on the road and the Show, I have 21 pages of notes with many more yet to be written. The chronicles of my journey will be the subject of quite a few blog posts over the next two weeks.

My Odyssey had three phases.

  1. The drive from Atlanta to Las Vegas.
  2. The Show itself.
  3. A 52 hour bus ride back to Atlanta from Las Vegas.

Phase 1 – The drive there

A friend wanted to make it into a road trip to see part of America, so he rented a large comfortable SUV for the trip. We spent seven days on the road driving from Atlanta, through the South and Southwest parts of the USA, to Las Vegas. It was quite an interesting journey. To put things in perspective, it was a longer distance than from the Nazi submarine pens at La Rochelle on the coast of France to Moscow.

Phase 2 – The SHOT Show itself

This year I was on a ‘jihad’, as my colleague Tamara Keel calls my occasional bursts of enthusiasm, at the Show. The jihad was about storage solutions for firearms because I am tired of collecting articles about children shooting themselves with nearby adults’ guns. While we often think as security solutions to ward off theft, my focus was more about preventing unauthorized access. Although the topics are akin, they aren’t the same and I wanted to address the latter. A chance hallway encounter with my colleague John Holschen yielded this gem.

Don’t buy a gun until you have a way to secure it, even if it’s just metal toolbox and padlock.

Another thing I wanted to do was to interview people who aren’t ‘equipment obsessed’ about their experiences with firearms. Many of them come from Gun Culture 2.0, as Professor David Yamane calls it. The process of interviewing, rather than informing, was tremendously enlightening and useful to me. It was perhaps the most useful part of the journey, overall. Several of the conversations highlighted how important and useful some form of distance learning, such as my ebooks, is to many shooters who have very valid reasons for not attending training. Links to my books are at the bottom of the page.

Phase 3 – The journey home

It’s easy to get into the habit of always being comfortable when traveling. However, ‘the worst possible case’ doesn’t always involve having a deadly encounter with TODD or a band of ninjas armed with automatic weapons descending from the ceiling. For example, my friend was in one of the Baltic countries when Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland erupted in 2010.  His adventures getting back to his home in Western Europe were not unlike a grand Escape and Evasion exercise covering thousands of miles.

We often talk about ‘Bug Out Bags,’ but what if you’re faced with having to get home while living on your wits? Another of my friends was caught on the other side of the US when air travel was grounded by the 9/11 attacks, so this isn’t something that only happens to Special Forces soldiers in Denied Areas. I thought a little practice might be in order so I seized the opportunity.

Highlights (for now)

Phase 1

One of our stops was Vicksburg National Military Park. It is the site of one of the pivotal campaigns of the Civil War or War of Northern Aggression, depending on one’s preferred terminology. The underlying reasons for the four year conflict are still being debated but the motivation displayed by the participants committed to their causes remains amazing to this day.

3d Battery OH Lt Arty.jpg

3 overwhelming firepower

We also made a visit to the site of the Duel at the Dumbster in Abilene so I could get a first hand feel for the terrain of the shooting. Someone asked me at the Show if there were lessons to be learned from the incident. My immediate reply was “About foolishness and stupidity, a great deal.”

Phase 2

There were many interesting devices for securing firearms available at the Show, some new, some old. There was not much activity the several times I visited the Project ChildSafe booth, which I found disheartening. The folks at the booth were very friendly and had a lot of information. Similarly, there wasn’t much activity around the areas that displayed securing devices. Not many people seemed interested in preventing kids from shooting themselves in the face with an adult’s gun. I has a sad because of this. ☹

project childsafe edit

zore gun lock booth

Phase 3

It was a long and sometimes arduous journey home. My friend bought me a nice dinner of Linguine alle Vongole before my departure for which I am very grateful. Finding decent food during the trip wasn’t easy and I was glad I had eaten a good meal before leaving. As a thought reconnaissance in preparation for a lengthy and difficult return trip home, it was very useful and I learned a great deal.

bus itinerary crop

linguine alle vongole

More about the Tactical Professor’s Odyssey tomorrow.

For those interested in improving your skills with a handgun, I have written two books.

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

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

For those who wish to avoid Serious Mistakes and subsequent Negative Outcomes, I have made a downloadable recording.

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, downloadable audio recording. http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

The Telephone Game and the Training Industry

In a broader context, the Telephone Game issue has just surfaced in Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s ‘suspension’ that was reported in the national media without actually having happened.

tacticalprofessor

Telephone [in the United States]  –is an internationally popular game, in which one person whispers a message to the ear of the next person through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Although the objective is to pass around the message without it becoming misheard and altered along the way, part of the enjoyment is that, regardless, this usually ends up happening.

Often, a message that starts out like “My uncle shook hands with the Mayor once” eventually turns into “President Reagan’s grandmother slept with Batman for years” or something equally mistransmitted.

Telephone game issues plague the firearms training industry and are a problem. Several occurrences of it have been brought to my attention just this week. One of the most important things I’ve learned in the training industry is to assume everything that anyone tells me secondhand is wrong. Whenever possible…

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Multiple categories of Negative Outcome

This could go into three different categories of my Negative Outcomes database; ‘Poor Judgement,’ ‘Unjustified Shootings,’ and ‘POlice Involvement.’ For now, it gets filed in Poor Judgement.

Florida man shooting at target in backyard hits neighbor sitting at dining room table, deputies say

https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/man-shooting-at-target-in-backyard-hits-neighbor-sitting-at-dining-room-table-deputies-say/1682358419

This is a Serious Mistake and a clear violation of Rule #4 “Know your target and what is beyond and around it.” ‘Target’ includes the target’s backstop.

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

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

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, downloadable audio recording. http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

Gary T.

Gary T., formerly of the 3d Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, the email address you gave me doesn’t work.

screaming eagle

Downrange Failure

As [the Officer] struggled with Villalon, [the homeowner] drew a handgun and fired in their direction, striking the officer on his right arm, according to police.

Homeowner shoots McAllen officer who responded to burglary

This is the Negative Outcome I categorize as ‘Downrange Failure,’ i.e., hit someone downrange who wasn’t the criminal. It’s the smallest category of Negative Outcomes but the consequences tend to be high.

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One and two shot presentations

#wheelgunwednesday

NV CFP 38

Nevada Concealed Firearm Permit Qualification fired with 1 and 2 shot strings

Becoming reasonably skilled with a handgun isn’t always a fun process. A lot of it is simply repetition of basic techniques until we have achieved automaticity, which is frequently and incorrectly referred to as ‘muscle memory.’

The reason most POlice and CCW qualification courses consist of high round count strings is simply to get the testing over with as quickly as possible. The underlying object is to facilitate the evaluation process, not to ‘train’ the shooter. When we’re practicing on our own, ‘getting it over with’ doesn’t have to be our primary concern, nor should it be.

When we’re practicing for skill development, almost all of our time should be spent firing one or two shots at a time. For competitive shooters, using Bill Drills to practice recoil management does have value. For purposes of personal protection, however, the reality is that learning to put the first shot on target every single time has a lot more value.

When learning to shoot at distance, single shot drills are almost mandatory.

Taurus 82 15 yards

15 yards, 1 shot per presentation from Low Ready

As a refresher, here are some links to previous articles about aspects of learning to shoot well.

Press the trigger smoothly

Too quick on the trigger?

Consistency

Comparative Standards

Most of the drills in my eBooks are three shots or less. They’re workbooks, which implies to use them, you have to do some work. Work is not always fun. Sorry, that’s just adult life. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun shooting but rather that learning to shoot well isn’t always a fun process.

For those who carry a concealed firearm, Concealed Carry Skills and Drills, is appropriate for you. The link to the downloadable eBook is here. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

For those who don’t carry a concealed firearm but keep a handgun for home defense, Indoor Range Practice Sessions, is appropriate for you. The link to the downloadable eBook is here. http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

My downloadable recording, Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make,  http://seriousgunownermistakes.com is particularly appropriate when analyzing incidents, not necessarily Defensive Gun Uses, involving firearms.

The odds and stakes of home protection

The discussion of shooting someone in your home without warning or identification has reared its ugly head again. “I’ll shoot anyone in my home” is probably the second most foolish and ill-considered dogma among gun owners today; “It’s not loaded” being the first.

During the Sack of Béziers in 1209 AD, the Abbot of Citeaux, Arnaud Amalric, head of the Crusaders, is reputed to have said: “Kill them. For the Lord knows those that are His own [Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius].” Although it is disputed whether the Abbot actually said this, it is the source of the quip, “Kill them all and let God sort them out.” If you consider it for just a few seconds, “I’ll kill anyone in my house” is philosophically not very far from this. Hopefully, we’ve gotten a little smarter and humane over the course of nine Centuries.

Children sneak in and out of the house, spouses get up to go to the bathroom, friends try to surprise you, and people who are mentally challenged, either permanently or temporarily by intoxicants, enter into homes without malicious intent.

I now have close to a hundred Negative Outcome mistaken identity shootings in my database in which someone shot their spouse or child. Those people will never get another good night’s sleep as long as they live. For the ones where the shootee survived, I doubt the relationship will ever be the same. For those who think they’ll check to make sure all their family members are in bed first, that doesn’t always work, either.

Tragedy: Florida Man Shoots, Kills Fiancée Day Before Wedding

And shooting some poor old geezer who has Alzheimer’s isn’t any better, just because he’s not a member of your family. In that particular case, there was no prosecution but the Cost of Killing was still enormous.

On average, my research indicates that someone mistakenly shoots their spouse, child, or other innocent person in their home every single week in the United States. Two words, “Who’s there?” and a flashlight would go a long way to prevent these tragedies. “Challenging will give my position away,” “The flashlight draws fire,” “blah-blah-blah;” that’s all foolishness parroted by people who have no understanding of METT-TC. Mission, Enemy, Terrain and weather, Troops and support available, Time available, and Civil considerations.

australianparrots-crop

Veterans who should have learned about METT-TC, but didn’t, annoy me greatly when they prattle this kind of foolishness. To be fair, I really didn’t understand it until I was a Staff Sergeant and even then only vaguely. This is another reason not to listen to opinions from people whose only real claim to fame is that they qualified Expert with some weapon in the military. Someone’s ability to Qualify with a rifle has ZERO to do with their understanding of any tactics at all, much less tactics about highly ambiguous situations. A better criterion than Qualification would be “How many Operations Orders have you written?” If the answer is Less than ten or especially None, then the person’s ability to plan any operation is questionable.

staff-sergeant

The odds that the bump in the night are an intruder are low. I’ve calculated them at three percent but I can accept other numbers. More likely, it’s an innocent party. How many of us have investigated a bump in the night as compared to how many of us have then found someone who needed shooting? The stakes are very high, the life of a loved one or innocent party. Some localities are now prosecuting Mistaken Identity shootings as Manslaughter or Second Degree Murder. Even when there are no legal consequences, the psychological toll will most likely be for a lifetime.

The Flashlight chapter of Indoor Range Practice Sessions is a FREE download. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2505573-ebooks-law-indoor-range-session-11-flashlight.html Please get it, practice using your light, learn to speak while holding your gun, and think about identifying people before shooting at them.

You could even buy the whole book, if you want to learn something about shooting. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2501143-ebooks-education-indoor-range-practice-sessions.html

Practicing under adverse conditions

Testing the effect of adverse weather on our shooting ability is useful. This year is already starting out with a colder winter than usual and it’s not even officially winter yet. That may be the ‘climate change’ trend for a while. The temperature today is 36 degrees and there’s a very light mist. Wearing a zipped up down jacket with a sweatshirt underneath and gloves may be the uniform for a while.

A good test for starters is the NRA Basics Of Pistol Shooting test. It consists of firing five shots into each of four circles, four inches in diameter at three increasing distances. Red Level is fired at 10 feet, White Level is shot at 15 feet, and Blue Level finishes the test at 20 feet for a total of 60 rounds. There is no time limit.

BOPS targets

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