The Law is what it is

I shared this on my personal Facebook timeline and from there dozens of other people have shared it.

Texas grand jury: No action against killer of church shooter
https://apnews.com/article/fort-worth-shootings-archive-texas-f38e8ef6437e96a9e60fb44662c71494

Several questions and comments have repeatedly been raised as a result.

  • He should never have been charged.
  • Why did it go to a Grand Jury?
  • Why is this even an issue?

He wasn’t charged. The issue went to a Grand Jury because Texas requires homicides, and all potential felonies, to be presented to a Grand Jury.

Another issue to consider is that the incident occurred December 29, 2019. The Grand Jury returned a No-Bill yesterday, September 28, 2020, nine months later. Because all potential felonies have to go to a Grand Jury in Texas, they’re busy. Although in this case there was little doubt of the outcome, Mr. Wilson still had potential legal action hanging over his head for the better part of a year. It is likely that his family thought about this just as much as he did, perhaps more so.

The Law is what it is, not what we think it is, nor what we think it should be. Many people don’t understand the importance of that distinction.

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Downrange drill target

My only question is whether you might have an alternate suggestion for target set up comparable to the one in this post and the one before. I shoot at two restrictive ranges without the ability to shoot targets spaced as indicated in your diagram.

Almost all indoor ranges are restrictive that way. There are still things you can do even if you can’t accomplish everything you’d like.

This is a target from my upcoming Dry Practice book you can print on letter size paper.

Downrange drill target

Tape it to the head of a silhouette target. It is anatomically sized correctly by using the ocular distance indicated by the line with arrows on the male mugshot of Dennis Rader, the notorious BTK Killer. https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/dennis-rader The dashed circle is sized to four inches in diameter. The pretty lady is a mug shot too, unfortunately, but she serves the purpose of occupying the place of a NO SHOOT.

Place the target at 10 feet, which is the mid-point of the far phase of Social Space in Proxemics. The object of the drill is to place one round in the circle as rapidly as your can. Do it five times in a row. If you hit the lady, you’ve shot a loved one; consider that in your evaluation of your abilities. As Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Even if you don’t have a lot of flexibility at your practice range, there are still things you can do to up your game.

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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.

Why we practice marksmanship

Man shot multiple times while trying to steal couple’s SUV at gas station

https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/09/17/man-shot-while-trying-to-steal-couples-vehicle-at-gas-station-police-say/

“The suspect walked away from his truck and toward a couple that was at a gas pump with their SUV, investigators said. Officers said the suspect then entered the driver’s seat of the SUV while a woman was in the passenger seat.

At some point, police said the man saw the suspect inside of the SUV. He then fired at the suspect sitting in the driver’s seat, striking him multiple times, investigators said.”

Note the position of the bullet holes in the windshield.

Hopefully, the wife exited the vehicle before the shooting started. If not, that was a scary downrange drill, i.e., friendlies or non-threats somewhere downrange between the defender and the criminal. Scary for both the shooter and the downrange friendly. Consider the position of the shooter when the shots were fired.

Armed Citizens are far less likely to have to make a 25 yard headshot on a terrorist than we are to need to make a close range precision shot with no-shoots downrange. It’s something that very few gunowners practice but ought to. In this situation, the hit ratio needs to be 100%, not 70% or 20%.

Even during the Beer Plague, we’re often out of our homes with our loved ones and there’s no guarantee that they will be behind us when trouble starts.

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Helping or hurting your case

The justifiability of this shooting will be determined in the courtroom. However, it’s fairly safe to say that not reporting a shooting/killing to the POlice and subsequently tampering with evidence, i.e., throwing the spent shell casings in the dumpster and concealing the revolver, is unlikely to help your case.

Win, Lose, or Draw; the cost of this killing will be high, both psychologically and financially.

https://www.wiscnews.com/baraboonewsrepublic/news/local/crime-and-courts/woman-accused-of-homicide-tells-sauk-county-investigators-she-acted-in-self-defense-during-sex/article_60167eb2-b368-5cd6-8d0a-93c264bbf957.html

Also, the optics of two shots to the back of the head are not good.

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Thinking ahead during the current Insurgency

Part of dealing with the American Insurgency is thinking ahead about what to do when bad things start happening around you. There are no safe places during an insurgency.

Witnesses describe killing of Portland shooter Michael Reinoehl

https://nypost.com/2020/09/04/witnesses-describe-killing-of-portland-shooter-michael-reinoehl/

This was the reaction of one person near the shooting.

“I was sitting in my backyard and all I heard was pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. I was like, oh s–t. I come outside and there’s a million sheriffs out here and there’s a dude laying out here by the mailbox and he’s bleeding. They hit him.”

Note that there were at least 29 rounds fired during the incident. So far, it is unstated how many hit Reinoehl but based on general trends, we can assume that the majority did not. That means at least 15 rounds, perhaps some from rifles, were whizzing around the neighborhood.

According to Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacey,_Washington “Lacey is a city in Thurston County, Washington, United States. It is a suburb of Olympia with a population of 42,393 at the 2010 census.” Lacey is 120 miles from Portland and another State away from where the original murder took place. One lesson for us in this incident is that any place within driving distance of a well-publicized shooting is a possible location for a secondary incident. Kyle Rittenhouse went back to Ill-Annoy after the Kenosha shootings.

If you hear gunfire, don’t go outside to watch or video it. Think ahead about the most bullet resistant places in your home. The bathtub, which hopefully is iron, is an example. Even if it’s not iron, it is at least surrounded and supported by structural members. Rehearse a sheltering plan ahead of time. Make sure your loved ones understand it; they might have to use it when you’re not there. It might look something like this:

  • If and when you hear shooting outside, gather your loved ones and take them to that sheltered place.
  • Take your equipment, including your phone, with you when you take shelter.
  • Don’t let strangers into your home after an incident.
  • Call the POlice and report the gunfire outside.

The most important tool you have during a crisis is the one between your ears. As with almost all tools, it’s better if you sharpen it before you need to use it.

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Priorities of Work

Someone on Instagram asked me about doing 65 yard headshots with a pistol. My response was that it doesn’t really concern me. I’m much more interested in teaching as many gunowners fundamental skills as I can and then integrating decisional training along with those skills. As long as a person can pass an entry level CCW Qual Course, they’re probably ready to start working on the decisional aspects of Personal Protection.

Skip Gochenour, who ran the National Tactical Invitational for many years, and I had a conversation about this years ago. Skip’s opinion was that we need to get training about human dynamics and decision-making into the training sequence much earlier. I agree with him 100 percent. Decision-making is what makes us or breaks us when the situation starts getting dicey.

I’ll be testing my theory at The Mingle 2020 in a couple of months. In the meantime, I’ll be starting a new 3 dollar Patreon tier for teaching marksmanship and manipulation skills early next month (September).

The way it’s going to be structured is by using CCW Qual courses as a baseline and a learning vehicle. The head of the US Army Ranger School once commented that the purpose of Ranger training is to teach leadership under conditions of stress. Patrolling is just the vehicle or method used to teach leadership to Ranger Students. I think we can use qualification courses in the same way. Given the ammo shortage, it will be largely dry practice with an occasional live fire session.

Here’s the first set of videos that show the first Course of the series. There will be demos for both autoloaders and revolvers.

One using the SCCY pistol:

One with a 317 revolver:

As always, Tactical Professor books can be purchased from the menu at the top of the page. They are NOT FREE but if you would be interested in knowing how to better operate the firearms you own during the American Insurgency, they will be useful.

Dry Practice Safety – Part II

#fridayfundamentals

The LAPD Categorical Use Of Force report about the UD of a snub revolver http://www.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/040-19%20PR%20(NTUD).pdf generated a fair amount of interest. Here’s a follow-on idea.

These three Lessons To Be Learned From The Incident were mentioned last time.

  • While we sometimes have to perform administrative functions with our guns, those administrative actions should mimic our actual handling and firing procedures, whenever possible. In this case, ejecting the rounds straight down as if getting ready to reload would be a better procedure.
  • Count the rounds when they come out of the revolver. You should be aware how many chambers your revolver has. Five chambers but only four rounds indicates a problem. Note that a nickel plated single round in the cylinder of a stainless or anodized revolver is not necessarily immediately obvious. By counting the rounds and then carefully examining the cylinder, the chances of a round remaining in a chamber is mitigated.
  • Dummy ammunition not only protects the firing pin, hammer nose, or striker of a handgun during dry practice, it also provides an additional layer of safety during the practice session. If a visually identifiable dummy is in the chamber(s), then a live round cannot be. This is also physics. Dummies are available from A-Zoom and ST Action Pro. They can be found on Amazon or better gun stores.

Keeping a speedloader filled with dummy rounds accessible allows you to accomplish all three of these tasks. You could do the same thing with a Speed Strip, pouch, or loops.

J box dummies arrow

  1. Put your speedloader where you might carry it. If you don’t habitually carry a speedloader for your reload, just put it in your pocket.
  2. Eject the live rounds from your revolver on the ground.
  3. Reload with the dummies using the speedloader.
  4. Holster your revolver.
  5. Put the live rounds in the speedloader and secure it with your other live ammunition.
  6. Go to your dry practice area, which is a place where there is no live ammunition.
  7. When you have finished your dry practice, put your revolver away without reloading it.
  8. Do something else to remove dry practice from your thoughts.
  9. When dry practice is distant from your thoughts, reverse the reloading process and reload your revolver with the live ammunition. Replace the dummy rounds in the speedloader. This gives you a reminder that your revolver is now loaded with live ammunition.
  10. Put your revolver away or immediately exit your home to preclude the last repetition that makes a loud noise.

Using this procedure helps protect you, your gun, and gets in two good reloading repetitions.

Tactical Professor books are NOT FREE but if you would be interested in knowing how to better operate the firearms you own during the American Insurgency, they can be purchased from the menu at the top of the page.

Dry Practice Safety

#wheelgunwednesday

There are many valuable lessons to be learned from the LAPD Categorical Use Of Force reports. http://www.lapdonline.org/categorical_use_of_force Most of those lessons relate to the dynamics of Officer Involved Shootings. However, the reports also provide a detailed account for every Unintentional Discharge by a Los Angeles POlice Officer. This particular incident relates to the UD of a snub revolver.

http://www.lapdonline.org/assets/pdf/040-19%20PR%20(NTUD).pdf

Incident Summary

Officer A brought his/her back-up service revolver home with the intention to clean it.

With the muzzle of the revolver pointed toward the ground, Officer A held the revolver with his/her right hand and used his/her right thumb to push the cylinder release button, disengaging the cylinder from the revolver. Once the cylinder disengaged, Officer A placed his/her left hand under the open cylinder and used his/her left index finger to depress the ejector rod, releasing the live rounds into his/her left hand. Officer A did not count the live rounds and placed them on top of the kitchen counter directly behind him/her. Officer A then closed the cylinder.

Officer A held his/her revolver with two hands in a standing shooting position. He/she raised his/her revolver and pointed it in the direction of the vertical blinds covering a sliding glass doors, which led to an exterior patio. Officer A placed his/her finger on the trigger and pressed it to dry fire the revolver. Officer A conducted two dry fire presses of the trigger.

According to Officer A, he/she normally conducted dry trigger press exercises approximately three times per week, on his/her days off. However, Officer A stated that he/she usually practices with his/her semi-automatic service pistol, and this was the first time that he/she practiced with his/her revolver.

According to Officer A, believing his/her revolver was still unloaded, he/she placed his/her finger on the trigger and pressed it a third time, which caused the revolver to discharge a single round. No one was injured by the discharge.

Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners’ Findings

The BOPC determined that Officer A’s actions violated the Department’s Basic Firearm Safety Rules and found Officer A’s Unintentional Discharge to be Negligent.

Lessons To Be Learned From The Incident

The value of reading about incidents like this is not to criticize or heap scorn but rather to learn hard lessons from someone else’s Negative Outcome.

  • Revolvers have multiple chambers not just one like an autoloading pistol. Especially if the revolver is dirty, either from firing or carrying, it’s not uncommon for one or two rounds to remain in the cylinder when the rest eject. Two factors can contribute to this. One, the ejector rod of a snub is shorter than the cases so it doesn’t push the rounds completely out. Two, gravity has effect when loading or unloading a revolver. If the revolver is not held completely vertical when being unloaded, gravity causes the cases to drag on the bottom of the chambers. This is simply physics in action.
  • “Officer A placed his/her left hand under the open cylinder and used his/her left index finger to depress the ejector rod, releasing the live rounds into his/her left hand.” This is pretty much impossible to do with the revolver held vertically. It is also a bad repetition of reloading procedure. While we sometimes have to perform administrative functions with our guns, those administrative actions should mimic our actual handling and firing procedures, whenever possible. In this case, ejecting the rounds straight down as if getting ready to reload would be a better procedure.
  • Count the rounds when they come out of the revolver. You should be aware how many chambers your revolver has. Five chambers but only four rounds indicates a problem. Note that a nickel plated single round in the cylinder of a stainless or anodized revolver is not necessarily immediately obvious. By counting the rounds and then carefully examining the cylinder, the chances of a round remaining in a chamber is mitigated.
  • Dummy ammunition not only protects the firing pin, hammer nose, or striker of a handgun during dry practice, it also provides an additional layer of safety during the practice session. If a visually identifiable dummy is in the chamber(s), then a live round cannot be. This is also physics. Dummies are available from A-Zoom and ST Action Pro. They can be found on Amazon or better gun stores.
  • Dry practice should always be conducted at a specific target located on some kind of bullet resistant backstop. “[V]ertical blinds covering a sliding glass doors [sic] leading to an exterior patio” DO NOT fulfill this requirement.

Dry practice is a valuable way to build skill, especially with a wheelgun. Make sure that you are alert and focused on the task and observe safety procedures rigorously.

Tactical Professor books are NOT FREE but if you would be interested in knowing how to better operate the firearms you own during the American Insurgency, they can be purchased from the menu at the top of the page.

Another off body carry incident, with a twist

https://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/manteno-man-shot-6-times-in-domestic-dispute/article_02ca9150-f8f4-5d2a-8d76-6a8b93d8301a.html

The incident occurred in September of 2016. The shooter was convicted of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm at a bench trial in November of 2017. This month, the Appellate Court reversed his conviction. He’s been in prison ever since his arrest.

Bottom Line Up Front:

A woman invites a man she’s never met in person over for sex. While they are in the midst of the act, her boyfriend shows up. The naked man grabs his pistol from under the bed and shoots the boyfriend because the man feels threatened. He is eventually arrested, tried, convicted, and sent to prison. Four years later, his conviction is reversed on appeal.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROBERT D. WILLIAMS, Defendant-Appellant.

https://courts.illinois.gov/R23_Orders/AppellateCourt/2020/3rdDistrict/3180189_R23.pdf

Although the case has some lurid traits, it’s also very interesting from both the legal and tactical perspectives. I’m summarizing it on my Patreon page https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor but the Appellate ruling provides a lot of detail you can read for yourself.

As always, should you or your loved ones be interested in learning to use your equipment better during the American Insurgency, my books are available at the menu at the top of the page.