“The small keychain type sprays only shoot about five feet.”
This is an important consideration when using pepper spray (OC) to defend yourself. Unlike firearms, the window of opportunity for using pepper spray, in terms of distance, is narrow. Most units that people will actually carry with them have a maximum range of about eight feet. As Greg says, the little keychain units, especially no-name brands, are limited to about 5 feet.
On the flip side, if a predator is inside of Personal Space (4 foot boundary) it becomes more difficult to deploy the spray because he’s at arm’s length. Once you can see ‘the look in his eyes,’ it’s probably too late to stick your arm out and spray him.
It can still be done but the technique is completely different. The best way is to stick the unit in contact with the predator’s upper lip with the nozzle turned upward and then spray the OC directly up his nose into the nasal passages. Or spray it into his mouth if you have to. It’s hard to do if you haven’t practiced it a few times.
The window of opportunity for successfully deploying OC is another example of the importance of Orient in Boyd’s Process. Knowing what your OC unit is capable of (New Information) and applying that knowledge to establish your ‘line in the sand’ is the process of Analysis & Synthesis that leads to better decision-making.
The Spirit of the Bayonet
“The will to meet and destroy the enemy in hand-to-hand combat is the spirit of the bayonet. It springs from the fighter’s confidence, courage, and grim determination, and is the result of vigorous training. Through training, the fighting instinct of the individual soldier is developed to the highest point. The will to use the bayonet first appears in the trainee when he begins to handle it with facility, and increases as his confidence grows. The full development of his physical prowess and complete confidence in his weapon culminates in the final expression of the spirit of the bayonet — fierce and relentless destruction of the enemy.”
Field Manual 23-25 Bayonet –October 1943 edition
Note the subtle distinction between the ‘spirit’ of the bayonet, “The will to meet and destroy the enemy in hand-to-hand combat” and the ‘final expression’ of the spirit of the bayonet, “fierce and relentless destruction of the enemy.” The first is philosophical, the second operational.
Recognizing how to put a concept into operation is an important step in turning information into knowledge. For instance, how can we operationalize the “O-O-D-A Loop?” My colleague Melody Lauer once asked me:
How do I use the OODA Loop? That’s not clear to me.
At the time, I didn’t have a good answer for her.
Now, I would say that the basis for making Boyd’s process operational is to dig deep into Orient. Boyd himself said:
Orientation is the schwerpunkt. It shapes the way we interact with the environment–hence orientation shapes the way we observe, the way we decide, the way we act. [emphasis mine] –Organic Design for Command and Control, slide 16
“I’ll shoot anyone I find in my house” is an example of an input to Orientation, probably a Cultural Heritage artifact from English common law of centuries ago. When we acquire New Information through training, observation, or experience, that also becomes an input to our Orientation. Then comes the hard part, Analysis / Synthesis. All the other inputs to Orientation coalesce through Analysis / Synthesis into decision-making that occurs ahead of an incident rather than during the incident. We may need to modify the plan and decisions as an incident unfolds, but that’s much easier and faster to do than making a plan up on the spot.
Examining, expanding, and integrating all of our Orientation inputs is what allows us to ‘make’ good decisions quickly. When we have formed a solid Orientation, we are actually not making decisions in the moment, rather we are ‘choosing’ from a menu of pre-made decisions available to us because we’ve already considered the benefits, objectives, and consequences and made a rational decision about what’s in our best interests. It’s how we avoid making Serious Mistakes. http://seriousgunownermistakes.com/
My thanks to Melody and Joseph Edward Timbs for provoking me to write this post. Also thanks to Steve Moses, Shawn Vincent, and Don West of CCWSafe for inviting me to participate in a thought provoking podcast about the topic.
What’s more important; keeping your leg or chasing someone and trying to get them to “do the right thing?” Intervention, especially on behalf of a commercial establishment, is rarely the way to set yourself up for success.
Customer says he lost a leg trying to stop thief at NC grocery store. Now he’s suing[sic]
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
-– Inigo Montoya
My main presentation at Paul-E-Palooza 2 was entitled Tactical Decision Exercises. I wanted to do it because I have come to feel we in the training community concentrate on teaching marksmanship and manipulation skills at the expense of tactics and decision-making skills. As strange as it sounds, coming from someone of my background, I think that’s a problem. When I look at incidents that have had negative outcomes for the Citizen, it’s rarely because of a failure of mechanical skills. Most of the time, the failure is due to a bad decision, poor tactics, or a combination of both.
Trainers often refer to the Holy Grail of achieving ‘unconscious competence.’ However, good decision-making is usually a thoughtful conscious process. Consequently, I’m not sure that focusing our training methodologies on an…
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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.
For this drill you will need paper plates, a silhouette target, a deck of cards, and a table or platform to put the cards on. The object of this drill is to practice thinking with a gun in hand.
Draw faces on two paper plates. One plate with a happy face (no shoot), one with a frowny face (shoot). Different color markers for each plate, one Red and one Black.
Put the two paper plates on a silhouette.
Place the silhouette at 4 yards
Use only the Ace, Two, and Three cards of all suits from a deck of cards and then shuffle those cards.
Place the cards face down on the table in front of you.
Turn a card over.
If the card is the color on the frowny face, draw or present the pistol and then shoot the frowny face plate with the number of rounds indicated by the number of the card. I.e., if the card is the 3, then shoot 3 shots. The Ace is one shot.
If the card is the color on the happy face, don’t draw or present, i.e., no shooting.
Pistols having a capacity of less than 12 rounds will require reloading. This is a good opportunity to practice reloading skills under a bit of stress. Pistols with capacities more than 12 rounds can start loaded with less than 12 rounds to gain this additional practice opportunity.
After all 12 cards have been turned over, there should be 12 hits on Mr. Frownyface and NO hits on Mr. Happyface.
This drill can also be done at home using a SIRT pistol, a toy pistol, a water pistol, or some other simulation. The marksmanship might not be measured but the decision-making and thinking skills are the primary purpose of the drill.
The drill has several variations but for most people, this is a good start to work on decision-making.
Tactical Professor books (all PDF)
- Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com
- Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com
- Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com
- Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice
- Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com
I had lunch at Burger King yesterday. Say what you will but I enjoy the BK Lounge. Their fries are the best IMO and a Whopper with cheese is pretty tasty.
While I was there, a bum (aka ne’er do well) came in, went to the drink dispenser, and refilled four empty Coke bottles he took out of his backpack. Then he left. I.e., he stole about four liters of Coke and then took off.
His brazenness about it was interesting to watch. So was either the apathy or completely unawareness of the employees. I was tempted to not intervene so I didn’t. Not my circus, not my monkeys.
Getting stabbed for 50 cents worth of Coke was not on my To Do list for the day. I assume all bums carry a knife and that they are likely to act irrationally. As John Hall, former head of the FBI Firearms Training Unit said:
Every encounter carries with it an element of chance.
Another interesting aspect of the BK visit related to PERSEC (Personal Security).
This particular BK asks for your name for the order. A lot of places do that, for instance Starbucks. I never give my right name.
An attractive woman was in front of me. She had walked in with her son but left him in a booth to order their meals. Of course, she gave her right name when asked. Being behind her, now I know her name.
When her order was ready, the cashier called her name loudly and she got up to get the food. Once again, her son was left alone in the booth.
I was tempted to do a little Sport MUC with them just to see how much personal information I could get out of her and the boy just by knowing her name. I had other things to do so I didn’t.
Not all fundamentals concern establishing grip, seeing the sights, trigger manipulation, and follow‑through.
Tactical Professor books
Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com
Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com
Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com
Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice
Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com
So many people asked me for a book version of my Serious Mistakes CD that I sat down and wrote it.
It’s available for download at http://seriousgunownermistakes.com
This book is not about techniques of shooting firearms; it is about Decision Making, specifically what leads to Bad Decision Making.
Our Mindset leads to our Decisions. Our Decisions lead to our Actions. Our Actions lead to our Outcomes. This sequence controls our destiny in everything we do, including using a firearm for Personal Protection. Unfortunately, decision making in the firearms community tends to focus on the tool, the firearm, instead of the desired outcome for owning it. Endless debate goes on about caliber, action type, ammunition capacity, and other material oriented aspects of ownership. In the broad context, these are extremely minor considerations as long as the owner can operate the firearm adequately.
Where the discussions don’t go nearly enough is the circumstances involving the usage of firearms and the decisions about our internal software that we have to make. “Usage” doesn’t always mean shooting the gun, either. There are a host of other issues, such as storage, legalities of carrying, and even possession, that aren’t often discussed. But those internal software issues are much more likely to determine the difference between a Positive Outcome and a Negative Outcome than hardware issues like type of gun and caliber. The amount of misinformation that runs rampant within the gun community leads many new owners down the wrong path in their Mindset and potential Decision Making.
This book provides some insight about how to avoid the Serious Mistakes.
It’s available for download at http://seriousgunownermistakes.com
It is a PDF document. If you want, you can send it to your Kindle or Kindle app on your SmartPhone. PDFs can be converted to the Kindle format so you can take advantage of functionality such as variable font size, annotations, and Whispersync.
To have a document converted to Kindle format (.azw), the subject line should be “convert” when e-mailing a personal document to your Send-to-Kindle address. Instructions for sending documents to Kindle and Kindle apps are available on Amazon’s website.
How to send a document to your Kindle:
To find your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address, visit the Manage your Devices page at Manage Your Kindle.
Documents can only be sent to your Kindle devices or apps from e-mail accounts that you added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List. To add an e-mail account, visit the Personal Document Settings page at Manage Your Kindle.
To send a document to your Kindle device or app, simply attach it to an e-mail addressed to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail.
It is not necessary to include a subject in the email.
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.
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.
Several innovative targets from Advanced Pistol Practice were included in the class to provide a more realistic approach to target engagement.
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.
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
- Make a Head Shot
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.
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.
There are even more lessons we can take away from the Duel at the Dumpster, which we probably could also call the Dumbster Fire. Perhaps the most important lesson of them all relates to the human dynamics of confrontations.
You’re always on video
We have to assume we’re always going to be on video. This is especially true when there are other parties nearby, whether they’re Seconds or just bystanders.
Here is a reasonably good transcript of the first minute of the confrontation.