1 July 08
Currently, there is a movement within our industry that advocates the CNS (Central Nervous System) over any other target on the human body, to the point where advocates train for brain-stem shots with carry pistols, to the exclusion of all others.
They’re wrong! Brain-stem shots with pistols are indeed indicated, under a narrow spectrum of circumstances, but the body midline, between navel and neck, still represents the most lucrative target on the human body in the vast majority of domestic, lethal encounters.
It is difficult to generalize, but our targets are usually animated, and threatening circumstances come and go quickly. We thus need to keep suspect’s hands under continuous observation and still be able to strike, repeatedly, a moving, dodging target, and then stop shooting promptly when the target no longer represents a threat.
Routinely driving the front sight to the head makes monitoring hands nearly impossible, and, with an aggressively animated target, successful brain-stem shots are unlikely, even with well-trained shooters.
CNS-mania? Like the long-discredited “Quell System,” where the kidney was piously declared the only legitimate pistol target on the human body, this current fad will be short and unhappy!
1 July 08
Safe-Direction Rifle Pad:
Safe -Direction manufacturers a ballistic-containment system for pistols, consisting of a kevlar pad and integral stiffener. I carry and use my copy routinely when loading, unloading, and performing a chamber-check with my carry pistols. We’ve had several instances where they have performed as advertised, absorbing UDs inadvertently launched by startled pistol-owners, mostly in their own homes.
Safe-Direction also makes a Rifle Pad. Thicker and heavier, the Rifle Pad has been purchased mostly by police department and prisons. At a state penitentiary, one had to do its duty yesterday!
During the unloading process with an AR-15, a guard pointed his rifle at the Safe-Direction Rifle Pad and “dry-fired!” It discharged, and the single bullet (55gr WW Ballistic Tip) was stopped, of course, within the pad.
This institution, prior to purchasing Safe-Direction Rifle Pads, had used pipe, filled with sand. But, these old-style bullet traps were awkward, hard to move, and hard to use. Thus, they were often not used!
Where rifles are in constant use and are constantly handled, the Safe-Direction Rifle Pad provides efficient, safe, and convenient ballistic containment, as this institution discovered today!
3 July 08
Bottom line on pistol-shot placement, from Dr Jim Williams, my good friend and colleague, and author of the authoritative text on the subject, Tactical Anatomy:
“Like you, I advocate shooting the brainstem when such an opportunity presents itself, but it is unlikely to be the best primary target in most handgun-fights.
I wonder if some people have taken away the message from my lectures that I am insisting on, or even advocating, brainstem shots. Not so! To the contrary, I emphasize the difficulty of the brainstem shot, but then go on to explain exactly where the brainstem is, so when you are compelled by circumstance to attempt such a shot, you’ve got at least some chance of success!
I also emphasize the large number of cases in my files where offenders received solid hits to the head from handgun bullets, bullets that subsequently penetrated the skull and transected central portions of the brain, but still failed to shut down the offender’s attack. Unlike rifle bullets, handgun bullets seldom generate a temporary cavity sufficient to ‘burst’ the brain, the way a rifle bullet does. Hence, the need to specifically target the portions of the brain where the offender ‘lives and breathes’, ie: the brainstem.
The large number of incidents where offenders have been shot in the cheekbone or forehead, and the bullet has subsequently reflected off sloping bone surfaces, failing to even enter, much less penetrate, the cranial vault, have been the result of people training to hit the ‘eye-box’ on two-dimensional, cardboard targets that are nice enough to stand motionless until it is convenient for the shooter to engage them.
High chest/mediastinum is still our best primary pistol target, because it’s big, and there’s lots of vital stuff in there that can stop the offender’s attack, albeit not instantly.
Lateral pelvis is a viable alternative, and much easier to hit than the brainstem. Hits to the lateral pelvis, though seldom fatal in the short term, compromise the offender’s mobility and greatly decrease the effectiveness of his return fire. As such, the lateral pelvis is our second choice.
Brainstem shots should be considered only as a third option.”
And, this sage comment from friend and colleague, Dr Dave Kahn:
“As someone who knows anatomy, I’d liken most brainstem shots on a mobile aggressor to hitting a tossed baseball, while jogging! If you’ve reduced yourself to having to have a brainstem strike as your only option, you’re in deep mud.”
Comment: Deep indeed!
3 July 08
10-24 Hideout Holsters:
I’ve been testing 10-24’s Concealed Body-Armor Backup Holster. Several similar product have been produced over the years, but this one is the best so far.
When you’re wearing soft body-armor routinely, the 10-24 allows you to carry aback-up pistol in a place where you can get to it quickly, with either hand. It rides comfortably and takes much of the discomfort and drudgery out of carrying a back-up pistol.
Get hold of Peter at 10-24products.com
4 July 08
Earlier this week, conspicuously auditioning for a job within the Obama Administration, current FBI Director Bob Mueller piously expressed his unhappiness with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Heller Case, which audaciously affirmed that individual Americans have (and have always had) a inalienable right to “keep and bear” guns for self-defense. He grotesquely claimed that “… it may harm efforts to deter crime.” He declined to get specific. They never do!
His duplicity gets even thicker with, “… weapons tend to harm people, and more often than not, they are the people carrying them.” Oh, please! God knows we vulgar, unwashed might hurt ourselves! Personal freedom is dangerous, eh? Always has been, Bob!
With such inalienable rights we are endowed by our Creator. They are not grudgingly conferred upon us by pseudo-benevolent politicians.
As we celebrate Independence Day 2008, let us all remember and reaffirm that personal freedom is impossible without us all jealously claiming our own, personal magnificence! The capacity to take effective, unilateral action, upon our own summary command and judgement, to personally protect ourselves from violent criminals, without humiliating dependance upon government employees, is a sacred and unique American Value.
Our Founding Fathers knew that personal freedom requires economic freedom. That is why they warned us against high taxes and smothering over-regulation that ultimately suffocates all creativity and enterprise.
For the same reason, they also warned us against outsourcing our personal security, foolishly depending upon others, who may or may not care, to protect us from harm. That is why there is a Second Amendment.
This Nation’s future thus rests upon proud, independent, self-reliant, enterprising, fearless Warriors, not frightened, handout-addicted, defeated, despondent, groveling wretches who consume their sorry lives “…tired of living, and scared of dying,” blatantly, shamelessly milked of their votes by cynical despots desperately trying to stay in power forever.
Tyrant-wannabes, Constitutional criminals, who believe we all must be enslaved for our own good, who have more in common with Lenin and Marx than they ever did with Washington and Jefferson, and who believe that a nation’s wealth comes from a printing press should be hanging their heads in shame this day, their acquiescent apologists notwithstanding!
“Let no one say, and say it to your shame, that this was “The Land of the Free…” until you came!”
6 July 08
Comments from a student and Bureau Special Agent:
“… the Bureau has had only one ‘Director!’ Ever since, we’ve had a tired litany of ‘managers,’ including the current one. However, special mention goes to Pat Grey and Louie Freeh, who were, at least, stand-up guys, which is precisely why neither lasted long!
Please understand that we Special Agents are not polled with regard to our political opinions prior to speeches being made our current gaggle of managers. They do not, and should not, presume to ‘represent’ us, nor our collective view, on any particular subject.
Even so, don’t let comments of some political commissar defile the honest efforts of so many straight-up, hard-working Grunts in the field. You might want to let the recipients of your Quips know that occasional, agenda-driven, political speeches by our current managers do not necessarily reflect opinions of Bureau Agents.
When I signed up, I took an oath to ‘protect and defend’ the Constitution. I did not pledge allegiance to any particular political candidate, nor any particular political party. I presume our managers did the same!”
Comment: Who seek public office and public service, and particularly those who subsequently seek promotion/election to high office, should fully expect to suffer for their personal honesty and integrity. They’ll predictably be expected to sell their souls and personal honor as well, and many are only too happy to do so, all for a short-lived and pitiable “atta-boy” from sluttish politicians somewhere up the food chain to whom they mean less than nothing.
True heroes stand up to bullies, always calling their bluff, even at great personal risk. In fact, all honest and gallant public servants should fully expect to be fired, and take great honor in the fact when it inevitably happens.
In the end, no one who lusts after high public office should ever be allowed to occupy it!
7 July 08
From a friend and Instructor in IL:
“The issue within the twisted reality of Chicago politics is the fact that there are some really decent people, dear friends of mine, living in the middle of ceaseless, major crime-zones, who don’t want to become victims, and who thus want to become armed and trained.
A courageous friend in this very position recently confronted a fleeing, violent felon who was desperately trying to escape CPD officers during a foot-chase. The felon tried to find refuge in a neighbor’s tool shed, but experienced a sudden mind-change when confronted by my friend, pistol in hand, who instructed the felon that it was time for him to move on!
The felon was captured by police minutes later, without incident, hiding in another property down the street.
All well and good, but this dauntless, armed homeowner knows full well that, had he held the perp at gunpoint and subsequently presented him to police, an act which he considers his civic duty, the police would have arrested him on some preposterous weapons charge, along with the felon.
Of the two, the felon would have been out of jail sooner!
The incident would have cost my friend thousands of dollars and consumed hundreds of hours of work time. He may well have spent significant time in prison, and would end up with a felony record himself!
After all that, the Mayor wouldn’t even say ‘Thank you!’
These good people have been given no viable choice by the State of IL and the City of Chicago. They must either nonchalantly allow themselves to be maimed, murdered, raped, and terrorized by violent criminals, or they get to be arrested and go to prison for even possessing guns, much less resisting effectively.
Yes, they need to move to a better neighborhood. Don’t we all? I’m sure most wish they could! But, economic realities compel them to live where they do. They are still good people, and desperately want to live honorable and productive lives, but City officials, and violent criminals, have united in a ‘War on Decency’ against them, and good people everywhere.”
Comment: This is the hapless plight of so many living within the confines of major metro areas, where any species of effective self-defense is prohibited by detached, paranoid city officials who perpetually lust after power and care about little else, and who all have taxpayer-financed, heavily-armed, bodyguard contingents. And, this is the sad state of affairs the recent Heller Decision was specifically designed to remedy.
It can’t happen too soon!
10 July 08
SIG’s M556 Rifle
I finally have an opportunity to train with SIG’s military rifle, in 223. Like everything SIG makes, it is well put together, weighty, not as compact as my XCRs nor even my ARs. I’m doing an Urban rifle Course in OK next week, so I’ll have the opportunity to use it there.
Controls are AR-like. The rifle itself is rugged and obviously designed for heavy fighting. Trigger is precise. Link is quite distinctive. This rifle is surely set up for serious use.
It takes AR-15 magazines. I’m sure there was loud and acrimonious discussion over this subject deep within the bowels of SIG-dom. SIG makes a wonderful, proprietary plastic magazine, for its earlier 550-series of rifles, which were imported under LE-only restrictions. The decision was made that this “general” version of the Rifle, the current M556, would be modified to accept commonly-available AR-15 magazines and not the former, proprietary ones.
I’m sure many in SIG anticipated magazine-related “problems” to thus develop with this new rifle, over which the manufacturer, of course, has no control. We’ll see!
I’ve developed a preference for steel AR-15 magazines (over aluminum), and the ones made by Fusil an C-Products run just fine.
I don’t like the ambidextrous safety levers, and the SIG rifle has one. When I operate the lever with my right thumb, my trigger-finger (right index-finger), which is correctly in the register position, interferes with the safety’s movement. Happily, the right-side extension is pinned in place, and I anticipate simply removing it, leaving the lever on the left side intact.
My copy of the 556 has full-length rails on all sides, and I have a Micro-Aimpoint, forward mounted, on Mark LaRue’s wonderful quick-detach mount. The Rifle comes with crude, but wonderfully compact, iron sights.
At $1,500.00, the SIG Rifle is at the high end, as SIGs always are. But, there is a lot to like here.
11 July 08
Slip 2000 EWL
My local gunsmith is very happy with Slip 2000 EWL (Extreme Weapon Lubricant). I gave him a bottle several weeks ago for testing, and he told me this morning that it is the most functional gun lubricant he has used.
He wishes it were thicker, more like grease, but results have been most excellent.
I’ve now used it on my new SIG 556 Rifle, and I’ll put it to the test next week!
11 July 08
LaserMax and Training:
My nine-year-old grand-daughter and I were shooting prairie dogs last week at a ranch in WY, and she was, as all new shooters do, having difficulty simultaneously keeping sights aligned while pressing the trigger. In order to assist her in visualizing the concept of trigger-control, I invited her to dry-fire my LaserMax-equipped SA/XD/40S&W.
As a target, we used a staple in a fencepost ten feet away. I asked her to hold the pistol as she watched the pulsating, red dot, and to hold the dot on the staple- all as she smoothly pressed the pistol’s trigger. I added that the red dot needed to stay on the staple all the time the trigger moved and especially after the hammer dropped. Any precipitous movement of the dot during trigger movement indicated a missed shot.
I was astonished at the speed at which she picked up the concept with the aid of this visual reference! After this impromptu lesson, her rifle shooting instantly improved dramatically.
As I have indicated, I now regard laser-equipped pistols to be useful tactical devices, and I satisfied myself of the validity of that opinion at this year’s NTI in Harrisburg, PA in May. However, I now also see the laser’s exceptional usefulness as a training tool for young shooters as it shows them visually the striking effect of even slight muzzle movement during trigger manipulation.
Confirmation of the ancient principle of learning theory: “What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand!”
13 July 08
Getting into serious rifles:
In talking with friends in the retail gun business, I make it a point to ask what it takes to get into a serious, Western-built, military rifle. Most tell me the absolute minimum for any kind of AR-15 is $700.00. A really good rifle, from top-line manufacturers I recommend, is going to run between $900.00 and $1,500.00. Gas-piston rifles, like the RA/XCR and SIG/556 will generally be higher than Stoner rifles, but that is just the beginning!
Once you buy the rifle itself, you discover you need an adequate complement of magazines, a dozen at least, at $30.00-$75.00 each. Of course, your new rifle may also not come with sights, because there are so many individual preferences, so a good set of iron sights will be an additional $75.00-$250.00. Add another $50.00-$100.00 for a tactical sling and forward attachment-point/wire-loop.
Those who, in addition, want a Micro-Aimpoint, EOTech, or other high-tech optic can add another $400.00-$500.00.
Don’t forget ammunition! One-thousand rounds of 223 will run $300.00 and up. Service ammunition, like Cor-Bon DPX, will be close to $1.00/round. In 308, prices are, of course, proportionally higher.
Of course, you’ll need training! Our weekend Urban Rifle Course will be over $500.00. Ammunition consumed during the Course will cost nearly as much as the Course itself. Other well-known instructors charge similar rates.
So, to get set-up in a serious rifle, and get trained to use it, will cost the average consumer $2,500.00, and up!
An alternative is to buy an inexpensive Kalashnikov in 5.45X39. The rifle itself is around $400.00, and probably already comes with acceptable iron sights, a sling, and at least two magazines. Additional magazines are relatively inexpensive. Cheap ammunition is available in quantity and is suitable for both practice and serious purposes.
It is rude and crude by Western standards, but still a good starting point for those with limited resources who still want to get started in this Art.
Serious rifle skills are, in the minds of many, becoming increasingly important with the passing of each day. One way or another, one must find a way!
16 July 08
SIG 556 workout!
I used my SIG/556 at an Urban Rifle Course in OK earlier this week. As expected, it performed well indeed!
Ultimately, I set up my new SIG Rifle with LaRue BUIS, front and rear. The iron sights that come on the rifle, thought compact as previously noted, are slow to deploy. And, the rear sight, once deployed, is fragile and flimsy.
Between the front and rear BUIS, and well forward on the full-length top rail, I have a Micro-Aimpoint, mounted on a LaRue Quick-Release Base. Now, I can quickly deploy and use my LaRue BUIS through the Aimpoint optic, or I can speedily remove the optic when necessary. The rail-mounted sights, both optic and BUIS, hold zero well.
With regard to the ambidextrous safety, I had my gunsmith simply grind off the paddle on the right side, leaving only a stud. Now, it doesn’t interfere with my registered (right-hand) trigger-finger.
SIG’s gas-piston system is reliable and smooth. Unlike the pressurized-receiver/Stoner System, the 556 tolerates dirt and grit well, and, as with the excellent DSA/FAL and RA/XCR, gas pressure is adjustable and can be ramped-up when the weapon gets excessively dirty.
Accuracy is excellent, maybe even too good! When a rifle is this accurate, I worry about it being too tight, and ultimately temperamental. However, my copy, though now dirty, continues to run and run, with a wide mixture of ammunition!
I’m using Fusil 30-round magazines. I like them, because they are made of spring steel and thus don’t dent, and they come with a powder coating which makes them slick, corrosion resistant, and extremely reliable.
My Safariland Rapid Light, which goes so quickly on, and off, rail-equipped pistols, also slides on the 556’s right rail, making it an excellent bedroom-gun!
I’m now traveling, via air, with my 556, broken down, locked in a hard, plastic case inside my checked Columbia duffle. I’ve checked various rifles through on hundreds of domestic flights this way, and the SIG is no exception. It is flying with me!
SIG’s 556 is a relatively heavy rifle, for the caliber. After carrying my copy all day, I can definitely tell the difference between it and, for example, my SabreTech M-4. However, there is not much else not to like about the 556. Like the XCR, it is a serious rifle. No doubt!
17 July 08
RA/XCR, now shipping in 7.62X39
Robinson Arms, appealing to cost-conscious consumers who are looking for ways to keep shooting without breaking the bank, are currently shipping their wonderful XCR rifle, now chambered in 30/Soviet (7.62X39)
The rifle comes with two, 25-round magazines, manufactured by C-Products. Additional magazines are available at $25.00/copy. This iteration of the XCR features a chrome-plated barrel, and is available as a complete unit, or in kit-form, for those who already own an XCR but want the additional capability.
As with all versions of the XCR, this one has no issue with steel-cased ammunition.
Alex Robinson tells me the 6.8mm version of his XCR has done well also, but current ammunition cost inflation has generated strident interest in calibers where cheap sources of ammunition are still available.
The most wonderful rifle in the world is worth little when you can’t afford to shoot it!
It is anyone’s guess how much longer cheap ammunition will be available in 7.62X39, or 5.45X39 for that matter. In fact, banking on the latter, S&W is currently introducing a 5.45X39 version of their excellent M&P Carbine. I hope they’re right!
In order to maintain, and advance, critical weapon skills, we have to get rounds downrange on a regular basis, but high ammunition prices have made regular shooting sessions fewer and further between for many.
True Operators will find a way! By contrast, losers will, as always, spend their time seeking a presumptive excuse to lose.
PO Bx 16776
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
801 355 0401
801 355 0402 (Fax)
18 July 08
I should have mentioned the M1 Carbine! This from a friend and Instructor:
“Of necessity, hobby reloading is popular again! On that subject, the 30/Carbine cartridge is as easily and cheaply reloaded as are most handgun cartridges. I crank them out by the hundreds on my Dillon!
(1) The 30/Carbine case consumes half the powder of a 223, and one-fourth the powder of a 308
(2) The straight-wall 30/Carbine case, combined with relatively low pressure, sidesteps issues associated with case-stretching, head-space shifting, and case-separation that commonly plague high-pressure, necked cartridges
(3) Reloaded 30/Carbine ammunition, when produced in quantity, costs no more than 9mm, less than 40S&W, and much less than 223 or 308.
(4) 30/Carbine cases can be reused many more cycles than can most high-pressure, rifle cartridges before ultimately having to be discarded.
Those looking for a relatively inexpensive way to get involved in the Art of Serious Riflery should not overlook the M1 Carbine! It is a 100M gun, but, for most domestic use, that is more than adequate.”
Comment: Shame on me for failing to mention the foregoing in my last Quip!
Yes, definitely look at Kahr’s version of the M1 Carbine. My copy is handy, well put together, wonderfully reliable, and much less expensive than most AR-15s. Ammunition is readily available and eminently reloadable, as noted above. A real cost advantage!
19 July 08
The ultimate government immorality, from a friend traveling in IL:
“…last week, on my way to a new job out West, I’m driving through IL. I stopped at a freeway rest area. On my way to the restroom, I see a blue kiosk in the distance. As I approach, it becomes clear that this is an emergency call-station, complete with rotating, blue lights that is apparently designed to make one think a beat car is always there and at your service.
Imagine the relief experienced by a would-be violent-crime victim, spying this beacon in the night! She flees to its safety, secure in the knowledge that rescue is at hand.
Imagine her shock and disappointment upon arriving at this totem-pole of security. A sign reading ‘Out of Order’ is attached to the kiosk with four, heavy, rusting screws, indicating that this is neither a recent, nor temporary, interruption of service. At the next rest area, I discovered the identical situation.
These conspicuous, slowly-corroding, blue kiosks are, as it turns out, little more than empty, bogus monuments to government incompetence and arrogant detachment in IL. What a fraud!”
Comment: It is the height of immorality when politicians and bureaucrats, who perpetually insist that they alone are authorized to protect us, simultaneously deny us any capacity to unilaterally protect ourselves, while, at the same time, accepting no responsibility to do so, indeed attempting to delude us with a scam like this. Disgusting!
22 July 08
Lasers and Pistol Training: another point, this from my long-time friend and colleague, Claude Werner from the Rogers School:
“We are all familiar with the concept of the eye/target line, but there is another ‘line’ that is equally important during the pistol’s presentation. That is the front-sight/rear-sight line.
An efficient presentation will get this sight-line parallel with the eye-target line quickly, and then drive the sight-line into convergence with the eye-target line as quickly as possible thereafter. The parallel relationship between the sight-line and eye-target line should be substantially established shortly after as the pistol clears the holster and is rotated to horizontal, but I have found that frequently this not the case.
When the sight-line is not parallel to the eye-target line during extension to the target, once the shooter reaches full extension, he must then make separate steps of finding the sights and establishing alignment. This elongated sequence is inefficient and ineffective.
Using a laser during dry-fire will graphically demonstrate to the student where the pistol is actually aligned during all stages of the presentation.
It actually takes very little practice to demonstrate this. The biofeedback loop this sort of practice produces tends to create quick, positive results, just as you noted with your grand-daughter’s trigger control.”
Comment: Claude has an uncanny talent for seeing things that I tend to gloss over. I hinted at the foregoing in my Quip on the 2008 NTI, but Claude articulates it in detail, the kind of detail necessary for me to fully understand and appreciate the value of laser-assisted pistol training.
27 July 08
Report on the S&W’s M&P Rifle, in 5.45X39, from a friend who just took delivery of a copy:
“… physical features of the M&P in 5.45X39 are identical, in every way, to the 223 version, including weight. Recoil, report, and handling particulars are also identical. My copy runs fine, but I’ve had ammunition-engendered hiccups.
Accuracy is only fair, at least by American standards, but surely adequate for most of what we do in the ‘Urban-Rifle’ setting.
Steel-case ammunition is doubtless hard on AR-15-style extractors, but mine is currently holding up.
Thus, with the exception of a slight increase in malfunctions, due to subaltern ammunition, these rifles are very acceptable, and are considerably more economical to shoot than the same thing in 223.
Currently, domestic 223 ammunition (55gr hardball) runs $0.40/round, when acquired in bulk, when you can get it. By contrast, 5.45X39 ammunition (foreign-made) can be had for $0.18/round, and is generally available, at least for now.”
Comment: I personally doubt that the 5.45X39 round will ever “catch-on” in this Country. But, it is an acceptable, defensive round, and economics may indeed drive us all in that direction.
Ammunition trends, like political trends, are hard to predict. When I do, I’m usually wrong!
27 July 08
Success story, from a female student:
“Last week, I had just returned home from shopping . My house is set back from the street and up forty stairs. Shrubs on both sides of the stairway obscure the view and severely restrict any exit except down the stairs. When I arrived home, I parked my car in the driveway, carried a load of groceries up to the house, then returned to the car to bring up the last load.
As I got my arms full again, I heard a man’s voice saying, ‘Hey lady! I have something to sell you.’ I turned to see a strange man, scrubby, dirty, and poorly dressed, advancing on me from the street. I replied, ‘I’m not interested,’ and started walking quickly toward the stairs.
The man followed. I turned toward him and said sternly, ‘I’m not interested. Get off my property!’ He replied, ‘Let me come in and show you what I have for sale.’ He continued to advance on me. I abruptly dropped my packages, got my hand on my snubby revolver, and ran up the stairs to my front door, entered my house, and locked the door behind me.
Once inside, I called 911 and reported an ‘assault-in-progress.’ I took a breath, thinking the man had probably left.
No such luck!
The man appeared at my doorway and started pounding and kicking the locked door, yelling, “Let me in! Let me in!” Still on the line, the 911 operator, hearing the pounding, said, ‘What is that?’ I replied, ‘Operator, send the police now! A violent felon is breaking into my house!’
Having only marginal faith in the stoutness of my front door, I retreated up the stairs to a landing. I used a support post for cover as I pointed my revolver at the door. I calculated I would be shooting down (safe backstop), plus the attacker would not see me right away. Fortunately, I had thought about, and rehearsed, all this before, so there was no hesitation on my part.
I shouted, ‘Go away! I’ve called the police, and they on the way. I have a gun, and I will shoot!
The pounding abruptly stopped, and I could hear him running back down the stairs. From an upstairs window, I saw a faded van drive up, pick the man up, and drive away. Never saw him again!
Police were there minutes afterward. They indicated that what I had experienced fit the MO of a gang of grubs that had spread out over the neighborhood lately.
The moral of this story for me is the confirmation of the value of my professional defensive handgun training and my ongoing practice with my Training Group. My pistol was loaded, as always, with high-performance ammunition, and I entertained no uncertainty with regard to my ability to stop this felon with gunfire, and I was fully prepared to do so, without hesitation.
Happily, it was not necessary, this time!”
(1) Be alert! Pay attention. Keep your head up. Have a well-tuned ability to detect trouble-in-the-making. The more time you have to prepare yourself and refine your Plan accordingly, the better the outcome.
(2) Face facts! Don’t con yourself. Don’t delude yourself into thinking you’re not really seeing what is in front of you.
(3) Have a Plan! Know your Plan. Rehearse your Plan. But, don’t fall in love with your Plan! Those without a plan will predictably dither and die!
(4) Stern, clear, uncluttered verbal challenges will often prevent the necessity of using deadly force. Verbal challenges need to be short, to the point, one-way, and unequivocal. Don’t bluff, and don’t engage in a conversation!
(5) Be armed! Like wearing seatbelts when in a car, you can’t know when they will be necessary, so you wear them all the time!
(6) When it’s in your hand, has little relative value, and is not helping you win the fight, lose it!
(7) Stay in motion! Get your feet out of cement. A moving target is a difficult target.
(8) There is no substitute for competent firearms training and continuous practice. When you’ve never taken lessons, it is unlikely you’ll be able to suddenly sit down in front of a piano and make music, no matter how nice a piano it is!
(9) Be prepared to go it alone. Don’t wait to be rescued! Even a relatively fast police response is still far too slow to make any difference in the outcome of most life-threatening situations. When you are not prepared to handle it yourself, right now, without assistance from anyone, you probably won’t live through it.
(10) Do whatever is necessary, at the critical moment, without hesitation. Don’t worry about being perfect, and don’t look back!
(11) Lose your fear of dying! There are no guarantees in this life, and, end the end, we’re all dead anyway. Who look for “fairness” in the way the world is ordered, do so in vain!
28 July 08
Incisive analyses, as always, from Skip Gochenour and the ATSA Crew:
“While all ten of the points you enumerate are valid and germane, these two are, by far, the most important:
>Face facts! Don’t con yourself. Don’t delude yourself into thinking you’re not really seeing what is in front of you.
>Lose your fear of dying! There are no guarantees in this life, and, end the end, we’re all dead anyway. Who look for ‘fairness’ in the way the world is ordered, do so in vain!
In four decades of studying violent encounters, and in discussions with hundreds of VCAs, I have become convinced that decisions on the part of VCAs with regard to victim selection and engagement are governed almost entirely by their perception of the potential victim’s understanding of, and personal commitment to, the foregoing.
VCAs understand that the willful reluctance of the target/victim to accept the reality and urgency of the situation, catalyzes the victim’s inclination to engage in sanitizing fantasy- delusion sufficient to persuade the victim to suspend reality just long enough for the victimization to take place.
In the VCA’s convergence upon an engagement decision, he will accept all the other points you made, so long as the two enumerated above are in his favor. He will thus be heavily influenced by his perception (correct or incorrect) that the target/victim is willing to wager his life on the outcome of the next few moments. When the target/victim is obviously unwilling to make that irrevocable wager, and instead submerges himself in aboulic fantasy, the VCA has a green light, no matter what other factors figure into the equation!
Since the success, and continued good health, of the VCA turns on his ability to correctly perceive this willingness, or its absence, he is well-advised to hone that perceptive skill. His first wrong call may well be his last, as it nearly was in the incident you cited.”
Comment: Fear, like all other emotions, needs to be managed and contained. Fear is normal, even beneficial in some circumstances. But, when out of control, fear leads, by a short route, to delusion and paralysis, as Skip noted above. Fear will drive you to inaction, and maybe crazy to boot! Its paralyzing grip must be broken by personal courage, resolve, and icy determination, which you either have or you don’t!
In the words of Sitting Bull, “Brothers! Test your armor, but only test the front!”
28 July 08
Interesting note from a student and historian, and something you’ll not likely see reported on CNN:
“The ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ was actually a re-write of one of Francis Scott Key’s earlier works, written to honor American heroes of the Barbary Wars, courageously fought against Islamic terrorists of that era (the early 1800s).
America’s first ‘declared’ war was against a trans-national terrorist organization, made up of Moslem VCAs, the infamous Barbary Pirates. They had been grabbing commercial ships and holding crews and passengers as slaves, and for ransom. President Jefferson, wrestling with his own disinclination to become involved in foreign military adventurism, ultimately declared war, created a Navy, and went after them. Thus confronted with America’s unexpected and ferocious projection of force, the Pirates, and their political confederates, meekly sued for peace.
A celebration was held in 1805 to honor our heroes of the Barbary Wars. Francis Scott Key wrote a poem and set it to music, specifically for that festivity. The music he used was an old drinking song, exactly the same tune that used in our current National Anthem. The rhyme and meter are also identical. The song unapologetically celebrates victory over Islamic terror. Key entitled it, ‘When the Warrior Returns’
In the conflict resistless, each toil they endured
‘Till their foes fled dismayed from the war’s desolation:
And pale beamed the Crescent, its splendor obscured
By the light of the Star Spangled flag of our nation.
Where each radiant star gleamed a meteor of war,
And turbaned heads bowed to its terrible glare,
Now, mixed with the olive, the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brows of the Brave.
Perhaps some starlet should throw that verse in next time she sings the our National Anthem at a baseball game!
Seven years afterward, the United States was again at war, this time (once again!) with Great Britain. During that conflict, in addition to burning the White House, the British attacked Fort McHenry, which guarded Baltimore. When, after a night of heavy bombardment, the Fort had still not fallen, Francis Scott Key was so inspired that he quickly re-wrote ‘When the Warrior Returns’
This new version began, ‘O, Say Can You See…’”
Comment: President John Adams, who preceded Jefferson, said of the Moslem states that sponsored the Barbary Pirates, “If we decide to fight them, we better wipe them out, once and for all. Or, we need to plan on fighting them forever!” Looks as if “forever” is upon us!
Such “inconvenient history” is seldom discussed among the sissified in the media. They would much rather report (as “news”) what they wish were true, rather than truth!
30 July 08
These sobering comments from a friend and student who is a recent immigrant to the USA from SA:
“I love my adopted Country, more than you can imagine, but I am astonished that some of my Countrymen want to ban the Pledge of Allegiance! What are these people thinking?
Looking back at the (ongoing) downward slide of South Africa, it is impossible for me to not notice the similarity. Proud South African war veterans, like me, of all races, who paid with our blood for our national survival, were suddenly made out to be ‘politically incorrect.’ Yes, they used that very term!
Communism was cunningly marketed by international political forces as the ‘democratic answer’ to South Africa’s ‘problems,’ much as it is in American today. Except here, you call it ‘Liberalism!’
Our imperfect Republic was then precipitously replaced with a sinister, Communist ‘thug-ocracy,’ to the roaring applause of the World Community! The African National Congress (ANC), a vicious, brutal Communist/terrorist organization, was touted as the new ‘savior’ of South Africa. Nelson Mandela, a sleazy, murdering thug of the same ilk as Yasser Arafat, was hastily sanitized, then converted to ‘The New Messiah.’ He was never popular among the historically literate, but was wildly popular among the shallow and self-centered, who, as you say, predictably submerge themselves in euphoric fantasy, instead of facing cheerless facts!
Today, South Africa, indeed the bulk of the African Continent, under various thug-o-cratic ‘governments,’ is dying, enslaved in rotting, violence-ridden squalor, filth, and starvation! The flag was changed. The National Anthem was changed. Personal loyalty, indeed unrestrained devotion, to whatever sleazy thug is currently in power is now considered ‘patriotic.’ Conversely, devotion to the ideals of freedom and liberty are considered archaic and ‘politically incorrect.’
Now, look at America today! Our Flag, National Anthem, and Pledge of Allegiance are all being denigrated as ‘racist,’ not just by fringy nuts, but by ‘mainstream,’ liberal gasbags, lusting for power, who are routinely handed a microphone by the leftist media and are allowed to talk without pause and are never interrupted, much less challenged! Political leaders here are walking down the same road that the naive and ‘fantasy-inclined’ followed in South Africa.
And, Liberals in this Country, like Communists in SA, desperately want to eliminate the private ownership of guns. It is the centerpiece of their mantra. They don’t want ‘gun-control’ in order to protect us from criminals (their patently fraudulent cover-story). They want ‘gun-control’ in order to protect themselves from us! Notice, they only want to eliminate our guns, never their own!
I spent the past few days at a firearms-industry conference on the East Coast. Not one participant there, other then me, was even carrying a concealed pistol nor blade! In our haste to be ‘liked’ by the political Left (who hate our guts and always will), we will lose both our dignity and our personal freedom.
In this world, civilizations come and go! As an individual, or a nation, when you don’t really want to survive, you’re not going to. Ask the Romans!”
Comment: “The worm that destroys is the temptation to continuously seek approval from your critics.”
“One of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms… the right of the citizen to bear arms is a safeguard against tyranny, which now (1960) appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.”
31 July 08
The King’s New Clothes:
The naval rank of “Admiral” is derived from the Arabic phrase “amir al bahr,” which means “Lord of the Sea”
British Admiral George Tryon was at the top of his game in 1893! Commanding Britain’s formidable Mediterranean Fleet, consisting of eleven ironclads, bristling with guns and veritably dripping with national pride, George cast a long shadow!
And, George was no hollow figurehead! He had displayed eye-catching naval brilliance on numerous occasions, and was respected up and down the chain of command. His large frame and personal countenance were intimidating, and the fact that he was ‘in charge” was never in dispute!
The World was at peace, and George was concerned that the Royal Navy’s officer corps had too little experience with emergencies. So, on 22 June 1893, Thursday, while the Fleet was cruising off Tripoli in the prescribed double-column, Tryon abruptly commanded that both columns turn back upon themselves and reverse direction, and he wanted them all to turn to the inside! It was just a training exercise, but virtually every officer, particularly second-in-command Rear Admiral Albert Markham, instantly knew that it was extremely dangerous and would likely lead to a collision, as there would not be enough room between ships for last-minute corrections.
Nervous eyes fell on Markham, as other officers fully expected him to quickly inform Tryon that this order was stupid and needed to be rescinded immediately. Markham dithered! How do you tell the King, who believes himself to be adorned splendorously, that he is actually stark naked?
A fidgety Markham said nothing, nor did any other officer. They all dutifully turned about and obeyed orders they all knew to be insane. None were disappointed!
The maneuver commenced, and, predictably, Tryon’s flagship, Victoria, was shortly thereafter rammed amidships by Markham’s vessel, Camperdown. The Victoria, fatally ruptured, sunk within minutes, killing nearly four-hundred British seamen, including Tryon himself! The incident attained the dubious distinction of Britain’s biggest peacetime naval disaster to date!
Markham was subsequently court-martialed, but acquitted. He remained in the Royal Navy and went on to command other, smaller ships. He rarely talked about the “Victoria Incident,” dying in 1918 of natural causes. No other officer was disciplined. Tryon, of course, never lived to see any of it!
Lessons: (1) Fighting is for Warriors! When peace breaks out, war becomes just so much conversation. Everyone waxes soft, and promotions become based on political acumen and good looks, instead of bold audacity and demonstrated competence. Who make their way to the top of the food-chain in peacetime, instead of fearless leaders, are often just “little-men-in-cheap-suits.”
(2) Smart commanders surround themselves with people even smarter than they are! These competent subordinates will unabashedly tell you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear! Conversely, fools surround themselves with mealy-mouthed, smooth-talking atta-boys who are even dumber than they are, because truly competent subordinates scare them and make them nervous! In such a circumstance, there is rarely substantive uphill communication, and disaster, as we see, is inevitable!
(3) Those in high positions, who nervously sense a threat from every competent subordinate, are commonplace in large, public bureaucracies. This is due to the fact that they consistently performed poorly at the “street level,” and thus sought “administrative” advancement as an alternative path to cushy, civil-service retirement, which, for most of them, is their only real goal.
(4) Bearers of bad news should be promoted, but rarely are!