3 Jan 04
From a friend in SA who owns a gunshop:
“Just had a seven Australian Army SpecOps guys in my shop. They raved about how we are able to own such great stuff here in SA: knives, pistols, batons, pepper spray, etc. I found it strange coming from military men, of all people.
I sold them Spyderco, Gerber, and Cold Steel folders in addition to ERDs (electronic restraint devices), pepper spray, PR24s, and Kubatons. These active-duty soldiers are not allowed to acquire or possess any of these items in Australia. They will all be shipping plain, brown packages home!
What the world is becoming? These guys are expected to protect their country, but their government refuses to allow them to protect themselves, and I thought we were heavily regulated here!”
Lesson: To politicians and bureaucrats, we are all just so much cannon fodder. They make a big show of ‘protecting” us, but they never want us to take any (even small-scale) measures to protect ourselves. The only “safety” they’re worried about is their own. They don’t care about protecting us from criminals. What they care about is protecting themselves from us!
3 Jan 04
Comments on snipers from a NY Times article, reprinted in the Rocky Mountain News:
“… As the counterinsurgency grinds into its ninth month, the Army is increasingly relying on snipers to protect infantry patrols sweeping through urban streets and alleyways, and to kill guerrilla leaders and disrupt their attacks.
… The demand for snipers is great enough that the Army has sent a team of trainers to Iraq to keep churning out new ones for the war effort here and in other hot spots.
… Most snipers are familiar with firearms even before joining the armed forces.”
Lesson: Generals and politicians decide, at the end of every war, that snipers, indeed all competent riflemen, are unnecessary and that what we really need are more death-rays and other gadgets. As the next war arrives and goes on and on, they always reluctantly come to the conclusion that they were wrong all along and that competent trigger pressers are not only important, but are indeed the only thing that really matters, or that ever has mattered.
In this world, there are people who need to be shot dead, not negotiated with or have the error of their ways pointed out to them, but spontaneously shot to death, and the sooner the better. This is a frightful fact that even army generals don’t want to face nor think about.
The US Army is reluctantly admitting that there is currently a critical shortage of competent trigger pressers in the system! There is apparently no shortage of sensitivity counselors or leaflet distributors. They are even more embarrassed to admit that pricey death-rays and innumerable other electronic gimmicks are not winning the war. Deadly rifle fire is.
Anyone who thinks that in the twenty-first century proficient riflemen and critical rifle skills are obsolete is a naive fool. As always, skilled Americans riflemen, and the unique American gun culture that produces them, are winning this war, one dead bad-guy at a time!
5 Jan 03
Good advice from a friend and student at INS (now called USCBP):
“We have since dropped the term ‘Bureau’ and adopted the name ‘US Customs and Border Protection.’ The problem was that the FBI didn’t want yet another federal agency to be known as ‘The Bureau,’ especially considering that we are a good deal larger than are they. Not too territorial!
All our new people are issued G17s. INS ‘legacy employees’ are keeping their Berettas and H&K’s (for now.)
The issue of unarmed Agriculture (formally USDA) officers has been solved by the creation of a new position: ‘Agriculture Specialist.’ Many (former) USDA employees are biologists who have no training nor desire to carry weapons. Those who choose to become USCBP/AS Officers must attend training. Considering the threat of MCD (Mad Cow Disease), their job may well become exciting indeed!
Tell all your students and colleagues: I strongly recommend that every US Citizen have a valid passport, even those who have no current plans to travel beyond US borders. Passports are the only documents that conclusively prove your citizenship. Courtesy of states like CA, driver’s licenses are now worthless. They prove nothing. Fortunately, passports contain little personal information. Therefore, you are well advised to refrain from adding any information, such as a street address or emergency contact, that is not required.”
Comment: Sage advice. Apply for and get a passport if you don’t already have one. However, a passport showing extensive international travel, particularly to sensitive areas, such as the Mideast, is a bad thing. If your passport contains such information, exchange it periodically for a “clean” one. This may be done for a modest fee at any US State Dept office, Passport office, and most US Post Offices.
In addition, ID cards showing membership in police or military reserve organizations, National Guard, or membership in political parties, political action groups, veteran’s organizations, or any group with political overtones, such as the NRA, Greenpeace, etc need to be kept securely out of sight. The less they’re exposed, the better.
7 Jan 04
Murder of an LEO in OK:
“Our trooper responded to a ‘suspicious activity/person’ call. As he arrived on the scene (by himself), he actually caught this suspect cooking meth. He placed the suspect under arrest. The first handcuff went on. As our trooper attempted to put the second cuff on, the suspect began to resist violently.
The fight went to the ground on the roadway and in the ditch. Both our trooper and the suspect were armed with Glock pistols. Our trooper had a G31. The suspect had a G22. Both the suspect and the officer drew pistols, but both pistols were subsequently knocked out of the grasp of both combatants.
Groveling about on the ground, the suspect located the officer’s G31, immediately stuck it in the trooper’s face, and demanded the handcuff key. As our unarmed trooper begged for his life, the suspect shot him in the head twice. The trooper was dead at the scene.
The suspect then fled to his sister’s house where she and three others helped him remove the single handcuff. The suspect and his four ‘helpers’ (including his sister) were subsequently arrested without incident.”
(1) Making arrests reasonably requires at least two officers, but this is not always possible, as one-man patrol cars are the rule rather than the exception. That being the case, all of us should be routinely carrying backup guns. A backup gun should be thought of as a necessity, not an option. The foregoing is prime example of where a backup gun might have enabled this officer to come out alive.
(2) In addition, all of us need to regularly carry a serious blade that we can get into either hand quickly. A good blade has all kinds of uses, but first and foremost it can be used to cut a suspect’s hands off your gun.
(3) Forcible disarms need to be learned and practiced regularly by all of us. When a pistol is stuck in your face, a forceful disarm is usually the only viable option. I include retention and disarms in every Advanced Defensive Handgun class. It is a critical skill. Once again, had this officer disarmed the suspect as the suspect pointed a gun at him, he might have come out of this incident alive.
Backup guns, blades, and disarms make the best “onion-field insurance.”
9 Jan 04
From a friend in the Army MPs, currently in CONUS for R&R:
“Our Beretta M-9 magazines, which were procured by the thousands from some after-market company, don’t work at all. After a few weeks of use, springs give out, and they begin to fail to feed past the sixth round. Many worn-out M-16 magazines are exhibiting similar problems. So, while here in CONUS, I’m frantically scurrying around gunshops and police supply houses in an attempt to buy magazines, body armor, backup guns, blades, and a host of other thing we don’t have and can’t get over there. I’ll be returning shortly!”
Comment: I am astonished at what a replay of Vietnam this conflict is turning into. Thirty-five years ago in Vietnam, many of us had to have our parents mail us guns, magazines, ammunition, and knives, because what we needed was either worn out and didn’t work, or was not available anywhere in the System. Even in the military, you’re on your own, and you need to take care of yourself! We all need to understand this. It will never get any better.
10 Jan 04
More on Equipment:
“After-market Beretta M-9 magazines that are causing reliability problems are manufactured by a company called Checkmate. They are trash, and merely replacing springs and followers does not fix them. How DOD ever contracted with such a dreadful manufacturer or, for that matter, ever accepted this scrap for issue to American soldiers is yet another great mystery.
If you’re being deployed, lay in a supply of OEM, Beretta magazines before you leave and use them exclusively in your M-9. All after-market magazines are shoddy by comparison and none are recommended for any serious purpose. Checkmate also manufacturers M-16 magazines. They are not recommended either.”
Comment: “Nothing is too good for our men.”
12 Jan 04
Rock River Arms:
Rock River Arms has recently introduced a “lockable” rear sight as an option on their series of AR-15 clones. It is a feature at which police departments need to look.
The best patrol rifle policy is to issue a rifle to each patrolman. That way, each officer can be directly responsible for the fitness and readiness of his own rifle, as he does with all his emergency equipment. Sights can be precisely adjusted to suit him, and him alone. His confidence in his rifle should therefore always be undisputed.
Unfortunately, as rifles come into common use in American police departments, they will (as shotguns were) be issued to the beat car, not to the individual officer. Several officers will thus have to share the same rifle. Eventually, we may see the more enlightened approach, described above, come into common practice. In the interim, we’ll have to deal with “shared rifles.”
The critical issue with shared rifles is, of course, that the sights, once set, may be “adjusted” by one officer without the knowledge or assent of other officers who may have to use it. When an officer has doubts about his rifle’s sight setting, he will have no confidence with it and will thus probably decline to even deploy it.
To address the issue, Rick River Arms’ lockable rear sight can be set and then locked in place (via set screws). Sights then cannot be inadvertently, accidentally, or intentionally “adjusted” without a great deal of effort and special tools. Departments bringing rifles into their system ought to look at this feature. Until all officers have their own rifle, this system can do much to assure rifle users that sights have not been tampered with since the last live-fire range exercise at the range.
Finally, any rifle labeled “Target” or “Match” has no place in a patrol vehicle. Such rifles may be extremely accurate, but they are not reliable enough for serious use. Patrol rifles should have NATO (not SAAMI) chambers and military service (not “Match”) triggers. Rock River Arms (and other manufacturers) make rifles both ways, so be careful not to make the wrong choice.
15 Jan 04
Latest from LAPD. Things are moving forward and looking up:
“We, at LAPD, may now carry (concealed) our plainclothes and off-duty guns in holsters without thumb snaps/straps. And we can carry those same guns in ‘plastic’ holsters and plastic magazine carriers
Our LAPRAAC (Academy gun shop) has sold eight hundred Glocks! Seven hundred have been 45ACPs. Most of the rest have been 40S&W. Only five 9mms have been sold. I was in the first Glock transition course for patrol. No one had a 9mm. Of us, four of five had 40s. The rest 45ACPs.”
Comment: LAPD is moving forward!
20 Jan 04
News from SA:
“It has just been announced that, from now on, new applications to possess firearms legally will take a minimum of nine months. Of course, nine months from now, the waiting time will have doubled or tripled. The government is sending the message, ‘If you don’t have guns now, you never will.'”
Comment: This is the real danger in “waiting periods.” Once in place, they’re incrementally expanded until possession of guns is effectively outlawed. Just as in this country, government officials self-righteously claim to believe in the right of individual self defense, yet see no problem in denying you any effective means of implementing it (all the time heavily arming themselves). It’s not law enforcement. It’s tormenting innocent people for selfish, political purposes. Politicians are the same everywhere!
21 Jan 04
At a recent Urban Rifle program we did in CA, many students brought SA M1-As. It seems in CA, FALs and H&K 91s are naughty, but M1-As are just fine. Like most, CA’s gun laws are written by idiots!
In any event, most of the M1-A shooters were using reduced-capacity (ten-round) magazines, instead of normal-capacity (twenty-round) magazines for which the weapon was originally designed. They discovered, to their unhappiness, that reduced capacity magazines were too short to be grasped firmly during reloading. Fumbled, sluggish reloads were the result. I recommended to all that normal-capacity magazines be acquired and used exclusively, whenever possible.
We see here yet another reason to shun reduced-capacity magazines. It is always best to use magazines for which the gun (pistol or rifle) was originally designed and intended to be used.
21 Jan 04
At the same CA course, we had a student using a G19 with a frame-mounted, after-market, manual safety installed.
The lever was difficult to manipulate, as it did not “click” positively in either position. It just slid around. The student had obviously not practiced with it, as she kept forgetting it. After a while, she just left it “off.” She later indicated that, when the pistol was in her handbag, the safety would always be “on.” I pointed out that, unless she trained with it regularly, she was kidding herself, dangerously!
Like most after-market add-ons, this device is highly not recommended! It does not make the pistol “safer.” It does stand a good chance of getting its owner killed.
21 Jan 04
Sage advice from a friend just returning from duty in Iraq:
“Made it back to CONUS with all appendages still attached.
My advice to those now going over:
We don’t train hard enough. We don’t train nearly enough shooting from inconvenient and awkward positions and adverse conditions. We don’t train enough with constantly loaded weapons. Speed demanded in most training is inadequate.
Whoever said Uncle was going to buy the best gear? Since the Continental Army days, we have known that the government will go with the barest of minimum. That has not changed. As professional soldiers, we must all pursue your own training and gear, on our own dime. I have never once counted on the government in twenty-five years of active service, and the government has rarely disappointed me!”
Comment: It was the same in Vietnam. Any time you carry a rifle, you need to carry a pistol as well, along with a good blade. If you’re not provided with these items, don’t wait for an invitation. Get what you need while you still can. Go to Gunsite, or come to one of our courses, or attend courses with any competent instructor. You’ll learn things they’ll never show you in AIT!
21 Jan 04
California Governor Arnold Schwartznegger appeared personally at the funeral of a recently slain Burbank, CA police officer two weeks ago. His appearance was not reported in the news, because it was unannounced, and he made no speech while there. He quietly showed up, sat silently as other speeches were made, and then presented the officer’s widow with an American flag, thanking her for her and her husband’s courage and sacrifice.
He came quietly, and he left quietly, deliberately avoiding becoming the center of attention. He has displayed a level of class few gave him credit for.
Comment: Clausewitz said, “With a commander, a bold act may prove a blunder. Nonetheless, it is a laudable error, not to be regarded on the same footing as others. Happy is the army where ill-timed boldness occurs frequently. Blunders are annoying weeds, but their occasional eruption indicates richness in the soil. Even foolhardiness is not always to be despised, for it stems from daring.”
22 Jan 04
Of all, women need guns most:
In a conversation last week with my good friend, Lynn Thompson, President of Cold Steel, Lynn pointed out the obvious, but something I had not considered adequately. Lynn is a competent and seasoned martial artist but is not a physically big person (although he is big-hearted). His physical size is on the low end of “average.” Not long ago, he was in the ring with an opponent of much greater size. The size and strength advantage of his opponent was formidable indeed and rendered many of the moves Lynn attempted impotent. He commented on his frustration and reminded me that weapons, particularly handguns, are critical, indeed indispensable, for any small person in neutralizing a size and strength disadvantage.
He went on to say that, in view of the foregoing, women, of all people, should be the ones leading the fight to preserve our right to own and carry guns, for it is they who need them the most. Our forefathers fought and died to give us this right, but it has been foolishly undervalued by many in the current generation.
Before there were firearms, our ancestors were routinely terrorized by bullies whose only justification was that they were big and hairy. There are those (listen to the current gaggle of Democratic presidential candidates) who would bring back that age. If we return to those days, it will be women who suffer most. Women counted among your friends need to know this.
22 Jan 04
Last week, Vicki and I, along with Steve Camp and Steve VanMol, two of my senior instructors, trained a group of US Marines at the MCAS in Yuma, AZ in defensive pistol shooting. A good friend and active duty colonel (also one of my instructors) set up this training program, at great personal risk to his own career. He is the kind of hero of which the military services desperately need more! He indicated that necessary changes in the way Marines train with small arms would not spontaneously erupt from within. They would have to be introduced from the outside. That, he explained, was my job!
Thirty-six years ago, I, as a Marine Infantry Second Lieutenant/Platoon Leader, had the privilege and honor of serving with many great heroes during heavy fighting in Vietnam. We were all fearless and audacious when we arrived “in country,” but seven weeks later I was the only one left alive. All my friends had been killed. They fell literally beside me. I’ve always wondered why I, the least of these, lived through it while so many of my comrades didn’t. Maybe now I know. Maybe I have come back, literally from the dead, as an admonishing voice to my students, this current generation of Marines. In any event, we introduced this group of young fighters to the Hot Range!
The Hot Range concept was completely foreign to my students when they first arrived. As was the case in my day, Marines routinely carry rifles and pistols around during training exercises. In fact, they all arrived at the range with their personal weapons. However, since they’re never loaded, they are all treated with casual nonchalance, as if they were furniture, not with the reverence and care they deserve. Muzzles carelessly point in all kinds of unsafe directions as weapons are handled, because these Marines (as was the case in my day) are too accustomed to cold ranges and sterile training.
The “safety briefing,” given to us by a young warrant officer, went into how important it was that no live ammunition leave the range on the person of Marine students. She even suggested that each Marine be patted down at the end of the day. This is all the more curious in view of the fact that 9mm pistol ammunition is for sale at several sporting goods stores right across the street from the base, and there is no shortage of it! In any event, I assured my colonel that Marines would not be treated like criminals on any range where I was in charge. He agreed.
To their credit, my students immediately saw the logic and necessity of hot ranges. Pistols stayed loaded and were carried all day, and they loved it! Careless gun handling quickly vanished, as my students realized that “safe” guns were not allowed on the range. Few had ever drawn a loaded pistol from a holster. They did a lot of that during the program. I explained that every exercise would start and finish with a loaded gun and that unloaded guns didn’t go back into holsters.
The M9 pistol (Beretta 92F) is not my favorite, but they all worked fine, although slide operation on some was sluggish. Speed and accuracy were stressed as always, and nearly all students passed the DTI Defensive Handgun Proficiency Test at the end of the two-day program. They were all proud and confident, and none wanted to unload their pistol at the end of the day. There were many comments, but the most gratifying was from the lips of a young sergeant. He said to me, “How wonderful it is to go to the range and be treated like an adult, with respect and with high expectations.”
The entire base was abuzz the next day with talk about this “new kind of training.” Most of my students will be deployed to Iraq within the next few weeks. We pray their training will serve them well. We’ll be back in a few months to do it all again. I surely hope that we can cause the hot range to become standard throughout the Marine Corps and eventually throughout all military services.
At the beginning of the last century, officers and staff NCOs routinely carried loaded pistols all the time, on and off duty. It was a point of honor. One was expected to be ready to fight all the time. During the intervening decades, grasseaters have sterilized and wimpified military small arms training to the point where it is little more than an insulting and degrading waste of time. We need to get back to our roots as proud warriors and free men. My students will lead the way!
23 Jan 04
Comments from a friend training folks in the Mideast:
“O joy! My current employer is not the only delusional training establishment on earth! The fear of Hot Range Training, or the very idea that a person would carry a loaded weapon it deeply ingrained here, even among those responsible for going after local insurgents.
The reason? ‘Leaders,’ who will forevermore be referred to only as ‘managers,’ neither trust nor respect their men. I recently asked one of these retired-in-place managers, ‘What’s the point? Why not just take weapons away altogether?’ He just yawned as he glanced (once again) at the clock, acknowledging that, while they are required to ‘carry’ weapons, they are not required to be able to actually use them safely or correctly. So, this pension-seeker is happy to sit on his fat fanny and do little more than exist, because nothing more is demanded of him, and he, of course, demands nothing more of himself.
Unfortunately, that is all most ‘managers’ ever want. They are happy merely to ‘check the box’ that ignorant, unmotivated bureaucrats impose upon them, and do nothing more, as they, like administrators everywhere, go about their daily routine with no particular sense of purpose or urgency. The funny thing is, it takes no more time to do it right than it does to fabricate all the standard excuses and fictitious ‘tests’ managers routinely use to justify their existence. The sure way you can tell that the senior element in any organization intends to manage, rather than lead, is that they refer to people as ‘human resources.’ Once you become merely a ‘resource,’ you are just a bean in a bucket of beans. You don’t need to be known, only quantified like any other commodity, as you are reduced to nothing more than a jot or tittle on an Excel spread sheet.
Those young Marines saw the sun rise; let us all pray they see many more, because, for two days, a trainer cared enough to teach something actually useful.”
Comment: We keep learning the hard way that you can’t ‘manage’ men into battle. You have to lead them! Too bad so many western military organizations are so full of managers, and so barren of leaders.
23 Jan 04
Comments on training from a SA LEO and one of my instructors:
“Saturday, I presented a Basic Defensive Handgun course at the Pretoria Arms and Ammunition Association’s first event of 2004. I knew many people here carry guns that are not loaded (what the purpose of an unloaded gun is, I have not managed to sort out). As you noted, it is amazing how attitudes change when people realize guns are always loaded!
The low competence level was shocking. Few knew how to address stoppages or reload quickly. What is even more disconcerting is the uneasiness with the gun. Many just don’t ‘feel’ comfortable with one. Clearly, they have an inadequate mindset.
We had several military people there. They explained that most general officers bluntly don’t trust their troops with loaded guns. SF and other high-speed folks finally gave up and just started carrying concealed, all the time; blades too. Weapons that are out of sight are apparently no problem. In a fantasy world, what’s one more fantasy?”
Comment: Heroism and common sense abound in this world, no matter how enthusiastically grasseaters try to stamp it out!
25 Jan 04
My Mossberg 590A1 has now been equipped with a Wad Wizard, expertly installed by shotgun master and good friend, Doug Burch at Fit for Duty (email@example.com). It is a buckshot shooter extraordanarre! OO buckshot patterns are tight, homogeneous, and stay within a 40cm circle all the way out to thirty meters! Foster slugs are unaffected.
For a defensive shotgun, this combination is hard to beat. Highly recommended!
26 Jan 04
News from WI (that you didn’t hear reported in the media):
“The Wisconsin Senate has overridden Democratic Governor Doyle’s veto of the CCW bill. The Assembly will vote in a couple of weeks and will almost surely override also.
Seeing the handwriting on the wall, Doyle has thrown in the towel and reluctantly agreed to meet with Congress to work out a ‘compromise.’ As in Missouri, concealed carry is an idea whose time has come, despite all the efforts of the Doyles of the world to stop it.”
Comment. Wisconsin is among the last of the holdout states. All the dire, hand-wringing predictions of increases in violent crime in the wake of legalized concealed carry have repeatedly proven erroneous. The dominos are falling!
30 Jan 04
A colleague and fellow instructor relates this:
“Sunday afternoon, I taught a class for members of the local ‘Association of Bond Enforcement Agents.’ As you might imagine, I was, at the outset, informed that these guys are ‘long time shooters and gun toters’ and thus had no need of any ‘basic’ class. They only wanted ‘high-speed’ material.
I agreed to teach an ‘accelerated’ program, but I insisted on starting with basic gun-handling skills. You guessed it! That is about as far as we got. Muzzle consciousness was something completely foreign to all of them. Drawing and reholstering was haphazard, with many support hands getting guns pointed at them. Holstering of manually decocking autoloaders in the cocked condition was common, as the owners of these guns had no clue what a decocking lever was for. Fingers were frequently inside the trigger guard at inappropriate times. During live-fire exercises, students behind the line just couldn’t resist handling their guns.
One student asked if I knew how to get his G19 apart. Seems he installed a laser device (which replaced the entire stock recoil-spring assembly). Unfortunately, this device disassembled itself while he was shooting. The Glock was completely paralyzed as a result, and all attempts to disassemble the pistol were unsuccessful. It was deadlined, awaiting the arrival of the gunsmith.
It was a rodeo!”
Lesson: Most of us would much rather teach beginning students than “experts,” because something done wrong for a long time doesn’t make it any less wrong. It just makes the people involved more difficult to train. There is no “right way” to do a wrong thing.
All true learning involves repentance! Those incapable of repentance needn’t imagine they’ll ever learn anything. When your own frail ego prevents you from recognizing and acknowledging erroneous ways, shame on you!
31 Jan 04
Humbling experience from one of my instructors:
“On the FATS video simulator, I was compelled to shoot a woman who was on her knees in her kitchen. She had picked up her fallen husband’s revolver and was pointing it at me (shortly after I had been forced to shoot him).
She was wearing a bright, blue shirt. In good fashion, I kept my front sight steady in the middle of the blue and pressed off my first round, followed by several others. I was convinced I’d found my mark. No doubt.
During the replay, my ego was quickly brought to its knees. My first shot did indeed find center mass. However, somewhere in there the female suspect shifted her weight, almost imperceptibly, which moved her body eight inches to the left and down. My next shots told me exactly what you mean when you say ‘Track the target AS you press.’ My six follow-up shots were confined in the tightest group, exactly where my first one had gone. Unfortunately, the target was no longer there!
The result: First shot struck center of the body midline. The rest of my shots were just off her shoulder. I live and learn!”
Lesson: When you shoot for serious reasons, everything is going to move, including you! To be successful in stopping the fight quickly, you must learn to move with (track) the target. You must also confront the fact that even good hits from handgun bullets seldom stop felons in their tracks. Expecting the bad guy to be nice enough to stand patiently in one spot as you blast him to splinters is wishful thinking in the extreme. Move and live!
31 Jan 04
Incident in SA:
“Our officer was posted to cover our recent ‘Cape Minstrel Carnival’ here in Capetown. During the event, teams of local minstrels compete against each other before a panel of judges. They perform traditional folk songs, wear colorful costumes, and the mood is festive. At least that is the picture painted for naive American and European tourists. In truth, alcohol and drug abuse, mixed with violence, are what really characterizes this event. Performing groups originate from gangster-infested areas, and violent, territorial disputes are common.
Enter our officer. He was posted to keep a road adjacent to the stadium clear. When a motorist stopped to speak with a pedestrian in the middle of the road, our officer approached and politely asked the driver to move along. The pedestrian started arguing with our officer and subsequently ‘failed the attitude test.’ Out officer placed him under arrest. The suspect then abruptly ran into the stadium where he was lost in the crowd. The officer shrugged it off and returned to his post.
Ten minutes later the suspect reemerged from the stadium and approached our officer. He was escorted by a large group of alcohol-invigorated men who were shouting threats. Our officer assumed the interview stance and moved backward. All the while, he verbalized continually, commanding them to stop and disburse. Without warning, the group of men charged. Our officer, having already identified a safe impact area, quickly drew is pistol (CZ 75B 9mm PMP FMJ) and fired one warning shot. The charge abruptly halted, as the militants began looking at each other nervously! Other officers in the vicinity heard the shot and rushed in to assist.
When investigators arrived, members of the gang solemnly declared that the officer drew and fired numerous rounds in their direction, all without provocation. Witnesses however came forward and told the real story. They lauded the officer’s deliberate and professional handling of the situation. Many of them mentioned how the officer assumed a ‘non-threatening’ stance and verbally attempted to persuade his assailants to disengage. As a result, investigators declared the shooting to be ‘good.’ No further paperwork required.”
Lesson: Discounting, for the moment, the separate issue of warning shots, so many otherwise reasonable and justifiable uses of deadly force come into question, all because the officer didn’t verbalize. “Tape loops” must be learned and practiced every time we go to the range, during every training exercise. Verbal addresses and challenges must be seamlessly integrated into all shooting drills. After the fact, it will be too late to say the words witnesses need to hear. Appropriate and timely verbalizations often make the difference between a ‘good’ shooting and a ‘bad’ one.
31 Jan 04
“Virility” and “Virtue,” the indispensable combination for which there is no substitute. No wonder the two words mean the same thing:
The Latin word “vir” means “man.” Among the ancients, true and complete manhood, it was commonly understood, was the cornerstone of any worthy civilization. “Vir” is the root from we get the English word, “virility,” which, in the modern context, refers to the ability of a man to impregnate a woman and produce children. The female equivalent is “fertility.” A “fertile” woman is eminently capable of becoming pregnant. A “barren” woman is not. “Virago” was a term used to identify a spirited woman with masculine traits. Indeed, a “virgin” was an incomplete woman, having yet to achieve her true, feminine status.
Both Greeks and Romans knew that a stable relationship between a woman and a man in marriage formed the basis for stable and secure families, and stable families were the only known source of hale and truehearted men to serve as the nation’s warriors. Without men of honor as warriors, no civilization can long endure. In those days, “virility” was no laughing matter. A nation of feminized grasseaters will produce an army of grasseaters. Such an army will predictably fall apart when the first shot is fired, and that civilization will promptly descend into the dustbin of history.
“Vir” is also the root of the English word “virtue.” To be a man meant not only to be virile. It meant to be morally excellent also. Cowards, thieves, liars, weasels, and the dishonorable need not apply, no matter how many pregnancies they caused. Virtuous men produce virtuous institutions and codes of virtuous conduct and the expectation of virtuous behavior from all citizens. Our ancestors knew that the perpetuation of the Empire depended upon men who were too virtuous to disgrace their regiment and too virile to disgrace their family.
Virtue and virility, cornerstones of true manhood and the basis for an unfaltering state. Substitute anything less, and you lead the nation, by a short route, to chaos!