1 Sept 10

Of Cops and Rifles…

For as long as most can remember, American police have been armed with pistols. Pistols, both exposed and concealed, have gone hand-in-hand with American policing for at least the past one-hundred years.

Shotguns, and more recently, rifles, have always been perfunctorily referred to as “secondary,” “back-up,” and “supplemental” weapons. They have been traditionally kept in beat-cars and even back at the precinct station, and deployed on the officer’s person only rarely, and only in direct response to a demonstrably dangerous circumstance. Police executives and politicians alike have traditionally disliked rifles and have always wanted them kept out of sight, and out of most conversations.

Rifles, even in beat-cars, are often locked-up in the trunk, so as to make them invisible to the casual observer, and inaccessible to the officer. We virtually apologized for them even being there! However, through bitter experience (FBI’s 1986 gun battle in FL, North Hollywood, CA 1997) we reluctantly learned that any rifle locked in the trunk of a beat-car has no chance of ever being involved in a fight! Even when kept in the cab-portion of the vehicle, all kinds of efforts were made to get them out of sight.

Tactical officers may routinely deploy with rifles on their person, but patrol officers don’t,

…at least until now!

Now, we’re seeing a subtle change, particularly in our southern border states, but a change that is quickly spreading.

The rifle is now becoming the “primary” police weapon, with the pistol relegated to “supplemental” or “back-up” status. Ranking between the two weapons is in the process of reversing! In many jurisdictions, patrol officers are now routinely deploying with rifles when pulling over vehicles, investigating suspicious circumstances, and responding to calls!

Last weekend, I completed a Patrol Rifle Course with State Troopers on the East Coast. They’re all inordinately concerned for their personal safety, which is why they were there. They’re also persuaded that their employer is a good deal less concerned than they are! Most used personally-owned rifles (ARs, Kalashnikovs, and one Ruger Mini-30). Their employer graciously provided us with ammunition, although he doesn’t know that he did!

I see this trend as one-way, unlikely to reverse, nor ever slow down, as officers, and all of us, see, and grudgingly acknowledge, how increasingly dangerous our world is becoming.

Like my students, the rest of us can either confront the situation squarely and take reasonable measures to look after our own best interests, or we can foolishly try to convince ourselves that our own eyes are lying to us. Who do, do so at their own peril. I’d wish them “good luck,” but they wouldn’t know what to do with it!

In the end, no unit of government will ever care as much about you as you do. With or without leadership from up the food-chain, “readiness” is always personal.

Edward R Morrow, in 1959, said of the then-new phenomenon of television, that the American public are mostly idiots, stupidly seeking amusement rather than information, much less enlightenment.

One of the quotations he uses is from Judge Learned Hand, who put it thus:

“Doubtless things might become uncomfortable enough to arouse them (the American public), but, given opportunity for personal favors, and not too irksome control, they are content to abdicate their sovereignty and be fleeced (and eventually slaughtered) if only the shepherds will agree to shear them in their sleep.”

The Storm is here, ready or not!



2 Sept 10

Your don’t need your face to fight! These comments from two friends and colleagues, who are also MDs:

Case 1:

“… the ‘victim,’ in his forties, tried to commit suicide by placing the muzzle of a shotgun under his chin. 12ga, and he used buckshot. Not sure of the size, although, at that range, size of the pellets is largely irrelevant!

He managed to blow-off the front of his face, shattering his lower mandible and vaporizing that portion of his jaw in front of his tongue. Some lower, front teeth were present in the X-ray, not attached to anything but gums. One unidentified piece of metal was present under his left ear.

Nearly an hour after he had pressed the trigger of his shotgun, causing his injury, he was brought to our ER. He came in sitting bolt-upright, totally conscious, and normally cognizant of everything that was happening. He could neither talk, nor see, very well, but otherwise displayed little discomfort!

This pathetic man will survive to live what remains of his miserable lifetime, but he’ll be hideously disfigured and disabled.

However, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, he remained normally animated, conscious, completely aware of what was going on around him, and perfectly capable of doing harm to anyone nearby.

In other words, even without his face, this man was still extremely dangerous!”

Case 2:

“One evening, an elderly male, in his own home, started shooting at his wife with a shotgun (12ga, ammunition unknown). He was successful, as his wife was found later, DRT.

He subsequently barricaded himself, as police arrived. Sometime later, a shot was heard from inside the house, and he emerged a few seconds thereafter, still carrying his shotgun, but with half his lower jaw, and most of the rest of his face, missing!

Another deputy and I rushed in, and disarmed him.

I was easily able to controlled his airway, because I could literally see his trachea through the big hole in his face!

He subsequently underwent extensive reconstructive surgery (at taxpayer expense) and, the day after being released from the hospital, finally succeeded where he had failed before, again via his shotgun!

Even with most of his face gone, he was normally animated for at least twenty minutes!”

Case 3:

“A twenty-ish male, despondent over his wife’s leaving him, told his neighbor he was going to kill himself. Neighbor called police.

Upon arrival, we ‘negotiated’ with him for twenty minutes. Then, we heard a single shot from inside. Several minutes later, we threw in a flash-bang and prepared to enter the house.

Suspect suddenly appeared at the doorway, unarmed, and our entry-team immediately took him down. I was called over, because of what was described as ‘two gunshot wounds to the head.’

Suspect was conscious and alert, and I asked other officers why we had shot him. Entry-team commander indicated that we had fired no shots at all!

In his living room, we discovered a single chair in the middle, with plastic sheeting on the floor. Blood was liberally spattered in every direction.

Investigation revealed that, while sitting in the chair, he had indeed shot himself, in the head, with a hunting rifle (caliber unknown). Entry and exit wounds described a bullet-path going completely through his left, frontal cortex.

I concluded that the shot had knocked him out, and subsequent flash-bang, seconds later, had woken him back up!

I saw him the next day in our ICU. He was conscious, aware, talkative, and appeared, for all the world, to be perfectly normal! However, he was a little bewildered, insisting that we must have shot him. I assured him that none of us had fired a shot.

He was released from the hospital shortly thereafter.

He had effectively given himself a frontal-lobotomy. If only his estranged wife knew. He was now a ‘perfect husband!’”


(1) Just because a suspect displays gruesome, bloody wounds, even to his face and head, doesn’t necessarily mean he is on the verge of death, nor even particularly incapacitated! He may well continue to represent a significant, pernicious threat for several more minutes, even hours.

Don’t relax too soon!

(2) Who are overtly suicidal are also homicidal! Suicidal people ever-represent a continuous, deadly threat to everyone around them.

Suicidal people should never be approached. All “negotiation” needs to be done from a safe distance, with lethal cover.

In fact, most “suicide prevention” is merely “suicide postponement.” “Success” is unlikely, and, in any event, only temporary. There is little to recommend it.



4 Sept 10

“… and, I said to myself, ‘Sit down! Sit down; you’re rockin’ the boat!’”

Sit down! You’re Rockin’ the Boat, from the 1950 Broadway Musical, Guys and Dolls, and sung by “Nicley-Nicely Johnson” (played by Stubby Kaye) in the 1955 movie version.

“Voluntary” fights:

When friend and colleague, Mas Ayoob, defines lawful self-defense for his students, he always includes the phrase, “… otherwise unavoidable” when describing a threat confronting a person considering forceful defensive actions.

I’ve shamelessly borrowed that phrase (and many others from Mas), because I think it is the best way to emphasize the principle that legitimate self-defense is always “involuntary.” That is, when recapitulating what you did, your first sentence should always start with, “I was where I had a right to be, minding my own business, when…;” and end with, “… so you see, I had no choice!”

When a pernicious, deadly threat is thrust upon you, through no desire, nor invitation, of your own, you need to do whatever is reasonably necessary to keep from getting hurt, even including the application of deadly force. That is your right. In addition, as noted above, you probably have no choice!

The criminal-justice system will subsequently look upon the circumstances that lead to your defensive actions as “unfortunate,” but upon what you did as “reasonable.” The aftermath will still be unpleasant, and expensive, but at least you’ll be alive to worry about it. In the USA, unlike in most other countries, reasonable self-defense is still your right.

So, when all lesser options are unavailable/impracticable, and the threat is imminent and deadly, yes, then you may take a stand, and clamor like a champion… assuming you’ve got the spittle for it!

“Perfection” is not required. “Reasonableness” is. And, as the saying goes, “There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience!”

The foregoing is not in dispute, at least among most of us.

What does generate a great deal of impassioned discussion is the wisdom of forcefully inserting ourselves into an egregious situation in which we were not otherwise involved!

An example:

At the NTI a few years ago, I found myself in the middle of an urban, terrorist incident. My goal was, of course, to extricate myself, unhurt.

On my way to a place of at least temporary safety (the concrete entrance to the subway), I had the opportunity to pick up a Kalashnikov rifle from the body of a dead terrorist. I considered leaving it there, so as not to elevate my profile, but I decided to take it with me, along with several magazines.

Shortly afterward, I noticed several terrorist suspects, clearly armed with RPGs, one hundred meters away. I was pretty sure they saw me too. They may have even seen me gun-down several of their colleagues minutes earlier, but they otherwise displayed little interest in me.

I concluded that their RPGs were likely intended for bigger targets than just a single individual, even one armed with an AK. So, I elected to not engage them, although I easily could have ( and probably would have gotten them all, at least the ones that I could see), and continued to make my way to safety.

At the NTI, there is seldom a “school-solution.” Options are merely pointed out and discussed, and I was asked if I had considered eliminating the RPG threat. I answered in the affirmative, but confirmed that my non-engagement strategy was indeed deliberate.

In my defense, I indicated that, since they were not creating a problem for me, I decided not to create a problem for them! For the record, it was my decision, and, of course, we never get to know what “could have been.”

In a less dramatic scenario, any of us may witness a violent crime, in progress, but one that does not otherwise involve us. The question of precipitous involvement/insertion is always a personal one and requires a frank discussion between you and your own conscience.

Of course, the safest course of action is always non-involvement and rapid separation. Any time you elect to step forward in such a situation, the law requires you to act in a “non-negligent” manner, whatever that means! You’re opening up a real legal “can of worms,” however you decide to handle it.

A less-risky option is, from a position or relative safety, to yell out something like, “Hey! You leave her alone! I’m calling the police.” That can be done with a great deal less risk to you than physical involvement.

It is not my place to tell you what to do. My job is to be sure you know what is likely going to happen when you do!

“Reasonableness” is a tricky term, and one difficult to define during the excitement of a life-threatening scenario, particularly when you’re making decisions based upon scanty information.

It is best to think about all this in advance, and then come to one of our Scenario-Based Training Programs, so you can get hands-on experience with all the various behavioral options you’re considering. We’re doing two this fall, one in Chicago, IL, and one in Columbia, SC.

In the 1959 feature film, Rio Bravo, “Colorado Ryan,” (played by Rick Nelson) is asked by Sheriff John T Chance (played by John Wayne) about his skill with a gun. Ryan acknowledges that he is extremely good with a gun, and then adds:

“… but there is something I’m even better at”

“What’s that,” asks the Sheriff

“…minding my own business!”

Now, that is the right answer!



5 Sept 10

Comments on “voluntary fighting,” from friend and eminent colleague, Dave Spaulding:

“I remain amazed at the number of students who seem enamored (albeit discreetly) with the thought of becoming involved in some type of deadly combat. Most are pitiably naive and have scant concept of what a real fight entails, and that, no matter the odds, they’ll still have a good chance of losing!

Even the best training falls short with regard to one critical aspect: there is never genuine expectation of injury, nor death!

Few of us receive anywhere near the training of our Special Operations Forces, yet they are killed regularly by less-trained, less-motivated, less-hale conscripts, with ageing, poorly-maintained AKs, who haphazardly stick them over walls and yank on the trigger. You can kill most of them, but there is ever the issue of the ‘lucky shot!’

Physical fighting should only be undertaken when you have no choice. When threats can be avoided, they should be. When disengagement can be accomplished at low risk, it should be.

However, when forced to take a stand, a stand worth fighting, and dying, for, then we should counter with great skill, surprise, speed, potency, advantage, and enthusiasm! When you must strike, put him to sleep!”

Comment: When Solomon, in Proverbs 26:17, says: “Who passes by, and meddles in strife belonging not to him, is like one who grabs a dog by the ears,” his point is mostly lost on egghead theologians, but not on dog-owners! Who are familiar with dogs know and understand that grabbing a dog by the ears will, via a short route, get you bitten!

Thus, there is a price one must be willing to pay when “… coming to the aid of the weak and innocent.” An especially worthwhile consideration for the young and naive, who just got their CCW permit, and erroneously regard it as a “Hero License!”



5 Sept 10

Comments from a friend in the Phillippines:

“In some countries, like mine for example, there is a cultural imperative not to back down from any fight. Such a display of diplomacy is deemed frail and ‘unmanly.’

To me, this sort of thinking is insane, but it is deeply imbedded in several of our native cultures.

In countries like yours (USA), police arrive immediately when there is a report of ‘shots-fired’ or injured people. Police take control without delay. The scene is thoroughly investigated. Witnesses are interviewed. Evidence is collected and cataloged. People are arrested, and the criminal-justice system instantly kicks in.

Not over here!

In less-developed parts of our Country, police may not arrive for days. When they finally show up, they often do nothing and depart straightaway. Sometimes, they never arrive! ‘Investigations’ of shootings are haphazard and often non-existent. Arrests are made sometimes, but frequently there are none. Bodies are typically buried before they can be examined. Many are never found.

With our low LE presence, ‘trouble’ typically comes in strings of two or three separate incidents. When you get into a shooting, you may quickly exit the area, but family and friends of the deceased will likely regroup and then pursue you. Typically, they will stage their retaliatory assault on your home, but it may well happen a block or two away from your initial contact. Thus, a second attack can happen within minutes, hours, or weeks, and it won’t be investigated either!

Here is what we have to consider:

(1) After successfully dealing with the initial problem, you may be low on ammunition and thus run-dry during succeeding attack(s).

(2) When you get into a shooting, there are always long-term consequences. You can never be confident it is ‘over.’

No sane person would ever want to inflict this magnitude of danger on himself! As such, I teach escape and disengagement even more vigorously than you do!

When fighting is unavoidable, do what you must, but around here fully expect that your next lethal challenge may be upon you within minutes, or seconds!”

Comment: Cultural imperatives cannot be completely ignored, or course, but neither must we be slaves to them.

A little respect goes a long way. So does a little diplomacy!

Death is “one-way.”



10 Sept 10

7.62×39 Ammunition:

A student recently asked,

“… just took delivery on my RA/XCR in 7.62×39. I’ve been looking for practice ammunition.

What brands do you recommend?”

My reply (after consulting with my good friend, Alex Robinson, president of RA):

“Your XCR is a robust, military rifle and, in my experience, will handily digest anything. Brass-case, steel-case, it doesn’t matter!

However, Russian ammunition produced at the Barnaul plant tops the List for foreign producers, for availability, price, and quality. It is marketed under the ‘Brown Bear’ and ‘Silver Bear’ labels. We’ve found it reasonably priced, consistently reliable, and acceptably accurate.

‘Wolf’ is adequate, but firmly in second-place. It is widely available and reasonably priced, but suffers from consistency issues, due to the fact that it is produced at several, widely-separated plants in former Soviet satellites, but all marketed under the “Wolf” label.”

Domestically-manufactured hardball runs fine, but is a good deal more expensive.

For serious work, Cor-Bon/DPX is at the top of the List!”



10 Sept 10

Two consistent flaws in the thinking process endemic to Western Civilization are:

(1) In the “Age of Information,” all information is valuable, and, even worse,
(2) All information is of equal value

Both premises are profoundly false, and who are infected with this erroneous thinking have great difficulty mastering our Art.

The fact is, the vast majority of information coming to us every day is not only worthless, it, like tangible garbage, actually has negative value. You will be better off not knowing it! Of those things actually worth knowing, an extremely small percentage is genuinely valuable and has a direct impact on our physical health in the short term. Those are the facts we should be extremely adept at discerning, and quickly separating from the mountains of garbage into which they have been mixed.

Forgetting is more important as remembering!

Our civilization is no help in this regard, particularly the media!

The media, in their lust for ratings (and little else), casually mixes together the significant with the insignificant, and then offers up the illogical soup as “news.”


“… during the fire, one-hundred homes were damaged or destroyed”

What trash! These people ought to be arrested for impersonating reporters. A house with a solitary shingle missing is casually equated with one that burned to the ground, and the two are then lumped together as if they were equivalent. This kind of fraudulent frippery provides viewers/listeners with zero useful information. “News” people who carelessly mouth this trash are a disgrace to their profession!

“…the increase will be between ten and ninety percent.”

Any useful information here? They’re all over the map! They’re mouthing worthless fluff as if it were data.

These same charlatans talk about “immigrants” as if there were only one kind! Good and decent people who have dutifully gone through the laborious process of becoming legal, naturalized American Citizens, are lumped into the same bin with criminal, illegal trespassers, as if there were no difference between the two. And, this egregious error is never even pointed out, much less challenged!

This is like lumping legitimate bank customers in with bank robbers! After all, both groups are in banks and soliciting “banking services,” aren’t they?

This inability/unwillingness to distinguish the significant from the insignificant, to talk incessantly without saying anything, to hedge bets to the point where nothing you say has any credibility, nor meaning, to hyper-dramatize simple data, is the kiss of death for Western Civilization.

This is intended, of course, as an indictment of the media, but also of the shallow, self-centered minds who are only too happy to consume, without question, the refuse they pump over the wire, masquerading as “news.”

“What is wanted is not the ‘will to believe,’ but the ‘will to find out,’ which is, of course, the exact opposite.”

Bertrand Russell, Skeptical Essays, 1928



13 Sept 10

New scam, from a female friend and student:

“Last Saturday afternoon, I pulled into the parking lot at our local Walmart. As I put my car in park, I looked to my left to see that someone had rushed up to my car and was pounding frantically, with both fists, on my driver’s-side window, which was rolled all the way up.

It took me a second or two for me to understand what was happening. The one doing all the pounding was a brown-eyed, five-year-old girl, so short that she was looking up at me as I sat in my car! An adult male, standing right behind her, was actually pushing her up against my car. As he forcibly jammed her into my door, he was ordering her, in a loud voice, to hit my window. In addition, she was repeating a line the man behind her was instructing her to say.

I then noticed that she was holding an open box of ‘weathered’ candy bars, also jammed against my window, and was whimpering, in broken English, that I needed to buy a candy bar, in order to ‘help pay my bill.’

I foolishly opened my window a crack, and, before I could say anything, the man said, also in broken English, that they needed money to ‘send the girl to school.’ He then demanded that I roll the window down the rest of the way.

I became incensed at this disgusting scam, and, in perfect English, yelled at him to get out of my face! I put my car in drive and slowly rolled forward. The man and the girl moved away quickly.

In retrospect, I did not handle the situation well. I need to realize that there are some people who are sick and desperate enough to place innocent children in harm’s way while committing crimes! I should have disengaged immediately, pulling away slowly while ordering them both to get away, without ever opening the window, even a crack.

I immediately reported the incident to Wal-Mart management, and gave them a detailed description of the man and little girl. I also suggested they call police. I was assured (amid yawns) that they would ‘look into it.’

We really are ‘on our own!’

I feel sorry for desperate people, but I’m ready to carry a gun now! I didn’t think I’d ever say that. I was stupid and naive. Not any more!”

My Instructor’s reply:

“… ‘feelings’ could not be more irrelevant! What is important is anechoic mindset, perception that is (1) accurate, (2) sharp, and (3) emotionless, correct responses (well trained-in and ready to download instantly), combined with weapons, including guns, always carried, that may be needed to successfully disengage from any threat.

Excess emotion is actually a hindrance. My use of force, even deadly force, is never anything personal! No one has a right to employ criminal violence to victimize me, and, when it happens, my response is, for lack of a more polite term, “conditioned.”

I’m surely happy that you were not harmed, nor was anyone else, this time!

Don’t wait too long to take the next step!”



21 Sept 10


When national military organizations buy guns, cars, ammunition, and uncountable other products, both simple and grand, they dictate certain “standards” to which vendors must comply. With volumes and dollars involved, vendors typically compete intensely to win these contracts.

Many thus interpret the term “Mil-Spec” to equate to best there is, and that is often the case, but not always.

The dual issues with “military specifications” is that they are invariably (1) out-of-date and indeed often obsolete, and (2) they dictate products to meet goals for cost and presumed “service life.” In other words, the Army buys products that are built to a price and that will predictably wear-out at the end of a pre-determined service-life. Those goals may be appropriate for certain military purposes, but not for the average non-military consumer, who may want a gun, or other product, that is actually better than, and will last longer than, “Mil-Spec.”

Many military specifications for small arms, for example, are over fifty years old! New technologies, new coatings, new metallurgy, et al have long-since become available, but are prohibited from “Mil-Spec” guns, because the fall outside an often-arbitrary “standard.”

In fact, such ageing specifications can actually retard technological progress, because the government buys so many guns and other products.

In any event, we have in the USA a number of companies making military small arms. Some actively compete for military contracts, but many don’t, concentrating instead on civilian and police markets. These technically “non-mil-spec” guns should not be arbitrarily rejected, as they are made by dedicated gunmakers who are genuinely trying to advance the Art and maintain a strong American small-arms manufacturing sector.

For example, Robinson Arms of UT makes wonderful military rifles that have not, at least to date, been purchased in quantity by the Pentagon, but have rendered stellar service to their police and other civilian users, and the manufacturer’s customer service is top-drawer. The same can be said for Krebs, PTR, SIG, Barrett, and SA.

In the traditional AR business, RRA, DSA, S&W, Sabre-Tech, LMT, Double-Star, Daniel Defense, Bravo Arms, Noveske, and NGA, have all established excellent reputations for product quality and for top-notch customer service, indeed customer service that several bigger manufacturers can be said to have forgotten!

America desperately needs a strong and innovative arms industry. Mil-Spec guns surely run fine, but many technically “non-mil-spec” guns run fine too, and, either way, when any come from a company with poor customer service, I’m not interested!

When the Army buys guns, they have their own armorers and parts inventories necessary to maintain them. When I buy a gun, I expect a quality product, of course, but I still have to rely upon the manufacturer to take care of me.

When they take good care of me, they have a friend, and a reliable customer. When they don’t, they don’t deserve my business, nor anyone else’s!



22 Sept 10

Accessories, from a correspondent:

“I’ve seen a lot of web-gear, from military contractors, and also many imported knock-offs.

A couple observations:

Knock-offs look great in the showroom. But, on close inspection, build-quality is far inferior to GI stuff. Many of these companies cater to the Airsoft/paint-ball crowd. Their products were never intended for serious deployment.

Most good GI stuff comes from domestic vendors, but there are plenty of used items floating around on e-bay. In my judgement, even used GI/MOLLE gear has more life left in it than new, imported knock-offs.

There are other vendors who cater to police/fire/EMS. 511 and EOTac are examples. Their stuff is mostly imported, but quality is acceptable with everything I’ve purchased. Local cop-stores carry it.”

Comment: A competent carrying system for tactical gear represents an important accessory for Operators. It needs to be rugged, efficient, comfortable, convenient, and organized.

“Organized” is always my biggest challenge!



23 Sept 10

Comments on military rifles, from a correspondent:

“There is a picture in the Wall Street Journal today showing Iranian troops marching in a parade with their superb H&K G3 rifles (chambered for 7.62×51, aka 308), which is the main-battle rifle for that country’s military.

When our troops face them in battle, they will be critically out-ranged and out-penetrated, even more so than they are now, facing Kalashnikovs, chambered for the venerable 7.62×39 cartridge!

The innovative and promising 6.8×43 SPC cartridge, which represents a genuine improvement over the 5.56×45 (223) died on the vine. I am now persuaded that the Pentagon will continue to adamantly refuse to upgrade rifles calibers for the foreseeable future, so blindly committed are they to the M4.

As a nation, we have not been involved in a world-wide conflagration since the 1940s. Smaller wars during the “peace” that we have lived through since that time have revealed surpassing strengths and embarrassing weaknesses endemic to our military culture. Many of the latter have been arrogantly ignored!

We had better get something more powerful than the 5.56 into the hands of our troops, while we have the chance,

… or plan on losing another one!”


“Men who fight, learn much. Men who send others to fight, learn little!”




27 Sept 10

Comments on future weapons, from a correspondent recently retired from the USN:

“It is truly said, all bureaucracies do only one thing well: promote themselves.

Our military bureaucracies have determined that our national survival depends upon us having the best, fastest, most lethal, and most efficient tools, that cost a lot of money, and that no one else has.

Our carriers, submarines (although, since no one sees them, and they all look alike, we can sneakily keep reducing their numbers while no one notices), aircraft, bases, embassies, et al are impressive as hell and ‘… convey the message.’ Trillions are spent producing and maintaining them.

Conversely, small arms, at least in government terms, represents little more than chump-change!
If we decided tomorrow to change out every individual small arm the Army and Marines have in their entire inventory, and then buy sufficient ammunition for training, and sufficient spare parts to keep them all running, the entire bill would hardly amount to a blip in our military budget. We can replace every small arm in the entire System for the cost of a single advanced fighter!

The reluctance within our military bureaucracy to re-arm comes from their disinclination to do without a single, expensive high-tech toy that is made from parts and assemblies produced all over the country and that contributes to significant job-creation, and reputation-enhancement everywhere.

Of course, small arms are produced at a single location, and economic consequences are microscopic by comparison.

Another serious issue is the disposition of all the ‘used’ M-16s and M4s. Bureaucrats and politicians alike will be terrified at the thought of making them available to police, foreign governments, even civilian competitors, and equally terrified at the backlash when taxpayers discover they have all been melted down!

Heavens, they refuse to surplus M-14s, even when the CMP had a legitimate plan, with checks and balances, to ensure they are all safely, permanently semi-auto before sale to American civilians. So paranoid are they, the BHO Administration won’t even allow South Korea sell surplus, US-made M-1s to qualified Americans!

Happily, the insatiable demand at the consumer level, in and out of the military, for powerful, reliable small arms and realistic training has grown and blossomed, due largely to the efforts of those, including you, who were once military and are now private-sector trainers and innovators.

All that aside, our current gaggle of senior military officers, owing to above-described political considerations, are unwilling to sacrifice a single pretty plane in order to re-quip our troops with personal weapons that are actually effective.

It all boils down to profit and influence. Success in battle, no matter how we get there, tells clueless fools that we don’t need anything better. And, this haughty arrogance has led us independent Operators to go forward on our own, fearlessly advancing the Art and searching out the next generation of individual weapons and calibers.

I call this development ‘finding the silver lining in a bag of shit!’”


“It’s not being fast, nor even accurate, that counts the most.

It’s being willing.

Most men, regardless of cause or need, are not willing. They’ll blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger.

I won’t!”

Ageing gunfighter John Books (played by John Wayne) in the 1976 film (Wayne’s last) The Shootist



29 Sept 10

Important Lesson:

A friend was close to the active shooter/suicide incident at the University of Texas library in Austin, TX yesterday.

She was in her supervisor’s office, several doors down from her own. They were discussing an unrelated issued when shots were heard. Seconds later, a police officer showed up at the door and announced that the building was being evacuated, immediately!

My friend had left her purse in her own office, and there was no opportunity to retrieve it.

Moment later, she found herself in the parking lot, without car-keys, call-phone, nor wallet, which meant she had no cash, credit cards, transportation, nor identification. She could not drive anywhere, nor could she call anyone, even on someone’s else’s cell-phone, as she didn’t have important phone numbers memorized!

She lived through it, but she had several long, helpless moments, and she told me that she would never again allow herself to be separated from important items.

“Preparedness” is always personal!

Emergencies tend to be come-as-you-are affairs, and there is seldom time, nor opportunity, to “get ready.”

You’re ready or you’re not. Either way, nobody cares

…except you!