5 Aug 00

This with regard to the successful conclusion of an altercation, from one of my students in Atlanta. This text is illustrative of the importance of having your defensive subroutines well thought out in advance and well trained in:

“Last week I was walking our dog through a small condominium complex that abuts our subdivision. As is often the case, I saw one of the residents of the condos working in his small front yard. He had with him a wheelbarrow and several garden implements. I smiled and waved hello as I passed by, but, as we made eye contact, he stared at me and put his hands on his hips in an obviously disapproving fashion. I thought it odd, but faced to the front and continued walking.

Fifteen minutes later, I had turned around and was on the homeward leg of our walk. I remembered this individual’s strange reaction to me, so I retrieved my OC bottle and had it in my left hand. As always, my Glock was concealed in an Elderton IWB holster on my right hip under my untucked shirt.

As I rounded a bend, there the guy was. He was standing in the middle of the road, defiantly and unmistakably blocking my path. He had a shovel in his hand and was looking directly at me with a scowl on his face.

I stopped well short and made eye contact. The guy was sixtyish, and his mouth was moving as if he were talking to himself.

I said, “May I help you, sir?” as I assumed my well-practiced interview stance. No response, but his mouth continued to move.

Suddenly he started angrily shouting at me. I didn’t comprehend most of what he said, but there was something about me trespassing on private property and that I had no right to be there. I concluded that he was disturbed and possibly dangerous. I was on a public street where many people walk every day.

As he was shouting, he started spitting, and he eventually, literally foamed at the mouth. My OC bottle quickly found its way to my left hand once more. I didn’t attempt to talk with him.

I decided to disengage and started walking back the way I came. I was sure I could find another way home. This apparently infuriated him even more, because he suddenly hefted the shovel into port arms and walked rapidly toward me as I was retreating, by now screaming at the top of his lungs. It was obvious that I was not going to outdistance him.

I made a decision. I yelled, “Stop!” as I reassumed an interview stance, my right hand curled around the edge of my shirt. My left hand, containing the OC bottle, was out front.

At a range of fifteen meters, the guy abruptly stopped. His countenance fell. His bearing went from aggressive, to confused, to submissive within a few seconds. He brusquely dropped the shovel. He actually looked as if he was going to cry.

I didn’t wait for further developments. I quickly extended the distance between us as I went back around the bend and out of sight. I made my way home by another route.

Anyway, no harm done! Perhaps the most striking thing to me was the number of extraneous thoughts that go through your mind as you recognize that you have a problem. Then, all of a sudden, when you need to go into action, all that mental clutter vanishes and training takes over.”

Lesson: Never trust prosperity. Never give in to adversity. And, never forget to take full note of fortune’s irritating habit of doing exactly as she pleases.



6 Aug 00

Recently, in an area on the East Coast, an inordinate number of police-officer-involved shootings have taken place. As a result, several suspects have been fatally injured. Newspapers in the area, quoting local “community activists,” have editorialized that, with all these shootings by police, “any citizen” could find himself dodging police bullets, for no apparent reason at all!

Responding to the newspaper editorial, a friend who lives locally and who is obviously community minded, submitted a five-point plan. The plan is designed to assist citizens, who might otherwise be randomly shot by police, in staying out of the path of police bullets.

The newspaper never printed it, but I’d like to share it with you:

“I’ve devised a five-point plan to help citizens avoid being shot by police. This plan may not prevent all shootings, but very few will take place when the plan is rigorously adhered to. So, here are the rules:

1. DON’T COMMIT VIOLENT CRIMES. It seems elementary, but this rule is lost on many. They do the crime, get shot, and then wonder how it could possibly happen. They whine that it is so unfair. Well Slick, violent crime, like jumping in front of moving cars, is just a high-risk occupation, and, in case you missed it, committing violent crime makes police officers think you might not be a good person.

2. If you ignore rule No. 1, and the police confront you, DON’T RUN AWAY FROM THEM. I know it’s hard to believe, but that may make them think you’re guilty of something. Hiding in bushes or closets makes some cops (mostly older ones) very nervous. They might even foolishly conclude that you’re up to no good!

3. If you disregard rules 1 and 2, and the cops catch up with you anyway and inform you that you are under arrest, DON’T MAKE FAST MOVEMENTS WITH YOUR HANDS. I know it sounds silly, but grabbing a shiny beer can, a dark-colored wallet, or one of those snazzy and real-looking replica guns may make police officers mistakenly believe that you are about to hurt them.

4. If you disregard rules 1, 2, and 3, and manage to get what looks like a deadly weapon into your hands, DON’T POINT IT AT THE COPS. We all know that you’re basically a nice person, but that may be lost on the police officers confronting you. In their paranoia, they may even believe they need to protect themselves.

5. If you disregard rules 1, 2, 3, and 4, DON’T BE ASTONISHED IF THE COPS DO NOT INSTANTLY TURN INTO YOUR PERSONAL CONFIDANTE. They may be too preoccupied to realize that you’re normally a splendid person and that you’re just having a bad day. They may be too preoccupied to see that when you point a weapon at them in a threatening manner, it is just your way of crying out for help. We both know that the whole problem can be traced to the fact that your mother didn’t breast feed you, but some police officers are so cynical they just don’t see it.

So, there you have it. If you really apply yourself and obey even most of the rules listed above, I bet you’ll avoid the vast majority of police gunfire.”



8 Aug 00

From a friend with the US Border Patrol:

“I confronted a suspect last week who was acting suspiciously. We were in an area notorious for drug smuggling and illegal alien crossings.

When he saw me exiting my vehicle, he abruptly turned around and started walking toward a group of ramshackle buildings. I drew my pistol and took cover behind the corner of the adjacent house.

After several repeated commands, and his consistent refusal to respond, he finally started to turn around. As he faced me, a large-frame revolver that had apparently been in his waistband fell to the ground. I took him into custody without further incident and recovered the revolver, along with forty pounds of packaged cocaine.

I believe my aggressive use of verbal commands and use of cover convinced the suspect that his position was untenable. If I had approached him in the open, he may have made a different decision.”

Lesson: REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH VERBAL COMMANDS IS THE NUMBER ONE PRE-ASSAULTIVE BEHAVIOR. When confronting potentially dangerous suspects who refuse to comply with verbal commands or who comply very slowly, distance, cover, and reinforcements are still you best friends.



9 Aug 00

Quotations from McBride on rifles for fighting purposes. Timeless advice from decades ago:

From page 222–McBride on Sights:

“Now, I hate to say anything in disparagement of our Springfield Rifle (Model 1903–with 1906 ammunition). It does not require my recommendation. Too many people know all about it. But, why don’t they put a sight on it? As it now is, I would certainly pick one of the
SLE (Short Lee-Enfields) for the ordinary, short-range work of actual battle. Argue all you want to about ballistics but what a man needs when he gets into a fight is a short, ‘handy’ weapon — something with which he can take a hasty, snap shot at a target which only shows for the fraction of a second and then disappears. And he wants a sight that you don’t have to hunt around for–just something that you look through–not look for.”

From page 223–McBride on Battle Rifles:

“…I took [a German Mauser] from a young and cocky Yager who had been wounded and taken prisoner. That one was a beauty. Short and trim–a regular ‘sporter’ in fact. The former owner vouchsafed a supercilious smile when I held it up beside my own heavy Ross, and I don’t blame him. He had a real, honest-to-goodness battle rifle, beside which ours were just clumsy clubs.”

From page 336–McBride on Handiness:

“For effective use as a rifle in battle, the arm must be just as compact and ‘handy’ as it is possible to make it and still retain accuracy and the punch. It is probably not possible to build a high power, bolt-action rifle that would be as handy as the little 30/30 carbine or ‘saddle gun,’ but that is my idea of what a handy rifle should be. No, with the bolt action and box magazine, it would be impossible to get the ‘balance’ just the same and that has a lot to do with the ‘handiness’ of any rifle. Perhaps the Springfield Sporter could be worked down somewhat. It is not bad, just as it is, yet even it would have appeared ‘clumsy’ beside that little Mauser I took that day.”

From page 340–McBride on Scopes:

“For the general purpose telescope, to be used in all sorts of weather and conditions–and by advancing troops–I believe the three power to be about as high as one can go, possibly the two-and-one-half power is enough, at that.”



10 Aug 00

An important point from a friend on active duty:

“I had is a conversation with some Royal Marine Commandos who were involved in the fighting in the Falklands. They were NCOs in reconnaissance element and thus carried US-made M16A1s instead of FN LARs the rest of the Royal Marines were issued. The M16s were issued with the 62gr SS109 round.

They had no trouble hitting Argentine soldiers at 300 to 400 meters, as the local terrain provided many opportunities for such shots. Unhappily, upon being thus hit, the Argentine soldiers continued fighting and nearly all of them ultimately survived their wounds. After a few such disappointing experiences, the Marines quickly switched out their M16s for FNs.

That solved the problem. The 308 round put people down much faster and much more permanently.”

This important lesson was obviously lost on the Pentagon, as American soldiers had nearly identical experiences in Somalia and Kuwait several years later. Unfortunately, nothing has changed since, and we are presently all set up for similar failures in the next war.



10 Aug 00

Doug MacArthur in the 1930s insisted that development of the new semiautomatic rifle (ultimately the Garand M1) proceed as a .30 caliber, rather than a .260 or .280 – whichever the “experts” at that time preferred. McArthur said:

” I am neither a firearms nor a ballistics expert, but I was a combat infantry officer in WWI, and I absolutely know that the bullet from an infantry rifle has to be able to shoot THROUGH things.”

Lesson: We learn from history that we’ve learned nothing from history.



11 Aug 00

Vicki and I just completed conducting a Women’s’ Police Defensive Handgun Class in Wyoming. We had female officers join us from as far away as Colorado and Montana. Actually, Vicki did the class. I functioned as her assistant.

We had several S&W self-decockers, one Glock-19, three Colt 1911s, several Beretta 96Fs, and several Sig P220s.

We didn’t experience any gun problems this time, but one thing struck me. I have observed this before, but this time I really noticed it.

The woman who was shooting the Glock had far less trouble controlling her trigger than did the rest of the women in the class. And, when we did the battlefield pickup drill, the rest of the women commented on it.

The central reason is that, when shooting a Glock, one cannot see the hammer and is therefore not tempted to look at it coming back as the trigger is pressed. Watching the hammer come back instead of watching the front sight is a real problem with all exposed-hammer, trigger-cocking handguns. It is, of course, not a problem with the Glock or with the 1911.

When students handled the Glock for the first time, they all commented on the fact that they could not see the hammer and how helpful that was as they gradually learned how to correctly manipulate the trigger.

I is my belief that, at least in the police business, manually decocking pistols are on their way out. Of all the self-decocking pistols available, for the reason noted above, the Glock and the Kahr have a distinct advantage, particularly with new and struggling shooters.



12 Aug 00

From a friend in the Philippines with regard to rifle ammunition:

“Few people over here are complaining about the 55gr hardball, 223 round (we haven’t seen much of the SS109 yet). Even the older troops from the 1980s respect the 223 after witnessing its performance in field encounters. These are the same folks who had previously clung steadfastly to the M1 and M14. Most people hit solidly with M193 ammo (55gr hardball) go right down and stay down.

However, I will note that, due to the local terrain, these successful contacts usually involve unarmored targets in the open (not behind cover) at ranges not exceeding three hundred meters. In fact, most contacts are much closer, such as at checkpoints and ambushes.

Rifles chambered for 308Win remain popular with certain military units, namely folks who pursue rebel forces over open plains, where long shots are common and barricades need to be penetrated. In the coup attempts that plagued this Country in the late 1980s, 308-chambered rifles were also sought after. In these incidents, the rebels were well ensconced behind substantial barriers and were anywhere from 300 to 800 yards from our soldiers.

The impending adoption of the SS109 round is supposed to give our troops the range and penetration of a 308 while maintaining the user-friendly, lightweight platform of the M16, or so we have been assured by military bureaucrats. Most of us consider this supposed range increase a pipe dream, and we are particularly concerned about this round’s dismal performance in Somalia.

Finally, field reports from active insurgent areas reveal that the most feared weapon in the hands of our government forces is the Barrett fifty-caliber sniper rifle. The enemy predictably withdraws immediately when this thing is in action, as these rifles are usually manned by exceedingly competent marksmen, and the bullet penetrates most everything! They take a dreadful toll, at substantial standoff distances.”

Lesson: At ranges within 150m, the 223 round (55gr hardball) is effective. Beyond 150m, its effectiveness drops off rapidly. Penetration is disappointing at all ranges. For most domestic defensive shooting, I believe the compromise is still worthwhile.

Unhappily, the SS109 round is considerably less effective at all ranges and is not recommended for any application. The vaunted increases in range and penetration have proved far less than originally predicted.

The primary advantages of the 308 round are its ability to penetrate barriers and its genuine effectiveness at long ranges. The disadvantages are the weight and bulk of the rifle itself and the fact that far fewer rounds can be carried when compared with the 223.

Any military rifle will, of necessity, do everything to one degree or another, but it won’t do any one thing particularly well. When we get into specialty weapons, which are designed to do one thing particularly well, we discover that they are utterly unsuitable to other tasks.

For example, the M1 Carbine worked well in the Pacific campaign during WW2, but acquired an unfavorable reputation in Korea a few years later. The difficulty was its inability to penetrate. No problem when shooting Japanese soldiers who were stripped to the waist anyway, but a big problem when shooting bundled-up North Korean soldiers in cold weather.

I recall a quotation from Charlie Askins many years ago as he viewed 223 55gr hardball being fired into wood baffles and penetrating only the first few. He blinked his eyes and said, “This is penetration for combat??!!”



13 Aug 00

From a friend on South Africa:

“The 308 is popular here with our police spec operations units. They use an FN/FAL with a folding stock. They like it particularly for use in road check points, where it is often necessary to shoot people who are using parts of cars, particularly car doors, for cover.”



14 Aug 00

From a friend in Africa:

“I had a student shoot himself in the leg yesterday during training. His trigger finger was perfectly in the register position, but his middle finger rested on the trigger without me noticing it. He shoved the gun into his holster, and it fired, even in the trigger-cocking mode! The wound was embarrassing but not serious. He was back on course the next day.

Another student was doing anti-ambush drills. He rolled smartly out of his car, took cover, drew his pistol (Beretta 92F) and calmly shot his police patrol vehicle FIVE TIMES! Although he was warned and instructed on the topic of ‘muzzle masking’ he apparently insisted on learning the hard way!”

Lessons: The “middle-finger-on-trigger” technique, sometimes called the “Pittsburgh Grip,” has been used off and on by the Pittsburgh PD and others for several decades and had caused uncounted accidents (mostly self-inflicted), like the one enumerated above. It’s proponents say the index finger is used to point, and the middle finger is used to manipulate the trigger, but there is no way both fingers can go into register simultaneously, so we see incidents like the one above. How stupid can you get?

Muzzle masking is a problem we see mostly in rifle shooting, but it happens in pistol shooting as well, as we can see. Even when bullets impact into objects relatively close to the shooter, he often fails to realize what is happening and so keeps on shooting.



16 Aug 00

This from a friend in the reserves:

“I just got back from my two weeks of reserve drill duty at Ft Benning, GA. We had a private on the M16 qualification range who, in the midst of firing, pulled his rifle back and still had his finger on the trigger. He then tried to pound down his sandbag with his right hand. When his hand (with rifle still in it) struck the sandbag, it discharged, and the bullet went through the meaty part of his left hand below the little finger. They’re still trying to save his hand.

In another instance I was present when a soldier, shooting the M9 pistol (Beretta M92F) qualification, experienced a catastrophic slide failure. The slide separated at the midpoint, and the front portion flew downrange about five feet. The rear portion stayed on the gun. Happily, the shooter was startled but not injured. He was lucky, as the Army seems to apply little if any consideration to the use of eye protection. He was not wearing glasses!”

Lessons: If you’re casual with regard to where the muzzle of your weapon is pointed, it’s just a matter of time before you shoot yourself. This soldier didn’t intentionally point the gun at his own hand. It was inadvertent, and he was unaware of what he was doing, and it is, of course, that overly-relaxed attitude that is the problem.

I have never had a Beretta pistol do what is described above while I was shooting it, nor have I observed it directly, but it is a problem within the military, and it has not been effectively addressed, even though it started happening over ten years ago.

Anyone who is in the presence of shooting and is not wearing eye protection is foolish beyond description.



16 Aug 00

This from a friend with a Florida PD. It well summarizes the problems facing all PDs in this period of sustained prosperity and “litigaphobia:”

“We have been unable to meet hiring goals for over two years, despite the fact that we’re relentlessly recruited up and down the entire East Coast. All shifts are dangerously understaffed. Response time is way up. Inservice training has been all but eliminated. We just can’t spare the officers, even for a single day.

In desperation, the department has recently lowered hiring standards. Now, some cocaine and steroid use is allowed. The part of the “agility test,” including push ups and pull ups, has been dropped.

Our training Sergeant used to hold defensive tactics classes for anyone interested in participating. The chief has put a stop to it. He doesn’t want any injuries.

The range? Guys used to ‘qualify’ twice a year. Now, it’s been reduced to once a year, with no training in between. And, if you don’t qualify, there is no remedial training available. You just go back to work and wait another year!

We’re in real trouble here, and we’re not alone.”



16 Apr 00

On rifle selection, from a friend working overseas:

“When in heavy fighting and in a strong position, make mine an M1 or an M14. However, if the bad guys got close, I would reach for an M16. When they get real close, I’d switch back, with a bayonet locked in place. The Garand one-piece stock is still a fearsome bludgeon!”



20 Aug 00

The Battle of Liao-Yang, 1904

At the beginning of the last Century, historians would describe the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa, the Boxer Rebellion in China, the Spanish-American War in Cuba and the Philippines, and the Russo-Japanese War in Manchuria (all of which took place nearly simultaneously) as the last of the “little wars” and the first of the genuinely “modern” wars. Many of the lessons learned and lost during these conflicts would rear their heads again sooner than anyone thought, in the first of the modern “World Conflagrations,” World War One.

At the turn of the Century, technology was rapidly making conventional military thinking, particularly within the top-heavy, fossilized military bureaucracy which characterized the Russian Army, obsolete. For the first time portable searchlights, telephones, motorized vehicles, and, most importantly, “rapid-fire” artillery, which employed self-contained, hydraulic recoil dampeners (making it unnecessary to relay the big guns after every shot) were available in significant numbers.

The War would bring Japan onto the world stage as a major player, just as it would portend the impending doom of the Old Russian Empire. It would also signal the World that, under the right circumstances, a small, but agile and highly motivated military force, armed and trained with modern weapons, could handily defeat a much larger force that was unwieldy, outdated, overextended, armed with obsolete weapons, indecisively lead, and most of all, arrogantly overconfident.

The problem was the Russian naval base at Port Arthur, on the southern tip of the Liao-tung Peninsula. The Japanese wrested Port Arthur from the Chinese in 1894, only to foolishly cede it to Russia a few years later. Finally, admitting to their imprudence and perceiving a disinclination of the part of the Russians to defend it, in 1904 they decided it was time to take it back.

The Japanese were led by nimble-minded and determined Field Marshal, M I Oyama. His army was patterned after that of the Germans and thus streamlined, adroit, and equipped with modern weapons. The Russians, fighting at the end of a 6,000-mile supply train, were led by the hesitant and vacillating General A N Kuropatkin, who was consistently overruled by his political commissar, Admiral E Alekseyev, there only because of his connections with Czar Nicholas II. Kuropatkin’s army was immense but stilted and uninspired.

After the Japanese landing, the War began with a series of small engagements north of Port Arthur in which ponderous Russian units were quickly and deftly outmaneuvered and defeated. Kuropatkin took the hint but was overruled by Alekseyev who wanted a massive and immediate attack. What he got was a disastrous defeat at the hands of the Japanese at Liao-Yang.

With their lumbering command structure, the Russians were agonizingly slow in getting anything going. All they seemed to be able to do was successively disengage and fall back. They did manage one critical counterattack, which temporarily stunned the Japanese, but they were unable to exploit it.

In the end, Kuropatkin, already beaten in his own mind, ordered a general retreat from the area. Oyama’s soldiers, battered but victorious, stumbled into Liao-Yang virtually unopposed.

Liao-Yang was the first of four major battles during the conflict. With his numerically superior force, all Kuropatkin could produce each time was an indecisive stalemate and a subsequent withdrawal. He never once went on the offensive. In the end, the Russians finally gave up and withdrew completely.


>Losers are always beaten in their own minds first. They are paralyzed by fear, lack of confidence, and confusion of purpose. The outcome of the battle is then predetermined.

>Losers spend their time looking for an excuse to lose, rather than looking for a way to win. During the Russo-Japanese War, Russian commanders spent most of their time trying to figure out which junior officer would make the best scapegoat. Politicians spent their time composing papers defending their anti-technology bias. No one spent any time thinking about how to win!

>Every military student is told to expect a counterattack at the culmination of a successful offensive, but no one really ever expects it! Thus, counterattacks are nearly always unexpected and nearly always take the enemy by surprise.

>As the famous Russian tactician, Kuroki, said, “The one who conquers in war is the one least afraid of death.” This axiom was well known and accepted by all successful military commanders, as well as the likes of Bill Hickock, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holiday!



21 Aug 00

During a recent Defensive Handgun course on the East Coast, I was able to use Dave Young’s excellent CAPS video simulator. The CAPS System projects real-time video scenarios onto a paper screen (set up on an indoor range), and my students, using their own pistols and live ammunition, engaged targets by shooting through the screen as the scenario developed. After each scenario, the screen was patched, and we would start over. During a single afternoon, each student went through ten, individual scenarios, and each one was different from all the rest.

At its conclusion, the video segment was immediately replayed, so we could all see how accurate each student had been and how sound had been his judgment. I critiqued students on all their confrontational skills, including movement, verbalizations, and use of cover and concealment. Of particular interest was the method and timing of the production of the pistol from concealment (if it was drawn at all) and the moment and the manner in which it was fired (if it was fired at all).

As is usually the case, students made significant progress during the afternoon, particularly in the areas of verbal disengagement, movement, and correct judgments with regard to the use of deadly force. Video simulators, especially those allowing live fire, are surely wonderful training vehicles.

I’d like to tell you about one student. Sixtyish, he didn’t stand out from the rest of the class, except during the video simulation exercises. This was not his first defensive handgun class. He took instruction well and was a competent and safe shooter (on static exercises), and had a long-standing, CCW permit for the state of his residence where he carries regularly. His administrative gun handling was also proficient and safe. He was a genuinely nice person, and we all liked him.

We spent an entire day doing various live-fire exercises before going to the simulator. Several hundred rounds were expended. I was satisfied that this man could draw and hit any reasonable target. However, when we put him into the simulator, he was unable to shoot or even function in any productive manner!

In his first scenario, a home intruder confronted him menacingly with a bludgeon. He mumbled something but did not draw his gun. When the intruder shouted verbal threats and charged, my student just closed his eyes and turned away. He never fired, never even drew his gun!

I was astonished! But, of course, I thought, after all, it was his first try. He will surely improve as we go along. But, he never did. In scenario after scenario, he would become visually nervous, then, when guns and other weapons were pointed at him, he would just close his eyes, clench his teeth, cringe, and turn away. Even after multiple critiques and encouragement from other students, I was unable to get him to function appropriately. Indeed, I was unsuccessful in persuading him to function at all!

He had never done video simulations before, and I believe his disturbing, repeated episodes of emotional paralysis were as much a surprise to him as they were to the rest of us. The rest of the students, including me, had bouts with indecision to be sure, but nothing like what was experienced by this particular student.

At the end of the Course, I counseled this person on the disturbing turn of events. He indicated that, based on our experiences on the CAPS System, he might give up guns and shooting altogether. I indicated that, unless he could turn around his emotional paralysis, that would be a good choice, since a gun will not likely do him any good anyway.

The point of all this is, his emotional paralysis did not manifest itself until we put him on the video simulator. Up until then, his performance at the range was satisfactory. I was reminded that many students come to us having never honestly confronted or even thought through the emotional repercussions of deadly confrontations and the use of deadly force for personal defense. If video simulators are not available, than we instructors must take each student by the hand and lead him or her through all the mandatory thought processes, even though they will surely find it disagreeable and frightening, even paralyzing!



21 Aug 00

This from a friend with a large, Midwest PD:

“One of our motorcycle officers carries a Beretta 9mm (M92F). During our periodic firearms qualification a short time ago, this officer discovered, to his surprise and amazement, that his pistol would fire the chambered round but would not feed the second one reliably. After checking the gun over, our armorer lubricated it, and it instantly returned to normal functioning.

We discovered that the airflow past the gun (from the officer’s motorcycle riding) had displaced and dried out lubricant as well as mixing it with dust and grit. And, that was the direct cause of the reliability problem.

I don’t believe this situation is specific to Beretta pistols, and our department now keeps much closer watch on all weapons carried by our motorcycle officers.”

Lesson: There are always challenges that are going to be inherently unforeseeable. Good planning goes only so far. From that point forward, we must be flexible and candid enough to react quickly to unforeseen circumstances, rather than trying to cover them up.



22 Aug 00

My friend, Larry Nichols (address below), of the Burbank, CA PD is interviewing people for the position of Assistant Rangemaster at the Burbank PD Range. He needs someone experienced. If you know anyone who qualifies and is interested, have them contact Larry directly.

Larry J Nichols
200 N 3rd St
Burbank, CA 91502
818 238 3320
818 238 3239 (Fax)



28 Aug 00

This from a friend who recently left the Naval Reserve:

“As a reservist, I was told that I was expected to qualify with the M9 pistol (Beretta 92F). I was then politely told that, due to unspecified ‘budget cuts,’ I would have to supply my own ammunition! When I asked what would happen if I didn’t supply the ammunition, I was told that, if I could demonstrate that I could field strip the pistol, I would be considered ‘qualified!’

In disgust, I resigned from the Reserve shortly thereafter.”

And we are astonished when we hear that the military can neither attract nor retain good people!



31 Aug 00

We seem to need to learn the same lessons over and over:

“The Roman Republic fell, not because of the ambition of Caesar, but because it had already long ceased to be a republic at all. When the sturdy Roman plebeian, who lived by his own labor, who voted without reward according to his own convictions, and who formed in war the terrible Roman Legion, had been changed into an idle creature who craved nothing in life save the gratification of a thirst for vapid excitement, who was fed by the state, and who SOLD HIS VOTE TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, then the end of the republic was at hand, and nothing could save it.”

Teddy Roosevelt

Pythagorean theorem: 24 words.
The Lord’s prayer: 66 words.
Archimedes’ Principle: 67 words.
The Ten Commandments: 179 words.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: 286 words.
The entire Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words.
Current US Government regulations on the retail sale of cabbage: 26,911 words.

“The more corrupt the State, the more numerous the laws”




31 Aug 00

From the Manchester, NH PD:

“A Manchester police sergeant lost his loaded, semiautomatic pistol, and police are enlisting the help of the public to find it. ‘There’s a possibility someone found it and has it at home and doesn’t know what to do with it,’ said Manchester Police Chief Mark Driscoll.

The police-issue weapon was apparently lost last Friday when Sgt. Thomas Gallagher was working a traffic detail. When the detail was over, he went to his vehicle, removed his gear (including his pistol) and placed it in a gym bag.

When Gallagher was getting ready to go to work on Monday, he discovered that the pistol was missing. ‘The likelihood is it was left on the roof of the car as he drove away,’ said Driscoll.

‘It’s very difficult for us who are charged with providing public safety to be in the situation where we may have negatively impacted the public’s safety,’ Driscoll added.”


Unloading guns, putting trigger locks on guns, and/or putting guns “away” somewhere other than on the person does not make the gun or its owner “safe,” despite what the grasseaters try to tell us.

The best place for your pistol is loaded, and in a holster on your person, and ready to go. That way, it is constantly under your direct control.

Guns which are “inaccessible” are worthless, and when we foolishly try to please the pathetic, frightened grasseaters by making them so, we do ourselves and the public no good service. We need to stop apologizing for being constantly armed. That, after all, is what we do!