6 Feb 12

“All who’ve stood in tough and scary places, with steadfast men, understand what those who haven’t will never grasp.”

Wayne Dobbs

These comments from an LEO friend and colleague in a foreign country where I’ve conducted Classes:

“With regard to the ‘empty-chamber’ carry mode upon which you commented last week, I am in consummate agreement with both your premise, and your reasoning, but I work within a bureaucratic environment where I am expected to adhere to ‘policy.’ And, our policy (at least currently) is that Members will carry pistols with empty chambers.

This policy came about long before I took over training for the our Division, and resulted from interminable gun-accidents, all directly caused by our legendary poor training, ill-discipline, and ‘managers,’ as well as ‘trainers,’ who knew less about the subject than trainees. In typical bureaucratic fashion, facts were ignored, and not a solitary soul with any germane knowledge, nor experience, was ever consulted.

Within large bureaucracies like ours, it is difficult indeed to boldly champion the cause of setting the highest standards of enforcement tactics when, at every turn, one is suffocated by a multi-layered hoard of desk-bound, detached ‘managers,’ and naive ‘legal-teams,’ neither of whom have more than fugitive interest in officer safety, and even less in our Mission. Grossly unqualified people, promoted (strictly for political reasons) way past their level of incompetence!

However, against all odds, my efforts, and those of my comrades (mostly your students), have resulted in movement toward hot-range training, with all pistols loaded, at least toward the end of each range session.

Within the past month, we have had most of our top-management through my range for training. Full use of this opportunity was made. We sent them off-line, while still carrying ‘hot,’ during breaks, even lunch. This would have been unthinkable as little as five years ago!

Curiously, nothing was said, as all reluctantly conceded that firearms need operator-input in order to discharge. For many, this represented an astonishing epiphany!

At least officially, our empty-chamber ‘policy’ is still in place. However, many (including me) are now routinely carrying loaded and have stopped worrying about it. Concurrently, ‘management’ is pretending nothing has changed,

… and I haven’t been fired yet!”


Courageous trainers like my colleague above, working within the “System,” are making genuine forward progress, at least in this case. No progress would be made without them!

Intrepid heroes make the difference! Who would want to be anything else?

You are the person who has to decide
Whether you’ll do it or toss it aside
You are the person who makes up your mind
Whether you’ll lead or linger behind
Whether you’ll try for the goal that’s afar
Or just be contented to stay where you are