15 Sep 98, Tuesday, 8:51AM

This just in from on of my Instructors in South Africa:

I gave an intense Farm-Protection Course in the King Williamstown area over here several weeks ago. What timing! One of my students used the techniques to save himself from certain death last week (Thursday, 10 Sept 98 ). As you might have heard, farmers here are being murdered daily by gangs of armed criminals with a curious mixture of political and commercial motives. More than one hundred farmers have been murdered (mostly on their own property) in criminal attacks this year alone. Farms here are typically large and isolated. Help is invariably hours away, often longer, as the rural phone system is undependable. Like you, I train these good people to defend themselves with guns, mostly pistols.

Just days after successfully completing his Training Course, one of my students left his home at five in the morning to milk cows at a building some distance from his house. Just as he entered his vehicle, he looked in the rearview mirror and saw a man, wearing a mask, approaching his vehicle rapidly from the rear. He instantly recognized what was going on! Determined to survive, he immediately formed an emergency plan in his mind and executed it without delay:

He pushed the driver’s-side door open violently with his left foot and simultaneously drew his pistol (a CA 75 in 9mm, loaded with Cor-Bon 115gr HP) and turned in the seat. The rapidly-opening door struck the masked intruder in the waist as he came even with it. The sudden impact doubled over the dumbfounded masked man and caused him to fall backward. He was back on his feet quickly, however, and immediately attacked the farmer. A frenzied struggle ensued during which the criminal grabbed the front of the farmer’s pistol in an effort to wrestle it from him. There was little doubt in the farmer’s mind that he would be immediately killed if he lost his pistol to the masked man. Unable to get his gun free from his attacker, the farmer pulled the trigger. The muzzle was very close to the attacker’s head when the pistol discharged. The bullet went off into space doing no damage, but the blast temporarily stunned the attacker, and thus gave my student the opportunity to peel his gun free from the attacker’s hand. Although his pistol now had a stoppage (failure to eject), the farmer did an immediate “tap, rack, bang” drill, which got it functioning again. The attacker recovered and came forward once more. The farmer was ready for him this time and shot the masked man three times in the chest, in rapid succession. The masked man, now fatally wounded, subsequently staggered backward a few steps and collapsed. He was later found where he fell, by the police- dead at the scene.

As he had been trained, the farmer then quickly broke out of tunnel vision and saw three apparent accomplices. Fortunately, they were running away. These attackers almost always work in packs, but the remnant obviously wanted nothing to do with a determined and well-trained gunman. They selected their victim most unwisely!

The farmer indicated that, before he underwent training with me, he did not know ANY weapon-retention techniques, NEVER carried his pistol with a round in the chamber, NEVER even thought of tunnel vision, and NEVER heard of the “tap, rack, bang” stoppage-reduction drill.

More to the point, prior to attending the Course, he had never given much thought to the art of fighting and never thought he would ever have to. He indicated that, in addition to the psycho-motor skills assimilated, he learned that his life was precious and was worth defending. Sometimes in spite of himself, he inevitably made the psychological transition from >victim-looking-for-a-place-to-happen’ (grass-eater) to >knight’ (meat-eater). Without that critical metamorphosis, the rest would have been largely pointless.


An unrelated incident:

One of my students who attended a recent Course in Ohio is a Trooper with the New Jersey State Police. He indicated that there is a new trick being used by criminals which, in at least one instance, led to the recent death of another Trooper in that State.

The Trooper in question was in a vehicle chase. The suspect, driving an old, beat-up pick-up truck, went down a rural road with no outlet. It seemed odd that he would do something like that, which would surely get him cornered and lead to his subsequent arrest.

As the Trooper (in his own vehicle) approached the suspect truck, the driver turned his truck around and deliberately crashed into the grill of the Trooper’s vehicle. The crash deployed the driver’s-side air bag in the Trooper’s vehicle. The impact of the air bag temporarily stunned the Trooper, giving the suspect the opportunity to exit his truck, approach the Trooper’s vehicle, and shoot the Officer several times in the head! Evidence indicated that the Trooper mostly regained his faculties, but, by then, it was too late.

Officers need to be aware that, when pursuing old vehicles, the vehicle being pursued probably does not have air bags. The Officer’s vehicle, of course, does. It a situation such as the one described above, that may put the officer at disadvantage.