2 Mar 04

“Polite Society”

My good friend and colleague, Tom Givens, hosted the 2004 “Polite Society” defensive shooting seminar and clinic last weekend at his wonderful Ringmasters indoor facility in Memphis, TN. I spoke at the event, along with Doc Gunn, Skip Gochenour, Keith Jones, Jim Yeager, and Tom himself. Doc Gunn and I conducted our one-day Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds program as part of the event.

The range events consisted of (1) a hostage rescue with charging attacker, (2) bad guys mixed in with “non-targets,” (3) weak-handed shooting, and (4) shooting into a vehicle with its headlights shining at you and you strapped in to a car seat. All shooting was in low light.
The “Polite Society” event is similar to the annual NTI, on a slightly lesser scale, but Tom’s devotion to the advancement of the art is evident to everyone.

Crime-ridden Memphis has seen a number of Tom’s students shred bad guys. The bad guys have, so far, been no match.

This, like the NTI, is an event all serious gunmen should attend. Target shooters need not apply. Highly recommended!

Tom Givens
Range Master
2611 S Mendenhall Rd
Memphis, TN 38115
901 370 5600



3 Mar 04

From a friend in the Coast Guard:

“The Office of Homeland Security is moving away from military-issue Berettas and is soon to issue the HK USP in .40S&W for USCG use. They made this decision since ‘homeland’ issues will be in cooperation with local police agencies, and they want to stay with a caliber ‘we’re all using’ anyway. They also want to get away from the unpopular Beretta system.”

Comment: The trend to replace (quietly) the M9 pistol continues throughout the federal system. H&K has shown surprising strength and may well join Glock and SIG in favorable consideration among police.



4 Mar 04

In a conversation with a big retailer in Oklahoma this afternoon:

Most Kimber buyers already own a Wilson, Brown, or Bear, but shoot the “inexpensive” Kimber rather than put the wear and tear on their expensive, custom 1911 ( which is never carried and thus spends most of its life in a box in a safe, seeing the light of day only when its owner wants to impress someone).

Ruger autoloaders are purchased mostly by young, first-time security guards, who are required to be armed on the job, but who can’t afford much . They buy the least expensive pistol they can find. Rugers usually get the nod. They work. Almost never break.

H&K’s P2000, SA’s XD, and FN’s new pistol all show the potential of successfully competing with Glock and SIG, if they could just get their customer service in order. Until and unless they do, they’ll be perpetual also-rans.

Every Kel-Tec 380 goes out the door the day it arrives. It rivals the G23 in popularity. Kel-Tec has some issues, but their customer service is second to none. They fix them and get them back to the customer immediately. Owners love them!

An interesting note from a local roofer: In forty percent of residential roofs he replaces, he finds at least one bullet hole!



9 Mar 04

From a friend with DHS:

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) celebrated its first year anniversary on March 1st. It united twenty-two formally separate federal offices.

I am working with the DHS Protective Security Division. Our mission is to reduce the vulnerability of our national infrastructure. There are fourteen different categories of facilities: bodies of water, transportation, dams, nuclear power plants, etc. But there are also places where large groups of people regularly gather: stadiums, shopping malls, national monuments. We have systems in place to protect these facilities themselves. We also monitor the surrounding area (buffer zone), so it is not used for terrorist surveillance.

Prior to 9/11, our national strategy was to react. Priority has now shifted to prevention.
It needs to be. Foreign terrorists are here among us, trained, watching, planning. All terrorists who hijacked planes on 9/11 had lived in this country for years. They attended schools here, spoke the language, and understood our culture, particularly our police and security culture. Even now, they are looking for new ways to cause large numbers of deaths, destroy our national infrastructure, and circumvent our protective measures.”

Comment: They understand our culture all too well! They know, for example, the moment police cars start being shot up in significant numbers as part of an organized effort, the entire police department will instantly lapse into “self-protective” mode. Arriving feds will merely seal off the affected area, making no attempt to rescue innocent people trapped therein. So, while, even today, bold, individual action is still discouraged by government at all levels, it is bold action that is likely to be the only thing that will save you during an attack.

Terrorists aboard the planes of 9/11 told passengers to “Stay quiet. Stay calm. Don’t do anything, or you may endanger the plane.” Terrorists knew that Americans were used to obeying instructions, without question, from authority figures, and it is this same sheep mentality that they are depending upon today.



10 Mar 04

From a friend in country:

“Our hotel was set on fire this morning, and we had to evacuate. I could smell the smoke and see the flames coming from below the room where I was staying. I decided that this all would probably be best viewed from the parking lot instead of where I was. The order then came to evacuate the building. I grabbed my pistol, body armor, and M-16, and proceeded down the stairs.

This isn’t America! No firetrucks, no firefighters no emergency vehicles arrived. Iraqis and Kurds who work on our compound fought the fire by themselves and finally contained it.
I ran into our unit physician in the hotel lobby. He told me he needed a ‘shooter.’ Now, around here a ‘shooter’ is someone with something bigger than a pistol who rides in a vehicle in order to provide protection for the driver and passengers. We are not allowed to leave our compound in a vehicle without at least one shooter. We prefer two. The doctor said he had a medical mission (a child had been shot). I told him that he had found his shooter! I grabbed my body armor and M-16, and we loaded up.

A beautiful little girl, named Diyan, age three, was brought to our compound, by her grandmother. She had been shot in the back by some ‘Ali Babbas’ (armed bandits), along with her mother, during an armed robbery attempt. This was two days earlier. Her mother had already died.

A single 7.62X39 bullet had struck Diyan near her spine. Through and through. There are no ambulances here, and there was no help for her locally. Dr Bob went to work on the spot. After he had done as much as he could, he announced that she needed a neurosurgeon. We contacted the military hospital across the river, and made arrangements to take her there.
The trip clearly frightened little Diyan, and the pain mediation Dr Bob gave her quickly wore off. She cried with every bump in the road. We tried to comfort her, but our attention had to remain focused on the treacherous traffic and the constant threat of Ali Babba’s folks, who would like nothing better than to capture some unwary Americans.

After a ride that would rival any SWAT callout, we’re finally at our destination across the Tigris River. Upon reaching the ‘Green Zone’ and the military hospital therein, we brought the little girl to the waiting arms of the military medical staff. Dr. Bob briefed them, and we prepared to leave. As I turned to go, the little girl smiled at me. I reached out and briefly held her hand. The grandmother and the child exchanged words and then the grandmother motioned me closer. As I leaned forward, the little girl smiled and kissed me on the cheek. My best payday yet!”

Comment: No ugly Americans here! We live in a great country.



10 Mar 04

Doc Gunn and I did our first Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds Course together in Memphis, TN two weeks ago. The good doctor, of course, lends credibility to the curriculum, but the course is a shooting exercise.

Course Objectives: To teach the necessity of timely and accurate shooting, staying in the fight until all threats are neutralized and providing immediate stabilization of life-threatening injuries. To teach to have contingency plans in the event of a shooting, and to maintain an appropriate TacMed Kit.

Here are the subjects:
Universal Safety Rules
Where to Shoot, Anatomical Targets.
TacMed Principles: The Seven Life-Threatening Injuries.
Differences of TacMed from normal EMS.
Treating injuries, while maintaining situational awareness, treatment under fire
Using the Israeli battle dressing/tourniquet
Needle Thoracostomy
Chest Tube Thoracostomy
Fluid Resuscitation
Accessing EMS

Range drills:

Shooting On the Move
Treatment of Gunshot Wound Range Drill

Doc Gunn and I are doing several more of these this year. This is a course whose time has come. Hope you can join us.



11 Mar 04

On the TSA from a frustrated friend in the federal system:

“Federal agents in my bureau are mandated to travel armed on all domestic flights. Additionally, we have the option of traveling armed on any domestic flight, regardless of duty status. The current TSA screening policy, as it’s explained to us, is that once we have identified ourselves as armed travelers and are confirmed, we are subject to no further search. Makes sense! However, TSA is not about to let any good deed go unpunished.

After we’ve identified ourselves, our bags are regularly pulled from the X-ray machine and rifled through. Of course, they find standard cop stuff and then routinely make a big scene in front of everyone in the screening area. We thus cannot maintain the low profile that we need. This happens all the time. They pull holsters, batons, etc out of bags and wave them around.

I returned from LA last week. Despite my pleas for compliance with their own policy, a copy of which I keep with me and showed them, my carry on was ripped apart and swabbed. The swab was positive! Duh. My bag surely has gun powder on the handles. Now, everyone in the area knew that I was a ‘problem.’ I asked them, prior to screening, what is the point of rifling our bags? The snotty response was, ‘what, do you have weapons inside?’ My response was, ‘Yes, of course. I just told you that.’ I got a blank stare, ‘Sir, all bags must be screened.’ The idiot’s supervisor came over and informed me that he didn’t care who I was or where I was from. I had two options: have my bags screened or don’t fly, and he didn’t care which.

Again, it is their own policy not to screen legally armed passengers. However, within TSA there is a blatant anti-gun agenda, which is more important to them than anything written down.
Whenever these incidents happen, FAA and TSA are notified. They go into their standard ‘Curly, Moe, and Larry’ dance, but, in the end, nothing ever changes.”

Comment: There is indeed a powerful anti-gun agenda within TSA, and it goes right to the top of DHS. Hassling legally armed federal agents is not “law enforcement.” It is pure harassment, the same kind of harassment the TSA is using to sabotage the armed-pilot program and that is routinely used to harass Americans merely trying to check a gun through checked baggage. They don’t want anyone to have a gun, and they use, not the law, but rather threats and harassment to enforce their agenda.



12 Mar 04

This is from one of my students. His father is one of our instructors, and both father and son are extremely competent shooters. This incident took place last Sunday evening immediately after a Defensive Handgun course Vicki and I conducted in Texas. This young lad was probably selected for victimization because of his age:

“The first incident happened just a block way from the restaurant. In fact, it was at the intersection of the hotel where you were staying. I had just gotten in the far right lane to make a right turn at the light, when a car came rapidly around my front and pulled directly in front of me. It was 9:00pm. In my mirror, I then see a man get out of the driver’s seat of a Ford Explorer two cars behind me. The man walks to the car right behind my truck and taps that car’s driver-side window. I could see the driver nod to the man at his window. The man then hunched over and walked toward my truck. In his hand, I could see what looked like a pistol.

I was boxed in, but I still had my G21 in my hip holster. The light turned green, but the car in front of me did not move. I honked at him, and he finally pulled forward. I was out of there in a flash. I made a fast right, then a left into the hospital parking lot. They were not able to follow me.

I arrived home a few minutes later, badly shaken but okay. My parents were not home. As I exited my truck, I heard leaves crackling behind me. I turned around and saw a man walking straight toward me in my own driveway (I don’t know if is was the same man). I went into my interview stance and said, ‘May I help you, sir?’ He hesitated but made no response. I said, ‘Stop right there, sir. How may I help you?’

He stopped abruptly and just looked at me. I could see that he was palming something in his right hand. I glanced behind me. I made one last verbal challenge, ‘Do not move. How may I help you?’ My right hand was on the butt of my pistol, although he probably couldn’t see it well.
Abruptly, the color drained from his face. He started to pitch left to right, finally stuttering, ‘I’m . . . I’m . . . I’m looking uh . . . uh! . . . for uh . . . my dog.’ I replied, ‘There are no dogs here. Turn around and walk away now, sir.’ He compliantly took a few backward steps and then turned around and walked away, disappearing into the night.

I grabbed all my stuff, shut and locked my truck, got inside the house, set the alarm, and started going around the house, checking to see if anyone had broken in. Everything was normal.”

Lesson: Here is another crime prevented by a competent and practiced defensive routine, fast thinking, and fearlessness. Such challenges should not be thrown at teenagers, but my student did just fine anyway. Good show!



16 Mar 04

From an LEO friend in the Midwest:

“Last Tuesday we had another fatal OIS here in _______. A mentally disturbed and suicidal man was shot to death by our officers at a local day-care center at ten in the morning. He had been wandering around the outside of the school earlier that day. He went in the unlocked back door of a nearby Vietnamese Restaurant and stole two meat cleavers from the kitchen. He then jumped the fence around the school playground, entered the school building through an open door, and immediately menaced several staff members.

Teachers swung into action quickly and got all children locked into classrooms, isolating the suspect in a corridor. Our first beat car arrived within minutes, and our guys entered the school immediately. They quickly located the suspect and confronted him at gunpoint. They issued multiple verbal challenges. In fact, in fifty-seven seconds they challenged him nineteen times.

His response was confused, but, when he turned and stepped toward a classroom, our guys opened fire. Two officers fired eight shots. Six struck the suspect. Two of those penetrated through and through. The other four stayed in the body. Distance was twenty feet. Both our guys were using G17s with WW Ranger 115gr +P+. Suspect went right down, DRT.

We have a fatal OIS in this county every three years, on average. Now, we’ve had two in less than a year. Both, like this latest one, have been deranged nuts who will not be missed.”

Lesson: Both involved officers used their sights, aimed their shots, and pressed carefully, just at they had been trained. Fancy gear or footwork can never make up for a lack of basics. Look at basketball. These days, every new player has some fancy, aerial maneuver which is guaranteed to get him air time. But, put him on the stripe to take a foul shot, and few will go more than one of two. Players of yesteryear may not have made a name for themselves by breaking backboards, but they turned in consistent results, using well-practiced, basic skills.

Basics, correctly learned and well practiced, seldom look funky or cool, but they do deliver predictable outcomes.



16 Apr 04

Similar OIS from an LEO friend on the East Coast:

“We had a fatal OIS here two weeks ago that might interest your network. A local teenager held up a Wendy’s at gunpoint one night. The suspect’s car was spotted and stopped several miles away. Multiple units responded and surrounded the suspect vehicle.

The suspect refused to get out of the car. In fact, he sat in the car, holding his pistol in one hand and a camera in the other, as he took flash photographs of police vehicles. Officers finally broke out one of his side window and sprayed the interior with OC. After several minutes, the suspect got out of the car, waving his handgun around and refusing multiple commands to drop it. When he pointed the gun at officers once too often, four officers fired. The suspect was hit with multiple handgun rounds and three rounds of 12 gauge 00Bk. He collapsed instantly, DRT. The suspect’s ‘gun’ turned out to be an Airsoft pistol, manufactured by Walther, an exact replica of a Walther PPK/S.

The suspect was, of course, a six-time loser, said to be ‘depressed.’ As with most people who expect to be shot by police, he collapsed with the first impact, unlike real desperadoes, who often fight their way through multiple impacts

At least one officer showed signs of post-shooting trauma, saying he will always ‘remember the look on the teenager’s face when he got out of the car,’ just before being shot to death. Psychological counseling has been provided, of course, but it strikes me that victims of a ‘suicide by cop’ are the cops, as well as the suspect’s family members and others left behind.”

Comment: Police work embraces many unpleasantries. Goes with the territory. Society’s sympathy is often naively misplaced. At no time, do we need to “feel sorry” for criminals. Sympathy should be reserved for the many decent people who are invariably affected by every criminal act.



17 Mar 04

Please be advised that messages with attachments, purporting to be from me and/or my Quips Section, have be sent, with attachments, by an unknown source. The attachment contains a virus.

Understand that none of these originated with me! My system is scanned daily and is virus free. Understand also that my legitimate Quips are always sent as e-mail text, NEVER AS ATTACHMENTS.

Anything purporting to come from “Farnam,” “Quips,” and/or “Clouds.com” that has an attachment is a fraud and did not come from me.

I apologize for all this. Have no idea who is doing it. Please be on guard.



18 Mar 04

From a friend in Baghdad:

“The massive explosion last night saw many lives lost and many horribly injured. One of my close friends had to have broken glass from the explosion cleaned out of his knee. Several more that were outside have earaches, headaches, cuts and bruises. One of my British colleagues was dreadfully injured. He was in his room. Two others had gone downstairs to the lobby moments before the blast. They were both probably vaporized. Their bodies have not been found and likely won’t be.

We have been moving to the company’s newest hotel here. I returned to decide if I wanted to continue to move since it had gotten dark. Before I could make that decision, the whole world shook as in an earthquake. Gunfire immediately erupted outside, and our initial thoughts were that we were under ground attack. It was mostly our Kurdish security forces firing at anything suspicious.

I went to the blast site shortly thereafter, and it took my breath away! The crater is enormous. I’ve never seen an explosion that big.

Our new hotel is well guarded, but we are vulnerable on several sides. My window, on the fourth floor, is only thirty yards away from a slum. I can look out my window at them, and they can look out their windows at me. An RPG attack on my side of the building from these rooftops would be easy.

Our intelligence (you won’t hear this on the news) indicates that the bomb at the Lebanon Hotel was actually meant for this hotel. It ended up two blocks away, either by confusion or mistake on the bomber’s part.

They’ll try to get rid of us any way they can. Better all this is happening here than at home.”

Comment: Before this period of history is over, we will see scenes like this, not just in Iraq and Israel, but in Western Europe too, maybe even in CONUS! We are in real trouble if we don’t take this threat seriously. I’m still not sure we do.

Terrorists have now learned they can influence the outcome of national elections. John Kerry and the Euro-weenies, in fact, are already prepared to throw in the towel. I’m sure we’ll hear a lot about “peace in our time” between now and the election. I pray we don’t hear the sound of explosions mixed in!



21 Mar 04

From an “invite Only” event last week for Feds and others:

“I got the opportunity to fire the new 6.8 x 43mm ammo that Remington is now loading for the military. Barrett supplied two uppers for M4s. The 6.8x43mm is a 115 grain, 270 bullet on a modified, 30 Remington case. Both M4s worked fine. Easy hits out to 400m. 1200 rounds of this ammo was fired while I was there. Great reviews from all operators. Ammo was dirty, but I am told that is being addressed. There is a big lobby within the military to immediately replace existing 223 rifles and LMGs with ones in this chambering. They were surely vociferous with their enthusiasm!

In addition, there was no shortage of grumbles with regard to numerous failures of the existing 223 cartridge in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cited over and over were its lack of range, legendary inability to penetrate anything, and its inconsistent ability put bad guys down and keep them down. Same as in Vietnam. Curiously, even forty years later, no one seems to want to say anything unkind about then Sec McNamara and his gaggle of arrogant, Ivy League punks by calling this round the miserable failure that it is.

There is another lobby pushing for a return to the 308. Remington had a copy of their LTR .308 rifle there. This lightweight tactical rifle was constantly knocking down steel plates at 600m. The rifle has a twenty-inch barrel and only weighs 7.5 pounds. Sage International had a copy of their one piece, folding stock for the M-14, same one you described at the SHOT Show. This stock provides the opportunity to carry a real, 308 rifle in compact form.”

Comment: Between the two, it is my recommendation to return to the 308. We have rifles and LMGs in that caliber that work, and we know they work. The 6.8mm is probably a good round too, but we won’t know for sure for another fifty years. We already know all that about the 308!

It is interesting to me that Audey Murphy, so lavishly decorated during the European Campaign in WWII, never in his entire life weighed more than 120lbs, even in his later years when he became an actor. Yet, this skinny kid (and many like him) carried a Garand in 30-06 caliber all over Europe and thought nothing of it. Today, carrying a rifle that big and powerful is apparently unthinkable for the current generation of granola-chewing, yogurt-fed American youth.

In my opinion, the M-14, FAL, AK-47, and RA-96 represent the zenith of military rifle development. We’ve gone backward ever since!



25 Mar 04

In reaction to the virus affair of a week ago, DTI Quips has now been upgraded. As you know, all my quips are sent as e-mail text, never as attachments. Now, the system will not accept attachments to begin with, so, if a message gets through the cracks with an attachment, it will no longer be forwarded.

If you ever get a message, purporting to be from DTI Quips, with an attachment, delete it without opening it. It is a fraud and did not originate with me.

I regret all this is necessary, but I think we now have it fixed.



25 Mar 04

Pistol Training with the USMC:

Vicki and I just concluded our second pistol training program with Marines this year, this one in San Diego at the MCAS at Miramar. We had twenty-four, enthusiastic students, who were there by invitation only. One colonel, several other field-grade officers, as well as warrant officers, senior NCOs, and company-grade officers. All except two used the issue M9 pistol (Beretta 92F). We had two M12s (SIG P228). Berettas and SIGs all functioned well with the hardball ammunition we used.

As was the case in Yuma, AZ, we ran a hot range, much to the raised eyebrows of the local range staff, but much to the delight of our students. We did a number of live fire, tactical drills, involving movement, cover, and team coordination. These were, as always, the most popular portion of the course. I found out later that we were being observed. In fact, several of our (armed) students were cornered in the range restroom by members of the local instructor cadre, who looked at them accusingly and said, “You have a magazine in that pistol, Marine. It’s not loaded, is it?” They replied boldly that it was loaded and that that was the way the instructor wanted it. “Who is doing this unauthorized training?”, they bellowed. My students then made a hasty exit saying that they didn’t want to miss anything!

Our students came to us as good shooters, but with little knowledge of how pistols are routinely used, carried, and employed in tactical drills. However, their exceptional enthusiasm made for a fast moving class, and everyone was able to pass the DTI Test at the end. Assisting Vicki and me us were Steve Camp, Steve VanMol, Tom Burris from the LAPD and several of my local Marine students and colleagues who organized the program.

Once again, “this new kind of training” was the talk of the base the next day, and it looks as if we’re going to have to opportunity to expose more Marines to it shortly. Training and influencing enthusiastic, young warriors is the greatest source of joy that can be imagined. It is our great privilege and honor to be able to do so.

Now, contrast the foregoing with this note I just received from a friend and student in the 101st Abn Div:

“I conducted an M9 qualification yesterday for senior leaders of our brigade. Not surprisingly, gun handling was appallingly unsafe and incompetent. Most kept their fingers on the trigger continuously, any time the gun was in their hand. Most didn’t use the decocking lever and tried instead to manually lower the hammer (even after being shown how to use the decocking lever). None had a clue about drawing from a holster, stance, grip, moving with a loaded weapon, reloading procedures, or stoppage reduction. I offered to do remedial training once people were done shooting. I was told “none of that is important.”

These are people whom I had been with in Iraq, who surely know the importance of competent gun skills. Yet, now that we are all home, ‘range training’ has, once again, become a ‘check the block’ item. Some things never change.”

Comment: Well, we’re making changes within the USMC! Resistance to advancement in any form is always to be expected, but there is no resistance at the student level. Our students couldn’t have been more eager to abandon the old way and learn truly competent skills. Onward and upward!



25 Mar 04

Latest from a friend with the NJSP:

“Rifles! Believe it or not, we now have them in our system, or at least a few. Our rifle ‘training program’ is, of course, a joke. A memorable quotation from live fire orientation, ‘There is absolutely no reason for any kind of movement. I want you guys to stand in one place and stop moving right now!’

I raised the question of how the rifles should be carried in the patrol vehicle, and after deployment. You guessed it…none of the ‘instructors’ knew! Nothing in the lesson plan about carry modes/conditions. Nothing about sight settings. Nothing about maintenance. Once again, we’re on our own.

Last week, another trooper made a snide remark to me as I put my personal AR-15 into my beat car. I replied, ‘Todd, I have had this rifle with me for seven years now. Every day, every shift. I don’t ask permission, and I don’t bury my head in a twelve-inch-thick book of SOPs to determine if I am allowed to have it. I take it with me. I just do it. It’s mine, and I know how it works; I know where it shoots. I maintain it. Nobody else ever touches it. When I need it, it will be there. The only time I will ever touch the state’s rifle is when I transport it to and from the closet.’

Comment: Timing, cleverness, even genius are all overrated! What is most important for victorious living is boldness, audacity, and icy determination. My friend is a hero who is obviously ahead of his time.



25 Mar 04

Casualty in the Green Zone:

During our training with the Marines here in Miramar, I was made aware of a recent incident in the “Green Zone” in Baghdad. A US Army soldier, walking between offices in the Green Zone, was attacked by a knife-wielding Iraqi local. The soldier was severely injured with multiple cuts and stab wounds. He nearly died.

It was further revealed that, at the time of the attack, the soldier was unarmed, as was (and still is!) The local “policy.” He was told, “In the green zone you’re perfectly safe. There are no hostiles here.” Unfortunately, he apparently believed it.

Comment: I am continually astounded at the Army’s continuing, abject fear of guns. They obviously don’t trust their own people and have little regard for their safety.

Any time someone tells you, “Don’t worry. You’re safe here,” reach for your pistol!



30 Mar 04

Fingers on Triggers:

We just completed an Advanced Defensive Handgun Course in California. Most of our students were active IDPA competitors. Most used 1911s, and all were proficient shooters. However, nearly all had the disturbing habit of making full contact with the trigger, automatically, at the end of each draw.

Our standard trigger rule is: Trigger finger is to remain in the register position (master grip) until two conditions are met simultaneously: (1) Sights are on target, and (2) you have made the decision to fire. Several students indicated that they were trained that the decision to fire was always made while the pistol was still in the holster. Then, drawing and firing would be one motion and one thought.

I hope I was successful in convincing them otherwise. What statistics we have indicate that the pistol is drawn thirty times for every one time it is actually fired. If that is the case, training oneself to automatically shoot, every time the pistol is drawn, sets one up for catastrophe. Sometimes, it is indeed necessary to draw and fire in one motion. The vast majority of times that is not the case, at least in domestic defensive situations.

When the pistol is drawn, you may shoot, and you may not. The decision is largely out of your hands and will be ultimately dictated by the suspect’s behavior. As competent gunmen, we must be fully prepared to go either way!



31 Mar 04

Grim Statistics:

Over nine thousand forcible carjackings in SA last year. Violent death rate among victims was seventy-five percent!

Lesson: All of us, no matter where we live, need to confront the reality that we may be required to react quickly in our own defense, even against unfavorable odds. Hesitating will likely produce even less favorable odds! If we lack the courage to “go for it” at the critical moment, we need to reconsider the worthiness of our ambitions and of our personal philosophy of life.

We cannot be so fearful of failure that we are driven to inaction and paralysis. With Roman Legionaries, it was a point of honor. They put it this way, “I am a Legionnaire, and I will do my duty, though I may die.”

Boldness, Audacity, and Daring at all times make a more honorable epitaph than do Timidity, Indecisiveness, and Cowardice.