I was listening to Michael Bane’s podcast on Wednesday about “chumming for monsters” and he brilliantly brought up some of the changes in accepted best practices that have happened over the last few weeks as a result of terrorist attacks. If you’re not subscribed to his podcast, you can do so by clicking >HERE<
All of them have had one thing in common…they’ve proved out what law enforcement has said for years. In a crisis, you’re on your own. Or, when seconds count, police are only minutes away. That is a reality for both civilians who call 911 and for law enforcement who hit their little red officer-in-distress button.
In the case of Orlando, police were hours away for some of the victims. That is not a slight against Orlando PD. That’s the reality of law enforcement. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. Almost all law enforcement will willingly put their lives on the line to stop evil and save innocent life, but they won’t throw it away needlessly by running into a building where an armed bad guy has tactical advantage.
Tactical officers will squelch fear and storm a structure to take down armed bad guys, but only if they have enough of a tactical superiority to tilt the odds so far in their favor that they aren’t even really odds anymore. It’s not the movies. Just accept that you’re on your own and act accordingly.
There are 2 components to this…first is tactical. Learn empty hands combatives. Learn to identify improvised weapons that will increase the effectiveness of your empty hands skills. Carry a gun whenever possible and commit to a few minutes every day of dry fire practice.
Second is medical. Some of the people in Pulse who waited hours for police to take out the shooter had been shot and were bleeding. Learn combat casualty care…preferably in a live class that will let you practice using tourniquets and improvised tourniquets on each other to see what really works and what doesn’t. (hint…belts don’t work as tourniquets without a turnbuckle. Neither does wire or single strand 550 cord, unless you want to guarantee that the patient loses the limb.)
In Dallas, we saw again that solid center-mass hits don’t always do the job. You MUST train and practice to be able to make head shots—close range, long range, using perfect form, and awkwardly from behind cover.
In the Nice, France truck attack on Bastille Day, the attack was VERY close to being stopped by a determined citizen. He rode up next to the truck on his moped, got off, jumped up on to the truck and tried to stop the driver by reaching in and struggling with him. The terrorist driver ended up butt-striking him in the head with the pistol. This man, named Frank, knew what he was up against, knew he might die, and took action anyhow because his son was in the crowd. And while his actions were absolutely, 100% heroic, they weren’t effective. If he JUST would have known targeting…to know to target the eyes, throat, and ears, it might have ended differently.
Baton Rouge taught us how VITAL it is to train to be able to make shots at distance. One of the Baton Rouge Police officers shot the attacker from over 100 yards away with his patrol rifle.
More than half of all self-defense (law enforcement included) shootings happen within 11 feet, but all training is in context. If you have an angle on an ISIS shooter who’s 50 yards away with a safe backstop, can you quickly and confidently get lead into him? Don’t be so sure.
John Farnam recently told of an incident at a big department where several officers armed with their M4s confronted a suspect at distances from 10-30 meters. The incident ended without shots being fired.
The next week, their instructor had them report to the range, re-create the situation and positioning with paper targets, and had the officers engage the paper with their red-dot equipped rifles.
NONE of the officers were able to deliver the required shots, even after several attempts…with a rifle…with optics, from braced positions, on paper, at close range. None. They assumed they could make the shot without any legitimate reason to have the confidence they did…don’t make the same mistake. Their department will never make that mistake again.
How is this even possible? I’m not sure in this case, but in many departments, officers have “patrol rifles” that stay safely in their patrol cars and they qualify & practice with “range rifles.” This creates the opportunity for officers to qualify with a range rifle that’s sighted in and have a patrol rifle in their car that is not sighted in. Know your guns. On most of my rifles, I have masking tape on the side that says how they’re sighted in, the weight of bullet I used to sight it in, where it’s zeroed, and the offset at 100 yards for sub-sonic vs. full power, if appropriate.
If you’re law enforcement and you’re in Wal-Mart or Home Depot and an ISIS sympathizer starts shooting on the other side of the store, are you better fighting the bad guy you can see with the pistol you’ve got with you or running to your car, getting your carbine, re-entering the building, re-finding the bad guy, and engaging him after he’s had time to shoot more people? It depends…and it’s a question that only you can answer.
What other lessons did Michael mention? Here’s a few…
1. Use cover and use cover properly. Don’t crowd cover and realize that all cover has a clock attached to it. Cover only works if it’s between you and your attacker. If your attacker gets an angle on you and has an open shooting lane right to you, your cover doesn’t help anymore.
2. Move and shoot. Know how quickly you can shoot and move. Know which angles of movement make you an easier target and which angles make you a harder target.
3. Hip/pelvis shots aren’t the answer we used to think that they were. In the Turkish airport attack, an officer shot a terrorist, knocked him to the ground, and the terrorist hit the button on a bomb. It could have just as easily been a trigger on a gun.
4. There’s no point in buying a gun, getting a permit, getting a training, and keeping your gun locked in a safe every day.
5. Only 30-40% of concealed carry permit holders actually carry on a regular basis.
All of these lessons come down to comfort at arms. The more time you deliberately and safely manipulate firearms, the safer and more comfortable you’ll be with them. The safer and more comfortable you are with them, the more likely you’ll be to carry. And the more you are able to practice perfect form, the better you’ll perform in a life or death situation.
For most people, practice is a stumbling block. It costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time to do a lot of practice at a range with live ammo.
Fortunately, live fire practice at a range is not the most effective way to practice…in fact, too much live fire practice can severely hurt your ability to continually improve as a shooter.
>THIS< gets around the problems of traditional live fire training, and will help you develop the skills you need to survive lethal force encounters cheaper, faster, and easier than you thought possible. Click >HERE< to learn more now.