Let me set my coffee down and we’ll get started. For the record, I am drinking ‘Fuck Hipster’ blend today. Good roast but more importantly to me, I get to say ‘Fuck Hipster’ all day. Not the typical dark blend I’ve come to enjoy in BRC but dark enough in spirit to allow me to say ‘FU…’. I see you get the drift. I’m going to talk a bit about training. Basic to scenario based firearms training. Why is it so important, and what should you be looking at if you are one of us who speak “gun” fluently.
New Hampshire recently passed a law that enables its citizens to carry concealed without a permit. Kansas and Wyoming passed the same law over a year ago, and several states are following suit. I have little doubt that we’ll soon see a bill come up in the US House speaking to a National Right to Carry. As an unconditional 2A supporter, I am excited to see it coming and hope that it makes it through the Senate with little or no changes. We are seeing other states eliminating ‘Gun Free Zones’ assumedly because they recognize the asinine theory behind them. I couldn’t be happier in watching the signs disappear. With change, come risks and additional responsibilities for us responsible firearm owners. Both risk and responsibility can and will be mitigated through initial training for those who need it and continued…or sustainment training for those of us who count on a gun to be an extension of our body’s.
I have been a Concealed Carry Instructor for about 7 years. Prior to, I taught military firearms courses [from basic handling to advanced shooting techniques]. I also did my time in the trenches as a POST Certified Instructor for many Midwest Law Enforcement Academies. Although the two could not be more different; domestic law enforcement and military have their similarities. We spend weeks learning your weapon, becoming proficient and learning that what we do revolves around whichever weapon system is our primary. While defending freedom; not being proficient can mean you or your team mates being killed or seriously injured. If we were not proficient in Law Enforcement, we could end up being responsible for innocent people dead or we could face serious repercussions should we be negligent in our actions. Weeks are spent over a law enforcement officers career are spent training to recognize the difference between a shoot or don’t shoot situation. We qualified at least twice a year and often are required to spend time at the range sustaining or honing our already established skills. Police Officers are taught to deescalate situations before our pistols come out of the holsters. There are countless hours spent reevaluating shoot and no shoot scenarios for Officers to learn from their own or others mistakes. I would like to start by expressing my staunch support for After Action Reviews and their importance between any “professional shooters” career.
An Officer involved shooting in the US is without doubt a life changing situation. It is not uncommon to see those who have been involved in a shooting become targets of politically motivated prosecutors; during the last Administration an overzealous and totally politically driven Justice Department. We have not yet spoken about a media that has no issue ruining a person’s life to make their own political point, stand the fuck by…we will. All we must do is remember the case of Darren Wilson, a Ferguson MO police officer who was involved in a line of duty shooting.
Guns and Politics
On August 9, 2014, Officer Darren Wilson was on patrol in his jurisdiction, Ferguson Missouri, a suburb north of St. Louis Missouri. Unbeknownst to officer Wilson a robbery had just been committed by an 18-year-old black male name Michael Brown. As reports of the strong-arm robbery were being dispatched, officer Wilson came across two black males walking in the middle-of-the-road. They matched the description of the strong-arm robbery suspects and officer Wilson approached to investigate. Per witness statements, as officer Wilson attempted to exit his patrol vehicle he was attacked by Michael Brown who pushed him back in his vehicle and struck him several times. The same reports state that officer Wilson and Mr. Brown began to struggle for officer Wilson’s handgun. Two shots rang out and Mr. Brown backed away from the vehicle. Officer Wilson exiting the vehicle and ordering Mr. Brown to stop was forced to defend himself and fire again at Mr. Brown as he was charging him. This shot fatally wounded Mr. Brown.
And here, the story gets interesting. The media wasted no time demonizing officer Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department for excessive force and ultimately “killing an innocent, black teenager”. The Obama administration and Atty. Gen. Eric Holder were quick to jump on this bandwagon that ultimately resulted in coast to coast demonstrations, protests and a continued distain for law enforcement officers. Missouri’s governor, a former prosecutor was quick to proclaim that officer Wilson be investigated and convicted as soon as possible. The media ran with the story that Mr. Brown had put his hands up and was shouting don’t shoot. This report had been made by an accomplice of Mr. Brown’s and was soon refuted by numerous witnesses. The case was used by the media and progressives to attempt to make the connection that police officers were racist and were killing young black Americans without cause. Riots erupted in cities across America, athletes and elected officials were going into their venues with their hands raised shouting the mantra “Hand’s up. Don’t shoot.” This was one of many incidents that led to the creation of the Black Live’s Matter Movement; a domestic terror group whose primary objective is NOT to gain awareness, but to sway public opinion and strike fear in law abiding citizens for a political, and ideological purpose. (The actual definition of terrorism)
Certainly, I’m not going to attempt to relitigate the entire Black Lives Matter movement. Nor am I going to attempt to justify or defend law enforcement actions. I’m simply making this point, one decision made in a moment of terror and struggle will have lifelong consequences. To be clear, Missouri’s governor later retracted his statement (In an email Press Release during a Friday news dump). The Department of Justice and a task force of FBI agents cleared officer Wilson of any wrongdoing. If anything, officer Wilson was proven to be a stellar patrolman who was actively involved in his community and had worked hard to implement community policing in the minority community. But the fact remains; such pieces of information does not get released in the media, because it does not fit the narrative media wants to portray, they certainly didn’t spend days reporting it. Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old police officer who was doing his best to keep this community safe is now and forever will be in the eyes of an unknowing public a racist, murdering police officer. Sadly, I can cite example after example of this attitude by the media and politicians who would rather advance an agenda that have the truth be known, should you choose to follow my articles, we will be giving you a snapshot into these examples as time progresses.
Aren’t you glad you started out with a cup of coffee before we embarked on our journey down this rabbit hole? If you’re going to put yourself in a position to defend your family, your property or innocents around you, you have the clear duty and obligation to train yourself, or at a minimum, knock the rust off from past training.
More To It Than IWB, OWB, AIWB or OBC
If you’re going to carry a firearm, do yourself and those around you a favor and get to the range…with an objective, and get something out of it! Static shooting drills work to build fundamentals, the base in which all other skills are built from. As shooters, we should also be training dynamic movement and manipulation. Solo range time is crucial in the development of a shooter; however, we would be fooling ourselves if we didn’t occasionally seek competent instruction. Some of our own have attended and completed Graham Tradecrafts programs that has proven to be efficient and effective means to more fluently speaking gun! Often, we as “gun people” ego gets in the way of progressing to the next level of shooting competency. Our training should consist not only of shooting skills and defensive tactics but also, mindset and what to do after an event.
Warfighters possess the uncanny ability to put boot to ass in environments where active combat operations are taking place. Some would argue that the streets of the US are not too different than the streets of Kabul, the difference…Main street USA is not considered an active warzone and Rule of Law is the frame work in which keeps our country free from overt terrorist operations, so we cannot treat our beloved country as such. At the end of the day, should we have to use our firearms to keep ourselves, family or other innocents safe, we need to soak up as much training as we can that definitively outlines what constitutes self-defense and the defense of others, If we operate on the same premise we did in Baghdad Iraq, or J-Bad, Afghanistan; we are asking to be prosecuted. Lt. Col Grossman’s books “On Combat” and “On Killing” are excellent tools to prepare yourself mentally for what may happen both before and after shooting incidents. We have attended the seminar “A bulletproof mind” which proved to be a great tool to deal with not only traumatic incidents but also simple life problems. Throughout our travels, we have taken the initiative to research and learn what gun laws are applicable varying from city to city and state to state. Whether you carry in public or simply have a home defense weapon, take the appropriate steps to learn and recite doctrines pertaining to the use of force, doing so have exponentially helped us defend our justification in using deadly force. Learning and familiarizing yourself after the fact is too late.
We carry insurance policies for all our assets. All the training, experience will be exploited in court (both criminally and civilly) after a shooting incident. The “other” side of a prosecution or plaintiff will try to paint the picture of a highly trained “hitman” should you use deadly force (regardless of facts and circumstance). As an avid unconditional 2A supporter, we carry and stand ready to defend ourselves and others that can’t defend themselves. The piece of mind to have a use of force policy in effect cannot be measured by a dollar amount. We protect our assets in every facet of our lives, why should this be any different? Do your homework and find a policy that is endorsed by a pro-Second Amendment group, a concealed carry or training organization. For example the National Rifle Association has policies it recommends. There are also groups such as the United States Concealed Carry Association that provide both civil and criminal protections and sustainment training. We carry policies that provide an umbrella against civil and criminal judgments as well as legal fees and mental health care. Some say that policies like this are too expensive, our opinion is this; policies are only too expensive when you need but don’t have them.
There are plenty of sidebar conversations that can (and hopefully will) be had on many different levels from the contents of our outlook on training and the responsibility of carrying firearms for defense. What kinds of firearms, types of holstering/retention systems, caliber of rounds, best types of shooting drills (static and dynamic), what companies offer the best policies. All viable conversations to be had and we encourage as many comments as you feel necessary to post good, bad and indifferent! The more we are under the mentality of “that’s the way we have always done it” the more us “gun people” will be demonized just as Officer Wilson was immediately following the incident in Missouri. The more insight we all bring to the table, the more our culture will flourish.