From Ferguson Missouri to a Little Range in Arizona

The Blog-o-sphere is alive with comments and self–proclaimed experts on the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. 

Google search comes up with 170 million hits.  Some of my favorite bloggers have waded in on the subject and generated huge responses.  I’m not going to be so controversial.  I don’t know what happened or how to educate the public, or what the civic community should do, but I will say I find it interesting that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson always seem to be where the television lights are.

From a tactical perspective one of the best comments came from Tom Gace, that unarmed is not the same as harmless.

To be clear most of this discussion applies to the armed civilian, the CCWer and not LEO.  And we are clearly talking about non-projectile weapons, like knives, fists and feet or library books, but not guns.

The expression 'unarmed' is often used by people not familiar with disparity of force.  Many people insist an assailant is armed only when they have a firearm or a knife at spitting distances.  It’s especially misunderstood in terms of the Tueller Drill.  Thanks to Tom, I found the original article Dennis Tueller wrote detailing his findings.

Dennis Tueller documented that a person can run 21 feet faster than most LEOs can draw and fire a center of mass shot.  He never talks about the type of weapon.  The reality is the assailant’s weapon is disparity of force and only the assailant can decide he has a weapon.  But if he assaults you, you should accept his demonstrated belief that he has the superior weapon even if you can't see it!

But you get to apply tactics to diminish the disparity of force any time!  You can use tactics so the response to the Tueller drill never has to happen.

The Tueller drill suggests a de-escalation tool, namely getting something between you and the potential assailant.  That object can be increased distance.  (Remember under CCW we have no obligation to close on a potential danger.)  It can be an object like a lamppost, car, a bicycle; anything that prevents inhibits the attacker.  I’d like to prevent, but I’ll take inhibit.  The more time I have to respond, the more time I have to run my OODA loop, to refine my actions and control my escalation.  All of which may prevent a lethal encounter.

Being chased about your car by a man with a knife while you call the police may seem silly, perhaps cowardly, but:
            A: Your assailant may decide this is a bad choice and leave;
    B: You can still escalate to lethal force if needed;
            C: Juries like knowing you tried to de-escalate;
            D: Nothing good ever comes out of the barrel of a gun.

Read more at:

Speaking of nothing good…

What kind of fool lets a 9-year-old child shoot a full-auto Uzi?  I don’t carry if the parents signed 100 waivers.  Charles Vacca is dead.  Somewhere there is a hole in a family and community that can never be filled.

As an instructor you’re supposed to use your knowledge to override the ignorance of your student.  You need to keep them and yourself safe.  I don’t care what the parents thought was cute, or what the range owner told you, you’re there and you’re responsible. 

Would you let a 9-year-old run a table saw?  Drive a Camaro Z28?  I hope not. 

I would have let the child shoot a .22LR pistol or rifle off a sand bag one round at a time.  Maybe I’d let them pull the trigger while I held the full-auto gun.  Maybe I’d talk to the owner about getting full auto air soft for children. Maybe I simply tell her parents nicely to get stuffed, that she needs another year or two of growth.  But I can tell you one thing, she would not be shooting full auto under my supervision.

I’m not going to tell you the shooting community gets a black eye from this.  That’s too trivial.  One man is dead.  Did he have a family, children, wife, all of whom depended on him?  A 9-year-old will grow up knowing she accidentally killed a person.  Her parents must accept some responsibility for this as well.  The range owner will probably lose his business and knows he’s to blame for allowing this activity atrocity.

I’ll going to stop typing now.  I’m speechless.