Sunday, January 18, 2015

CCW VS. Terrorism

The brutal terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo is, for the time being, creating serious discussion of the role of the armed citizen.  What is the role of the armed citizen faced not with being a target of an armed terrorist attack but as an on-site witness?

One of my favorite bloggers suggests the CCW response to a terrorist attack is likely to be ineffectual.

Unless the Jihadi’s are assaulting your home or are on your street, or you happen to be able to take your AR and plate carrier to work with you, the odds of being there with the right tools are really not that good.

Most armed citizens are going to be walking the streets with handguns. The odds of stopping two guys with AK’s with a handgun are NOT going to be good.”

I see Tom’s point of view.  The vast majority of CCW holders have little or no actual firearms training.  Many states require only classroom work and no actual range time.  My home state of Ohio requires 2 hours of range time, but does not specify any specific course of instruction.  Even as I type this Ohio is moving to reduce the required training from 12 to 8 hours.

From the media perspective, there is some discussion that they should be allowed to carry guns but not necessarily you.

“Investigative reporter Emily Miller applied for a concealed carry firearm permit in the District of Columbia weeks before 12 people died in a bloody attack Wednesday on a satirical magazine in Paris.
The attack was carried out by three terrorists at least one of which was heard shouting "Alahu Akbar" as they murdered editors, cartoonists and policemen.

The article doesn’t discuss whether ordinary citizens should to be armed.  That’s not too surprising.  Every organized professional group, no matter if they are chemists or reporters, feels that they are special and therefore fractionally immune to the rules that apply to the unwashed masses.

My favorite firearms instructor, Massad Ayoob, has long time supported the armed citizen.

“Could it have helped if someone in the Charlie Hedbo offices had been able to shoot back? No guarantees, but it damn sure wouldn’t have hurt! 

The authorities expect more such attacks throughout the free world and, yes, here.  My advice is load, holster, and be ready.”

I will concede Mas is huge proponent of training and the un-trained armed citizen may be ineffectual and a hazard.

Clearly if you don’t have the tools available to you will not be able to respond to a terrorist attack.  Just forget the Bond “Skyfall” fantasies.  You’re not going to make anti-personal mines out of 12 gauge shotgun shells and light bulbs.  And if you can’t load your gun under stress, or forget where the safety is, and don’t know how to shoot, you will also be ineffectual.

Try to view the uncensored or the clipped video.  It's sad to say, it's no more brutal than what we watch for Entertainment. 

I can’t address this issue without some nod to the legal aspect.  Clearly, shooting the wrong person will land you in jail.  One might ask, if after seeing the shooting of the wounded and downed French police officer, would it be legal to shoot the two terrorist.  It is my opinion that these two men, by the simple act of executing the injured officer, are a continued menace and an ongoing threat to society with no apparent capture at hand.  I suspect that witnessing any such atrocity justifies the immediate use of deadly force. Shoot them in the back  Please note, that’s my opinion and I could end up in jail with it.

So where are we?
It was long established in literature and in fact, that any ship captain wishing to join a distant battle is incapable of arriving in time to participate.  I believe the same applies to this discussion.  By the time you retreat to your car or other off-site location to retrieve you weapon, it will be too late.

Any thought that you will suddenly channel Jim Cirillo should be ignored.  If you haven’t put the hours in on the range, your actions may be less than effective.

What’s left?

It seems the worse that your armed intervention might do is disrupt their plans.  Your price for this might be high, very high.  The best would be to capture them and their intelligence.  The first is a practical goal.  The second may be a cloud cookoo land daydream.

This is one of the few time that the worse could be a pretty good outcome.

I have always advocated training.  Spend a weekend with a trainer, someone with the qualifications to push you to a higher level.  A popular fictional character sends his investigators out on assignment with “Go learn things.”

You too!

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