Tactics involves the study of conflicts and outcomes.  From these outcomes new doctrines arise in the effort to avoid the original outcome.  While we may never be faced with ten thousand sword-bearing warriors charging up a narrow valley at us, the doctrine of controlling pinch points remains valid.

Here a case brought to us from

Last Sunday (April 24 2016) in Pennsylvania, 46 year old Mark Storms shot and killed a 27 year old man over a dispute about a seat. Earlier this week, Storms was charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Summary from the above link:
Witnesses remember Braxton arriving at church irritated and cursing at an usher in the back of the church, court documents show. Church staff members tried to quiet Braxton, but he refused before heading to a pew that was reserved for two other church members, according to prosecutors.

A church member sitting behind Braxton tapped him on the shoulder to let him know the seats were reserved. Another couple put down two Bibles to save their spots before walking away. Braxton retorted the tap and starting yelling “Don’t f—— touch me!” an affidavit reads.

An assistant pastor and ushers came over to try and calm Braxton, but he continued to yell, records show.

In interviews with police, witnesses watched Storms walk over to Braxton, show him a badge and motion to a handgun under his shirt. The badge, police said, was for his concealed carry permit. Braxton exchanged words with Storms before punching him in the jaw. Storms then pulled out his gun and fired two shots, according to witnesses.
One person said Braxton lunged at Storms before the shooting. Another recalled hearing Braxton ask Storms “What are you going to do, shoot me?” before punching him, court documents show.
Storms, in an interview with police, said he opened fire on Braxton because he felt his “person was in great danger” and that he was worried other people in the church, including the elderly and children, were going to be hurt. Storms told police he showed off the concealed carry badge with hopes of defusing the situation.  He said, according to court documents, he had done that in the past and that man “walked away.

Let me add a little background before I jump into it.  It’s legal in Pennsylvania to carry a firearm in a church with a CCW license.  A concealed carry badge is not part of the law or a requirement.   Mark Storms does not have a law enforcement connection, such as deputy, game warden or dog catcher.  Nor does he have any official capacity with the church.

First…I don’t even write radio commercials for lawyers….  I am a student of the gun and teach CCW as well as firearms self-defense.

I associate civilians carrying and flashing badges, shields and buzzers with child molesters.  So do many police.  So it’s stupid to have one.  Period.  I don’t even like the SASS stars cowboy shooters like to wear….

Having a CCW license doesn’t give you police-like responsibilities or authority.  When Storms approached, flashed his badge and brandished his weapon he escalated what was at the time a minor conflict.  This conflict could have been handled much better if anyone had pulled out their cell phone and called the trained professionals, the police.

While Braxton threw the first punch, it hardly fits the parameter of deadly force.  Braxton’s punching Storms was a direct result of the escalation caused by Storms.  The fight seems to have stopped and Storms still had the option to back away.  Instead, he produced the weapon he had previously brandished and shot Braxton.

Part of Storms justification was that he was “worried other people in the church, including the elderly and children, were going to be hurt.”  The article does not mention Braxton having any other weapon other than his body.  Additional follow up indicated that he was unarmed.  One should never confuse unarmed with not dangerous.  I assume other adult men were present and so it doesn’t seem likely that Braxton could have hurt anyone before being restrained or at that point engaged by Storms.  Storms’ story sounds like bullshit to me.

He later confided to the police that he had done this before and had gotten away with it.  This paints Storms as a bully and a wanna-be police officer, interested in the power, but not the responsibility.  Neither of which will engender him to the police.  Nor should it to the civilian (AKA jury pool) population.

This is another story of having only one tool to solve problems.  Not having verbal skills, Storms attempted to bully Braton with a phony badge and concealed weapon.  Not having a less lethal option (OC spray, open/closed hand skills), Storms fell back on the only skill he had, trigger pulls.

Voluntary manslaughter sounds fair….Storms is the perfect poster child for stupid.


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