Author Archive: tacticalprofessor

NRA Annual Meeting 2023 – Day 1

The NRA Annual Meeting was held this year on April 14-16, 2023 In Indianapolis. There is no cost to attend for NRA members. Approximately 70,000 NRA members were expected to attend. The venue was the Indiana Convention Center, a large and well-appointed facility. Midway USA was the official sponsor of the Annual Meeting. There was a wide variety of educational opportunities in addition to the “14 acres of Guns and Gear” on display. Despite being attended by many thousands of people carrying firearms both concealed and openly, there were no mass shootings at the event.

Before even entering the venue, a truck was observed with large LED signs on its sides was seen circling the building. The signs were various anti-NRA disinformation slogans targeted at both the general public and NRA members. This truck circled the Convention Center continuously all three days of the Meeting.

Day 1

Interesting items observed on Friday were:

  • AimCam, a new integrated camera and shooting glasses system that allows video of what the shooter sees through the master eye vis-à-vis images captured from slightly off-center.
  • The Savage Arms Stance, a microcompact 9mm pistol for concealed carry.
  • A Kel-tec slimline 9mm pistol.
  • Wilderness Tactical renovation of the Renegade ankle holster. WT also had an in the pocket double pouch, which could be used for two spare magazines or a magazine and small flashlight.
  • A wide variety of offerings by Taurus USA. Caleb Giddings, the Taurus Marketing Manager and “degenerate revolver enthusiast,” stated that he has fired over 1,000 rounds through several Taurus Model 82s in practice and competition without failures. One of the improvements Taurus has made to the 82 is to capture the trigger return spring and eliminate the rebound slide. This removes one frictional component of the trigger action and improves the feel and weight of the trigger press. Taurus also had compact and full size versions of the TX22, new .22 Long Rifle pistol that Taurus states can be dry fired without damage.

In addition to the displays of guns and gear, there were continuous educational offerings on all three days of the meeting. The topics ranged from generally gun related topics, Dr. John R. Lott’s Gun Control Myths as an example, to theme focused classes such as Lessons Learned From Analyzing 40,000+ Real Gunfights by John Correia of Active Self Protection.

Lessons Learned from Analyzing 40,000+ Real Gunfights [delved] into the top lessons gleaned from analyzing tens of thousands of actual defensive incidents caught on surveillance video by the national SME in that arena. Real-life incidents will be viewed and analyzed in class to highlight these lessons learned.” was the program description.

An overview of Lessons Learned from Analyzing 40,000+ Real Gunfights will be my next post.

A Rifleman Went to War

by Herbert W. McBride

“From these men I learned many things, the most important of which was the point which they all insisted was absolutely vital: the ability to control one’s own nerves and passions—in other words, never to get excited.”

H.W. McBride

H.W. McBride was an American who joined the Canadian Army in 1914 because he “wanted to find out what a ‘regular war’ was like.” He wrote two books about his experiences, The Emma Gees and A Rifleman Went to War. Both books are available on Amazon and other internet sites.

The above quote comes from Chapter 1 – How Come? [He volunteered for The Great War] of A Rifleman Went to War.

This is the section of that chapter elaborating about the quote.

“At the age of fifteen I enlisted in and for several years remained a member of the Third Regiment. During that time, my father rose to the rank of Colonel commanding, and I became a sergeant. Then I went to work in Chicago and immediately affiliated with the First Illinois Infantry—Company I—Captain Chenoweth commanding. During the summer of 1893, having been informed by a wise medico that I had T. B. [tuberculosis], I put in my time ranging around in Colorado and New Mexico, part of the time as a cowpuncher and the rest working for a coal-mining company. (That is, I was supposed to be working for them, but, as a matter of fact, I was using them simply as a meal ticket, as I spent every minute of my idle time in scouting around looking for something to shoot at.) I met and got acquainted with a lot of the real old timers: men famous during the hectic days of Abilene, Dodge and Hays City and, of course, those who had been mixed up in the various ructions incident to the clearing up of the famous Maxwell Land Grant, upon part of which this mine was located.

Trinidad, near the mine (Sopris), was one of the hot spots in the old days and many a bad man had met his ‘come-uppance’ there and along the Picketwire or, as the original Spanish name has it, the Purgutoire River. From these men and from my practical shooting with them in various matches, I learned just about how good they and their erstwhile friends—and enemies—could really shoot, both with the pistol and the rifle. Bat Masterson, Jim Lee, Schwin Box and Nat Chapin, just to name the best of them, were all good shots, but the best of them never could hold a candle to the amazing performances of a lot of hitherto unknown ‘experts’ who are continually bobbing up in the moving pictures and the sensational stories published in supposedly reputable magazines in the year of grace, 1930.

I should have included Brown—Three-finger Brown—in the above list. He was as good as the best of them although he had to do all his shooting left-handed: due to the fact that he had allowed his curiosity to over-ride his good sense in the matter of investigating the doings of a band of ‘Penitentes’ one might and, as a result, lost the thumb and first finger of his right hand.

All these men had grown up in the West and had lived through the various ‘wars’ and ructions which flared up every now and then, all the way from Texas to the Black Hills. They all bore the scars of combat but the very fact that they had survived was, to my notion, the best evidence that they were good. Those were the days of the survival of the fittest, especially in the case of men who, like all those mentioned, had occupied positions as legal guardians of the peace, all along the border.

From these men I learned many things, the most important of which was the point which they all insisted was absolutely vital: the ability to control one’s own nerves and passions—in other words, never to get excited.

I had the opportunity to see a couple of them in action during some disturbances which came up during the Fourth of July celebration and never will forget that, while armed, they never even made a motion toward a gun: they simply walked up to the belligerent and half drunken ‘bad men’ and disarmed them and then walked them off to the calabozo to cool off. Yes, I learned a lot from those men. That they could shoot, both quickly and accurately, is unquestioned, but the thing that had enabled them to live to a ripe middle age was not so much due to that accomplishment as to the fact that they were abundantly supplied with that commodity commonly called ‘guts.’ That was the point, above all others, that impressed me and remained with me after I had returned to the East; and, ever since, I have tried to live up to the standard of those pioneers of the shooting game.”

Words well worth considering in a time when “I was in fear for my life” has become a mantra.

LAPD Shooting Re-enactment

An LAPD officer, using a Red Dot Sighted pistol, was forced to shoot a hostage taker at a range of five feet in July of 2021. The Board of Police Commissioners number for the incident is Categorical Use Of Force number 041-21. Tactics, Drawing and Exhibiting, and Use of Deadly Force by Officer A in the incident were all adjudicated as In Policy by the BOPC.

This video re-creates the marksmanship problem faced by the officer. The target was moving for the officer, which this video does not re-create. The pistol used in the video is a Glock 42 supplied by Glock for my Subcompact Pistol Training Tier on Patreon.

In keeping with the LAPD theme of the video, the second part of the video contains a demonstration of a permissible variation of the LAPD Retired Officer Qualification Course, also shot with the Glock 42. This Course has value to the Armed Private Citizen as a self-evaluation of some good to have marksmanship skills for concealed carry.

The Covert Draw

Someone in my Patreon Subcompact Autoloader Tier asked the question,

“Could you offer some insight and technique to the surreptitious, covert, or stealth draw?”

That’s a question worth exploring because of the tradeoffs involved. As Thomas Sowell has said, everything involves comparisons and costs.

There are two aspects to the drawstroke; 1) Access and Grip and 2) Present to target. Access and Grip is the most time consuming part of the drawstroke but not the most difficult. Getting the gun well indexed on the target is the hardest part. Missing the first shot is far more common than not being able to get the gun out.

A covert draw facilitates Access and Grip but complicates Present. Once the draw is complete, the gun is positioned out of the path of your normal drawstroke. If shooting is required, the first shot might actually be slower if we Comstock a bad hit.

The gun is also probably pointing at your own body in the process. While holding it at a concealed Ready, you may have to engage in dialogue or movement and remember to not shoot yourself at the same time. Given the light triggers that many people favor, that’s an unpleasant prospect.

Even if the gun isn’t visible to a potential attacker, it may be noticeable to someone at a different angle. That person may not be a hostile. A covert draw could end up as an Aggravated Assault on an uninvolved party.

And if no shooting is required, a covert re-holstering will be necessary. Some deep concealment holsters can be difficult to re‑holster without making a big production out of it.

Being able to Access and Grip in a low profile way might be a more useful way of addressing the problem. With Access and Grip accomplished, if we get the ‘Go Signal,’ we have the most time consuming part of the drawstroke out of the way. We can then use our normal Presentation, at which we hopefully have many repetitions and can execute well.

Although the Covert Draw concept sounds appealing, the tradeoffs need to be considered. The costs may be found to outweigh any potential benefit.

Can-May-Must-Should in One Incident

In a road rage incident on Sunday February 26, 2023, a gunowner who was driving erratically and then threatened another driver was subsequently shot and killed by yet a third party who intervened on behalf of the driver who threatened.

All of the elements of Can-May-Must-Should are readily apparent in this one interesting incident. It also involves Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make. I may have to add a chapter about Bluffing with Guns or “Don’t write checks with your mouth that your ass can’t cash.”

I’ll be writing more about this in my Patreon Personal Defense Incidents and Analysis Tier but the essential elements are as follows.

  • A 71 year old man, Alden Jones, was driving erratically and cutting off other cars.
  • At a stop light, he got out of his car with a pistol, went back to the car stopped behind him, and banged on the window with his pistol.
  • The driver of the third car in the incident, who was stopped behind the second car, got out of his car and attempted to verbally intervene on behalf of the second car’s driver.
  • The initial aggressor, Jones, then turned his attention to the third driver and began to walk toward him, pistol in hand.
  • The third driver warned Jones that he was also armed.
  • Jones continued to approach the third driver.
  • At “a very close distance,” the third driver opened fire, killing Jones on the spot.
  • The third driver remained on scene and waited for the authorities.
  • Upon the arrival of the POlice, the third driver stated he had shot in defense of himself and his wife, who was also in the car.
  • Witnessed corroborated the third driver’s account of the incident.
  • He was not charged by the POlice with any wrongdoing. The District Attorney’s Office will make the final decision.

The incident plays out almost in complete reverse of the paradigm’s order. Decisions always precede the technical aspects of shooting.

Should he have intervened? That’s a Moral choice; some people may have chosen to, others may not have. Must he have shot? When an angry person, whom you have witnessed threaten a third party, approaches you with a pistol in hand, your options are limited. As M5 said in Star Trek: The Original Series, “Consideration of all programming is that we must survive.” May he have shot? The POlice seem to think so. “The investigation thus far is indicative of self-defense.” Could {Can) he shoot adequately to solve the problem? Jones is dead and the third man and his wife are unharmed. The Can aspect was satisfied.

The proxemics aspects of the situation are also interesting. Since the cars were stopped in line at a traffic signal, the verbal warning was most likely door to door distance, making it less than 21 feet. A Toyota Camry is 16 feet long as a distance reference. The POlice media release indicates that the shots were fired at “a very close distance.” The distance from the driver door frame of a Camry to the front bumper is 7 feet. So the shooting most likely took place around the boundary between the Near and Far Phases of Social Space in proxemics.

The report doesn’t indicate that the shooter had his gun drawn prior to the actual shooting. If this is true, then this incident demonstrates that you Can, in fact, draw against an already drawn gun. So much for the popular belief that it isn’t possible. That belief is usually based on scenarios where the person with the drawn gun knows you’re armed and are going to draw, is just waiting for your move, and has pre‑determined to counter your draw. The “real world” is often much different.

The incident also contradicts the popular slogan “Don’t talk to the POlice.” Better advice might be “Don’t get arrested,” coupled with “Don’t talk your way into Jail.”

Guns stolen from cars

In other relevant gunowner news, 217 guns have been stolen from cars in Nashville so far this year. That is 76% of the guns stolen in Davidson County, the county Nashville is located in.

If this rate continues, more than 1,000 guns will be stolen from cars in Nashville alone in 2023. Some of them will end up involved in criminals activities. This one is a no-brainer; don’t leave unsecured guns in your car. If you have to leave a gun in your car when you go to work or other prohibited places, get a car safe and use it. And certainly, don’t leave your gun in your car outside your home at night.

Mindset Beyond Platitudes

My friend and colleague Shelley Hill wrote two articles about mindset that are well worth reading.

“We hear that term quite often in the self defense world, but what does it really mean?”

Here are  few other short explanations about mindset.

From Chapter III of the classic 1942 text Shooting to Live by Fairbairn and Sykes:

“The instructor will be well advised to give his pupils short ‘rest’ periods at fairly frequent intervals and to utilise such intervals to impress upon them the conditions under which they may be called upon to use their pistols eventually. … [W]hen obliged to shoot, they will have to do so with all the aggressiveness of which they are capable.”

From a presentation to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) about Violent Encounters – A  Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers (An FBI publication):


“Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had ‘experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority’ to use deadly force ‘but chose not to shoot.’ They averaged 4 such prior incidents before the encounters that the researchers investigated. ‘It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available,’ the researchers concluded.

The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, [one of the researchers] said the study team ‘did not realize how cold blooded the younger generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don’t hesitate to shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the next instant.’

‘Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms,’ the report states. ‘In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality.’

‘Officers never can assume that a criminal is unarmed until they have thoroughly searched the person and the surroundings themselves.’ Nor, in the interest of personal safety, can officers ‘let their guards down in any type of law enforcement situation.’”

From the late William T. Aprill:

“They are not like you.”

Don’t Play with Guns in Vehicles

“A student is dead after a firearm was accidentally discharged in a vehicle in the parking lot of Dalhart High School.

According to [Superintendent] Byrd, a student not enrolled in the district went to the high school at lunch and picked up three students when the firearm went off in the parking lot.”

Just don’t do it. Fooling around with guns in cars is a Serious Mistake that can easily lead to a tragedy.

If you have to put it in a lockbox, have a lockbox that’s big enough for the holstered gun and put the gun in the box without removing it from the holster.

Duel at the Dumbster (Part VII)

“Hey Claude what are your thoughts on the dad getting convicted and the son getting acquitted in the ‘Duel at the Dumpster’ Trial?”

The “Duel at the Dumbster” saga has finally concluded after almost five years. For those unfamiliar with the incident, it started as the 2018 killing of a man in an Abilene, Texas alley over the disposal of a mattress. The elder shooter will now spend the rest of his life in prison but his son will go free, except for the debts he owes to his lawyers.

As a friend of mine commented:

“We aren’t supposed to kill each other over who is king of the landfill until *after* society collapses.”

My thoughts about it are remembrances of what other knowledgeable people have said about personal protection in general. This incident shows the wisdom of their words.

“Any time you go into court, there is a greater than zero chance you will be convicted.”

–Andrew Branca Law of Self Defense

“Stupid people, stupid places, doing stupid things. Avoid them and you’ll probably be alright.” and “The best way to win a gunfight is to not be there.”

–John Farnam

“Forget Stand Your Ground.” and “Don’t Go Outside.”

–Steve Harris

“The process is the punishment.”

–John Murphy

Note that their combined bond was $500,000, which means they had to give a bondsman at least $50,000 to get out of jail. They don’t get that back, it’s the bondsman’s fee for posting their bail.

Also, assume that in any confrontation you will be on video, most likely from the perspective least favorable to you. The framing of the story in the media will also be as unfavorable to you as can possibly be made. The picture of the participants in the Buzzfeed story is a good example. Both the shooters are portrayed as shirtless toothless gun-armed rednecks. The shootee is portrayed as a happy smiling person, not the hulking angry foul-mouthed behemoth with “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” holding a baseball bat that the video shows.

There are so many lessons to be drawn from the incident that I wrote a series of articles about it.

The year after the Duel, I made a visit to the site as part of my trip to the SHOT Show.

Visit to the Site of the Duel (Part IV of the series)

Visit (continued) to the Site of the Duel (Part V of the series)

This is a quote from The Godfather that is worth repeating.

“There are men in this world,” [Don Corleone] said, “who go about demanding to be killed. You must have noticed them. They quarrel in gambling games, they jump out of their automobiles in a rage if someone so much as scratches their fender, they humiliate and bully people whose capabilities they do not know. I have seen a man, a fool, deliberately infuriate a group of dangerous men, and he himself without any resources. These are people who wander through the world shouting, ‘Kill me. Kill me.’ And there is always somebody ready to oblige them.”

That doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for such a killing, as the Duel at the Dumbster demonstrates. In The Godfather Sollozzo noted:

“Blood is a big expense.”

How to Make a Bad Decision

A woman in Chattanooga detected a bum aka ‘homeless person’ in her backyard Monday morning (2/6/23). After verbally warning him to leave, she decided to fire a ‘warning shot’ at him. However, the shot hit the man in the ankle. When the POlice arrived, the man was taken to hospital in an ambulance, the woman made a statement to the POlice about the incident, and she was arrested for Aggravated Assault. As in every other State, Aggravated Assault is a felony in the State of Tennessee.

All three of the inputs to Bad Decision-Making were part of this incident.

She didn’t Know the Rules – In most places, you can’t shoot at people who are trespassing without having some consequences. The consequences may only be getting arrested but the bail bondsman’s fee (10-15%) comes out of your own pocket. Fortunately for her, Affordabail Bail bonds is nearby. $50,000 bail means that decision costs at least $5,000 just to not spend a night in jail surrounded by ne’er-do-wells.

Her Skills were Inadequate – She didn’t intend to shoot the bum but managed to hit him anyway. A ‘warning shot,’ by definition, is intended to miss.

She didn’t Understand the Situation – at 4:30 am in your backyard where there is no lighting, you can’t tell what’s going on 20 yards away without a flashlight.

“the distance between Teem’s back porch and the place where the victim was shot was about 60 feet.”

Bottom Line: Don’t go outside.

My thanks to Reed Martz of Freeland Martz PLLC for the heads up about the incident.

Don’t go outside and don’t chase criminals

Since it’s a recent theme in the training community, let me reinforce the principle that going outside your home to confront thieves and other criminals is a bad idea. Stay inside and let them come to you. Conduct a Defense not a Movement to Contact. A military axiom is that the defense has at least a 3 to 1 advantage over the Offense.

Not only does it make justification iffy but you could become a casualty in the process.

Another bad idea is chasing criminals you encounter while driving around when you suspect them of having stolen your property.

Shooting at them makes it even worse.

“At about 4:45 p.m., a man spotted his stolen Chevrolet truck in the Mt. Baker neighborhood while he was out driving in his Toyota Camry. He followed his stolen truck until it stopped, and then confronted the driver. When the driver sped away, the man fired two shots, striking two nearby residences.

Officers booked the 27-year-old man into King County Jail for drive-by shooting and submitted his firearm as evidence.”

Drive by shooting in Washington State is a Class B felony. It is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine. Odds are that since no one was injured, he won’t do hard time but, as a felon, his Second Amendment rights will be gone.

Thanks to one of my correspondents for bringing the incident to my attention.



2-8. Movement to contact is an offensive task designed to develop the situation and establish or regain contact. (Refer to ADRP 3-90 for more information.) It creates favorable conditions for subsequent tactical actions. The leader conducts a movement to contact when the enemy situation is vague or not specific enough to conduct an attack. Forces executing this task seek to make contact with the smallest friendly force possible. A movement to contact may result in a meeting engagement, which is a combat action occurring when a moving force engages an enemy at an unexpected time and place.


4-1. A defensive task is a task conducted to defeat an enemy attack, gain time, economize forces, and develop conditions favorable for offensive or stability tasks. (Refer to ADRP 3-90 for more information.) Normally, the defense alone cannot achieve a decision. However, it can set conditions for a counteroffensive or counterattack that enables Army forces to regain the initiative.

In other news, don’t defraud school systems of $1.5 million dollars’ worth of chicken wings. Even in Ill-Annoy, it will get you in trouble.

“District funds were used to pay for the food, according to prosecutors, who did not reveal what became of the chicken wings.”