Category Archives: deadly force

Chasing Criminals -Serious Mistake

This past Sunday a man decided to commit an armed robbery of clerk working in a California convenience store. When the robber fled with the stolen goods, the clerk retrieved his own gun and pursued, firing at the fleeing robber. The robber then used his own gun to shoot and kill the clerk.

Branca – Law of Self Defense

Both tactically and legally, this is a problem. Although it usually doesn’t result in getting killed, I have numerous incidents in my database where the victim was then charged with a crime for various aspects of the pursuit. Like it or not, it is what it is.

Many were surprised when Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton then decided that she would not press a murder charge against the armed robber, on the grounds that the robber was acting in lawful self-defense when he killed the clerk.

Branca – LOSD

I’ll let Andrew comment on the idiosyncrasies of the decision but this would be the ultimate indignity to me personally. My sympathies to the victim’s family.

Firearms are relentlessly unforgiving

Firearms are relentlessly unforgiving of the smallest lapse in attention or good judgement.

The shooting of a special police officer during a training exercise at a D.C. library came as the group of trainees had gathered to take a picture and were ‘joking around,’ according to court documents.

https://wtop.com/dc/2022/08/retired-dc-officer-charged-in-shooting-death-during-training-exercise-at-library/

[The shooter, a retired POlice lieutenant], who conducted the training as a private contractor, was arrested Friday and has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Manyan’s death.

Before, during, and after training or dry practice, there’s no room for “joking around.”

One of the very first things I learned in the Army from the men who had just returned from Vietnam was:

F8ck around, f8ck around, get yourself or someone else killed.

It’s a lesson I’ve kept in mind for 50 years. RIP Officer Manyan.

Gun Training from Friends and Relatives

This is a good example of why “My uncle is a veteran and he taught me to shoot” isn’t the hot ticket.

Watching the video in slow motion and looking at the track of the hits, it’s fairly clear that every hit on the roof and back of his car was created by the homeowner. Negative Outcome. There’s a hit on the side glass that probably came from the criminals and started it all.

This story was sent to me by a friend from the original tip on Gun Free Zone https://gunfreezone.net/thats-a-lot-of-dumb-luck-and-spent-brass/. I agree with this commentary.

He is very lucky to have survived and to have not been charged with a crime for filling a neighborhood with bullets.

Suppressive fire has its place in a combat zone but not in your own neighborhood.

Duel at the Dumbster (Part VI)

#throwbackthursday

“Another delay is expected this month in the murder trial of an Abilene father and son accused of killing their neighbor over a dispute about a mattress in 2018, a court official said this week.”

Read more at: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/crime/article264129071.html#storylink=cpy

“A new date has not been scheduled, but the Millers are expected to go on trial in early 2023, court officials said.”

They’re probably happy that they’re out on bond. It appears that they had to spend from September of 2018 until April 2019 in the can (jail). Whether they had their Man Locks during their jail stay is unknown.

Killing someone, no matter how obnoxious the person is, over a mattress is a Serious Mistake.

“Court documents said police reviewed the video and determined the Millers were likely tired of Howard acting out and threatening them verbally.”

https://www.reporternews.com/story/news/crime/2021/09/12/abilene-alley-shooting-murder-trial-father-son-michael-johnnie-dee-miller/8274926002/

As anyone who has been involved in the court process can tell you, it’s a living Hell, even before you go to trial. It will be around four and a half years for them, assuming they get to trial in early 2023. My colleague John Murphy https://www.fpftraining.com/ commented:

“The process is the punishment.”

This incident was so ridiculous and avoidable that I have written a series of articles about it.

Unjustified Killings

https://thetacticalprofessor.net/2018/09/20/serious-mistakes-unjustified-killings/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part I) https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/lessons-from-the-duel-at-the-dumpster-part-i/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part II) https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/lessons-from-the-duel-at-the-dumpster-part-ii/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part III)

https://thetacticalprofessor.net/2018/09/28/lessons-from-the-duel-at-the-dumpster-part-iii/

Duel Site Visit (Part IV)

Duel Site Visit (Part V)

Be dedicated to Stanford’s Paradigm.

  • Avoidance
  • Deterrence
  • De-escalation
  • Disengagement

P&S ModCast 306 – Optimal Is Not Universal

I rarely do podcasts because I don’t like hearing myself talk. But, legendary lawman Chuck Haggard talked me into joining Primary & Secondary ModCast 306 – Optimal Is Not Universal. The replay is up now. https://www.spreaker.com/user/primaryandsecondary/p-s-modcast-306-optimal-is-not-universal

The podcast mostly focused on a subject I’m always interested in, small pistols. It was refreshing to hear some viewpoints that were counter to “it’s only an arm’s length gun.” As I like to say:

It’s only an arm’s length gun if you’re incompetent.

In particular, a couple of discussion points struck home for me. The first was Chris Cypert’s explanation of how placement of gunshot wounds affects performance. Chris was a Special Forces medic and his experience with treating gunshot wounds is extensive. This segment begins at 46 minutes and is very worthwhile to listen to.

The other point I really liked was Darryl Bolke’s explanation of ‘towel carry’ for small pistols. I learn something new every day.

It was an interesting evening of discussion and many thanks to Matt Landfair of P&S for having me on.

Philadelphia robbery kidnapping and sort of home invasion

They tied his hands with zip ties around his back and threatened to kill him if he made any sudden moves. That’s when our victim realized these individuals were not police officers

Police Chief Inspector Scott Small

https://6abc.com/philadelphia-deadly-home-invasion-police-impersonator-victim-shoots-would-be-invaders-mayfair-fatal-shooting/11762928/

The FBI calls this ‘a clue.’

Legally speaking, this was a kidnapping.

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=18&div=0&chpt=29

According to police, the 25-year-old victim was able to free his hands and grab a gun from his pocket. The victim fired several shots toward the men, striking the police impersonator three times.

The three hits resulted in the kidnapper/POlice impersonator to be neutralized and dead. The Rule of Three appears again. Good thing he had his pistol in his pocket.

CCW Safe Podcast – Encountering Home Intruders

CCW Safe interviewed me about my Five Year Analysis of the Armed Citizen for a podcast recently. The emphasis of this interview was incidents in the home. It is now available to read and listen to.

In Self Defense – Episode 97: Claude Werner on Encountering Home Intruders – CCW Safe National … https://ccwsafe.com/blog/in-self-defense–episode-97-claude-werner-on-encountering-home-intruders

Significant points for me in the interview were:

  • Timing of the incidents
  • Misapplication of the Tueller Principle
  • Distinction between self-defense and personal protection
  • Accessibility of weapons

Here are some Home Defense examples that have occurred more recently. As always, there are Positives and Negatives.

It is was an interesting interview and worth listening to.

Special Forces – The Big Picture

#throwbackthursday

February’s weekly episodes of The Big Picture will feature the role of Special Forces during the Cold War. https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cold-war-history

Guest Narrator for the first episode is Mr. Henry Fonda, the famed screen actor.

This man wears the uniform of the Special Forces. To use the word special in describing him is no mistake as you’ll see during the next half hour. He’s a mature, dedicated, and skillful professional and his line of work is demanding. It takes in a full scope of unconventional or guerrilla operations.

Special Warfare involves three types of activity; unconventional warfare, psychological warfare, and counterinsurgency operations. This last includes the complete range of military, political, economic, and sociological action. New emphasis is being placed on unconventional warfare and the reason isn’t hard to see.

Today, the threat of war takes three forms; general nuclear war, conventional war, and guerrilla or unconventional war. Fortunately, the world has never yet seen a general nuclear war. Conventional warfare, the regular forces of two or more nations in combat but without using nuclear weapons we know all too well but at the moment no such traditional war is going on. Unconventional warfare is a different story.

In a number of key spots around the world intense guerrilla operations are underway right now. It makes little difference to the people of a country whether they lose their freedom to an invading army of regulars or through the action of guerrilla forces sponsored by an outside power.

My book Shooting Your Black Rifle seems appropriate to this series of films. If you would like to purchase it, click on the image below.

Fundamentals of Pistol Shooting (Part 8)

#fridayfundamentals

My friend and colleague Shelley Hill of Image Based Decisional Drills https://www.imagebaseddecisionaldrills.com/ has generously contributed the following post about the importance of the Use of Force decisional process and training for it. We’ve been slapped in the face by the news about good and bad Use of Force decision making. It is the most important, consequential, and least practiced aspect of the Fundamentals.

Decisions Come Before Technique

by Shelley Hill

In the process of Personal Protection, from the time that a bad guy chooses you, you will have a limited amount of time to make a decision. THEY choose how and when. YOU have to respond to their actions. YOUR reactions need to be confident, quick, and decisive.

Seeing, recognizing, and believing danger is the first task. Having a plan for avoidance, deselection and escalation is second. If these fail, the fight is on, and it must be won. The first time you have to use the different levels of force, with everything on the line, should not be the first time you practice your skills. A wide variety of options are available for responding to an attempted attack. The choices you have include:

  • Non-lethal (mindset, verbal, walk away, flashlight, etc.),
  • Less than lethal (OC/pepper spray, Combatives, etc.) and
  • Lethal options (firearm, knife, advanced Combatives, etc.).

Your decision or decisions will come first, ideally before the incident ever begins. After deciding what to do, you will apply a technique to implement your decision. We must commit to a course of action and take advantage of making decisions ahead of time. Our instinctive responses to danger are fight, flight, or freeze. If we have thought about and practiced our decisions before the incident takes place, we have a better chance of expanding our instinctual reactions to something more effective or appropriate. When pre-need decisions have already been made, the techniques we have practiced will usually fall into place.

Recognition -primed decision making (RPD) is a model of how people make quick, effective decisions when faced with complex situations. In this model, the decision maker is assumed to generate a possible course of action, compare it to the constraints imposed by the situation, and select the first course of action that is not rejected. RPD has been useful for diverse groups including medical professionals, fire ground-commanders, chess players, and stock market traders.

It functions well in conditions of time pressure, and in which information is partial and goals defined only in a limited way. It appears, as discussed by Gary A. Klein in Sources of Power, to be a valid model for how human decision-makers make decisions. The result of pre-need decision-making is a decision that may not be perfect but is good enough to help keep you, or a loved one, safe.

With the help of Brian Hill and Claude Werner, I produced a decision learning system called Image Based Decisional Drills (IBDD). It is an evolution of the technique of visualization that has been used successfully for decades to help athletes, competitive shooters, and others make their decisions ahead of time and then carry them out as a programmed response instead of improvising decisions as they go.

It is called it IBDD because you are learning to quickly make ONE good FIRST decision based on visual stimuli. The word “decisional” means “having the power or authority to make decisions”, and drills means practicing. Image Based Decisional Drills is a system that can be used in either dry practice or live fire. It consists of a deck of 21 Image Cards that provide IMAGES that will help you to recognize danger and to make smart decisions ahead of time.

There are benefits to practicing good FIRST decisions through IBDD and then following up with GOOD techniques.

  • Visual cueing and pre-need decision making.
  • Learning distance management through “Reactionary Zones.”
  • Tool cycling and strategy changes that can be practiced repeatedly.
  • Pressure testing decisions under realistic time constraints with feedback for improvement.
  • The ability to practice your skills whether you are ON or OFF the range. The actual mechanics of shooting can be practiced separately while the IBDD drills will help with tool handling and selection.

Whatever system you use to practice your decision making skills, it’s important to keep an important concept in mind. It is easier to adapt a plan you made ahead of time to the situation than it is to improvise a plan on the spot. Make a plan, practice your plan, and then work your plan if the need arises.

Part 1    https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/11/05/fundamentals-of-pistol-shooting-part-1/

Part 2    https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/11/12/fundamentals-of-pistol-shooting-part-2/

Part 3    https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/11/22/fundamentals-of-pistol-shooting-part-3/

Part 4    https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/12/03/fundamentals-of-pistol-shooting-part-4/

Part 5    https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/12/10/fundamentals-of-pistol-shooting-part-5/

Part 6    https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/12/17/fundamentals-of-pistol-shooting-part-6/

Part 7    https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/12/24/fundamentals-of-pistol-shooting-part-7/

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Purchase of any book includes Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

https://www.payloadz.com/go?id=3381307

100 percent standards

‘Tragic’: Teen apparently killed by stray police bullet in LA Burlington dressing room identified

https://abcnews.go.com/US/14-year-girl-dressing-room-killed-stray-bullet/story?id=81919639

This is an example of why I believe in 100 percent standards, not 70, 80, or anything less. My guess is that those officers will not last long on the LAPD and it’s not because they will get fired.

They will leave because the overwhelming majority of cops are decent people who want to do the right thing in life. That poor girl’s killing will haunt those officers forever. Whenever they put on their duty weapons, it will remind them of the consequences of the incident. No decent person wants to be reminded of that every day.

I’ll be following the investigation of this one closely.