Category Archives: popular culture

The Tactical Professor’s Bus Odyssey

This is a short explanation of my bus journey back to Atlanta from the 2019 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. It’s mostly humorous and we had fun doing it. It was recorded at the Rangemaster 2019 Tactical Conference in New Orleans.

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STOPP Presentation at Rangemaster Tactical Conference

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The Law is what it is

I shared this on my personal Facebook timeline and from there dozens of other people have shared it.

Texas grand jury: No action against killer of church shooter

Several questions and comments have repeatedly been raised as a result.

  • He should never have been charged.
  • Why did it go to a Grand Jury?
  • Why is this even an issue?

He wasn’t charged. The issue went to a Grand Jury because Texas requires homicides, and all potential felonies, to be presented to a Grand Jury.

Another issue to consider is that the incident occurred December 29, 2019. The Grand Jury returned a No-Bill yesterday, September 28, 2020, nine months later. Because all potential felonies have to go to a Grand Jury in Texas, they’re busy. Although in this case there was little doubt of the outcome, Mr. Wilson still had potential legal action hanging over his head for the better part of a year. It is likely that his family thought about this just as much as he did, perhaps more so.

The Law is what it is, not what we think it is, nor what we think it should be. Many people don’t understand the importance of that distinction.

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Stifle yourself

As I sat there, I contemplated Werner’s Pentagon of Performance, particularly the ‘Stifle Yourself’ corner.

Pentagon of Performance diagram

Several times the question came up about what ‘stifle yourself’ means in my Pentagon of Performance.

“Stifle yourself” was a catchphrase used by Archie Bunker in the series All in the Family.

What it means to me is to exercise a bit of conscious self-control. We’ve all experienced situations where we have verbal diarrhea, we allow ourselves to become excited when deep down we know it’s not in our best interest, or we do something that we know we’ll regret. Whenever we say to ourselves “I’ve got to do something [now]!,” it’s often a cue to stifle ourselves.

Numerous examples of where ‘Stifle Yourself’ are applicable to personal protection.

  • Talking to the POlice
  • Telling others about the extent of our preparations for the Apocalypse
  • Rushing the shot
  • Not practicing despite knowing our skills are weak
  • Chasing criminals after they cease to be a threat
  • Closing with predators when we could just as easily move in a different direction
  • Intervening in matters that don’t directly affect you and your loved ones
  • And many others

Numerous examples of where ‘Stifle Yourself’ are applicable to life in general.

  • Buying more paper products than your family can use in a year
  • Selling or buying assets when the market isn’t favorable
  • Reposting memes about popular topics for the 1000th time
  • Talking when we should be listening
  • Offering unwanted advice
  • Offering unwanted emotions
  • And many others

Stifle yourself can apply to both action and inaction. Procrastination is a good example. Procrastinating is merely giving in to the desire to put something off that needs to be done. That desire to procrastinate (inaction) is something else that can be stifled.

Often fear is often at the root of actions and inactions that need to be stifled. Uncertainty is another. My friend and colleague Nick Hughes has a very pertinent question that is often worth spending a second to ask ourselves.

Am I doing [or not doing] this because I need to or because I want to [because it makes me feel better]?

tacticalprofessor header promo

Normalcy Day 2

I was not in much pain today so I went to Wal-Mart for a few things. They had ‘seasonal’ St. Patrick’s doughnuts so I bought one for dessert with my lunch. I like the combination of green and gold sprinkles; it makes me feel festive as a leprechaun.

normalcy lunch

DJ BoBo (a Swiss songwriter and performer that I follow) had a funny post on Instagram that I really liked so I’m passing it on. Auto translations are frequently comical.

DJ BoBo fun crop

I had a conversation with a lady today who was the only other person in K-Roget with a smile on her face. Some man had run down the aisle and snatched a roll of paper towels off the shelf just as she was going to get it. What he did made me think of “Do you understand fun?”

Let The Dream Come True.

BTW, DJ BoBo (the star in the center with the ponytail) was 47 when this video was made. That’s a man with a commitment to his athleticism.

We’ll get through this

The Assassin and I had White Pizza at Mellow Mushroom in Mayretta for lunch. It was good. The place wasn’t crowded with small disease vectors, i.e., children, which made our visit even more pleasant. A couple was sitting at the bar having drinks and a quiet conversation and a few other people were ordering calzones.

He and I talked about Personal Protection stuff, as we usually do. I showed him a new target I’ve designed and a Baseline Evaluation and Monitoring Course of Fire for new shooters I’m developing. Then I asked his input about the overlap and intersection between Steve Harris’ CAN/MAY/SHOULD/MUST paradigm, Ayoob’s Priorities of Survival; Mindset, Tactics, Skill, and Equipment, and my Making Good Decisions model.

Make good decisions model

After buying a new pair of jeans, I brought some pizza home for further feasting. Since I’m recovering from open double hernia surgery and was hurting a little, I took a couple of Tynols and then a nap.

When I got up, I decided to have a little more pizza. I don’t ordinarily drink beer but I like beer with pizza, so I broke out a Blue Moon. It was a very nice evening so I decided to finish my beer on the deck. Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, I was able to watch the sun dip below the treeline, which was pretty. The clouds were moving slowly, so I enjoyed watching them for a while. I also savored the sights and sounds of normalcy in the neighborhood. People were taking their walks, a neighbor was chipping some tree limbs he had cut down, a few cars drove by, and quite a few birds were chirping. As I sat there, I contemplated Werner’s Pentagon of Performance, particularly the ‘Stifle Yourself’ corner.

Pentagon of Performance diagram

Then I came inside, fed the dogs, and let them out to run around for a bit. After they had finished their business, I let them back in and gave them each a small dog biscuit.

Since I hadn’t quite finished up my latest Patreon article, The Forgotten Teachings of John Boyd, I decided to knock that out and post it. It’s my second article this week about Boyd’s work, the first being A Tale of Two OODAs. Boyd’s scholarship is so superficially understood that I periodically have to address aspects of it. I decided to spend this month doing that since I have several weeks of convalescence ahead.

AAA cover forgotten teachings

Being very averse to chaos and drama, I decided to write a short post here about my nice quiet day. Something other than the CV drivel that seems to be pervading every aspect of our lives right now might be pleasant for my subscribers and friends.

We’ll get through this. We live in the United States of America, the most wonderful place in the world and the best place that has ever existed on the Planet Earth. I give thanks every single day that I am so fortunate as to live here.

Making friends with other gun carriers

(second in a series)

DALE CARNEGIE’S SECRETS OF SUCCESS (nee The Golden Book) is a valuable resource for improving our relationships with other members of the gun carrying community. The hard copy I have is six pages long. I’ve kept it on my desk for over 20 years since I went through Dale Carnegie training. The book is available online as a free download.

The first part of the book is a three page section called Principles from How to Win Friends and Influence People. It covers three topics.

  • Become a Friendlier Person
  • Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  • Be A Leader

Each of the topics has a series of numbered bullet points that can guide our interactions with people. Here’s how we might apply those Principles in the situation of seeing someone whose way of carrying isn’t what we would ordinarily recommend.

Become a Friendlier Person

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

5. Smile.

2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.

  • You’re carrying a gun – Excellent!
  • Your holster has a safety strap.

6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

  • Introduce yourself
  • Ask the other person’s first name if they don’t give it in return.

7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

  • What kind of gun is that? (Regardless if you know what it is.)
  • How long have you been carrying?
  • Have you done any training?

Questions are powerful, much more powerful than criticism, condemnation, or complaints. By starting a friendly interaction with a person and then asking kindly questions, we have the opportunity to be guides to people who are less knowledgeable than ourselves. It puts us in the position to Win Friends to our community and influence them to Success. Our people skills are the single most powerful weapon in our arsenal.

We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.

–Benjamin Franklin

Can we be a little less judgmental?

(First in a series)

There’s a picture of a woman carrying a pistol non-doctrinally (i.e., a lot of people are unhappy with the way she’s doing it) circulating on the Internet now. The pistol is in a holster attached to her yoga pants and despite being a small pistol, it’s pulling her pants down some on that side. I’m not going to post the picture because it’s unnecessary to my point. The picture has generated almost universal criticism, the following being typical.

The freedom to carry a gun is a great thing.

But you will never, EVER convince me that carrying a gun without training is smart decision. If you’re untrained[,] you do stupid things like this, which actually puts you and those around you in more danger than if you were unarmed.

Carry a gun. But don’t be an untrained fool about it.

My comment about the picture is:

At least she has a gun and her holster has a safety strap.

“Get some training” is a meme in the industry. Unfortunately, both the size and the availability of the training base are very small. This is true even if every NRA and State certified CCW instructor is included in the number. There’s also the issue in my mind of those who make statements like this but got their training from the government while in the pay of the government. That generates an ethical issue you can ponder some time.

Here’s an infographic about the availability of training to gunowners. The concept of ‘the training base’ is something that people who haven’t had to regularly conduct resource intensive training for a lot of people simply don’t understand. Once again, it’s the Tactical Professor with those pesky little numbery things again.

training base w numbers

That tiny triangle where the three circles overlap is the real availability of ‘training’

And my estimate of training facilities is based on those capable of supporting at least NRA Basic Pistol not any kind of ‘meaningful’ training for carrying a weapon. Basic Pistol or its equivalent is as far as most facilities are prepared to go, for various reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number where holster oriented training is allowed is less than 1,000. The good news is that the NRA Instructor base has grown to over 120,000 so we’re probably under 500 students per instructor now. Other good news is that the NRA Training Department has created a CCW course. However, that will take years to generate any significant number of CCW Certified Instructors.

Here’s my first question:

Did the person who took the picture approach the woman and offer to help her out with her knowledgebase, either personally or by referring her to someone who is a trainer?

As a community, we need to do a better job of the way we interact with beginners and novices instead of just being socially maladroit jackwagons and calling them fools.

More in the next installment.

BTW, my Concealed Carry Skills and Drills eBook would have been a nice reference to point her to or maybe even buy for her if the observer actually really cared about her welfare. Or was finger pointing, ego stroking, and shaming the real object of the exercise?

Tactical Professor books (all downloadable PDF files)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make

Indoor Range Practice Sessions

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills

Advanced Pistol Practice

Shooting Your Black Rifle

Helicopter crash

Fifteen years ago today.

30 Marines, 1 Sailor killed in helicopter crash

“While we mourn the loss of these heroes, we will honor their sacrifice by continuing our mission to bring democracy to the people of Iraq,” said Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

For public release
Col. Robert M. Olivier

I miss that kind of clarity

Not surprisingly, yesterday’s church shooting incident has generated a great of deal of discussion. As Mr. Wabash of the CIA said in Three Days of the Condor, “I miss that kind of clarity.”

Someone asked if I have analyzed various documents about Active Murderers and if I keep the documents on my website. My response was:

I tend to think about the other 3,300 violent crimes that occurred yesterday, including 43 other murders, 400 rapes, and 2,200 Aggravated Assaults.

Yesterday. Except for the other murders, they didn’t even make the news. And the other murders received about 90 seconds of coverage, on average, with no streaming replay of the event.

The kind of clarity that Mr. Jack Wilson,  the Counter-Murder Operator who prevented further murders, had is rare. We should also consider the depth of Mr. Wilson’s shooting resume in terms of skill development.

Continue reading →

Jack Ryan Season 2

jack-ryan-season-2-harriet crop

Although the female character Harriet Bauman in the latest Jack Ryan series on Prime described herself as ‘former KSK,’ [German Special Forces] no women had passed the KSK selection process as of 2015. Being part of the BND [German Federal Intelligence Service] would be more believable except that there is no particular method of transition from those services to each other. A more likely transition would have been from the KSA [Strategic Reconnaissance Command of the Bundeswehr].

Overall, the second season has been largely disbelievable and highly contrived. The sequence involving the assassination of Senator Moreno was ridiculous. The idea that the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service wouldn’t be on top of the travel and security arrangements for a visiting US Senator in a semi-hostile country is laughable. To compound the absurdity came the recruiting of a reluctant and non-vetted ‘boat driver’ for the CIA Special Activities Center nee Division team. Then the boat driver and Ryan becoming total loose cannons made it even worse.

I haven’t read a Tom Clancy book in a while but I hardly think he would approve of this buffoonery.