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This will undoubtedly be yet another vilified article where I will be called a savage…at best. No matter, I rather like being a savage. But please read and see if you agree with my points.
I got some information the order day that a certain CT group was shifting to the 5.7 so as to penetrate armor better with their handguns. It shows their concern over the “new threat paradigm” but it is the wrong step in my view. Since I know, and I imagine I am not the only one…, 5.7 doesn’t do a great job at this, specially if plates are involved, and a moot point if the “armor” is really an IED, all I can think is that their personnel lack marksmanship skills (which many do) and this is a panacea to bypass a skills/training issue.
I suggest the following points – agree or not, but that is what I see in today’s urban world:
1). The New Threat Paradigm: The reality of the threat today is as much the Racist Terrorist, the Islamic Terrorist, and the Crazy Guy Terrorist as anything we have faced in the past (common criminal to professional criminal). I recall twenty years ago, the worst thing one might face was to be in the center of a home invasion, or a takeover robbery. Various bits of advice were always given out. The premise was that a takeover robbery or home invasion, while demeaning to one’s dignity, usually did not lead to a victim’s death. And that for the most part was true. So the advice was to submit and that it would soon be over.
But that same advice given to airline passengers pre-9/11 didn’t help when the end game of the hijackers was not a quick trip to the tropics, but martyrdom. Much the same can be said today. In the last six months we have seen the murders in San Bernardino and Orlando by Islamic Terrorists, in Colorado by a Crazy Guy Active Shooter, and now in Dallas by a Racist Terrorist. The doctrine of submitting and waiting for the authorities was immediately a non-starter.
So the paradigm must change first. Always, always, always fight. Forget defense, attack for all you are worth. And knowing the delay in response and impossibility of anyone saving you, always carry a weapon even if it means doing so illegally.
2). On The Terrorist: There have been a number of academic studies done on active shooting incidents. Here are some statistics to utilize in developing educated tactical responses
- The average active shooter incident lasts 12 minutes, while 37 percent last less than five minutes.
- 49 percent of attackers committed suicide either at the conclusion of the event or when challenged, 34 percent were arrested, and 17 percent were killed by responders.
- 51 percent of the attacks studied occurred in the workplace, while 17 percent occurred in a school, 17 percent occurred in a public place, and six percent occurred in a religious establishment.
- Two percent of the shooters bring improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as an additional weapon. Although I will predict that as the influx of those poor under-privileged Syrian Jihadist refugees make it to shore and comingle with the Racist Terrorist and indigenous Islamic Terrorists, that percentage will invariably increase.
- In 10 percent of the cases, the shooter stops and walks away. In 20 percent of the cases, the shooter goes mobile, moving to another location.
- 43 percent of the time, the crime is over before police arrive. In 57 percent of the shootings, an officer arrives while shooting is still underway.
- The attacks ended before the police arrived 49 percent of the time. In 56 percent of the attacks ongoing when police arrived, officers had to use force to stop the killing.
- And we know the terrorist in Dallas was wearing hard armor plates as evidence from the death photos. Moreover the event in Istanbul was focused on the eventual self detonation of bomb vests by the terrorists.
3). Reactive or Pro-Active Targeting: Based on all of this information, unless the terrorist jumps out “Jack In The Box” style and surprises you, requiring a totally reactive “Oh Shit Shooting Position” and a burst to the center of the presented target, all proactive shooting must be to the face of the terrorist.
And I think the gun community needs to get its head out of the law library and realize that a reactive self defense shooting is not the same thing as attacking a terrorist quickly, decisively, and proactively to stop him from killing anyone else and positively prevent him from setting off a suicide vest before he expires.
To those who do not understand, please let me rephrase. You unexpectedly get into a self defense shooting. You intentionally go and shoot the terrorist in the face. One is unplanned, the other is planned.
Different as night and day. With the former, you will need to justify and explain your actions. With the latter, the terrorist has done all the heavy lifting for you.
4). Accuracy Above All: To accomplish this, we require a weapon that is suitably accurate, a large ammunition source, and ammunition that is up to the task. And I will say the nature and caliber of the ammunition, for this task, is irrelevant. Not needing expansion, only accuracy, even a match grade FMJ would work great (albeit not so much to the unexpected elevator gunfight to the chest).
5). Results Driven Marksmanship: The target is not a difficult one and why so many trainers seem to get stuck on this is astounding. Do they not teach marksmanship? Perhaps not.
First we need to train to hit a 3″x5″ card on a regular basis. But we also need to understand that a human head is roughly 7″ across by 10″ tall. If you plan on firing one single shot for score that needs to be in the “credit card” sized cranio-ocular cavity, you will invariably slow down, take that full 2.0 seconds pause and break the shot. That is fine, but understand that the moving target will not usually allow that unless he has no idea you are there…and there is nothing wrong with shooting a terrorist unannounced in the back of the head…but if those circumstances are not present, we need to adapt our standards.
If we put up a 7×10 piece of paper there with a 3×5 card in the center, I can have that target move like a human being and another student move as well, and fire about ten rounds at that 7″x10″ piece of paper in the 2.0 seconds. Out of those ten shots, 95% will hit the 7×10 paper, and about 1/2 of those will hit the 3×5 card. Not so hard if you cheat the test.
6) Fear Not: The American Gun Community, thanks to the fear-mongering of certain columns in certain now out of print magazines, is so fear driven it is almost as if when they face the thugs, they would rather be gang sodomized on the hood of their car, have their homes ransacked, shot and left for dead, than shoot anyone lest they be sued or prosecuted.
I have said it and I will say it again. The paradigm for the rules of engagement for a “common street self defense shooting against a common criminal – whether by police or by citizens” is emphatically not the same for an event involving an active shooter…specially if he has already begun shooting and killing.
When you hear the shots, if you are caught at ground zero, or you are one of those who cannot help but run to the sound of the guns, fear not, your finest hour is at hand.
Stay calm and shoot them in the face…alot.