As most of you probably know, I make my living as an Emergency Room physician. This fact defines me; not just as a physician, but also as a person. As much as I try to leave "the job" at the ED when I leave the hospital at the end of each shift, it remains a part of me. The ER doc in me comes out at unexpected times and unexpected places, often when folks around me least expect it, and without any conscious thought on my part. 

I'm not unique in this. Most ER docs I know who truly love this work and live their calling to Emergency Medicine are the same way. Which makes us pretty much a bunch of odd ducks. Doctors as a rule don't fit in all that well with most of society, in part because we are a bunch of science nerds (you have to be, to succeed in the educational process), and in part because we know things that the rest of society doesn't know. And I mean know, in the sense that we've lived through the ugly truth of those things in our clinical training and experience. 

But if all doctors in general are half a bubble off top dead center, ER docs are without a doubt a full bubble off, and then some. We don't even fit in with other docs. How do I know this? Because they tell us so. Last week one of our hospitalists--an internal medicine specialist, a really nice guy, a really smart guy I enjoy working with--came down to the ED to see a patient I had worked up and needed admission to his ICU. At that moment we were slammed. All 12 rooms were full: a child screaming in one room as the lab tech tried to stick her for blood tests, a batshit crazy psychotic screaming in another room because I'd been too busy to order another dose of Haldol to put him back into La-La Land, nurses rushing down the hall to the Trauma bay to attend to a cardiac arrest we'd clawed back from the brink of oblivion, ambulance crews streaming in and out of the bay doors. And me, in dirty scrubs with blood and God knows what else on 'em, hammering away at a barely functional keyboard in an attempt to input the complexity of a patient's case into the archaic EMR (electronic medical record) our hospital system bought back in the stone age and refuses to update because of the expense of doing so... in other words, it wasn't an environment that most people would consider anything close to normal. 

But it actually was normal. 

That's normal where I work, where I live and breathe. And it's normal for the men and women like me who have chosen this specialty--or fell into this specialty, as I did. We do other non-normal stuff, too. For instance, as you probably know I got involved with TEMS many years ago, and eventually ended up wearing armor and toting a rifle on my county's SWAT team. You don't see many pediatricians or dermatologists following that career path. ER docs, however, seem to gravitate to it like flies to... well, let's just leave that metaphor unfinished. But you know what I mean, if you know what I mean. 

Anyway, back to this encounter in my ED last week: my colleague looked around at the chaos of my Department and said, "You guys are really special, I could never do this". I took a moment to consider whether he mean "special" in the sense of belonging on the short bus with the window-lickers, but decided he meant it in a good way.

"Thanks," I said, and meant it. "You have to be something of a Cro-Magnon to work here, but once you get used to the saber toothed cats and giant cave bears, it feels like home."

He laughed, and patted my shoulder with what might have been affection, or appreciation, or maybe because he thought he had to calm me down the way you calm down a pissed-off junkyard dog, and he backed out of the department at record speed.

But that's how it is with us ER docs. Even if we come out of the department and attend meetings (we HATE meetings) the other docs smile and treat us the way you'd treat the aforementioned junkyard dog ("Nice doggie, good doggie, want a nice doggie treat, don't bite me, okay?"). At social events like dinners and Christmas parties (assuming we even get invited!) it's even worse.  I generally end up in the corner chatting with the security guards who feel just as ill at ease as I do. 

Which brings me to my friend Lamar, and the point of this blog. 

Lamar is an ER doc. And he's a damn good one. He's the medical director of our system's busiest hospital and ED. Like me, he's worked in the trenches long enough to be put in charge of a Department. Unlike me, he actually chose this specialty when he was still in med school, which by definition makes him even crazier than guys like me who fell into it after they started practice. 

Anyway, I was out fishing for speckled trout down the Laguna Madre with Lamar last week, and we got onto the topic of security in the ED. Which, if you've ever looked, is virtually nonexistent. Lamar confided that he is working on getting into a TEMS class that would put him on track to join a nearby Sheriff's Office, but his real goal isn't to practice tactical medicine (although he'd like that, you betcha!). His goal is to get his LE credential so he can carry a firearm when he's at work. 

He doesn't want to carry a firearm at work because he's afraid. He wants to carry a firearm at work because like most of us he's a guy who takes his personal security as his personal responsibility. But the law in Texas (and just about everywhere) prohibits carrying a firearm in a hospital unless you're a LEO. So he wants to become a LEO for that express purpose. 

Now, I know a few docs who are active/part-time and/or retired LEOs who carry concealed firearms on the job. And they'd be crazy not to. Because the insanity of Gun Free Zone thinking is nowhere more evident than in hospital Emergency Departments. Think about that. The local ED has a large stock of narcotics, benzodiazepines, and other juicy drugs. Its doors are wide open, so the sick and injured can gain access to critical medical care. There is almost always at least one doped-up felon in the department being treated for injuries sustained while resisting arrest, or a prisoner from the local Crossbars Hotel being seen for a routine medical complaint, which tends to attract their friends and family like flies to, well, you know.  (Why does that metaphor keep popping up? Could it be that we just had a Code Brown here in the department, and the aroma will hang in the air for the next 10 hours thanks to the inadequate HVAC system apparently required by law in all ED's?) And there is almost always nobody present with the means of resisting or countervailing an armed attacker who might want to steal our narcotics, or spring their buddy out of custody, etc, etc, etc. 

America's ED's are the front line of our trauma system, and the retail store-front for our medical system. In a minor disaster, such as a multi-victim MVA, the ED is quite literally the gateway to preserving lives that hang in the balance, and in a major disaster, such as a refinery explosion or a school fire, the ED is the focal point of an entire community's response. Take out your community's ED, and your community's emergency response system shuts down. Not slows down; it shuts down cold. 

Yet America, in its dumbfuck politically-correct lawyer-bound risk-management gun-free-zone mentality, provides little or no security to these critical zones of care. Most ED's have minimal or no physical security... they can't even lock the doors to keep a bad guy out. Most ED's in America are in smallish community hospitals, laboring under tight budgets, and they can't afford to even have an unarmed security guard on hand 24/7. As for armed security? Don't make me laugh! Even if it was available free of charge, most hospital administrators and risk managers would throw up their hands in horror if you suggested putting armed guards in their ED's. I know of hospitals that have had gunfights break out in them, with armed gang members of one stripe blasting away at their rivals of the other stripe in the waiting room and parking lot while other injured gang members are being attended in the ED. And those hospitals STILL refuse to hire armed guards, or do anything to provide a safe and secure workplace for their docs and nurses and techs.

Because it would "send the wrong message to our community".  

I had an incident about 10 or 12 years ago in another state where I came face to face with the grim side of this reality. It was on a sunny Sunday morning in July, about 0900. A great day to go fishing, or have a picnic, or do anything outdoors. The department was quiet, and I was sipping my second cup of coffee and catching up on signing charts. My triage nurse, a great guy named Clay, came back to the nursing station to tell me, "We have a problem out in the waiting room. You'd better take a look." 

I went up front and peeked around the corner, and my heart sank. A tall 50-something man I knew well, a "frequent flier", a big man with serious mental health issues, was in front of the desk, shouting disjointed gibberish and gesticulating wildly. In one hand he had a small heavy-duty satchel, something like a bowling-ball bag, and it clearly had something heavy in it. Call me paranoid if you like, but I was 99% certain that bag contained a handgun. Speaking of paranoid, the guy happened to be a known paranoid schizophrenic, and he was off his meds, a not-uncommon problem with people who depend on the VA for their psychiatric care; I knew this because I'd seen him 2 nights before, at which time he'd taken a swing at me before he left AMA. 

The man caught sight of me peeking around the corner, and his actions escalated dramatically. He began to hammer on the (thankfully heavy) glass and he began to scream he was going to kill us all.  I told Clay to grab a syringe with 10 mg of Haldol and 5 mg of Valium in it (that's what we used at that time for such emergencies, but not what we use now... I use a waaaaaay better coctail now!) and in short order we entered the waiting room. I tried to distract the guy while Clay tried to circle around behind him to stick him in the butt with the sedative. No dice. This guy had his head on a swivel, and we did a long, slow, 3-way dance--circling counter-clockwise like Hurricane Katrina making her lazy way across the Gulf of Mexico-- all the way out to the main entry foyer and then back to the ED without Clay ever getting a chance to stick him.

Two things you need to know here: First, the front desk clerk had hit "the panic button" early, which is supposed to bring every squad car in the city screaming to our location. When there was no response, one of the nurses called and learned that they were on their way, but by some weird circumstance all 4 cars on duty were on the other side of the river, and BOTH bridges in town were closed, one for construction, and the other due to wrecked semi which was blocking all 4 lanes. The squads were on the way, but they had to drive 10 miles south to the next bridge. So we were on our own for the next 15-20 minutes. Second thing: this guy was known to us as a violent man, a paranoid schizophrenic, and Viet Nam vet.

(If you want to strike terror into the heart of any ER doc in America, whisper in his/her ear, "There's a paranoid Viet Nam vet off his meds in the lobby.")

Anyway, Clay and I danced this guy back to the ED doors, at which point he told us he had a shit-load of rifles in his truck, and he was going out to get one, and then he was going to come back and blow us all to hell. He turned and bolted out the door into the parking lot. I wish I could tell you how frightened I was at that moment. Then Clay kicked me back into gear.

"You know what the top story on CNN is gonna be tonight?" he said, in a voice more like a croak than his usual pleasant baritone. "'ER doc and nurse, fathers of seven children, gunned down by crazed Viet Nam vet.'"

Like I said, that kicked me back into gear. "No," I said. "That's not what the headlines will say. They'll say, 'ER doc and nurse defend their lives and ED from crazed Viet Nam vet, who was pronounced dead at the scene.'"

Clay turned to me, eyes wide. "Look," I said, "This guy is probably not lying. He probably has rifles in his truck. And if he comes back with one, he will kill everybody here. But it doesn't have to go that way." 

"What?" Clay asked, but I saw the glimmer of hope in his eyes. 

"I shot a cowboy match yesterday," I told him. "It ran late, so I didn't have time to bring my guns into the house. I've got two rifles in the trunk of my car. I'm going to get one of them. If he starts to come back at us with a rifle in his hands, I'm going to defend myself. And if you want to, I'll bring a rifle for you, too."

Clay's face began to color. "You're damn right I want to," he said firmly. 

"They'll fire us," I said simply. "The hospital will fire us, and we may even lose our licenses."

"I don't care," he responded. "At least my children won't grow up without their father."

And that was that. I ran through the department and out the back door to the doctors' parking lot, popped my trunk, and grabbed my two cased rifles. They weren't black rifles, they weren't even hunting rifles. They were Winchester Model 1892 lever rifles, one chambered in 45 Colt, the other in 357 Magnum. Both were legally "unloaded"; they had 10 rounds in the tube magazines, with an empty chamber. The ammo I use in Cowboy matches is full-power black powder loads, which means a flat-nose lead bullet loaded over a full charge of black powder, which was the authentic load used by "real" cowboys back in the 1800's. Plenty of power to kill an attacker in 1892, and plenty still in 2002. 

I ran back to the doors and handed the cased 357 to Clay. We pulled our rifles out and jacked rounds into the chambers. My heart was hammering, and my mouth was dry. We didn't say anything. We just stood on either side of the door, watching the man in the parking lot, who was less than 30 yards away, fumbling with a large ring of keys. He seemed to be having trouble opening the tailgate-topper of his truck. We could hear him shouting wildly even through the double glass doors. 

And then the cavalry rode up. Two squads with lights and sirens screamed into the parking lot, and in short order the officers had our boy in cuffs and in the backseat of one of the cars. Clay and I wasted no time in sliding the Winchesters back into their cases, and I slipped out back to put them in my trunk just as the supervising sergeant--who I knew well, of course--rolled up. His look told me he was damn near as scared and relieved as I was. He looked over the parking lot and confirmed that the situation was in hand, then strolled over to me and spoke softly.

"Hey, Doc, those things you were putting in your trunk, are they what I think they are?"  

I looked at him and nodded at Clay. "We figured we had no choice. I'm sure glad your boys arrived when they did."

The sarge blew out his cheeks and shook his head. "Me, too, Doc. Me too. The other woulda been a lotta paperwork. A lotta paperwork."

And then he put his hand on my shoulder, but not like my hospitalist colleague did last week. He put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed in a way that said more than words could say, in a language that warriors all know. And that was that. Nobody got shot, nobody got killed, and we all went home at the end of the shift. Well, except the Viet Nam vet, who went to the psychiatric hospital. Which was probably the closest thing to home he knows, so I guess we really all did go home after all.

As it turned out, the deranged man had a truckload of rifles and shotguns, mostly AR's, and all of them locked and loaded. There is no doubt he came prepared for the war he had never managed to leave behind in southeast Asia. 

The situation could have gone a lot differently. Clay's imagined CNN headline might well have happened, if the cops hadn't arrived on time, and if I hadn't serendipitously forgotten to take the rifles out of my car when I got home from the previous day's Cowboy match. But because of the idiots in charge of our hospital, idiots who think that guns are bad and visible security sends "the wrong message" to the community, we came within a whisker of being cheerfully sacrificed on the altar of Almighty Political Correctness and Risk Management.

Lest you think this was a one-off situation, let me disabuse you of that notion. ED staff are assaulted and injured in America with depressing regularity, and we are threatened many, many times every day. All because of the risk managers' mindset that we "must not offend the community".  

This idiotic do-not-offend mentality is insane. We put armed guards in our capitols, in our banks, in our securities houses. Armed guards patrol gated communities, industrial complexes, shopping malls. We sanction the use of armed guards to protect these things, because we recognize they are precious, and they are vulnerable to predators. Yet we do not provide armed security to our most vulnerable: our children in their schools, and our sick and infirm in our hospitals. The shooting by the ISIS-wannabe-nutjob in Ft. Lauderdale the past weekend would never have happened if armed security personnel were posted in adequate numbers in our airports. 

Are our children, our hospitals, our clinics and places of healing not at least as precious as our stocks and bonds and piles of gold bullion? If not, then what IS precious in America?

When is America going to wake up? It's time to take the sheepdogs off the leash and let them do what they do best. America could be the safest country in the world in short order if we would simply use the tools that are at hand: trained men and women who are warriors at heart and background, but who serve as helpers, teachers, healers in their current life. But the risk managers don't think we can be trusted with that. They don't think we are worthy of protecting. Not yet, anyway.  

In the meantime, guys like Lamar will quietly take their own route to securing themselves and their staff and patients. There are a lot of docs like Lamar. I thank God for them. They may not fit in with the other docs in the hospitals and clinics of America, but I think that's a good thing. Because they are quite literally the last line of defense against true chaos. 

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…one could view the U.S. news information system as a sort of trough into which propagandists, calling themselves PR professionals, regularly dump information; journalists and news organizations nose in hog-like to feed at the trough. The notion of an independent and objective news system conducted by truth-seeking journalists is highly romanticized, exaggerated and self serving in regard to the actual role of mass media journalists in interpreting reality.” B.A.Patrick

 

I came across this quote in the above-cited article on Facebook today. This was the THIRD post I shared on my timeline this morning whose main theme was harsh criticism of the national news media and its abject failure to report the truth during the past election and its aftermath. 

Frankly, I've been appalled by the MSM's apparent abandonment of journalistic ethics in the past 25 years, and especially in the past 10 years. I guess I was somewhat ahead of the curve (as were many others, of course, including all 3 of my readers)  in recognizing this problem, but it seems to have caught populist fire in the past few weeks, and the fire is beginning to rage out of control. 

Consider this short damning video from Denzel Washington, a cultural icon who cannot be attacked by the MSM because he is a) black and b) a star (either attribute alone would be insufficient protection, but taken together, he becomes untouchable by the celebrity-loving and racist-supersensitized Media):

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=587384427

And the topper for the morning, which I found to be more of a wake-up than my first cup of coffee, which I was drinking as I read this:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/12/the_revenge_of_sarah_palin.html#.WE_7FrZ6asw.facebook

Here's what Yours Truly posted in introduction of this piece on my very own Facebook page: 


"This is an interesting opinion piece. I have to say that the open malice of the Palin-hating infotainment industry appalled me at the time the events of 2008 were happening, but like most people the unprecedented fake news attacks on her from the all-powerful MSM were so stunning that no one knew how to counter them. In effect, the anti-Palin "narratives" (which is media-speak for "made-up story") were so egregious that they triggered a surge of support for alternative media sources. One could say that the media's unfounded excoriation of Palin fanned the flames of the alt-right news movement, and ensured the election of Donald Trump."

Now, I'm not saying that three solid "hit pieces" against the MSM constitutes a groundswell. I'm not saying that I think anything is going to change... yet. But I am saying... yet...

I believe that the Boardrooms of the news networks are in chaos. Their ratings are in free-fall, and all the bullsh!t they've been putting out to try to release their reserve chutes--like attempting to blacklist all the conservative news sites on the internet as "fake news"--is nothing more than a sign that they are in a blind panic. Like the man who is trying to shoot the police coming to arrest him, but his empty revolver won't fire, and just keeps pulling the trigger again and again and again---click-click-click--the MSM keeps trying to use the same ugly tools it's been using for years, and they can't believe that it's not working. 

I sincerely hope we are going to see a reprise of the Terror of the French Revolution in the news media over the next few months... a virtual Reign of Terror, in which producers and editors, newswriters and talking heads, are called to account by their Boards and fired ignominiously for their abject failure to adhere to anything resembling a journalistic ethic and their duty to report the truth. Please understand that I am not calling for the actual cutting off of people's heads here, my friends. But lest some undereducated Snowflake social justice warrior read this and misinterpret my intent, I am calling for the figurative beheading of all the TV news networks, and many of the nation's most egregiously left-leaning and egregiously socialist-run newspapers.  

"If it bleeds, it leads", and "first with the worst" have been bywords for over a century in the parlance of Established Journalism in their criticism of the tabloids and yellow journalism. But it's increasingly apparent in 2016 that yellow journalism has become mainstream, and there are no real journalists left. Or are there? Somewhere out there, is there still an honest news reporter who actually wants to report the truth on national issues? 

I don't know how this is going to get fixed, but I do know who is going to fix it (the news corporation Boards). And I do predict it will be fixed. 

And keep in mind, boys and girls, when you read that prediction... that I am one of those who predicted that Hillary would go down in flames even in the deepest, darkest days of the recent election campaign. 

Who's your daddy... <wink>

 

 

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I got a Facebook message from a very good young man I know, a friend of my son. He was responding to a post I had shared. It was a video from Prager University (not a real university at all, but a series of short lectures by academics explaining important stuff), in which a former Muslim woman explained why the West cannot "tolerate" Islam as it currently exists. 

My young friend was startled by this video. He thought he was doing well to "tolerate" Islam, because it is a religion, and we are supposed to be tolerant of all religions. My response is reproduced, verbatim, below:

 

Dear Peter: 

Thanks for sharing your email with me. I'll respect your privacy and not share it. Mine is apparently an open book for every email marketer in the world, but that's a whole nother story!

Islam is not the greatest evil in the world, as some would claim, but it's far from the benign religion that the "Committee on American-Islamic Relations" would have us believe it is. In fact, it's really not a religion so much as it is a theocratic sociopolitical system. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing: after all, the Judeo-Christian tradition is a theocratic sociopolitical system as well, and has been since Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century. 
Most Western statesmen and virtually all American journalists fail to grasp this crucial distinction. We have our Constitutional 1st Amendment, which is supposed to guarantee government cannot establish a "state religion"; but in fact, America did have  state religion when Madison wrote the Constitution: Christianity, with grudging tolerance of Jews. So this Judeo-Christian religion, which is the foundation of all Western civilization and the philosophical and ethical basis of our laws, our science, our morals, and our government, was taken for granted by the Founding Fathers. This supposition has become a forgotten cornerstone in America's (and the West's!) social fabric.
JudeoChristianity, since the Roman Empire, has always been a God-based sociopolitical system. Since the Reformation it's been a secularized system, but its bones are still J-C. But almost everybody in the West has forgotten that. 
 
Islam is a threat to the west because it is essentially a competing theocratic sociopolitical system. Islam will not tolerate Western law, because Islam can only accept Sharia law. And since law is the basis of sociopolitical order, the Islam cannot "assimilate" with the West's law, which is based on J-C principles. 
 
By not recognizing the inherent opposition of Islam to Western humanism (and our tradition of common laws that goes back to the Romans), our leaders are making a grave mistake. It may cost us the world. 
 
Our American tradition of tolerance of other religions is fine, as long as everyone is playing by the same rules. Jews, Christians, Hindus, Shintoists, etc, ALL believe in tolerating someone else's beliefs... you know, live and let live. Islam/Muslims DO NOT believe in tolerance. Their holy writings say all other religions must be destroyed, and all who do not believe as they do should be killed or forced to convert at the point of the sword. 
 
Fully 25% of Muslims worldwide believe their religion should be forced on the rest of the world. I'll give you some links that demonstrate that. The remaining 75% are less comfortable with that, but like Americans who sympathized with the IRA in the 60's and 70's and 80's, they support the radicals who want to kill all non-Muslims.  
 
Western statesmen recognized the dual nature of Islam several hundred years ago, and warned of its dangers. Thomas Jefferson was notable in his accurate prediction of the perils of "tolerating" Islam, because as he correctly noted, Islam will never "tolerate" us. 
 
 
Islam may be able to reform itself, as the woman in the video says. After all, the Jews were commanded in the Old Testament to do some pretty weird and violent shit, too, and they eventually got over it. Islam might be able to do the same. But if they don't, the rest of the world is in for a beating! 
 
Sorry to go on so long about this. Here are some links you can start with. Use your Youtube and Google search functions to learn more. 
 
Start by watching this one:  Dr. Warner really condenses a vast amount if information into a 45 minute lecture. You can use this link to find more, similar videos, but this will give you more information on Islam's fundamental tenets and writings than I got in 2 full university courses on Islam. BTW, Warner is a bona fide academic, not some crank Christian fundamentalist preacher. 
 
If you follow Dr. Warner's Youtube lectures from this one, you'll get a lot more information.
 
Also from Dr. Warner, this is a nice visual depiction of the spread of Islam by violent jihad, beginning in the 7th Century, and looking at the Crusades in perspective to the scope of Jihad:
 
 
 
Another perspective on the Crusades, which is part of a series that you might find really enlightening:  
 
 
Looking at more modern issues, here is a video exposing Islam's attitude and actions toward women, and that led to the Dutch film-maker's murder (by Muslim Jihadists). It's long and plodding, but it exposes much of the horrific way women are subjugated by Muslims.  
 
 
 
This is a broader documentary, but long. It is well worth the time spent watching it. The violent and murderous history of Islam is explicated here. 
 
 
 
You should also look at facts regarding the attempts to reform Islam in the modern era, and why it is not gaining any traction. 
 
 
 
So, I'm sure you're wondering, why is Doc spending so many pixels on a "tactical" website to a history/sociology lesson?
 
The answer is simple: I believe that war between the West and Islam is inevitable. It's already breaking out in bits and pieces here and there, but so far the leaders of the West haven't grasped the fact. I expect that they will only recognize that War is on when Iran, or one of its proxies, deploys a nuclear device against a Western city.
 
Those of us who have spent much or most of our lives learning the Warrior mindset, training in the use of arms and in tactics, may well find ourselves enmeshed in that War well before our national governments wake up. So we owe it to ourselves to wake up, to be educated on who and what we are likely going to have to fight against for our very lives and the survival of our civilization.
 
THAT is why Doc spent so many pixels this morning on a history lesson.  

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Today's Tactical Anatomy post on Facebook cites a crucial illustration of the need for unfettered citizen access to firearms. It's a simple anecdote describing one woman's lawful use of a firearm (called a DUG, a Defensive Use of a Gun, which I'll explain in more depth shortly). There's the teaser, and the ostensible reason for my blog post today. I'll get back to you on that in a moment, so please bear with me here. 

The current presidential election campaign is shaping up as a battle between diametrically opposed ideologies. It appears to me that never, never, NEVER in my lifetime has so much been at stake. On the one hand, we have a political outsider who has seized the Republican nomination from the Party bosses, and is running a ramshackle campaign that despite its lack of sophistication is competing very well against a slick and professional campaign run by its opponents. On the other hand, we have a political insider who received her Party's nomination as a quasi-coronation, and is running a very expensive and tghtly controlled campaign that should, according to the jaded political commentators of the media, be ahead by double-digits. 

Both candidates are deeply flawed individuals. I don't want to vote for either of them, and most of my friends are saying the same thing. This is a national embarassment, and should trigger a wholesale overhaul of our presidential selection process, otherwise known as the Primary System. I doubt that will happen, but that's not the subject of this blog. 

No, the subject of this blog is "gun control". Again.

Yet again, America is under assault by the Democratic Party's fixation on "gun control" as the single solution to violent crime in our nation. Bernie Sanders--a communist in all but name--was the first to raise the issue during the primaries, but Hillary Clinton's campaign saw that "gun control" appeared to be a great boost to Sanders' campaign, so Team Hillary usurped the issue and made it hers.  She did this despite the lessons learned by Bill Clinton and the Democrats after the Clinton Assault Weapons ban of 1994, which was perceived as the primary cause of the Democrats' electoral battering in the 1996 election. 

The Democrats avowed in public to stay away from "gun control" as a political platform plan, as it was considered to be electoral poison. Apparently, they have decided they were wrong, and Hillary is running strongly on that very platform today. She's gambling all her chips on her gut instinct that the national conscience has shifted far enough left since 1996 that she can risk this move. 

I sincerely hope she loses. Not just because I oppose "gun control" (which I do), but because I hope this defeat will hammer a death-blow to the Democratic Party's fascination with disarmament of the public. 

The post by Kelsie Lee Evans that I shared on Facebook is a striking example of the reason Hillary Clinton is wrong, and why she MUST be defeated in this election. 

Dr. Gary Kleck, a criminologist in Florida, published a landmark study on Americans' use of firearms for self-defense back in 1996. It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, of all places. JAMA is a notably gun-unfriendly journal, and the scientific voice of the AMA, which is a decidedly anti-gun organization. Kleck's article cited his research, which demonstrated that Americans use firearms in defense of person and/or property 2.5 million times annually. 

Now, don't gloss over that number, because it's important. TWO POINT FIVE MILLION. That is a LOT of people who used firearms for self-defense. If you add that up over the 20 years since Kleck's study was published, that means FIFTY MILLION people need a gun to stop a crime being committed against them since 1996. That's 15% of Americans, folks. 

Now, if you compare that number to the number of homicides over the same period, we're not even close. America experiences something north of  10,000 homicides annually, although that number is steadily declining. In 2013, the last year of FBI data I seriously looked at, 69% of those homicides involved use of a firearm, or about 8454 homicides. Some of those were justifiable homicides, by the way. (If you want to look at the data yourself, you can start here: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide ) And of those 8454 homicides, 183 were considered justifiable self-defense homicides. 

Now, think about these justifiable homicide statistics in light of Gary Kleck's estimated 2.5 million defensive uses of a gun (DUG) annually. If a firearm is used to kill one's attacker in his attempt to commit a crime, at most this would amount to 0.007% of the cases where someone used a firearm to defend herself. The corollary is that in 99.993% of cases, the would-be victim stopped her attacker by brandishing her firearm or by shooting at her attacker without killing him. 

But Hillary Clinton thinks this is not sufficient justification for American's to continue to arm themselves for self-defense. Hillary apparently thinks that it would be better for America if 2,500,000 people who successfully fought off an attacker in 2013 would instead become crime victims in 2017. She thinks that the 183 lives "saved" by banning our means of committing justifiable homicide are worth the 2,499,819 law-abiding citizens' lives crippled or lost in the exchange. 

As Kelsie Lee Evans' story illustrates, it is the women of America who will suffer. On that fateful evening when Kelsie simply showed her firearm to a would-be attacker (that's the definition of brandishing, folks), despite having done a whole lot of things wrong leading up to that moment, she was able to prevent being assaulted, robbed, raped, or murdered.

But Hillary Clinton wants to take away Kelsie's ability to do so. She wants to take away your right, and my right, to do the same. "Not so!" Cry Hillary's supporters. "She never said that!!"

Oh, but she did. This is her comment on the Supreme Court's Heller decision: 

“I was proud when my husband took [the National Rifle Association] on, and we were able to ban assault weapons, but he had to put a sunset on so 10 years later. Of course [President George W.] Bush wouldn’t agree to reinstate them,” said Clinton.

“We’ve got to go after this,” Clinton continued. “And here again, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”

Here's where I got that quotation: http://freebeacon.com/politics/leaked-audio-clinton-says-supreme-court-is-wrong-on-second-amendment/ .  Yes, I know that's a "right-wing" internet news page. But it's backed up by the Washington Post, which is a decidedly "left-wing" newspaper, here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/06/06/hillary-clinton-on-guns-and-the-second-amendment/?utm_term=.435c2d60d0b7 .

In case you didn't get the memo on Heller, it was the landmark case in which the Supreme Court decided that the individual's right to possess and use personal firearms for purposes of self-defense was our Constitutional right. Hillary Clinton has stated unequivocally that she holds the opposite view on this crucial court case, and that if elected to the presidency, she intends to go after that decision and other rights granted under the Second Amendment "every chance [she can] get."

In the Post interview, which was written by a strongly anti-gun reporter (Jonathan Adler), Hillary's words are "nuanced" away from the stark reality of her anti-gun position. She cites "reasonable, commonsense" gun control measures, which is the Left's way of hiding their true agenda (registration and confiscation of privately-owned firearms). 

Make no mistake: Hillary Clinton wants to tear the guts out of the Second Amendment of the Constitution (as well as the First and Fourth Amendments, just in case you were keeping score) to achieve political goals that we can only guess at today. If she is elected, I have no doubt she will at least partly succeed, and as her Supreme Court and other Federal court appointees take over the bench in our nation, she will eventually succeed in whole. America will be disarmed.

I am betting that Hillary Clinton and her slick campaign have misjudged Americans. I'm betting that We the People will hand her a resounding defeat in November, and the Democrat "gun-control" juggernaut will collapse in a heap of electoral rubble. Unfortunately, I'm a lousy gambler, and I lose more often than I win at games of chance. In this ultimate game, I fervently hope and pray that my bet comes in. Seven, come eleven!

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My good friend Eric, who I refer to in this blog as Bluedreaux, is a kind, polite, gentle, and thoughtful man. He brought this article (click on the link at the bottom of this blog entry) to my attention.

Bluedreaux is a guy who thinks a lot. He comes up with different ways of looking at things, and I appreciate that about him. But he's also a practical man. And he is also a violent man at times. 

You see, violence is part of Bluedreaux's job. He is a police officer. Like all cops, he's learned how to employ violence to bring people who choose to act in violation of Society's laws back inside the bounds of those laws. He does so at Society's behest, with Society's permission; in fact, he is obligated to do so!

The idea that violence is sometimes necessary to the preservation of one's life or the preservation of social order is ancient. NO society that has ever survived long enough to have records of its existence has ever pretended otherwise. But we have a growing sentiment in America (and to a lesser degree, western Europe as well) that pretends to believe that violence is always bad.  

This alarms me. For people to actually believe such a thing, they have to commit the most incredible contortions of logic and understanding I can possibly imagine. Yet they are doing it, in increasing numbers, and their viewpoint has become a serious factor in social discourse in our day and age. 

Now, my regular readers (all 3 of you, thanks for that!) know that I am a physician. My training and temperament, unlike Bluedreaux's, are not geared toward rapid deployment of force or violence when a difficult situation arises. (And believe me, such situations are not uncommon in the ER!) My first instinct in such a situation is to try to de-escalate the situation as rapidly as possible so we can make sure that people who need care can get it in a timely manner. Almost all the time that works. But sometimes it doesn't, and in those circumstances, I call the police to settle it down. 

But if the police can't get there before some bad stuff is going down, I will not stand down nor run away. If my people are at risk, I have to act in my (and their) own defense. I once had to fetch a loaded rifle from my car and bring it into the ER--thank God I didn't have to use it, but if the situation had devolved as I felt it was likely to, it was either send rounds downrange or die. Fortunately,  none of my staff mentioned my action to the Corporate Pukes who ran that hospital, or I'd likely have been fired and God knows what other bad things might have happened (even though at the time I was a sheriff's deputy, you never know with Corporate Pukes!)  But my staff made it clear that they appreciated my willingness to face the wrath of the CP's in defense of their lives, so that was nice... but truth to tell, I could not have done otherwise and continued to look at my face in the mirror every morning. 

Violence--or the threat of violence, the willingness to use violence--is not always the answer. But sometimes it is the only answer. And when it is the only answer, no other answer will serve. 

 

http://www.jack-donovan.com/axis/2011/03/violence-is-golden/

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Greetings from the surface of the sun! Well, maybe not exactly, but late July and most of August in west Texas feels like it could be... 

So, in my Kit-Derp blog a while back I promised to write about the whole competitive shooting vs tactical training issue. Looks like it's still pretty much a hot topic, judging by the bullshit being spouted by internet ninjas on various websites lately! Not to mention what I hear from cops I hang out with here and there. 

Speaking of hanging out... I have to say my choice of people to hang out with lately has been gravitating toward a very different demographic... they're not just folks who like to shoot guns, but people who like to shoot who also like to fly airplanes (they're called pilots).  Part of the reason I think I like hangin' with pilots is that the bullshit level is REALLLLLLLLY low. And I've concluded that part of the reason for that is that you can't become a pilot by reading books and magazines and by hangin' out on the internet. You actually have to DO stuff. Stuff that's pretty hard to do, that requires critical thought, coordination, planning, and expenditure of your hard-earned cash. And after you do all that stuff, you actually have to PROVE IT. You have to pass a series of really difficult examinations to demonstrate that you can actually fly an airplane competently, safely, and not kill yourself or your examiner. 

Funny thing: having to do all that stuff seems to reduce the Idiot and Bullshit Factor  (which I will hereafter refer to as the IBF) by about 99% in any discussion I've had with pilots, not just on the internet, but also in Real Life.

Now, I'm not saying that we should have a federal regulatory body like the FAA to regulate all gun owners and firearms users... but if we did, I expect the IBF would go waaaaaaaaaaaay down on internet firearms discussion boards!

But to get serious for a moment here, there is a parallel to this pilot competency reducing IBF in the shooting world as well, but among my tactical friends it's not recognized very well. It's called competitive shooting

"Nonsense!" my tactard acquaintances bark, puffing out their kevlar-clad chests. "If you shoot competition, you'll do that same stuff in a real fight and get yourself killed!"

Uh-huh. I see that happen all the time, folks.

NOT!!

Despite the fact that I hear this criticism almost every time the competition discussion comes up, I've never once seen a tactical shooter get into a jam because he did something stupid in a real fight that he'd learned in competition. On the other hand, I have seen (and heard of even more) cases where a tactical operator made a blunder in the Hot Zone because he had a training deficiency and/or an equipment malfunction that could have been eliminated easily by regular shooting "under pressure" (i.e., shooting in competition). 

Here's a short list of things that competitive shooting will do for you as a shooter:

1. It will make you shoot more.  Totally true, bro. If for no other reason than to avoid looking like an idiot in front of "civilians", everybody who shoots competitively practices more. Maybe not regularly, but 3 or 4 days before the match you've committed to, you'll drive out to the range to put a couple boxes of ammo thru paper just to shake the cobwebs out. If you do that, even if it's only 4 matches a year, you'll likely double the round count of the average cop in America.  And guess what? Shooting more is good for your competency with your firearms!

2. It will make you shoot faster and more accurately.  Nobody who ever got into a gunfight said, "Man I wish I'd been slower and more inaccurate when I returned fire on that wannabe cop-killer." And while folks sometimes quote Bill Jordan's "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final," quip. Which is true, but remember that he was the guy who could put a bullet in the bull in 0.27 seconds! Listen up: the guy who shoots fastest and most accurately wins every match. EVERY MATCH. Even if you don't want to win the match, the atmosphere of competition rubs off on everyone, and so everyone strives for faster, more accurate shooting. You can't help it... it just rubs off on you! And when you couple this desire to be faster and more accurate, guess what? You will actually get faster, and more accurate.  Which means that if you ever get caught up in a gunfight--God forbid, you should strive to be in an Officer Involved Shooting, not a gunfight, every time--you'll default to your baseline level of training, which will be faster and more accurate than it was before you got into competitive shooting. 

3. It will make you "one with your gun".  Shooting in competition trains you to deal with gun-pukes under stress. Listen, if your gun malfs when you're out plinking with your buddy on the back 40, you can say to hell with it, throw the thing in the bed of your pickup and get out another gun to play with. In a gunfight, not so much. And ditto in competition. Example: I took my Remington 11-87 tactical shotgun to a 3-gun match one time and it "larned me a lesson". The ammo I'd brought was the new low-recoil stuff my agency had just issued us. I loaded up and started runnin' and gunnin' with my pistol, then my rifle; I was smokin' the targets and feelin' fine. Then I picked up my shotgun, chambered a round, nailed the first target, and had a jam. Wham-bam, I cleared it, fired again, and it jammed again... the gas generated by the low-recoil shells wasn't sufficient to cycle the action fully, and I was stuck with a single-shot shotgun, and 6 more shotgun targets remained! What did I do? I dealt with it! After each shot, I rolled the shotgun, cleared the stovepiped case, manually loaded a fresh shell, blasted the target, rolled the shotgun, cleared the stovepiped case, etc. When I was done, I had cleaned all 8 targets with 8 shots, and my time was still faster than some of the guys in that match. (Needless to say, I switched back to regular shotgun loads after that stage!) Talking with my buddies after that stage was done, we were all asking ourselves what might have happened if we took that ammo in our shotguns on a hot entry? Can you imagine the pucker factor, trying to clear that jam in a narrow hallway with bullets flying at you? My point is this: every gun is capable of puking, and they tend to do it when you really need them not to. If you learn how to deal with gun-pukes under the stress of competition, you're far more likely to be able to deal with a gun-puke in the middle of a firefight. 

4. It's a great way to make sure your kit works.   Most tactical guys who refuse  competition will sooner or later give me this line: "That's game-gun gear. I use real-world gun gear." Well, duh, Fred Flintsone! There's nothing in the rule book that says you can't shoot with your duty rig. One sport, IDPA by name, has a special category for cops who shoot their duty rig in matches, and I've seen guys in both 3-Gun and IDPA matches do it! When I shoot a 3-gun match, I usually use the same guns I carried on duty, set up the way I carried them when I wore a SWAT uniform.  I wear a chest-rig that duplicates the magazine placement of my tactical armor vest. I've even shot a couple matches in full SWAT gear. And by doing so, I learned in a hurry what kit and which modifications were good, which were bad, and which were going to get folks killed. A couple of these lessons I learned were passed on to the other cops on my SWAT team, and after they tried them out, they spread to the entire department. 

There's more, but I won't labor the point any further. 

Here's the take-home message, boys and girls: people who do real stuff in real time when there's real consequences on the line tend to learn very quickly what is IBF versus what truly works. It applies to FAA-certified pilots, and it applies to firearms professionals. The Derp-addicted wannabe's will never get this. 

Do yourself a favor: if you haven't tried competitive shooting, give it a shot. You won't lose anything, and you just might gain a whole lot of knowledge, experience, and competency. It's a win-win!

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In association with David Maglio's Concealed Carry Associates LLC I am pleased to remind y'all that we are holding a Shooting With Xray Vision class at Range of Richfield, Richfield, Wisconsin, on Saturday July 9.

If you live in the Midwest and you've been thinking about taking this class, now is the time to sign up. Don't cheat yourself by saying you'll take it next year. There is no guarantee I'll be able to offer this class outside of Texas after this offering. Given the strident anti-gun political climate in much of the USA right now, there are no guarantees that guns, ammo, or training will be as freely available in the near future as they are today.

And believe me when I tell you that every armed citizen needs this training. Knowing where to shoot the bad guy is as critically important as knowing how to shoot your defensive firearm. Ask any successful hunter whether knowing where to shoot his quarry is important, and s/he'll tell you how critical knowing critical anatomy is to his or her success. Ask any police department that has incorporated SXRV into their training how this has helped their OIS outcomes.

Tuition is $150.00, which is ridiculously cheap for such critical training. Contact David at CCA to register.

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Hillary Clinton's run for the White House scares me. 

I know I'm not alone in making that statement. But I suspect that most of the people who make that statement don't make it for the same reason I do. 

Most anti-Hillary voters "hate" Hillary at a visceral level. They haven't really looked all that hard at her, but they've read enough about Benghazi and the email scandal to have a vague idea that she did some really bad things, and that's enough for them. On the basis of this limited information, they will vote for  ABC (Anyone But  Clinton). Okay, I can get behind that. Because not everyone has the reading ability to sift through hundreds of pages of confusing information, or the critical intelligence to reach the logical conclusions there. And the plain truth as I see it is that, yes, she did commit felonies in both of those scandals, so I basically agree with these folks, even though I consider them low-information voters.

And by the way, if you read the article I posted, you will see that the two scandals are unquestionably related. If you haven't read the article I linked on the Tactical Anatomy Facebook page this morning (May 22, 2016), you should. It will explain the connection, and the felonious acts underlying both scandals, in crystal clear prose. The only catch is that you will have to spend at least an hour reading it, and longer than that if you look up the author's reference articles. 

But that's not why Hillary Clinton scares me. 

Hillary scares me because she has told the American public that she intends to destroy the Constitution

Ten years ago, I would have been laughed off the internet for making that statement. Even staunch Republicans would dismiss me as a kook. We all thought the Constitution was sacred, unassailable. But in 2016, after nearly 8 years of watching Barack Obama run roughshod over American law with complete disregard for Constitutional restraints, and 8 years of watching the Watchdogs let him get away with it, I don't think anyone who reads this blog would dismiss my fear of Hillary as ridiiculous. Barack Obama has gotten away with his outrageous and illegal Constitution-violating behavior for nearly 8 years simply because he is a black man. And in post-modern America, nobody can criticize a black man for fear of being labelled a "racist". 

The "racist" label has incredible negative impact in our day, in which the debate on every public issue is dominated by sound bites and Twitter "tweets". Substantive discussion of issues is rare, and even when it does occur, the venue and rules of debate are controlled by the mainstream media (MSM). The MSM has transmogrified in the last 30 years from an instrument delivering information to a conglomerate owned by large for-profit corporations that deliver a product best described as "infotainment". A little information, delivered in a highly entertaining format. As such, there has been no real criticism in the MSM of serious issues affecting the fabric of American society and the Law is largely dismissed as an unnecessary burden, except when it favors one's own side of an issue. 

So we now have a nation where black men can call upon other black men to murder cops, and they can do so without any fear of prosecution. Because the Obama administration refuses to prosecute them for uttering deadly threats, they continue to do so. We are told that a black man can't be a racist, and can't be prosecuted for uttering hate speech, simply because he is black. Only white, hispanic, or asian people can be so prosecuted. Same thing for Muslims, and for "transgenders" (a term that has almost no meaning in medical or any other credible discipline's terminology.)  

Whether you have identified this as a violation of the Constitution yet or not, you must come to do so. These precedents violate the principle that all people are equal before the law. The idea that a black man can say he hates all white people and they all should be killed is protected under Obama's administration, but a white man saying the same thing about black people is likely to be prosecuted as hate speech by the same administration. The attorney general of the United States can say for the record that she will prosecute non-Muslims for stating facts about Islam and Muslims as hate speech, and not be held accountable for this anti-Constitutional dictum by the MSM. In point of fact, the current administration is shredding the Constitution on a daily basis, and nobody is fighting them! Not the MSM, not Congress, NOBODY! 

We can all see the damage this attitude has done to our society in the past couple of years. But it will get much worse if Hillary Clinton is elected president. Because Hillary has made it clear she will use this same specious argument--i.e., that an oppressed person can say and do things without consequence that a non-oppressed person cannot--to apply to women against men.

Men, and particularly white men, have been under an organized and pervasive negative publicity campaign since the rise of radical feminism in the 1970's. This is only going to get worse under a Hillary Clinton administration. Hillary has railed against an alleged "war on women", implying that American men have been systematically destroying women for a long time. She has vowed to correct that. We have to ask ourselves how she might do that. 

Well, it seems pretty obvious to me that she can and will do so by following the Obama model: by issuing executive orders that violate the Constitutional rights of men in favor of women. 

Not that men have much protection left as it stands today anyway... but you can count on those few protections being sliced to ribbons in a few short years under Hillary. Men today are held as guilty until proven innocent if any accusation of sexual misconduct is levelled against them. You don't have to look far to find ample evidence of this. Start with Tawana Brawley and work your way down to the noxious University of Virginia-Rolling Stone rape fabrication. Why women bring false allegations in the first place is a bizarre and disturbing investigation to begin with. Sometimes there are issues of secondary gain: a woman tells a man who has something she wants that unless he gives it to her, she is going to "cry rape". This works often enough that a lot of women consider this a realistic way of getting their way, whether it's custody of their children in a divorce, or a raise in salary at work, or some other dishonest of advancing their position in life. In other cases, it has little rational basis: such as Tawana Brawley's case, where she faked her rape to get out of being punished by her parents for breaking curfew. The closer you look, the uglier it gets. 

What makes it worse is that these increasingly common fake complaints makes it harder for women who have actually suffered sexual assaults to be taken seriously. Let's be honest, everyone in America is aware that a lot of women have lied about sexual assault for reasons of personal gain. But the so-called campus rape crisis--which is, in my opinion, a serious problem if not an actual crisis--is proving to be much harder to address than it should be because of the persistent perception that a lot of women lie about sexual assault for personal gain. 

The list of men whose lives have been uprooted, trashed, and destroyed by false allegations of sexual misconduct in the media is staggering... and all of these occurred even with the protections of the Constitution in place. The women who bring these false accusations receive little or no punishment for the damage they have done to the men they have falsely accused. But it's going to get worse. 

Under a Hillary Clinton administration, I think it will be safe to assume that women will be even more encouraged to bring false accusations than they are presently, the same way black Americans have been encouraged under the Obama administration to commit and  incite crime. Look at the people she has surrounded herself with so far: a veritable feminist dream team of far-left feminists. You think these people are going to fight for a fair and balanced approach to dealing with relations between the sexes? 

Hillary has vowed in public to repeal, remove, or otherwise gut the Second Amendment of our Constitution. There is no reason to doubt that she will try. It's a major plank in her election platform. After watching Obama get away with flagrantly flouting the Constitution because he is black and nobody criticizes him for fear of being labelled "racist", it is reasonable to expect that Hillary will get away with the same behavior because she is a woman and nobody will criticize her policies for fear of being labelled "sexist". The last 8 years have showed us that this is clearly possible. Hillary and her supporters could well get away with abolishing American's right to keep and bear arms. She could accomplish it easily by playing the sexist card, and the checks and balances that should curtail her lawless actions will roll over and play dea. 

If Hillary succeeds in destroying the Second Amendment, what's to stop her from repealing, removing, or gutting any other one of the Bill of RIghts? The First Amendment is clearly under attack; free speech is limited if it's deemed "hate speech", and nowadays even if it offends someone. Given her statements and track record so far, what's to say that she doesn't repeal the 1st, 2nd, and 4th, and then add new Amendments giving women (or Muslims, or blacks, or any other group she is being paid by) rights that do not apply to anyone else? It seems to be her goal to do so. 

A Hillary Clinton presidency could very well lead to the swift and terrible demise of the American republic and our cherished rule of equality under the law. 

And that's why Hillary scares me. 

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A couple of months ago I found this little meme on Facebook, copied it, and set it aside. I stumbled across it yesterday, and on the spur of the moment I plastered it up on the TAS Facebook page, and then went out to do some Real Life. You know, that thing you do when you go outside, and shoot Real Guns? Yeah. I did that. Twice.

So imagine my surprise when I checked in on the TAS FB page and found that my throwaway post from yesterday is the most widely viewed/shared FB post I've ever put up, and it's still climbing. I guess that's what you call viral? Dunno. I'm a real-life guy more than cyber-guy.

 

Guns training

 

 

Pretty funny, right? I thought so too. And I really like the actor, Sean Bean (is that pronounced "SEEN BEEN", or "SHAWN BAWN"? Ahem. Sorry. Just kidding.) The guy's a great actor, even though he played the wannabe ex-SAS stolen valor guy in everybody's favorite merc movie, Ronin

But I have to admit a couple of things here.

First thing, I have been buying/trading a lot more guns lately than I usually do, and what with one thing and another (mostly that Real Life shit getting in the way of having fun, i.e., having to work to pay bills)  I haven't been getting to the range much at all for the past 6 months. Ugh. I hate to admit it.  But it's true. Yesterday and today were the first times I did any kind of workout with my daily carry pistols since last summer, before I went to Africa to shoot Cape Buffalo and such. 

But I rectified that. I went back and did one of my basic 250-round pistol routines, which includes strong hand only, weak hand only, simulated barricade shooting, and freestyle (2-hand isosceles) shooting at 4, 7, 10, 15, and 25 yards. I hate shooting at 25 yards, just in case you wondered if you were the only one. But it's good for you. Sort of like doing your 3X weekly gym routine. Which most of us hardly ever do, but we say it like we really DO do it, to make other people feel guilty. Anyways, I shot some at 25 yards. I did a 250 round workout with my daily carry pistola, and then did a 50-round BUG routine with my S&W J-frame. Finished up with a couple of Bill Drills, then a slow-fire sequence on target heads at 15 yards to finish up with some good marksmanship, as my old mentor Bob Houzenga used to teach us to do. 

Second thing, I did some rifle work. Not AR-15 or M4 or other tacticool shit. I did some basic work with  a couple of real rifles, a pair of Savage 99's: one in 308 Win and the other in 358 Win. Worked some from the bench, then some from a barricade position, and then some from prone. Just FYI, shooting a steel-buttplate 358 Winchester prone is not comfortable. I just bought that rifle, and collector value be damned, I'm putting a Limbsaver recoil pad on that mofo before it kills me. 

The cool thing was this. The cool thing was that despite having almost 6 months off pistol shooting, and 3 months off rifle shooting, I got back in my groove in a surprisingly short time frame. And that is something I have to give credit to all the men and women I've trained with over the past several decades. Folks who have pushed me, made me a better shooter. Pat Rogers, David Maglio, Bob Houzenga, Dennie Reichard, Mas Ayoob, Steve Denney, Henk Iversen, Dennis Carroll, Tim Lau, Dave Elderton, and many, many more. And I have to give credit to IDPA and IPSC for giving me incentive to shoot better, not just to win matches and trophies, but to be a better combatives shooter. You know, in case some day I would actually have to fight with my gun(s). 

And a whole bunch of that has stuck with me. Even through a long hiatus, through the wrecked shoulder I tore up in my motorcycle wreck 2 years ago, through my knee replacements, through all of it. The point is clear: if you shoot enough, if you shoot properly enough, it will stick with you. You won't have to work as hard to come back to your basic standard if you've put in the years of training.

So... am I back to my State-Championship winning form? Not hardly! I'll have to put in the 10,000+ rounds I 've put in every year I've been "competitive" if I want to get there. But what today told me was that, yes, my past training has not left me. I can still do this, with a little discipline and a lot of diligence.

But here's the kicker, boys and girls:  if you haven't taken all that training, you can't do what I did yesterday and today. You can't get back to a place you've never been. The only way to get there is to suck it up, pay the bill, and take the training. And take some more. And then take some more. And then shoot a lot on your own, and then go back and take even more training. 

So yeah, I 'fessed up that I messed up. I bought a bunch of guns, and I didn't shoot them much. And I didn't take any training. And now I have to get back to my center and stop buying new guns and shooting the lights out with the guns I've got.

I like that challenge.

Oh, and yeah, I did have an uncle in the military. Seven of them, actually. Three Air Force, 2 in the Navy, and 1 Airborne Infantry.  Two of them gave their lives for King and Country, one in 1941 and one in 1944. All the rest save one have passed on. I cherish and honor their memory and their service. But I don't lean on their reputations when it comes to my own competence at arms. 

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Last week I shared a post on Facebook by Massad Ayoob in which he stated that your choice of defensive handgun caliber does matter.  I strongly agree with Mas on this, and said so, which caused heads to explode all over the interweb... so as promised, here's the full explanation.

First, this is what I have been saying in my lectures/classes/training (and in my book) for 16 years: "If you are putting your bullets into your adversary's critical anatomy, it doesn't matter whether you're shooting a 9mm or a 45."  This is NOT THE SAME THING as saying, "a 9mm is as good as a .45 any day, any way," which some people claim I have said.

I'll tell you how this misunderstanding came about.

In the late 90's, most PD's were transitioning from 9mm handguns to .40 caliber or even .45 caliber. The thought process was that bigger had to be better, because the results in officer-involved shootings with 9mm handguns were so appallingly poor. Rather than blame bad shooting--which comes from bad training--these departments blamed the 9mm cartridge, and hoped to fix the problem by changing hardware. Such thinking is sheer lunacy, and the results have been predictably poor! 

I have always maintained--and the data bear me out--that the caliber you shoot the bad guy with is far less important than what part of the bad guy you shoot. Shot placement trumps caliber, when we're talking about service caliber handguns. Rather than investing in new guns chambered for a bigger cartridge, I have continually advised PD's (and civilians) to invest their money in better training so that the guns and bullets you've already paid for will be more effective. Unfortunately, the general mentality among PD's and most gun-carrying civilians fails to acknowledge the need for good training.

In other words: if you are highly and effectively trained, it doesn't matter a whole lot what caliber of handgun you're required to carry for duty or personal use. Unfortunately, a whole bunch of people have ignored the first half of that statement: "if you are highly and effectivley trained..." The corollary is this: if you are lazy and untrained, your performance in a gunfight will suck no matter what caliber you're using.

Anyways, the upshot of all this nonsense is that now we have folks saying that the experts (which apparently includes me) say there's no difference between a 9mm and a 45 ACP bullet/handgun. Which is a huge misrepresentation of the case!

Look:  there are very real differences between the more powerful handgun calibers and guns and their less powerful brethren, and if you ignore those differences, you may do so at your peril. It is simply nonsense to say that a 9mm is equivalent to a 45 ACP, or vice versa. The physics alone should tell you that. And there are significant differences in performance between them which are very real.

For example, I have known for years that, generally speaking, a heavier .45 caliber bullet will perform much better than a lighter caliber/bullet after passing through a hard intermediate barrier than will a lighter 9mm bullet. The greater momentum of the heavier 230 gr bullet, among other things, is the main reason for this performance difference. This is one of the reasons I hunt deer, feral hogs, coyotes, and other critters with a .45 caliber handgun: they punch through hair & hide better than lighter, smaller bullets. I've proven it to my satisfaction on game, and on the firing range, shooting water jugs through windshields, and paper targets through automobile doors and windows in law enforcement firearms training.  And I've seen it demonstrated by ballistics experts in the lab, too.

A few years ago I was at the annual SOTA (Special Operations Training Association)  conference in Minnesota. Federal/ATK had sent their ballistics testing guru, Johann Boda, to offer a class in ballistics testing, and the conference organizers asked me to sit in as adjunct instructor. We had a lot of fun busting caps into gelatin blocks, and more than a few eyebrows were raised by some of the results. (Just as an aside, I refuse to recommend any 380 ACP pistol at any time for personal defense, largely on the basis of the appalling performance of EVERY factory round I've ever tested, and all of those we ran in that class.)  We shot gelatin blocks under all manner of circumstances that day, including intermediate barrier tests. By the end of the day, it was readily apparent that while some smaller caliber bullets will pass through tough intermediate barriers and still do the necessary ballistic work on a gelatin block on the other side, all .45 caliber projectiles tested (200 gr and 230 gr) performed to the FBI standard every time.

This is a very real difference in performance, my friends. It's not made-up internet mall ninja bullshit. It's real, it's verifiable, it's reproducible. But the crucial question that begs for an answer is this: will it make a difference to you should you get into a real-world deadly force situation?

And that, my friends, is anybody's guess.

Because, as a friend of mine who has been to "the dance" more than a few times, you get the gunfight you get, not the gunfight you'd like to have. You have to fight with what you've got, no more, and hopefully no less.  

There are obvious advantages to carrying a 9mm pistol rather than a 45 caliber pistol. A small 9mm pistol can be really, really small, and really, really concealable. My teeny-weeny 9mm "always" gun is a Kahr PM9, which is so small and light I don't even pay attention to it, the same way I don't pay attention to my belt or my shoes after I put them on in the morning. Also, the 9mm will hold more rounds in the same weight/size gun as a larger caliber pistol, which means you can fire more times without reloading if necessary. This won't matter in the "average" defensive shooting, which supposedly involves one good guy, one bad buy, fewer than 5 bullets, and elapses in about 3-5 seconds. Under such circumstances,  just about any ol' gun will do. The problem is that in this day, the age of terrorist action,  the likelihood of having to defend against multiple assailants, at variable distances, with the possibility of having to fight through intermediate barriers, is a lot higher than it used to be. So most of us are making the decision to carry something better suited to a complex tactical situation than a 5-shot pocket revolver.

Whether you choose a hi-cap 9mm, a single-stack 1911, or something else in between (or outside the box entirely!) is, in the year of our Lord 2016 in America entirely up to you. It's up to you to know the strengths and weaknesses of any weapon system or ammunition you might choose to carry, and since it's your life on the line should the flag go up, I strongly urge you to study hard and choose wisely. Pick a platform that works for your real or anticipated mission profile, then train to use that platform/system to the highest standard of proficiency. Whether it's 9mm, 40 S&W, or 45 ACP, take your pick and live with it.  

So let's recap.

The most important weapon you have is your defensive mindset. Second priority is to ensure you're trained to a level of at least conscious competence with your chosen defensive weapon(s). Choice of weapon and caliber is your third priority.

The first and second priorities boil down to training. You need to be trained at the beginning of your defensive life, and you need periodic retraining to stay current & proficient. Know the circumstances under which you might anticipate an attack, and have a pre-planned defense in place to meet it. Know your adversary's vital target anatomy, so you know where to place your bullets. And be proficient with your firearms, so you can reliably place your bullets where they count.

Only after these priority challenges have been met should you concern yourself with what firearm, caliber, or ammunition you will carry.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Screen shot of Dr. Williams being interviewed by Police One TV