The brilliant and beautiful Tamara posted recently the dearth of correct tactics and technique with regard to television shows and weapon technique.
She, of course, is correct.
I’ve posted in these pages regarding the same stuff – the guy in the show 24, for example. Cup-and-saucer does not Weaver or Isosceles make…
But these martial faux pas go back decades.
The Untouchables, M Squad, The Detectives, The FBI (in color!) And don’t even bring up the spy genre – The Man From UNCLE (for example). And the movies! James Bond to Dirty Harry…
And thousands of other TV shows and films.
Weapon technique is terrible! Cup-and-saucer. Or worse yet, grabbing one’s wrist with the off hand. Or supporting the shooting arm with the other under the forearm!
Shooting rifles and submachine guns from the hip! Because it looks cool…
And the gun hand up next to the face. Because it frames our hero with a gun next to their face, NOT because it’s a good idea!
And the ubiquitous fingers on triggers!
And many of us (mostly male) took their initial learning ques from these ‘techniques’. This is why women are generally better students. They don’t have to unlearn as much.
We do need to be reminded that these media are for entertainment, and are not documentaries or training aids, however.
But sometimes some of these Hollywood presentations are just too ludicrous to be able to suspend disbelief and enjoy. Remember T.J. Hooker?
Having been a semi-professional magician in my youth, I’ve had much the same reaction to watching magicians on television. Either I know the secret (or know something) and the performance loses it’s entertainment value.
I know this is the second week in a row I have talked about comments to Into the Fray videos, but I feel it is very important to point out that when it comes to defensive training, there is no ONE single way that people must do anything.
Every situation is dynamic. Every person is different. We are trying to present broad-based information from a variety of sources. What we present here is not THE way, it is A way. If you disagree, please do so politely and logically. We can all learn from each other, share knowledge, and exchange ideas. Nobody knows it all, but the more we share, the safer we will all be.
Yeah, it is a cliché, but every cliché starts with the truth somewhere along the line. If your only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. Broaden your firearms knowledge by listening, thinking critically, and exchanging your views. We are all in this together.
I’m a big believer in the Bruce Lee modality. Essentially, kata, like standing still and punching paper, is not a survival skill unto itself. Sifu Lee called kata ‘vertical death’. So is doing the same thing, the same way. If you are under attack, you could lose more than your lunch if you are trying to get into a specific fighting stance. I’m a big believer in The Weaver Stance. This doesn’t mean I don’t know how to shoot Isosceles or one-handed or weak handed.
Or while laying on the ground, on my side or my back! Sights will line up, even if you are upside down!
Being disabled, and having a fused hip, kicking someone in the head is not good for me tactically. Knees are better, as are sticky and trapping hands – close quarter work. Rapidly ‘going prone’ is also probably not an option for me. Neither is sprinting 50 yards to find cover. Ambling sometimes presents a challenge.
Use the tools and skills available to you, specifically! Change it up, as necessary.
Well, TWO of them, in fact! One, who was doing the same job as me, the second, our department’s boss.
Being a firearms trainer certified by the NRA and AZ DPS CCW trainers, I always felt that the more people I could train, the better!
Guy #1 was a Big, Black Man. He’d been a football player in college and a weight lifter. While he no longer played ball, he continued to lift. Often and well. We became friends over discussions of political conspiracies.
When I knew him, he’d complain about walking through the mall (our offices were then above a shopping mall) and folks parting like the Red Sea in front of him. He referred to himself (and others like him) as BBMs – Big, Black Males. And said BBMs had problems, as people viewed them as Big, Angry, Black Men.
Which he wasn’t.
ANYWAY, we met one day with a couple other (White) guys from work at a local, indoor range for familiarization and fun. I brought a bunch of guns and ammo (this was when I had such) and spent most of my time instructing versus shooting. Which was okay.
My BBM friend shot about 20 minutes, then left. I’d given him rudimentary instruction, but he just wasn’t into it. It seemed he’d been partying the night before, got home late, and was somewhat hung-over. He mumbled something about liking to get a Tek-9 and left.
I’m guessing the concussive sounds of gunfire were a bit much for him.
I never did find out if he bought a firearm.
Guy #2 was our boss, in charge of our department. He was NOT a BBM. (A SBM – Slight Black Male?) He’d been in the Army, and had some familiarity with firearms. He lived alone, was smaller, and had a small dog. I knew little more of his personal life, but if one could label him, he might be metrosexual(?)
And he wanted a handgun for self-protection. Seems he’d had a few run-ins with Angry, White bigots.
So, Guy#2 and I met for familiarization and lessons, probably 12 sessions, at the same indoor range. After he’d tried a few of my handguns, he settled on purchasing a Glock 26. And became quite accurate @ 15 yards! And I arranged a deal for him at the gun store where I had worked part time.
Sadly, my pain levels were increasing, particularly when standing. (This was before I was diagnosed a diabetic.) And I had to beg off giving more lessons.
At least he paid for the ammo and range time!
Race never entered into it (for me, anyway).
I’ve trained Black guys, White guys, women, children…I think one guy was Latino(?) No Asians as of yet…
EVERYONE should know how to defend themselves, and have the means.
Glock’s dominance in the LEO market is epic. Over 68% of the market is staggering. But that’s actually not that surprising to me.
What is, well, not so surprising, but disappointing… is the complete falling of SIG and Beretta. 22.6% and 8.5% respectively. As bad as that is… is the results of the question “What would you like to carry?” Those numbers being only 21.3% and 4.6%.
This very clearly tells us that the time of metal framed guns fired with hammers is going the way of the Flint Lock. This saddens me. I prefer the metal-hammer guns over poly-striker guns. The feel, the weight, the superior single action pull… and that I can pull more accuracy out of a hammer fired gun.
What saddens me the most about this though – is that it tells me that Law Enforcement is no longer a Profession of Shootists. Like the FBI, Municipal Law Enforcement isn’t a Gun Culture anymore. They no longer want fine guns of refinement and craftsmanship… they only want Shooting Appliances. They want guns – and this is the secret to Glock’s success – that are simplified down to the lowest common denominator. Yes, I’ll say it.
Glock is the Common Core of handguns.
Most LE Agencies are not hiring shooters anymore. They want guys with education in Psychology and Human Development… They want Councilors. We saw this trend starting 20 years ago. I think this is why we see so many questionable police shootings… so many cops shooting dogs. I think a lot of these COP 2.0 guys may be power tripping… because the guys that come from the Gun Culture don’t get worked up or feel the need to power trip and flex their authority so much as these C2.0 guys and gals.
Huh… Oddly enough, all my LEO friends are from the Classic Old School variety. Good Cops that use Common Sense before using Ego. Damn good Cops. Many of them carry Glocks, because of Policy, not by choice. Some choose the Glocks… and that’s fine. They can’t shoot that well anyways. (j/k)
The Sidearms used by the most astute of shooting professionals remain hammer fired, metal framed guns. The US Navy SEALs, I must point out – having the freedom of using anything they want, use SIG 226’s. I don’t know any single group that personifies a Gun Culture more than the SEALS. They take Pistol Craft more seriously than any other group… with US Air Marshals being a close second. And they want that SIG. They want a stable shooting platform with as much accuracy as you can have in a Semi-Auto handgun.
In the Consumer Market – sales of SIG’s and Beretta’s are down. Regardless of quality, and regardless of special offers and marketing efforts, you just can’t sell them like you used to. The first choice is Glock… followed by the S&W M&P and the Springfield XDM series guns.
I’m not counting 1911’s – that is a market unique to it’s own, and I’ll talk about that in more detail at another time.
For me – I will remain a fan of the SIG’s and the Beretta’s. I prefer the triggers. I prefer the safeties. Now, if you are going to go Glock – get a new trigger system from Lone Wolf. Get some new sights from Lone Wolf. And you can make the most out of that Glock, if that’s what you prefer or have to live with. And I do appreciate the Glock for what it is… and do like them with LWD triggers. But given my druthers, I’ll take my Beretta over any Glock.
Oddly enough, the guns I want the most are all metal framed, hammer guns of the Revolving variety. With only a couple automatics. A SIG M11A1 is one the autos. The other are Browning/FN Hi-Powers and a SIG P210. But my beard is grey and I don’t like the music these kids listen to these days. Oh… and get off my lawn.
I don’t entirely agree with Mad Ogre. But I don’t entirely disagree.
The Glock is down to the lowest common denominator. And most of today’s law enforcement are not shootists – they are looking for an appliance.
I miss the good old days when people like Bill Jordan helped Smith & Wesson design revolvers. And cops were all about mastery of their tools. I wonder if police qualifications have been reduced to a pass/fail – being ‘good enough’?
Now we keep hearing about engagements wherein many shots are exchanged, but no one is hit.
Military watchers – from both the Left and Right – have been watching, warning, and expressing (how do I state this with delicacy?):
It has been reported that regular military folks will be conducting a ‘training operation’ in Texas, beginning July 15. The Texas governor has even ordered the National Guard to observe the ops, just in case things get hinky.
Following the ease with which martial law was imposed on Boston (post the terrorist bombing), some folks are suggesting this might be the next step.
Practicing to handle civilian populus in a hostile environment (Texas versus Massachusetts) should martial law be imposed THERE!
And obvious comparisons have been made comparing The President to some Austrian-born Reichschancellor who engaged in similar behavior!
I cannot speak for anyone else, but as much as I lecture others in these pages regarding complacency, I, too, can fall victim to it. (Duh)
Not just the almighty INDEX (NOT placing one’s index finger in the trigger guard until one is ready to shoot – and where exactly DO you place it? ALTHOUGH, I’M PRETTY GOOD AT REMEMBERING THIS PART!), but…
When was the last time you checked your weapon for function and safety? Are all the mechanical parts in good repair?
AND, appropriately lubricated?
How about the magazines (speedloaders or speedstrips)? Clean and functional?
And the ammunition? When was the last time you changed it out for newer stuff? Is your ‘one-up-the-spout’ (aka The Barney Bullet) seated correctly? Or has months of recharging your sidearm crushed the case mouth? Or seated the bullet farther inside?
How about the function and maintenance of the holster? When was the last time it was cleaned, oiled, inspected for damage? And the belt…
AND WHAT ABOUT YOU?
When was the last time you did a dry-practice exercise? Including a reload or two?
And do you know the latest nuances in your State’s criminal law statutes?
Not unlike driving a car – one does it every day. When was the last time you checked the tires? The oil? The transmission fluid? Your brakes? Reviewed the traffic code?
Do you always wear your seat belt? (I’m a libertarian, and I do!)
But I’ve not done everything above with regard to my sidearm and it’s equipment.
I’ve posted before about sharing ‘the facts of life’ with my daughter. Not reproduction (although we did speak of such things) but letting her know I was discretely armed in her presence, and providing a few basic signals for her to keep safe.
Should terrible things happen.
Hand signals and verbal commands. To be acted upon withoutquestion.
I.E. We’re in a shopping mall, and I observe bad guys attempting to shoot other bad guys. The signals mean find cover immediately, and failing that, hit the deck! Things are getting serious very soon.
This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve plans on engaging multiple gang members.
Molly didn’t know much about my immersion in the gun culture, except not to touch any firearms without permission, and sometimes Dad went shooting, until she was six. Then I shared the ‘facts of life’ (that I carried whenever possible for all our protection, and it was no one else’s business) and devised the signals.
It never occurred to me to consider my tactics when she was younger. A preschooler, a toddler, a baby.
And I think of that mother who was shot to death in the Walmart by her two-year-old!