When I was a little kid, I probably drove my mother nuts with how often I whined, “I’m bored!”
I don’t say that much anymore.
The last four weeks or so have included:
Rangemaster Tactical Conference in Little Rock. Not to be missed. Probably the best value you can get in training for your time and dollar if you’re a “civilian,” and a lot of cops attend, too. You can learn a lot just from the archives of the newsletters put together by Rangemaster proprietor and ace trainer Tom Givens.
The next week, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association annual seminar in St. Louis, MO. This is for trainers of police (the only ones allowed to attend, sorry) and is to cops what Rangemaster is to “civilians.” While there, the old guy here woke up deaf one morning: a nasty sinus infection had gone into the middle ear, with enough fluid buildup for what the emergency docs at Barnes-Jewish Hospital diagnosed as acute otitis media. Thanks to my old friend Chief Bert DuVernay who took over for me leading the panel of experts on firearms/deadly force training issues, because I was too deaf to hear the questions from the audience. And thanks to the makers of amoxicillin, which eventually cleared it up.
Then, on to the west coast, to visit the scene of a fatal shooting and do some interviewing for an upcoming wrongful death trial.
Last week, two MAG-20 courses – one range, one classroom lecture, encompassing a full MAG-40 with Karl Rehn’s superb KR Training in the Austin, TX area. Students were great. Karl wrote an AAR (after action report) on the shooting portion. Bookmark Karl’s website and blog – there’s LOTS of learning there, for free.
Along the way, managed to work in the testing of two 9mm pistols for a couple of different gun magazines, the Wilson Combat EDC X9 and the Gen 2.0 version of the Smith & Wesson Military & Police. (Both very nice, by the way.)
The older I get, the less often I have time to be bored.
A couple of entries ago, the discussion on a major police association conditionally condoning warning shots drew a lot of commentary here.
And we didn’t even get all the way into the topic. For example, we never discussed what I call the “chaser shot,” the after-the-fact warning shot fired when the bad guy is fleeing, as if to say “and don’t come back, you so-and-so.”
Last weekend, Charles Heller at Liberty Watch Radio and I had half an hour to go into a little more depth on the matter, including some case examples and a bit of listener call-in interaction.
If you have time to listen (might want to fast forward through the intro music to save time), I’d be interested in your thoughts on what was discussed.
In medicine, grave circumstances sometimes require toxin-anti-toxin therapy: poison against poison. Chemotherapy may make a cancer patient feel sick in different ways, but it can save the patient’s life; therapeutic radiation may have ugly side-effects and therapeutic amputation literally costs you a part of your body, but if it takes the cancer away and saves your life, it’s an acceptable price. Having to kill another human being is a traumatic experience, but if it saves your life and/or that of another good person, it was worth the ordeal.
That’s something well understood by Dr. Richard Carmona. Under President George W. Bush, he served four years as Surgeon General of the United States. Prior to that, though, he had overcome being born poor by joining the Army, becoming a Green Beret medic and gaining combat experience in Vietnam, and thereafter working his way through medical school. He went on to become a pioneer of the SWAT physician concept: a doctor capable of performing emergency surgery if necessary right there at “the sharp end” to save a life when someone took a bullet. Dr. Carmona performed that function for the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, headquartered in Tucson, Arizona.
It was in that city when, in 1999, he was off-duty and came upon a vicious psycho with a gun who was about to murder a woman he was carjacking. Unknown to Dr. Carmona, that man had earlier murdered his own father. Carmona instantly drew his department issue Colt .45 auto, and saved the innocent woman’s life. In the course of that gunfight, he was wounded by the killer, but his own accurate gunfire killed the gunman.
I met Dr. Carmona early in this century, when he was Surgeon General and a guest speaker at an annual conference of ASLET, the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers. Many years later, I was able to sit down with him in Tucson and interview him.
That interview is now available for you to download for free at the ProArms Podcast.
I respectfully submit that what he has to say is very much worth the time it will take you to listen to it, and I herewith publicly thank Dr. Carmona yet again for making it available to you.
Several weeks ago, I was signed up to take Mikey Hartman’s instructor course in IDF (Israeli Defense Force) style combat shooting with rifle and handgun. Unfortunately, a member of my extended family came down seriously ill, and I had to bow out to be of assistance on that. Fortunately, our loved one recovered and is now OK, but I hated missing Hartman’s class.
Mikey Hartman is often described as the guru of IDF shooting techniques. I talking with him at length over the phone after missing the class, and it became clear that TODAY’S combat doctrine for IDF is not what it was years ago, though some on the gun-related Internet might have you believe otherwise.
For instance, except for the closest of close combat, Mikey tells me that the doctrine of Israeli combat shooting is definitely “aiming,” not “pointing.”
Below are links where you can read about the class that I (dammit!) had to miss:
Just finished our first class of 2017. Good to be back in the saddle. Thanks to ace instructor John Murphy who hosted us in Springfield, VA.
As a rule, the evil princess and I take off from teaching from mid-December to first week in February. It’s not a vacation – we use the time to get caught up on writing, podcasting, accounting, etc., and to squeak in a few shooting matches if we can. More of a sabbatical than a vacation.
Always good to get back to teaching, though. When I was a kid, I figured teaching must be one of the worst jobs imaginable: teaching the same thing over and over again to people who didn’t really want to learn it.
There’s teaching, though, and there’s teaching. In the kind of adult ed I do (http://massadayoobgroup.com) nobody’s there to get a ticket punched: the students are there because they WANT to learn, and that makes all the difference. It’s why I love doing what I do.
I know a lot of you reading this teach something to somebody sometimes. Share here what you like about it…and what you don’t.