Re: Stopping power, part of yesterday's post, I thought I might expand a bit on the topic and maybe discuss it in today's belated podcast. I'm of the "if you have to shoot, shoot them repeatedly" school. I like the 9mm because I can deliver multiple hits more quickly than I can with a .45. Not a huge amount of difference, but a real one. The thing I'm most interested in is the effect of both the shooter's and the shootee's expectations during the violent event. From a shooter standpoint, any expectation of a "one-shot stop" seems to me to be a major negative, because the shooter might hesitate after the first shot to see whether the threat is actually ended. That tiny hesitation could be fatal if the threat indeed isn't ended.
A far better solution is the one used by a veteran shooter down South recently during a "hot" home invasion. He was sitting in his living room, gun on, when the 2 home invaders kicked in his front door. The good guy hit the first man through the door with 7 rounds from his Glock .45 GAP; the second home invader reconsidered his career choices and beat feet out of there.
Regarding expectations on the part of the shootee, I think this is a bigger issue than many people believe. Way back 20 some-odd years ago, when I first went through Mas Ayoob's LFI, Mas talked about what happens to people when they're shot...some fall down and die when they shouldn't have; some keep right on fighting and die later...sometimes much later.
How much of a role does expectation play in a Real World shootings? For years my mentor Walt Rauch has said that a criminal's "job description" includes having guns pointed at him or her and even being shot. Plus, professional life-long criminals have either been shot themselves or had friends or associates who were shot — and they didn't explode, suddenly become vaporized, be flung through walls, etc. They recovered.
The stats show that most people who are shot recover — I've seen stats as high as 85%. I know those stats on an intellectual basis, but the criminal knows them on a guy level. I also know, and professional criminals know, that in a street gunfight, most shots miss their targets entirely.
What does that tell the criminal about being shot, the violent criminal actor equation, if you will? Here's what I think it tells the criminal...most "citizens" won't shoot, and if you get the exception to the rule, they're likely to miss anyway...and if you do get hit, it's not likely to kill you...and if you do get killed, hey, you could have gotten hit by a bus on the same day! The odds of "winning" are in the criminal's favor.
When I was up at Threat Dynamics, I noted that they use a Taser belt, which can register shots to the trainee at various levels of pain, to teach people to "fight through" being wounded. Seems like a smart training move to me...I'll probably expand on this in today's podcast...
BTW, this exceptionally good Quip on training from Brother John Farnam at DTI sums it up better than I can:
16 Nov 09
We just completed an Airsoft-enabled, Scenario-Based Training program in
Addison, IL, at the wonderful Safe Direction facility. It was an eye-opener
for all of us!
Students were veterans of several Defensive Handgun Programs, by us and
other well-known instructors. All carry concealed regularly. No amateurs
We used Airsoft pistols and rifles, and all students were thoroughly
oriented on Airsoft at the beginning of the Program.
Here are important lessons students report over and over:
1) Keep your head up! Maintain continuous visual contact with all
possible threats. Look all around. Notice details. Gawking at your gun seldom
provides you with any useful information.
2) Stay in motion! We die in the gaps. Get off the "X!"
3) Use cover! Be ever-aware of objects that may be used for cover. Be
able to become an extremely difficult/illusive target, instantly.
4) Develop an ability to rapidly size-up threatening situations. We may
not like what we see, but we must have the personal courage to confront
indisputable facts squarely.
5) Have a plan! You must have a tactical blueprint up on your screen all
the time. You can't plan every detail, but you must have a general idea of
what you're going to do and where/how you're going to start.
6) Be able to distinguish the significant from the insignificant! Most
information is worthless. Don't expend attentive energy on what is not
important. Quickly determine what is critical and start planning around it.
Beware of decoys!
7) Don't panic! Move smoothly and with purpose. No wasted parts; no
wasted motions! Control your breathing and stay one step ahead of developing
situations. Use your sights; aim your shots!
8) Fight through speed-bumps. Running out of ammunition, stoppages, being
wounded, et al. They're all just speed-bumps. Don't turn them into Mt
Everest! Get over/around them quickly and move on.
9) Gain and maintain the offensive! Turn the table on your opponent(s)
immediately. Once the initiative is seized, never give it up. Stay in
control. One-by-one, eliminate his options.
10) Finish the fight! Outcomes are often determined by who gives up
first. See the fight through to the end.
11) Don't hesitate, dither, nor stampede! (a) Smooth, (b) lethally
potent, (c) coldly efficient, (d) surgically precise, and (e) ruthlessly
incisive execution are the keys to victory.
Scenario-based training represents a wonderful opportunity to exercise all
of the foregoing.
We're doing a lot of it these days!