Combat Triad

Pajamas with MOLLE.

I just got off the phone with a fellow IDPA shooter who spent three days at Blackwater shooting till he dropped. My buddy is just a civilian who enjoys sports shooting and has guns for that purpose and self-defense, period. Unfortunately he had to deal with a couple of Civilian Armchair Commandos also attending who tried to indoctrinate him in the black arts of Bullshit Tactical Shooting and have him change is ways that were not “tactical enough” for the commandos.

First, some definitions: A Civilian Armchair Commando is a regular guy (as opposed to Operator or LEO) who spends time and money attending assorted shooting academies in order to become Walker Texas Ranger or Jack Bauer and equips himself with the latest and best operator gear in the market . He also expels amazing amounts of carbon dioxide telling everybody how they will react and kick the ass of any Bad Guy with the skills he acquired during his many pilgrimages through all these centers of shooting instruction. This is what I call Bullshit Tactical Shooting or believing that you as a civilian dictate the what, when, where and the outcome of a deadly force encounter.

In case you haven’t learned yet, let me spell it for you: We as Civilians do not get to choose the what, when, where and the outcome of a deadly force encounter. It is thrown on us by the Criminal who decided that a) You look like a soft target, b) He needs monies or some sort of instant gratification you can provide and c) thinks he can get away with it. A Civilian does not read minds, feel intentions or has supernatural powers or NSA electronic surveillance that will tell them that a Bad Guy is about to attack. And if by chance you get to know you are about to be attacked, the best thing to do is to get out of there! Who in his right mind will want to dance in front of a hail of bullets?  I am not a bulletproof super hero so I will exit stage left if given a quarter of a chance to avoid the situation. We are also bound by law not to be the aggressors because no crime has been committed. A Civilian will and can only react when there is imminent fear of death or grave bodily harm as stipulated in the law. If we don’t heed to this precept, we ourselves become the Bad Guys.

So, when I hear a Civilian Armchair Commando explaining in full detail about the tactics he is going to use, the super-duper equipment he will have and the dozen of magazines loaded with the latest magical man-stopper rounds, I feel the urgent need to laugh in his face. First because I know this idiot has never faced a feces-runnin’-down-your-pants situation and secondly because I can see this guy actually buying (if they were available) a set of pajamas in MARPAT with MOLLE and a whole bunch of attachments and weapons carrier to use in case the Bad Guy attacks while he goes to the fridge for a midnight snack.

We are not in a war zone so we cannot walk the streets armed with a rifle hanging from a sling and a sidearm on a thigh holster. Even at home we don’t (at least the sane majority do not) wear a MOLLE vest loaded with mag pouches, bowie knives and trauma kits or rig the doorbell to a claymore mine because you don’t know if it is the UPS guy delivering a package or an AlQeada terrorist trying to kill you. We do take the precautions, set the equipment according to our mission, capabilities and legalities which are the ones of a civilian encountering your run-of-the mill Bad Guy in the street or trying to break into our homes while we are inside.

The same apply for “Tactics” during a Deadly Force Encounter and that is to say, What frigging Tactics? The only Tactic is to pray to God you don’t get shot and for the other guy to stop being a threat. If you think you have time yo sit down and design a cohesive and invincible strategy when an attack is happening, then you better have you Life Insurance paid up and hope that the beneficiary will enjoy the monies for your hide. Some people still do not get that training is nothing more that the gathering of tools to be used instinctively in case of emergency. These tools (Mindset, Marksmanship and Gun Handling) are to be practiced over and over until they are deeply embedded in our brain and muscle memory so they are used without hesitation, without the need of retrieving them from the file cabinet of our brain; in other words, they become the instantaneous reaction to an aggressive, deadly and unlawful stimulus against you or your loved ones.

Rant Over, carry on.

Why Do Liberals Bleed? A case for Mindset.

Why do Liberals Bleed? is article posted in one of the forums I belong.  An Internet search reveals that the author, Robin of Berkeley (probably a Nom de Guerre) has published this and other articles in American Thinker.  I have no idea who she is but I’ll give American Thinker the benefit of the doubt.

It makes for a interesting reading.

But it was a major street, at high noon, and I didn’t want to seem racist, so I turned the corner a few feet to reach my car, and a minute later, had my purse stolen as well as all my feelings of being safe in the world

“Berkeley is a city of victims.  You try to understand the street people and the criminals and sit down and talk to them and then they hit you on the head and steal your purse.  The police come and then you refuse to press charges.  The criminals know this and prey on you.”

As a good, loyal liberal, I always expected others to take care of me.  If I gave my unqualified loyalty to the system, I could sleep well at night.  But now, with victims left bleeding, a dangerously naive government, and sheep like masses, I see the absurdity of my thinking.

Besides the obvious political viewpoint on self defense and guns, what I thought was more amazing was the absolute lack of proper mindset that the victim showed. Let’s ignore the political cause of such failed strategy since it is not important in a general level; even though the signs of danger were present and acknowledged and the gut was screaming the alarm klaxon, the victim made a conscious effort to ignore them resulting in an attack and its consequences. Ignoring warning signs is stupid and stupid hurts. Sometimes we choose to ignore them because we are tired or we feel cocky as in “He wouldn’t dare” or the old “It won’t happen to me”  for those who live their lives in a constant state of foolish optimism.

The old adage of Trust Your Gut is valid. Act upon it and stay safe.

Mindset has to be the hardest part.

I am one of those freaks that believe in IDPA as a valuable training tool. I shoot any stage as if the cardboard targets had the ability to shoot back and produce involuntary ballistic piercing in my body. Today was an absolute manure maelstrom of a match for yours truly. Between doing scores in the computer, BSing with other shooters and just not paying attention, I got my carcass raked over the coals of procedurals. I had my mind so disengaged that I did not scan for targets and in two stages I was about to get Failures to Neutralize but for the good graces of the Safety Officer who was kind enough to point out the pristine targets requiring my attention. I got the procedurals because I opened myself to the “unseen” targets so much they had a good chance to pop my arse without a sweat. First I felt stupid but later I was absolutely pissed at myself. My mind was not in the fight and I got self-screwed by it. I failed to do such a simple thing like PAYING ATTENTION and I mildly suffered in my scores but in real life, my wife would be collecting the life insurance and paying all debts incurred.

I got cocky, my mindset was off, I paid a cheap price but I learned my lessons. In Real Life you don’t get second chances.

PS:We do our IDPA scoring courtesy of Beach Bunny Software. If you dont use it, you are working way too much on those scoresheets.

Here we go again. Gustav coming to town?

Tropical Storm Gustav is right now south for the Dominican Republic & Haiti about to become a hurricane. The infamous Cone of Uncertainty has it hitting South Florida in a 30% chance for Sunday or Monday so once more it is time to get ready. I had a post relating to Hurricane preparedness but lost it in the WordPress upgrade, I will re post it here:

2008 Hurricane Season. Are you ready?
(Originally Posted June 3rd, 2008 )
With the 2008 Hurricane season already here, it is a must to re-stock your hurricane kit or get one if you do not have one. One of the best list I have seen floating around is the one Southcom’s Hurricane Survival Kit and it would be my recommendations you print it and follow it. I will personally bump my supplies to at least 3 weeks worth for the family and pets and I would add to it comfort/morale items such books, playing cards and board games. Once the worse is over and your mind has adapted to the new circumstances of less creature comforts, having something to distract you and your loved ones is a great morale booster.

Of course weapons, accessories & ammunition are not in the list. It still baffles me that there is some sort of political correctness timidity in getting the obvious in the list but we know better and learn from lessons past. If you have a semi auto pistol and only 2 magazines, What are you waiting to get a couple mags more? And with the political nightmare that might come in November, you better buy 5 just in case. Also, do you have weapons with red dots, lasers or lights attached? Don’t forget the batteries for them! Have 2 cleaning & lubrication kit: one full size and another portable that you can carry and use if SHTF and you are away from your home base.

So, Are you ready? And I mean mentally ready. Do you have a plan other than sitting there waiting for the hurricane to be over and wait for things to come back to normal or are you already mentally planning on the WhatIfs” of the after-storm? If you already forgot about New Orleans & Katrina, you better take a refresher as soon as possible. If there was an event that showed in full force that your safety is not guaranteed by the government, this was it. Louis Awerbuck expressed it succinctly when he wrote in a recent article that “The first of the loot-shoot-scoot brigade will deploy immediately after a disaster, looking for an easy mark. Those with nothing to lose will be ready to take, and the sooner they start, the more they can take.” And that means your stuff and possibly even your life or the life of your loved ones.

Although when Hurricane Katrina visited South Florida as a small category one, it did enough to leave lots of areas without power. Those who had a generator were doing OK but were suddenly facing a rash of critters who were intent on stealing such a precious commodity. A friend of mine was the target of two of those critters who were bold enough to openly stroll into his backyard and attempt to take the power source. My buddy confronted the critters from a second story window and politely asked them what did they want. The critters indicated in no uncertain and foul terms that they were about to steal the generator and there was nothing he could do to which my friend responded by producing his Bushmaster and aiming it at them. The critters immediately reconsidered their initial thieving position and disappeared in a flash.
During the same Post Katrina time frame, yours truly was enjoying a smoke at 2 am sitting in the threshold of my front door. It was miserably hot and humid with little breeze and sleep was AWOL for me that night, the battery operated TV was on but repeating the same old news that we were without power and it was hot (yippee! like I did not know.) when three critters drove by in a small white vehicle. Now I live in a small somewhat closed community and I pride myself in knowing which vehicles belong to the area and this particular one did not. The critters drove by slowly following the posted 10 M.P.H for the community and that raised the first flag: nobody here drives at that crawling speed. I kept my eye on them as they went away hoping that they were just joy ridding around. About three minutes later, they drove by again slowing just a tad and the three occupants eyeballing be without shame. Again the went away but by now my slow brain had decided that:

1) These guys are up to no good,
2) I am a moron for having the gas lamp on inside the house so I can be
silhouetted by it and
3) Get ready ’cause probably I will see the critters again.

By the time I finished reasoning the above points, the critters were approaching once more and at a higher rate of speed. The driver slammed on the brakes and 2 doors flew open while the 2 companions tried to extricate themselves out of the car. I reached inside the house and presented the profile of my WASR-10 to the critters who after taking a good look and recognizing the traditional AK shape in the hands of that fat bearded guy, decided that the target was not as soft as it initially appeared and it would be a good idea to initiate a hasty retreat which they did with a selected choice of cuss words as background music.

The point I am trying to make is that not only have weapons and ammo but the mental preparedness to use them in case interlopers decide to pay you a visit. This mental preparedness alongside knowing how to use your tools and what to do with it is what is called The Combat Triad: Mindset, Marksmanship, and Gun-handling. To be up to date in the Combat Triad is as important as a fully stocked pantry or having a good First Aid kit with you in emergency situations.

So, Are you ready?