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.