Sunday, October 29, 2006

Side Step Causes Miss

"We have demonstrated in repeated studies that, even at six feet and less, a quick side step will cause the bad guy's first shot to miss about 75 percent of the time."

John Farnam

Most Real Incidents Solved with Awareness

"Most of the [real-life self-defense] incidents are resolved by situational awareness, seeing a potential problem and avoiding it. Next is aggressive posturing combined with strong, unmistakable verbal commands. Fewer still are resolved with OC spray, a few by the display of the handgun, and very rarely, shots are fired."

Ed Lovette

Don't Get Ready, Be Ready

"There is seldom time to get ready, you must be ready."

John Farnam

Monday, October 16, 2006

More Likely to Be Hurt Resisting?

"You hear claims from time to time that people should behave passively when they're confronted by a criminal. And if you push people on that, they'll refer to something called the National Crime Victimization Survey, a government project that surveys about 50,000 households each year. If you compare passive behavior to all forms of active resistance lumped together, passive behavior is indeed slightly safer than active resistance. But that's very misleading, because under the heading of active resistance you're lumping together things like using your fist, yelling and screaming, running away, using Mace, a baseball bat, a knife, or a gun. Some of those actions are indeed much more dangerous than passive behavior. But some are much safer.

"For a woman, for example, by far the most dangerous course of action to take when she's confronted by a criminal is to use her fists. The reason is pretty simple: You're almost always talking about a male criminal doing the attacking, so in the case of a female victim there's a large strength differential. And for a woman to use her fists is very likely to result in a physical response from the attacker and a high probability of serious injury or death to the woman. For women, by far the safest course of action is to have a gun. A woman who behaves passively is 2.5 times as likely to end up being seriously injured as a woman who has a gun."

John R. Lott, Jr.

Historic Crime Increases in Britain, Australia, Canada

"The government just reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03. The serious violent crime rate soared by 64%, and overall violent crime by 118%. The violent crime rate in England and Wales now stands at twice the rate of that in the U.S.

"Understandably, the government wants to "do something," but it is hard to believe that the new proposals will succeed where past efforts have failed.

"With the exception of the U.S., other English-speaking countries have followed Britain's lead in limiting gun ownership. Like the British, they have nothing to show for it.

"Australia saw its violent crime rates soar after its 1996 Port Arthur gun-control measures banned most firearms. Violent crime rates averaged 32% higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did the year before the law went into effect. Armed robbery rates increased 74%. Australia's violent crime rate is also now double America's.

"Canada hasn't gone anywhere near as far as Australia and England, but even that country's limited restrictions have caused problems. Despite a gun registration system that has cost 500 times more than promised (the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. claims the overrun is 1,000 times greater), the overall crime rate is more than half again higher than in the U.S. and has risen as the American crime rate has fallen. Meanwhile, violent crime in the U.S. has fallen much faster than in Canada, and murders in Canada have gone up slightly, while falling in the U.S.

"The Canadian government recently admitted it could not identify a single violent crime that had been solved through registration. Public confidence in the government's ability to fight crime has also eroded, with one recent survey showing only 17% of voters support the registration program."

John R. Lott, Jr.

Canadian Gun Ownership Same as U.S.

"Most Americans know that Canada has a low crime rate and relatively strict gun control laws. What few people realize is that the number of guns per capita is roughly similar. Nobody really knows how many guns exist in either country, but one estimate for Canada is 21 million guns owned by a population of 30 million people. In the United States, we have over 200 million guns and a population of 273 million."

Source: Michael S. Brown, O.D

Weapon Retention and the Armed Citizen

"The techniques required for 'weapon retention' are not all that difficult to master, but the greatest risk for being disarmed by an attacker appears to be from open carry in a holster as police officers do. Some ten to fourteen percent of law enforcement officers who are killed are shot with their own guns. By contrast, an average of 1% or fewer of armed citizens end up disarmed by their attacker, no doubt in part because criminals expect police to be armed, but are mostly unpleasantly surprised to find their intended victims are."


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Twarting The Furtive Movement

"A furtive movement in such cases is a movement reasonably consistent with going for a weapon and not reasonably consistent with anything else under the circumstances.

"The law does not demand that your perceived antagonist have a real weapon in order for you to employ lethal force in self defense. It only demands that his actions create in your mind a reasonable and prudent belief that he has a weapon. If he is close enough to employ such a weapon, and if his actions are consistent with an armed person trying to kill you (Diallo turned suddenly and thrust the hand with the black object toward the officers), then the requirements have been met for you to justifiably use deadly force in order to defend your own life."

"Skulking in the Vestibule" by Massad Ayoob

A couple of notes on the furtive movement:

1. It cannot possibly be construed as an innocent gesture;
2. Nervousness alone does not constitute furtive movement. "Furtive" means means secretive or concealing. "Suspicious" is not the same as "furtive".
3. The way you need to think about it and articulate it is that the attacker is trying to conceal or hide a movement toward a weapon or to otherwise set up an attack. This can include the famous "pretend-to-walk-away-and-throw-the-big-haymaker-punch".

Unfortunately, there is a large grey zone here. The movement toward drawing a gun from a back pocket or the back of a waistband is exactly the same movement someone would make toward their wallet. The movement toward drawing a knife from a front pocket is exactly the same movement one would make in pulling out their keys.

Be careful on your instruction here. I actually had someone tell me their instructor taught that the palm position of someone reaching toward their back pocket determined if they were going for a wallet or a weapon. Meaning, while reaching toward their back pocket, was the subject's palm facing in (toward his own body) or facing out.

This instructor's theory was that, if the subject reached back with his palm in, he was reaching for a wallet. If he reached back with his palm facing out, he was reaching for a gun.


First, if you can actually tell which way the guy's palm is facing during your encounter, you are awesome.

Second, when reaching for a gun in the back waistband, it is entirely dependant on how the grip is facing as to whether the guy is going to reach with his palm in or out.

The infamous case in point for this argument would be the Diallo case noted by Ayoob in his quote at the start of this section. On February 4, 1999, four NYPD Street Crime Unit cops mistakenly shot and killed Amadou Diallo, firing 41 shots and hitting him 19 times. Diallo ran from cops and suddenly whirled around a pulled out a black object. The cops "saw" him pull out a gun and opened fire. One cop, Ed McMellon, began backing away from the danger and fell, convicing the three others that he had been shot.

After Diallo was down, Officer Sean Carroll checked him and found -- to his horror -- that Diallo had simply produced a black nylon wallet.

The officers were acquitted because the totallity of the circumstances and the way in which Diallo turned and thrust out the wallet which would be consistent with a fleeing criminal turning and pulling a gun.

The training key here is to practice with your partner drawing and presenting a variety of weapons or to attack with a strike. You should practice being the attacker and the defender. It will become more apparent that -- as the attacker -- you'll have to maneuver yourself into a certain range or posiiton to attack. As the defender becomes more and more practiced to the various attacks and his radar is up, you'll find it more and more difficult to successfully attack him.

The successful defense against a weapon is to interrupt the presentation (the draw) before the weapon is out and pointed at you. The successful interruption of the presentation will be dictated by knowing what a furtive movement looks like so you can instantly react to it.

These defenses are part of the Defend University weapons defense module which are currently being taught to security and executive protection operators. Plans are underway to present them in an instructional DVD format in the future.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Police and Security DT DVD Online

Now you can get the same new ground control curriculum that is being included for law enforcement officers in New York State. It includes techniques that are starting to be taught at the most elite law enforcement agencies in the nation. The Less Than Lethal Police Defensive Tactics program is a highly effective defensive tactics program which allows cops and security personnel to safely control the most combative of suspects.

The course addresses an undeniable fact: the vast majority of struggles with violent criminal suspects end up on the ground.The Los Angeles Police Department has found that in nearly two-thirds of use-of-force incidents both the officer and suspect ended up on the ground. The study also found that when an officer employed techniques that were not effective or it lasted a long time or was violent, the fight was more likely to move to the ground.

Your instructor is Sgt. Steve Kardian, a 25-year police veteran. He is a senior defensive tactics instructor at the Westchester Police Academy as well as a certified New York State/FBI defensive tactics instructor. He is currently working on a committee with the Office of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, for the State of New York to evaluate and submit changes in the way recruits and Defensive Tactics Instructors across the State of New York are trained and taught.

If you work in any area of public safety or where you need to defend yourself and safely control the subject, this is a valuable addition to your library.

Go here for a complete description.

Look for More School Shootings, Possible Fixes

The inevitable "copycat effect" ensures that we will see more school shootings -- and the nature of those attacks are evolving.

Rural schools as well as urban schools will need to reevaluate their security procedures and design. Possible measures to be taken by schools include strict access control, locking of all external entrances, the ability to lock all internal classroom doors, installation of individual phones in classrooms, addition of armed security staff.

Rural classrooms have a tougher go here because they are more removed from law enforcement and EMS resources with longer response times.

Workplace Murders Most Precipitated by Robbery

The National Council on Compensation Insurance reports that about 75 percent of all murders in the workplace occur during the commission of a robbery.

While we have become somewhat used to the headline-grabbing, spectacular scene of the disgruntled employee entering his workplace and murdering coworkers, the reality is that your life is much more exposed to the garden variety robbery.

You -- or your employees -- are most at risk if your job puts you in contact with customers and where valuables and cash are accessible. Risky occupations include cashiers, security guards, and taxi drivers.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jeff Cooper dies at 86

Michael ClancyThe Arizona RepublicOct. 5, 2006 12:00 AM

Jeff Cooper, one of the nation's leading experts in firearm techniques and gun safety, died Sept. 25 at Gunsite Academy, the training academy he founded in Arizona's high desert almost 30 years ago.He was 86 and in ill health. He was retired, teaching courses part time since 1992.

"I was proud to have worked with him," said Jane Anne Shimizu, director of marketing for the academy.

He is credited with creating the modern technique of pistol shooting, popularized in countless movies. A retired Marine Corps colonel, big-game hunter and outdoorsman, he developed the technique by staging a series of pistol matches near his home in Big Bear Lake, Calif. He observed and codified the best techniques, and out of these observations, he built the tenets of what would become the "Modern Technique of the Pistol," a system the academy says has saved the lives of thousands of law enforcement personnel, military operatives and private citizens.

The technique incorporated a two-handed Weaver stance, named for a Los Angeles policeman, a large-caliber handgun and quick acquisition of the sight picture. The technique also stressed safety, compressing the so-called 10 Commandments into four simple rules: all guns are always loaded; never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy; keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target; and identify your target and what's behind it.

Cooper moved to Arizona in the late '70s because Arizona's firearms laws were less restrictive than California's.

"The idea that a man is somehow unusual because he shoots or wishes to shoot or enjoys shooting is foreign to Arizona," he told The Arizona Republic five years ago.

Over the years, Gunsite Academy has become one of the best-known firearms training facilities in the world. A columnist for Guns & Ammo magazine and a longtime member of the National Rifle Association, Cooper was a leading advocate of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.

John Dean "Jeff" Cooper was born in Los Angeles on May 20, 1920. He left the Marine Corps in 1955 and resided in Big Bear Lake from the late 1950s until he moved to Arizona.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Safety Biggest Travel Concern

A new poll by the Associated Press and AOL shows that people consider safety to be the most important concern when planning a vacation -- ahead of relaxation, cost and meeting family and friends.

Air travel safety remains a concern for more than half in this country -- 55 percent say they have at least some concerns about the safety of flying.

And about a third say they get confused about the rules for what they can bring on airplanes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

List of some recent U.S. school shootings

A list by The Associated Press of some fatal shootings at U.S. schools in recent years:

• Oct. 2, 2006: A gunman took about a dozen girls hostage, killing at least three of them, at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, police said. The shooter was among the dead, and a number of people were injured.

• Sept. 29, 2006: 15-year-old Eric Hainstock brought two guns to a school in rural Cazenovia, Wis., and fatally shot the principal, a day after the principal gave him a disciplinary warning for having tobacco on school grounds, police said.

• Sept. 27, 2006: Duane Morrison, 53, took six girls hostage at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colo. Morrison, sexually assaulting them and using them as human shields for hours before fatally shooting one girl and killing himself.

• Aug. 24, 2006: Christopher Williams, 27, went to an elementary school in Essex, Vermont, looking for his ex-girlfriend, a teacher. He couldn't find her and fatally shot one teacher and wounded another, police said. Williams also killed his ex-girlfriend's mother, according to authorities. He shot himself twice in the head after the rampage and was arrested.

• March 21, 2005: Sixteen-year-old Jeff Weise shot and killed five schoolmates, a teacher and an unarmed guard at a high school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota before taking his own life. Weise had earlier killed his grandfather and his grandfather's companion.

• Nov. 22, 2004: Sixteen-year-old Desmond Keels is accused of fatally shooting one student and wounding three others outside Strawberry Mansion High in Philadelphia. The attack apparently was over a $50 debt in a rap contest. Keels is set to stand trial on murder charges later this month.

• April 24, 2003: 14-year-old James Sheets shot and killed the principal in the crowded cafeteria of a junior high school in south-central Pennsylvania, before killing himself.

• May 26, 2000: 13-year-old Nathaniel Brazill killed his English teacher on the last day of classes in Lake Worth, Fla., after the teacher refused to let him talk with two girls in his classroom. He was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving a 28-year sentence.

• April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

• May 21, 1998: Two teenagers were killed and more than 20 people hurt when a teenage boy opened fire at a high school in Springfield, Ore., after killing his parents. Kip Kinkel, 17, was sentenced to nearly 112 years in prison.

• May 19, 1998: Three days before his graduation, an honor student opened fire at a high school in Fayetteville, Tenn., killing a classmate who was dating his ex-girlfriend. Jacob Davis, 18, was sentenced to life in prison.

• March 24, 1998: Two boys, ages 11 and 13, fired on their Jonesboro, Ark., middle school from nearby woods, killing four girls and a teacher and wounding 10 others. Both boys were later convicted of murder and can be held until age 21.

• Dec. 1, 1997: Three students were killed and five wounded at a high school in West Paducah, Ky. Michael Carneal, then 14, later pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder and is serving life in prison.

• Oct. 1, 1997: Sixteen-year-old Luke Woodham of Pearl, Miss., fatally shot two students and wounded seven others after stabbing his mother to death. He was sentenced the following year to three life sentences.