Archive | Why We Train

Building Your Mindset – Carry Essential Tools

Most readers of this blog probably have many solid habits, including never leaving the house without some essential tools. This is often referred to as an “every day carry” (EDC) kit and the contents vary based on the needs and skills of the individual. I think it is safe to assume that most would consider a knife and flashlight as foundational tools which should never be left behind.

If you want to be prepared to help in a sudden emergency, you will have to have your EDC tools immediately available upon your person. Just like a firearm in the truck will do you no good during a business hold up, a knife at home will not help you when you need it out on the road. A recent tragic accident that I happened to run across in some news really drives home this point.

A semi truck driver did not see cars stopped in road construction traffic in time to react and he crashed into several vehicles, causing one to catch fire. This vehicle was occupied by a mother, father, and 3 year old girl. The father was able to free himself and good Samaritans were able to free the mother, who was on fire, although she ended up perishing on the scene.

According to witnesses interviewed in the video portion attached to this story, no one on the scene had a knife with them to cut the burning toddler out of her car seat straps. She also perished at the scene. My point is not to judge anyone present and we will never know if a rescuer with a knife could have changed the outcome of this tragedy. I just know that if I am ever confronted with a tragedy like that I would be sick if I was unprepared and missing what should be an essential part of my kit.

Resolve with yourself to never be out and about without basic essential tools. The life saved one day maybe your own or it maybe that of a stranger. Regardless, anyone who is properly equipped and has the mindset of a sheep dog should faithfully exercise the basic responsibility to be prepared.

Building Your Mindset – Continuous Observation

You just finished purchasing that new rifle you’ve had your eye on for some time now at the local Wal-Mart. While you were at it you went ahead and purchased some ammo before heading out into the parking lot to your waiting vehicle. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and everything is right in the world…until it’s not.

While you were making your purchases, you didn’t realize that you were being cased by a suspicious person hanging out in the store. As your thoughts drifted towards the big plans for properly accessorizing this newly purchased rifle, you didn’t see that same man, a felon on the run who recently shot four people, lying in wait for you in the parking lot. You did notice that man when he stuck a gun in your face and robbed you of your freshly purchased rifle and ammo, but by then it was way too late.

The sarcasm above is directed at myself and not the victim of this crime, whom I’ve never met. This recent brazen robbery in Columbus, IN just chilled me a little bit because I thought of all the times I’ve purchased a new firearm and walked out to my vehicle with my hands full and not necessarily on the alert for a parking lot predator. I don’t know the excruciating details of this robbery besides what I found in the local paper, but regardless I certainly found a good lesson.

For the wanted felon on the run, it’s really not a bad plan. People are buying guns like crazy these days and you just need to find some low hanging fruit. You don’t have any plans of filling out a 4473 and waiting to see if you’ll be denied during the back ground check so the next best thing is a quick parking lot robbery. As our society continues to unravel and people become more desperate, brazen crimes like this will probably continue to find their way out to the quiet bedroom communities around America.

Stay alert!

Why We Train – Interrupting a Robbery

One of the most likely situations the armed citizen could find themselves in where they maybe required to use deadly force is interrupting an armed robbery. Regardless if the robber(s) chooses a bank, liquor store, restaurant, gas station, or etc. to victimize, the one thing they all have in common is the likelihood that customers will be present. The most powerful weapon for police/armed citizens is strong situational awareness. If you happen to find yourself caught in the initial act of robbery or you unintentionally interrupt one in progress by entering the business at a critical time, the best way to give yourself the edge is to not miss trouble cues.

Most of the time the robber(s) will be outnumbered, focused on the clerk or other victim, and unable to watch the customers scattered throughout the place of business. Quick thinking and acting at this critical point could easily hand off an opportunity stop a felony and save lives. One will most likely not have a warning of the impending trouble so the exercise will be strictly, “come as you are.” The big bore hand cannon under the truck seat may as well be on the moon if caught away from your vehicle when the moment of truth comes.

A Jacksonville, FL grandfather recently found himself in a situation like this and he was mentally and tactically prepared to proficiently use deadly force to stop an armed robbery at a Dollar General store. The article is understandably short on details, but we do know that the man was able to cue off a warning from the clerk and that he was a skilled marksman who practiced with his weapon in competition. His labor and preparation bore real fruit that night as he successfully stopped the robbery, protected others, and came safely home to his family. What more could you ask!

Why We Train – Other Weapons

Most of the time when one considers the appropriate use of deadly force it is in response to a crime in progress involving a firearm. However, it is important to consider that firearms are by no means the only weapons in an attacker’s hands that may require an armed response. Knives, bats, and even pepper spray being used in the commission of a crime could quickly create a justified deadly force situation under certain circumstances. With the rise of flash mobs and the violence that has accompanied some of these incidents, deadly force could easily be justified if a person is violently attacked by a group of unarmed thugs.

Recently in Salt Lake City an armed citizen was able to stop a violent stabbing spree. An apparently deranged man purchased a knife from a store and then proceeded to attack and stab multiple customers. If everyone would have just waited until the police arrived this story would likely contain more victims and some fatalities. Fortunately for everyone, a quick thinking customer who was prepared to act decisively intervened and stopped the threat. Train yourself now to be that guy if called upon!

Building Your Mindset – Police Ride Alongs

Most police/sheriff departments will allow interested citizens to accompany a law officer during their regular patrol, which is commonly referred to as a ride-along. Both the department and citizen benefit from this practice as most riders come away with an increased knowledge of the job and a heightened sense of awareness for real life “ground conditions” in the community. A citizen with this type of exposure is not only more educated about his or her neighborhood but also may be less likely to pass judgment on the police before all the facts come in whenever the inevitable next “shocking” video or other incident hits the airwaves.

The best way to maximize the ride-along experience is to conduct it with a trusted police officer friend. While this is not possible for everyone, it is about the only way to get the “uncensored” version. Naturally, if an officer is accompanied by someone they don’t know the rider is most likely to experience a sanitized viewpoint for obvious reasons.

If you want to gain some valuable insight regarding dealing with dangerous people, and etc., look for an opportunity to tag along with a cop on patrol. Try to do it with someone you know and also request to go to the worst neighborhoods. Summer and other times of nice weather will greatly increase the activity, especially in an urban area. I’m confident it will a good and mutually beneficial experience!

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