AFTER THE LAST BANG Feed

Your claim of justified self defense...or defense of others, must fit inside the justification window. Your actions must be contemporaneous to the event...to the assault, attack, etc. Contemporaneous means "close to" in terms of timing. So using our framework of decision-making, you can't legally justify shooting a prospective and potential attacker because you thought, one day, he might seek to harm you. Similarly, you can't justify seeking a subsequent contact with a past aggressor and claim retro-active self defense. This is a point that is so internalized for many of us who've lead a violent lifestyle that we take it for granted, but it bears repeating since so many questions have been raised recently in this theme. The case was a thread on a sexual assault suspect in a bar. At first sight I would question the judgement of going to a loud and boisterous bar where this sort of thing might happen. Having been in a couple of bar fights in my younger years, I'd rather not get into another one. But in truth, this event could happen anywhere,... Read more →


When you enter a negotiations, it is important to know what everyone expects out of the encounter. Everybody needs something...and is there to attain it. If you know what the other side is after, you have a great deal of control over the tempo and eventual conclusions. So in this last segment we will discuss the different pertinent parties involved, specifically the initial first responder, his supervisor, the investigator, and of course you. Let's begin with you shall we? You shot shot the terrorist, robber, killer-thug in the face and he is dead on the concrete with his brains showing. You called the 911 system and stood by carefully waiting. You gave a brief but accurate no-shitter depicting yourself several times as a justified victim with proper and articulate language. And the first contact went well. The first question is asked of you by the first officer - "What happened?" That is the stage that is set. What do you want? I know what I wanted, and would still want. I want to be treated like a victim and not... Read more →


This part we will discuss the first contact with the first responders. And there will be first responders. Some Walter Mitty types on the internet have a fantasy of defending themselves, or killing an active shooter, and then disappearing into the mist, unidentified. Not only will that be very difficult to do given modern responses to such events, but somebody somewhere undoubtedly got a video of it. Fail to make purposeful contact with the first responders, and you will be identified as an armed killer on the loose with every young officer out to make a name for himself likely to shoot you on sight. So, first contact must be made. Here is how you set the stage for success. 1). As soon as it is safe and practical, you need to call the 911 system. You, not your wife or your kid, or the poor bystander you commandeered into helping you. You need to do it, and it is the first phone call you need to make because you can bet others are calling on what they saw. But... Read more →


Thusfar we have shared what I think are the all important aspects of the study of gunfighting. We have taken all the steps on the map from developing the proper attitude, and self-image, and what that leads to, as well as the sort of training that will best insure your victory in the fight itself. As a point of credibility, not only do I have personal hands on experience with this, but so do my students. I have been teaching these concepts now for twenty years. None of my students, many of whom are private citizens as well as police officers, have ever lost a gunfight, nor have any of them been jailed for their actions during the gunfight. And it is that last point that this next segment of the study is about. The so-called aftermath. The Aftermath (followed by sinister music) is big business. Like the relationship between doctors and pharma that keeps America sick and drugged, the Aftermath-based businesses help keep America afraid, ignorant, and in real danger of the law after a shooting. Both of those... Read more →


We hear it from time to time. It is a mistake, but like lies, mistakes repeated over and over, and never corrected, tend to become the perception of correctness. The issue is the idea that all training is good. It is not. Not all training is good...and not all trainers provide valuable training. The same can be said for tactics and methods of operating the weapon. "Its just another tool for the box". No...it is mental garbage that you have just injected into you mind like a junkie injects heroin. Once that trash is in the mind, it won't leave. And anything you program vis-a-vis repetition, has been installed in your program. So no...all training is not good. Only good training is actually good. And what is that? It is what is actually useful and applicable to your daily operations. Doing a reload, for example, like the third man in a stack on a direct action team with endless support and endless supply may make the typical gun student's groin twitchy, but has absolutely zero bearing on how he should... Read more →


“There are things in heaven and earth”, says the poet…that human kind yet doesn’t understand or is able to explain. But the lack of scientific understanding does not invalidate the existence of “those things”. One of those areas we have been deep in study, and for close to thirty years now, is how a mental attitude and established self-expectations translate into live physical performance in combat. Recently some of us were discussing “fear”. The word itself is as inaccurate as the word “love”. We love our mothers and a nice single malt…but not quite in the same way. Yet the word is the same in the English language. Same for the word “fear”. Those words tend to create physical manifestations, which I believe in turn have a deep effect of physical performance. Thinking in words creates physical expressions of those words. Ask someone to show you a “fear face” and they will take on a frightened, submissive, hiding posture, like a child hiding under the covers from the monster in the closet. I believe that such physical expressions of thoughts... Read more →


Adversaries can see fear. Its in your voice and demeanor. And they are not afraid of your fear. Fear is not a gift and those who think so probably have never been in mortal combat. Bad guys see it. They know it can lead to over reacting, but they also know that the fear is from a reluctance to kill them. If the reluctance is gone, the "defender" takes on an entirely difference countenance...and that scares them. The reason is that before them is not a reluctant fearful victim on the horns of indecision about taking their life. Rather they see someone who has already killed them in their mind and heart, quite dispassionately, and smiling is simply waiting for the green light to execute a plan that has already been seen to conclusion. What your adversaries see depends on what you show them. That depends on what you feel. And that depends on how you see yourself and your role in the events. What is your self-image? Read more →


Amazing things happen when preparation meets opportunity. The issue we have is the lack of preparation in professionals as well as private citizens. Oh, they may be well prepared to run a stage imitating an overweight John Wick, but not for what we are talking about. Bruce Lee, in the landmark movie Enter The Dragon (look it up kiddies and watch it), after one of his adversaries broke a board, said simply yet eloquently, "Boards don't hit back". In our study we might rephrase as, "cardboard targets and steel plates...don't shoot back". There is a natural and momentary hesitation that takes place the first time you look over your sights and see another breathing, living human being rather than a training target. It is almost as if the brain is questioning the reality of the very foreign image it is seeing. And then the doubts come in. "Am I correct, and I legal, will I get into trouble, will I be arrested, fired, sued, should I shoot, should I...." At some point along this internal dialog the bad guy realizes... Read more →


TACTICS - THE ART OF MANEUVERING AGAINST AN OPPONENT, AND TOWARD A SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE. Tactics is proactive and preemptive. Tactics is not reactive. We have a set of skills for the reactive event that help prevent you from getting shot when you didn't expect the fight. Combat proven and street tested skills that have kept us and other alive when by all rights we should have died by gunfire. As essential as those are, they are not tactics. Those skills are habituated responses established by extensive repetitions when a stimulus is presented. This is just like the martial arts people have done for centuries. As our respected staff member states, gun-fighting is karate at 1200 feet per second. But karate is not tactics either. Tactics come before the shots are fired. But tactics are not for leaving the fight. As we said, all you need for that is a suspicion and the willingness to act upon it by leaving. Tactics are created and justified by an understanding of both the dynamics of the fight as well as what is justified... Read more →


In a previous life I was hard at work in the study of CQB, and was an Assaulter in my department's special weapons team. During that time I trained with a senior SWAT sergeant at LA County's SEB named Gary Rovarino*. Gary was not only gifted in his craft, but also a student of karate which gave us a common language and made us instant friends. At a regional school he was teaching, Gary defined tactics brilliantly - "Tactics is the art of maneuvering against an opponent, and toward a specific objective". To add to this, tactics is the physical and dynamic embodiment of strategy. Strategy is a thought process and involves thinking and looking forward to objectives. Tactics are physical and involve taking action to cause things to happen. To put it in practical terms, strategies are conceived at the Pentagon, and tactics are developed by the Marines. To examine tactics we first need to establish strategies. And in the context of our discussions, strategies for the lone operator, CCW-equipped, regular guy. Presented with a potential for danger or... Read more →