AFTER THE LAST BANG Feed

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 →


Uncertainty Kills. That is one of those truths from the street that, being irrelevant on the shooting range, rarely gets taught to students of the gun. Sure, there is lip service to color codes and so forth, but we address all of that in the self-image discussions don't we? Lions need no color codes. Here we are discussing a certainty of position and standing that clarifies the rules of combat - the rules under which you are justified in shooting another man to death - at a deep and almost cellular level. The moment when the pistol is drawn, when the red dot is suspended on the bridge of the bad guy's nose and your trigger finger begins to feel that first poundage of take-up on the trigger is a moment when we need a deep and clear certainty of action. Hesitation is the mechanism by which uncertainty kills. How can we be certain of our position and process of killing another man? And that is what we are talking about. After all the clever euphemisms..."stopping", "contacting", "defending from" are... Read more →


Thusfar I have exposed the myths held onto so dearly by a large segment of the gun world and the CCW world, I have discussed the all important development of the winner's, the warrior's self image. This self-image is of far greater importance than any mind set, color code, or anything else used to skirt the world of the mind in the fight. Now we will discuss how to train to develop the skills of the gunfighter. Gunfighting and Shooting are not the same things. Gunfighting and gun sports are not the same things. I will bet the average thug who has already killed a few other bad guys will utterly trash the average "grandmaster" sport shooter for whom the street fight is a foreign concept. Why? Because the killer knows how to kill and the gunfight is about killing, not about shooting a score. The concept of shooting for a score, or a "running a stage" is actually detrimental to street fighting skills. And doing one will not make you better at the other. Choose what you want your... Read more →


Fear is NOT a gift. Fear, no matter how many books it sells, it is an emotional reaction that leads to poor decisions and to over reaction. What we want instead is coolness under stress...now that is a gift. But far too many gun people are driven by fear. Their training is based on being afraid and their entire defense posture is built entirely on fear because that is what those who trained them knew best. One generally teaches what one knows and understands. But fear-aggression often leads to fear-shooting. And fear-shooting is rarely clean, well done, or justified shooting. The attitude that is most desirable is not the snarling little fear-aggressive dog with the emotionally-driven outburst of words, and often over-reactive gunshots. The attitude that is more desirable is the attitude of the predator. Now by "predator" I am referring to the animal kingdom example that differentiates the snarling little ankle biter dog, and the wolf on the hunt. The Predator does not show emotional arousal, or anger. The Predator does not yell or posture and does not develop... Read more →


I am writing a five part series on "The Secrets". These are those intangible things that can't be quantified in a shooting test or sporting event, yet the very same things that define the difference between victory and death in a gunfight. I will write the five parts out, with my unedited opinions and let the chips fall wherever the hell they fall. If you like what you read, there will be an opportunity to let us know. Here we go. The first installment will discuss the myths of the gun world. These are things that have been accepted as truth because they have been said so often. The problem is that many of those repeating these things have no first hand knowledge and so they repeat what they have heard. A myth repeated often enough becomes a widely held belief...almost a religious belief. yet, it is still a myth, and myths are not truth. Myth Number One - The presence of the gun is all you need, so have a gun. Having a gun is a good thing, but... Read more →


Again, review the chart. The question is shooting bad guys in the back. Many in the gun community, indoctrinated by the fear-mongers and liability-centric trainers are totally averse to back shooting. And it shows. We recall the Minnesota Mal event where tha bad guy terrorist is actually advancing on the good guy back first. And the good guy is shown back pedaling, apparently hesitating to shoot him in the back, and actually falls down. Fortunately, it worked out well for the good guy. A recent question at warriortalk on the legality of back shooting created the need for this article. So lets get to it. I have shot bad guys in the back twice. One was an active shooter and the other a home invader/rapist. Both were justified. In the tactical scheme of things, the back shot will present itself, usually in one of two ways. One the bad guy will be attempting to move from one point to another, either in an attempt to flee after his crime, or gain a tactical advantage. The other is that at the... Read more →


This came up as a discussion in the Interview and Investigation Management Class and deserves a blog post for discussion. I will use Zimmerman as the "famous anecdotal example". Zimmerman as we recall, did not go into a deadly force event, he found himself there unexpectedly. We pick Zimm up when the question comes up, "are you the focus of the violence?" And in the end...true to the flow of events and the chart, Zimm was not convicted. But let's add a point of consideration that is not, nor should it be, in the chart. Good Sense. This fits between legal standing (you have a right to be there and are not committing a crime) to preclusion (you are the focus of the attack). There is a great deal of ground between the two. Where the ambiguity came in with Zimm is that while he was in the right, legally speaking, he created that event himself...maybe unintentionally, but nonetheless. So the point for discussion is this - every contact you make under unusual circumstances has the potential to become a... Read more →