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View Full Version : There are no magic bullets...or nothing works 100% of the time on everyone


Jeff White
July 8, 2002, 09:04 PM
RANT MODE ON:

In the past few days we've had some threads going on here blasting the lack of effectiveness of various weapons, techniques and ammunition. What's got me upseet is that there are several people who should know better jumping in with their two cents. (which is the fun of online forums) But guys and gals, lets get back to reality. Over in Art of the Rifle, the usual 5.56mm is an ineffective cartridge debate is going in a couple threads. Here we have people ready to ban the use of OC because it's ineffective.

To this let me say that phasers you can set to kill or stun don't yet exist. Until they do we have to accept the fact that no fighting technique, no method of intermediate force be it OC, CS, CN or Taser, is 100% effective against 100% of the population, 100% of the time!!!

Belive it or not, we got into the very same 5.56mm vs .30 caliber debate on The Infantry Leaders Forum on the official Infantry School and Ft Benning site. A CPT who works in the Combined Arms Tactics Division at the schoolhouse summed it all up nicely; "Why is it when an American soldier survives multiple hits from an enemy's weapon and goes on to take out the machine gun position with a frag grenade, we give him the MOH; but let an enemy soldier have the nerve and bad manners not to fall over dead immediately after one hit from an M4 or M16, we've got a problem with our weapons?"

As for OC, when I first certified with it back in about 93 or 94, they told us it wouldn't be effective against everyone. I've learned pressure point control techniques that would have some people on their knees begging for mercy, are totally ineffective on others.

If you look hard enough, you can find documentation of people continuing to function after receiveing hits from about any firearm you care to name. All lesser means of force depend on pain to gain compliance. Everyone has a different threshold of pain.

I just think it's more productive to talk about how to stay in the fight and win then it is to bemoan the defensive tools used. Instead of "on page such and such of Black Hawk Down, SFC Howe had to shoot the bad guy a couple times before he went down" meaning the M4 and M855 is useless in combat; what's wrong with "we need to educate or soldiers on the grim realities of combat?

Instead of indicting OC spray and making it the culprit in the murder of Deputy Herzog; why aren't we blaming the real culprit, the budgetary decisions that left him out there alone to deal with an EDP?

Boys and girls, I don't think we're learning the right lesson from these things. In fact, we're getting like the antis, we're blaming the tools for bad things that happen.

RANT MODE OFF

Jeff

matthew temkin
July 8, 2002, 10:24 PM
Right on. I always found it sad that the FBI tried to blame the 1986 gunbattle in Miami on the failure of the 9mm silvertip to put down Platt. Didn't the US Army back in 1906 deduce that a determined, charging enemy could be hit in the chest with a 30-06 rifle and still be dangerous within 30 yards?
The only "winners" in the Miami masacre was the guns and ammo makers (not to mention the gun writers) who had new toys to produce and push.
Life has no magic bullet. Which is a saying that has no relationship to gunfighting. But it is true nontheless.

Watchman
July 8, 2002, 10:29 PM
One thing that hardly ever gets mentioned when the question of weapons effectivness comes up is the state of mind or the mental condition of the person that is shot.

I beleive that it is completley subjective. A man shot unexpectedly while walking down the street is not in the same mental condition as a man hunkered down behind a bunker shooting at advancing enemy soldiers.

We see the same thing in people that we see when we are deer hunting. A deer that has been spooked by hunters, shot at repeatedly and missed and running for its life will be much harder to kill and put down than a deer that is just walking up unaware of your presence and munching on acorns.

The running deer may have a lethal shot in the heart, but still it runs quite aways before dying of blood loss. The browsing deer that is in a relaxed state will often be dropped on the spot.

Adrenaline is the factor here.

We've all read of those in combat surving mutiple hits, losing lots of blood and maybe even missing limbs that go on to do incredible things and live.

Then again, others die of shock from a seemingly minor hit.

We also read of drug induced perpetrators high on crack, LSD, cocaine or whatever being shot mutiple times before ceasing activities. Often the gun is blamed, the lack of "stopping power"or even the effectivness of the ammuniton is brought into question while the obvious is overlooked...the state of mind of the individual.

Fact of the matter is, anything short of a direct CNS disruption may take several minutes to actually kill. The human body can take an amazing amount of damage before it succumbs to shock.

Unfortunatley, when dealing with enemy soldiers or anyone else intent on trying to kill you, they more often than not still shoot back even when sustaining lethal hits. Us humans are stubborn and we refuse to believe that we have actually been killed until the brain shuts down the entire system.

A .22 short to the brain will kill you quicker than say mutiple hits in non lethal areas with a major caliber. The hunting mags and the pros constantly stress shot placement. Unfortunatley this is often easier said than done.

I think you hit the nail on the head...

educate the troops on the grim reality of combat. Ensure that they understand that quick death comes only with CNS shots and teach them to keep shooting until the threat no longer remains.

I know it aint politically correct, but often times the truth isnt.

Jack Carson
July 8, 2002, 10:43 PM
Ain't no magic bullet.
No firearm is perfect.
It's up to the user to stay in the fight and see it through.

That's my C.R. Sam impersonation for the night.

But it's a fact.

Jack

C.R.Sam
July 8, 2002, 11:21 PM
Yup
Fact

S

Blackhawk
July 8, 2002, 11:28 PM
Well said, Jeff. Print it up, and post it everywhere. :D

4V50 Gary
July 9, 2002, 02:10 AM
a tree but with one branch cannot be expected to bear fruit. Have Plan B, C, D, etc. on your mind. Nothing in life is guaranteed and never rule out retreat. You can always come back with the calvary later.

Fred Hansen
July 9, 2002, 03:19 AM
RANT ON MODE:

Some people just can't read and comprehend English. No one indicted OC spray or made it the culprit of Deputy Herzog's death. Only one person is responsible for that, the animal that murdered him.

That animal would have been dead in the ditch by the side of the road - right where he belonged - had it not been for the bizarre idea that a cooking spice is an appropriate way to stop someone.

Deputy Herzog is no longer "staying in the fight" because he was told to season a killer instead of KILL HIM!!!! Deputy Herzog is DEAD. The animal is spicy. If that works for some, it is no skin off my nose. Just so long as no one tries to make believe that OC spray is appropriate for anything other than a TexMex bar-b-que.

There was a time in this country - within the span of my lifetime - when if a person continued to attack after being warned by the police (or anyone else with a GUN) to stop, all one would hear is BANG!. Then somebody would get out the score pad and say

"Yep! Cop:1"

"POS dead in the ditch:0!"

It was considered an excellent outcome.

Somehow - again within the span of my lifetime - the bliss-ninnies found a way to convince perfectly decent people that life and death confrontations are an appropriate place to employ spices. Again, for emphasis, this leaves good people dead, and savage animal filth alive to live on my taxes, eating my food, stealing my oxygen, with absolutely no %&*$ing way to change the outcome so that a decent family man may go home to his wife and daughter, and an animal that would have been just as happy to kill one of us (and may still do so in the not so distant future) ALIVE.

There are no magic bullets. So F'ing what? One thing remains incontrovertable. Dead animals in ditches by the side of the road victimize ZERO PEOPLE FROM THAT MOMENT ON, INTO ETERNITY! This particular animal stands a 50/50 chance of being let out in a couple of months to do it all over again. I dare him to hurt somebody after he is dead.

If a savage, naked, drug-crazed, vicious, killer animal is close enough to sprinkle with pepper, he is close enough to kill you.

Any questions?:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Bogie
July 9, 2002, 11:48 AM
Not even Roshambo! is 100% effective.

Early and often, folks...

Jeff White
July 9, 2002, 12:58 PM
jmbg29,

When I started in police work in 1985, there were few less lethal options available to a peace officer other then brute force. There was MACE (TM) and other chemicals based on CS and CN but they really weren't all that effective. My dept. was testing the little stun guns. We found that they were definately not reliable and required you to get in grappling range to employ. We went from straight batons to PR24s to the collapsible ASP batons. All of these systems required training and practice to use effectively. OC didn't really hit the midwest until after the Rodney King incident, then there was a move throughout the country to go to less lethal force options that didn't involve impact weapons. We were issued OC and certified on it's use. We had been using it to good effect for a couple months when the St Louis city police department reported that they had an incidence where it failed to incapacitate a subject. This was a wake up call for a lot of officers around here who were so impressed with it's effectivness that they were letting other defensive skills atrophy. OC is an effective tool in our toolbox. But it won't work on everyone.

There are many factors that contributed to the murder of Deputy Herzog and the failure of OC is certainly one of them. But I wouldn't say it's failure is the major reason for his murder. And the use of force policies may or may not be at fault, I don't know enough about the murder and the circumstances leading up to it. From what i do know, the biggest factor is the fact the Deputy Herzog was alone when he had to deal with an EDP who subsequently took four officers to subdue. The report I read said that he was the only officer working in that jurisdiction at the time. If that is true, then it borders on criminal negligence.

From what you've posted and what I've read, we can blame the corrections system that couldn't keep the murderous scumbag locked up, we can blame the media in the area for for contributing to the creation of an environment where officers might be hesitant to use the right amount of force at the appropriate time when the suspect is a different race for fear of how things will . appear to the community. But the citizens of King County must shoulder the biggest portion of the blame. By refusing to demand that their representatives hire enough officers so that no Deputy is ever the sole officer in a jurisdiction and then expecting him to deal with an EDP under the same use of force guidelines our society demands these days. I can't understand how a country that is so wealthy that we can spend billions of dollars for passenger trains that no one will ride, can refuse to hire enough peace officers so that no one should ever have to deal with a situation like that alone.

Jeff

Correia
July 9, 2002, 01:54 PM
Amen Jeff, good post. I train under the assumption that if I am hurt I will continue to fight. Why shouldn't I assume the other guy does that too?


But given the choice between two sticks, I'll take the bigger one. :)

foghornl
July 10, 2002, 07:41 AM
There is no magic bullet. As I figure it, though, several 230Gr Rem Golden Sabre bullets from my 45ACP Ruger should have the "magic effect" of diminishing the BG's desire and ability to fight.

Fred Hansen
August 20, 2004, 12:17 AM
This just in.... Deputy Herzog is still dead. No news on whether the goblin that killed him is still "Spicy". :mad: :mad:

But what laughingly - funny... I don't feel like laughing - passes for justice here in the People's Republic of King County, has given us this:Thursday, August 19, 2004 ยท Last updated 4:37 p.m. PT

Man found guilty of killing deputy

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- A King County Superior Court jury on Thursday convicted a man of aggravated first-degree murder in the shooting death of a sheriff's deputy in June 2002.

Ronald Keith Matthews faces a sentence of life in prison without parole in the shooting of Deputy Richard Herzog. King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng decided last year not to seek the death penalty. He said Matthews' long history of mental illness met the criteria for mitigating factors under state law.

Matthews had been running through traffic in the Newcastle area near Bellevue, naked and screaming and apparently high on cocaine. Herzog tried unsuccessfully to subdue him with pepper spray.

When the two men scuffled, Matthews grabbed the deputy's gun and shot him several times, point blank, in the head.

The 46-year-old deputy was a married father of two and a seven-year veteran of the sheriff's department.

Sheriff's department spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said the verdict was a relief to everyone in the department.

"It does send a message that if you shoot a police officer, then you're going to get, well, almost the maximum penalty," he said.I have almost no doubt that this verdict will be altered or overturned. This is the justice system that found double murderer Mitchell Rupe too fat to hang. The justice system that found it unreasonable to convict people of murder provided they do something along the lines of killing their victim by using a skateboard in the fashion of a battle axe.

R.K. Matthews will probably be home for Christmas. :mad:

I still pray that he rots in hell. :mad:

Fred Hansen
August 20, 2004, 12:56 AM
I'd like to add a brief note for any RKBA fencesitters out there.


The above tragedy is precisely why I carry at least one gun and two knives 24/7/365.

The liberal filth that are at epidemic levels in my country have made it possible for animals like Matthews and Rupe, and the scumbag Green River killer - whose cursed name escapes me right now - to not only prey on us all, but to THRIVE!!!

Then they put police into the field armed with absurd things like aerosol cans full of cooking spice! Instead of sending the only message that has even a remote chance of working: LETHAL FORCE!

There isn't one criminal alive in Washington State today that doesn't know that he will be given free reign to operate with impunity in our urban areas. Not one that doesn't know that even after mercilessly slaughtering a husband and father in BROAD DAYLIGHT in front of multiple witesses, that said criminal will receive hundreds of thousands - no make that millions - of dollars worth of loving care and attention. No resources, including the lives of brave and heroic people, will be spared in order to assure the criminal's best interests are priority #1!!!

This is liberalism's gift to the world. To make the needs of those who do evil the focus of public policy. If mindless junkie psychotics need to have their encounters with police be more survivable *PRESTO!* Cops will be made to use absurd non-weapons in a non-way, in order to assure the cop's non-survival. Only scum have a right to life in the eyes of a liberal.

I spit on liberals everywhere. :mad:

And even if you are fairly certain you are a liberal, you might want to take a moment, and consider your immortal soul. Because even if you aren't going to, sombody else surely is.

Double Naught Spy
August 20, 2004, 07:40 AM
Jeff, in case you didn't know, even phasers with settings of stun and kill didn't always work as designed either. The effectiveness of phasers has proven problematic with each Star Trek series.

Fred, thanks for the fib. It is cute, but obviously nobody carries 24/7/365. I don't know why folks even bother to suggest such a thing.

Or maybe I should ask, where do your gun and knives go when you are asleep, or are they still on your person in bed? What about while bathing? I take it you never fly or have been to court?

I giggle at the notion about what you carry, one gun and two knifes. The one item most likely to fail is the gun, but instead of having a backup for it, you have a knife and a knife backup.

45 Fu
August 20, 2004, 09:37 AM
Sometimes I think that people, including people that should know better, are in an idealized haze about what would/could/will happen in a fight. The simple fact is that the chances of one of us getting shot/stabbed in a fight is very real and very great. The fact is that real fights are so fluid and have so many varibles it is impossible to say that something will have any amount of effectiveness in any given situation.

What most people do not take into account is dumb luck. So the other guy is drunk/high, has the worst pistol ever made, has loaded it with cheap ball ammo, and has no firearm training. According to some this should make him an easy fight. Here's the news flash - he likely doesn't read or train like we do so he is ignorant his supposed "weak" position and fights with the mindset of superiority. Two factors are at work here: 1) a highly motivated and determined individual 2) The fact that proximity negates skill - you don't have to be an expert to hit something within three feet.

Sometimes bad things happen and no amount of training, no kind of equipment, or any other factor can help someone get out from behind the eight ball when events have overtaken them. We can train until the cows come home, we can carry the "best" weapon, load it with "Super Black Death" hollow points and still get killed. This is not necessarily an indictment of the man or equipment, it just shows that chaos is king in these situations and nothing will ever change that.

Fred Hansen
August 20, 2004, 09:54 AM
Fred, thanks for the fib. It is cute, but obviously nobody carries 24/7/365. I don't know why folks even bother to suggest such a thing.Anytime. I know you like to chime in from time to time merely to insult other members on this board, and so I'm glad to oblige your need to do so.Or maybe I should ask, where do your gun and knives go when you are asleep, or are they still on your person in bed? What about while bathing? I take it you never fly or have been to court?They're pretty much in the same place, within arms reach. Don't really fly much anymore, and I have no reason to go to court. Thanks for asking.I giggle at the notion about what you carry, one gun and two knifes. The one item most likely to fail is the gun, but instead of having a backup for it, you have a knife and a knife backup.That's okay, I giggle at the notion of people who think they'll have time to get to a backup gun. Life is funny. How else would any of us survive?

XXXOOO

OBIWAN
August 20, 2004, 10:34 AM
Here in Colorado we have a bunch of dead guys that pulled knives on cops....and then refused to drop them.

That was seen as a problem by the very people the police were trying to protect.

So now we have Tasers and Krav Maga training....training on dealing with the mentally challenged....

Rather than teaching the public that a knofe IS a DEADLY WEAPON

Say it again AMEN!

I dread hearing of the first officer killed because he tried going the "sensitive route"

Denny Hansen
August 20, 2004, 01:46 PM
Good "rant", Jeff.
I believe everyone should train in as many disciplines, from firearms to hand to hand, as time and their budget will allow.

Rich and I completed a four-day Executive Protection/Anti-Kidnapping driving class at Bondurant last week. Like everyone else here (hopefully) we spend a lot of time training to shoot, though the possibility of either of us firing another shot in anger is remote. On the other hand, we all spend a lot of time behind the wheel. We recognized a disparity in this aspect of our training and took actions to correct it.

Nothing is 100%. Train for any possibilty and, as Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his limitations."

Just my .02.
Denny

mk86fcc
August 20, 2004, 04:02 PM
I giggle at the notion about what you carry, one gun and two knifes. The one item most likely to fail is the gun, but instead of having a backup for it, you have a knife and a knife backup.Reckon ya' might as well have a chuckle or two on me as well. Of course, I'm more apt to go with a 16" ASP instead of one of the knives. I dunno - maybe that's even funnier...

tackdrivr
August 20, 2004, 05:50 PM
IMHO, there is too much focus on equipment and not enough on fighting. The novice shooter is usually focused solely on equipment. Some people believe they will be "good-to-go" by purchasing the "right" equipment. What they fail to understand is the fact that firearms along with other weapons are simply force multipliers. The skill and willingness with which the firearm is deployed dictates the effectiveness of the tool. Not the tool itself.

In my opinion a high percentage of the gun owners in the country are not mentally or emotionally prepared to deal with the use of deadly force. They do not have the mind set in place to deal with extreme violence. While that comment may seem a bit aloft to some, I have spent the last 20 years managing a shooting range and can attest to the truth of that statement.

The combat mindset becomes the single most important aspect in self-defense. I can teach you how to shoot in a fairly short amount of time. Teaching you the WILLINGNESS to defend yourself is another matter. The concept is to become the weapon and that starts with the combat mind set and the heart of a Viking. The willingness to train up, maintain the skills, and explode in to violence of action if all other means have failed to de-escalate the immediate threat. Once the fight is on it's on. There no such thing as a low threat fight once the action begins. I tend to think of it as "flipping the switch." It's OK to be the most mild mannered person on the planet, but when push comes to shove, and your facing an adversary hell bent on your destruction it's not a 50% effort. It's a 100% effort. Any less and you may be 100% dead.

Sadly, too many shooters live in a state of denial. While the evening news is filled with daily carnage some still think that it really won't happen to them and the hardware the strap on daily is "just in case." Others view the hardware as a talisman that by it's mere presence alone will keep them safe from harm.

In the end the mind is the ultimate weapon. Be prepared to flip the switch.

AAYMMV.

www.wct.4t.com

Dwight55
August 20, 2004, 06:57 PM
Just in case anyone missed the meat of this thread, here it is again:

"The combat mindset becomes the single most important aspect in self-defense. I can teach you how to shoot in a fairly short amount of time. Teaching you the WILLINGNESS to defend yourself is another matter. The concept is to become the weapon and that starts with the combat mind set and the heart of a Viking. The willingness to train up, maintain the skills, and explode in to violence of action if all other means have failed to de-escalate the immediate threat. Once the fight is on it's on. There no such thing as a low threat fight once the action begins. I tend to think of it as "flipping the switch." It's OK to be the most mild mannered person on the planet, but when push comes to shove, and your facing an adversary hell bent on your destruction it's not a 50% effort. It's a 100% effort. Any less and you may be 100% dead."

I was trying to find the words when I reached your post, tackdrivr. Could not say it better, so I'll just leave.

May God bless,
Dwight

dfaugh
August 25, 2004, 06:59 AM
Years ago, when I was heavily involved with the martial arts, my sensei asked me to teach a class on self defence for women. Now, bear in mind we weren't trying to teach them competitive fighting or the finer points of style. What we taught had one purpose, stop the BG, by any means necessary, and escape. So we taught a variety of fairly simple, disabling moves and practiced them, hopefully until they became second nature. But the one thing that sticks with me after all the years...One of the things we taught was to (if facing the attacker, with hands free) was to go for the eyeballs, HARD and with your thumbs/thumbnails....And the overwhelming reaction was Eeeewww!...gross. So, rather than employ a pretty sure method of stopping any attack (blind BGs are pretty unlikely to pursue you), these women would risk rape, beating or death. As you say, I fear many armed citizens fall into that same category...

I also remember, a long time ago, on some newsy show, they were interviewing an incarcerated criminal (house burglar, multiple murders, on death row)...When they asked him if he was afraid of people with guns in their homes shooting him, he replied that he was not...Because, he said "they will hesitate before pulling the trigger...and I won't"...

Mannlicher
August 27, 2004, 07:45 PM
true, nothing works all the time, but there are some that work better than others, in a high percentage of cases. My money goes there, not on something that ,by the same numbers, has proven to be less effective.

CarlosDJackal
August 28, 2004, 10:29 AM
A few years ago I was told that statistically 85% of persons who were shot lived to survive. I was also told that this could go as high as 95% if that individual actually fought back.

I don't know if these statistics are true, but even if the actual number is much lower (which I am inclined to believe), this is an incredible indication of how much of a compromise handguns really are.

This is why I like the concept of a Non Standard Response (NSR) - something which first I learned from Jeff Gonzales a couple of years ago. A lot of qualification courses and matches like to focus on the double tap. I fear that this has strained a whole generation of shooters to expect their first two shots to stop teh fight - a very deadly mindset.

Yup, there is no magic BB and there is no one effective technique/gun/tactic. Lethal encounters are very dynamic endeavors that require dynamic thinking. JM2CW.

easyG
September 1, 2004, 09:07 AM
I'm a radiographer at a local hospital and we often X-ray folks who have been shot but are still alive.

Usually they were wounded in an extremety or the lower torso by a single bullet (often they claim it was accidentally self-inflicted).

VERY seldom do we X-ray a LIVE patient with more than one bullet in them.
If they have been shot several times, we usually get our images in the morgue.

And, despite the one or two odd cases, headshots are usually fatal.

EasyG.

Sleuth
September 1, 2004, 03:40 PM
I must differ with your statement, Jeff. There is one weapon that works 100% of the time. In the British Army it was a punishment called:
"Being shot from a gun"
The convict was tied over the muzzle of a cannon, which was then fired. As the cannonball pierced his body, there was an instant, 100% one shot stop.

So, I have given up my 1911, and taken to towing a muzleloading cannon behind me 24/7. This way, I am assured of a single hit being enough. It is just a bit hard to conceal, but I'm off to the market to buy a bigger tarp. I am developing more muscle mass.

Now in development - the titainium short barreled 6 pounder for 'concealed carry, ...er, drag".

Good heavens, what if there are two BG's? Oh my, I'll need a full battery of guns!

Edited to add: Jeff, you are trying to change a fundemental American system: All problems can be solved by changing the hardware (guns), not the software (training).