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Old June 21, 2009, 01:24 AM   #1
Wagonman
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Safety controversy

Has anyone seen the video from Tactical Response with the cameraman in front of the hot firing line while there was a course of fire being performed?

I was appalled at the unneccesary risk to say nothing of the violation of basic safety rules.

I watched his response and was further troubled, he compares being downrange to driving a car on the highway or riding w/o a motorcyle helmet.
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Old June 21, 2009, 01:55 AM   #2
T. O'Heir
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"...he compares being downrange to..." Idiot.
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Old June 21, 2009, 05:00 AM   #3
tuscani11b
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While I disagree with the camera mans assesment of what its like being downrange, Tactical response is a company that prides itself in its ability to teach students to shoot in a rapidly changing tactical environment. Unfortunatly the time when you need to discharge a firearm isnt at a paper target x distance away with range safety officers controling your every move. While I'm not advocating every range to be run this way, but it is incredibly valuable shooting experience if you want to truly emerse yourself in a tactical scenario
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Old June 21, 2009, 05:43 AM   #4
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What video, wagonman?

I would like to see it, do you (or anyone) have a link to it?
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Old June 21, 2009, 06:21 AM   #5
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So there will be nobody around when you may have to shoot someone in the real world?

Real world training for real world incidents. Heck, I've been swept more times on a "safe" 180 range than I've ever been whilst downrange.
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Old June 21, 2009, 07:24 AM   #6
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqboR...e=channel_page

Here is the Youtube version. Being down range like that is pretty bad. However, watch the shooters in the video. It will become apparent that several are not all that highly skilled...which makes being down range even more stupid. Those appear to be real, neophytic students.

Seriously, you hear the instructor calling, "Five shots to the little man. Five shots!"

Now, would you want to be a man squatting down between targets, like a little man, and hear that range command?
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Old June 21, 2009, 07:36 AM   #7
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Without disrespecting those who have expressed admiration for the training of Tactical Response, I would have a hard time accepting training or advice from a firm that so blatantly disregards basic firearm safety. After seeing that, my mind would question the validity of anything I was taught there.
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Old June 21, 2009, 09:08 AM   #8
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That is just a terrible, terrible idea. What if the cameraman lost his footing? Or got a cramp? What if a freaking bee landed on him? All possible, and all reasons why it's never a good thing to be on the business end of a gun, no matter how safe you think you are.
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Old June 21, 2009, 09:13 AM   #9
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Safety controversy? There is no controversy! He is a moron! Why not just set the camera up on a tripod and use a remote? The IR remote for my Nikon costs about $12.00

And if this guy really enjoys being shot at that much, he should to go to the front lines in Iraq or Afghanistan! I am sure he (or his widow) would get a lot more money for those pictures than of a bunch of people taking a CCW class!

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Old June 21, 2009, 09:17 AM   #10
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Doesn't pass the "Washington Post" test...

Certain levels of extremely advanced training can benefit from video footage being recorded of the shooters progressing through the scenario. But not at significant risk to the camera man. Fixed cameras could be used, remote cameras could be used, etc.

It comes down to "what would be the response if the camera man got shot?"

If the photos and story wound up on the front page of the Washington Post, would the average responsible shooter respond "...I can see how that could happen"; or would they say "what a dumbass!"

In this case, it looks like the latter...

(IMHO. YMMV.)
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Old June 21, 2009, 09:21 AM   #11
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Here's what I know.
Had I been taking a class there the camearman would have either been off the line or I would have been going back to the main office for my full refund and then heading home to look up a better school.
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Old June 21, 2009, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
And if this guy really enjoys being shot at that much, he should to go to the front lines in Iraq or Afghanistan! I am sure he (or his widow) would get a lot more money for those pictures than of a bunch of people taking a CCW class!
There is a big difference here. He isn't being shot AT. He is being shot TOWARD. Nobody is trying to shoot him. They aren't shooting at him. They are shooting BY him or in his general direction. This doesn't make it any less stupid, only that there is no intent to kill him. The difference is one of people driving by you on the highway and trying to commit vehicular homicide.

Personally, I would not stand on the middle white stripes between lanes and video cars going by me either. It isn't the intention to harm me that would worry me, but the inattention and mistakes on behalf of the drivers, or in this case, of the shooters.
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Old June 21, 2009, 09:32 AM   #13
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I think a downrange drill can be done safely.

I also think this video shows a downrange drill being done in a very unsafe manner.

We do live in a 360-degree world, and there might come a time when you need to fire a shot while a loved one is within a few feet of your intended impact point. There is value in stress innoculation, for most people. I'm somewhat ambivalent about whether a defensive shooter "needs" a downrange drill to be truly prepared (and thus whether it's a necessary risk or an unnecessary one), but I have no in-theory quarrel with those who teach it.

However, when a downrange drill is done, it should be done in a very cautious and controlled manner, with multiple safeguards. If you have the philosophy that the stress innoculation is important, then you need to provide it for your students in the safest possible manner. I do not think these guys did that.

Typically, what an instructor is trying to accomplish with a downrange drill is something some call "stress inoculation" and others call "emotional climate training." The goal is to allow the student to experience – in a safe environment – the full weight and magnitude of shooting near (but not at) an innocent human. Most responsible shooters are freaked out by that thought. Yet if & when the student uses a firearm for real in a defensive situation, it is entirely likely that someone they love and care about will be within feet (and possibly within mere inches) of the muzzle at the time they fire. If they are freaking out about the mere thought of firing near an innocent, they won't be able to make that shot when they need it, so the reasoning for the downrange drill is that if the student has already experienced and gotten over the extreme emotional "freak out" associated with needing to make a shot near but not at an innocent, they will be that much steadier under stress and that much more prepared to make that shot when it counts.

At the same time, those instructors who send students downrange during such drills (rather than going downrange themselves while students shoot) are typically trying to accomplish a similar stress inoculation goal: they want their students to experience, in a safe and controlled environment, what gunfire looks like from the front. Again, it is fully expected that any reasonable person will be disconcerted by both the idea and the actuality of having a gun fired in their general direction, even if it is not being fired at them. The reasoning here is that those who have experienced the emotional impact of such a situation but in a safe environment will be more prepared and better able to keep their cool under pressure if & when it happens in real life, and that they may recognize that they are being shot at somewhat sooner than someone who has never seen or experienced gunfire from the muzzle end. The goal has far less to do with anything macho than it does with simply getting over and past the extreme emotional reaction in training so that the student will be able to respond calmly and efficiently in real life.

By this point, whether you agree with the arguments or not, it should be clear why these goals cannot be accomplished with anything but live ammunition on a hot range.

Again, to be clear: I'm not saying these drills must be done and I'm sure not urging anyone to get out this weekend and run downrange! I'm just trying to articulate what instructors who do this type of drill are intending to accomplish when they do them.

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Old June 21, 2009, 09:41 AM   #14
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No disagreement regarding either the utility or intentions of such drills.

My response is limited to an observation that, in this particular circumstance, fundamentals of safety appeared to be absent; and that typically such drills are run with extremely advanced shooters. Which also does not appear to be the case in this specific instance.

Last edited by Doc Intrepid; June 21, 2009 at 09:42 AM. Reason: typo
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Old June 21, 2009, 09:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
There is a big difference here. He isn't being shot AT. He is being shot TOWARD.
But combat photographers generally are not being shot AT. Their job just happens to put them in the line of fire.

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Old June 21, 2009, 09:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
I think a downrange drill can be done safely.

I also think this video shows a downrange drill being done in a very unsafe manner ...

Typically, what an instructor is trying to accomplish with a downrange drill is something some call "stress inoculation" and others call "emotional climate training."
That is not a downrange drill. This video shows a photographer apparently trying to capture a "true action" photo. This is a photographer who is very stupid.
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Old June 21, 2009, 11:02 AM   #17
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Summary; it's only a matter of time....
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Old June 21, 2009, 11:05 AM   #18
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Apparently Tactical Response posted a response.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R3t0wuLDWQ

I'll let you form your own conclusions.
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Old June 21, 2009, 01:36 PM   #19
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"True safety doesn't exist!" ...

Gimme a break. These guys need a refresher course in ORM. I imagine that had something gone terribly wrong, it would become company policy to never do that kind of stunt again ... if they could find an insurance company that would underwrite them again that is.
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Old June 21, 2009, 01:42 PM   #20
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Yeager does make a very convincing argument for why I will never take training with his company.
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Old June 21, 2009, 02:03 PM   #21
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Explaining this away as "stress inoculation" doesn't ring true with me, either. If that is what it was, why was there one person downrange, and why did he need to be holding a camera. I am an avid amateur photographer, and cameras require some focus and concentration. If this was a stress inoculation exercise, there is no reason to distract the downrange fellow by putting a camera in his hand and expecting him to get quality photographs.

While it is true that "true safety doesn't exist" in the sense that nothing is risk free, prudent people assess and manage risk. Some risks are within your control and some are not. Putting a distracted person beside a target in a live fire accident is the former.

The analogy to automobile traffic is utterly absurd.

I find it rather arrogant of him to try to turn the situation into a commercial with that macho pseudo-challenge at the end.
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Old June 21, 2009, 02:30 PM   #22
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WOW... JUST WOW!!!:barf:
If it were stress inoculation they would have one person doing jumping jacks beside each target! So only 2 students deserve this "inoculation"?
what about the possible "flyer" round? And a cameraman is a viable scenario participant for a shooting exercise?
I am thinking my practice while me and a few buddies passed a bottle of whiskey wasn't so unsafe after all. we were actually drinking so we knew we could hit our mark if we were attacked while partying so it was cool, Right?
Brent
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Old June 21, 2009, 02:37 PM   #23
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I think too often people get caught up in the common misconceptions about what is and isnt safe. Unless you actively aim your weapon and another person, have it off safe, and ur finger on the trigger then your weapon isnt going to magically shoot anybody. Theres no such thing as an accidental discharge, and while as I said before I do think that a certain level of babying should be done at your average range with your average shooters, why would anybody pay the thousands of dollars to be trained to perform in a tactical environment only to be treated like children
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Old June 21, 2009, 02:39 PM   #24
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I change the batteries in my smoke detectors. I have a kitchen fire extinguisher. I wear my seatbelt. I don't ride a motorcycle. It would seem that qualifies me to comment per Mr. Yeager's rules.

Not much in the way of cohesive logic in the video response. A few really glaring logic flaws.

1. The fact that unavoidable safety risks exist in our daily lives is not justification for taking unnecessary risks or imposing unnecessary risks on others.

2. The fact that a person chooses to take risks in one area of his life does not automatically justify his taking unnecessary risks in other activities.

3. The fact that a person chooses to take risks in one or more area of his life does not disqualify him from being able assess or deplore unnecessary risks when he sees them.

4. The idea that students must have persons downrange while firing or they will be unable to fire with persons in front of the gun in a self-defense situation is demonstrably false. Clearly people can fire in SD scenarios with persons forward of the muzzle even if they never trained with people downrange.

The bottom line is that this school sees a need to stand out. Apparently they don't feel they can do it by any other means than controversy.

The plug at the end of the video would have been amusing except for the fact that it made me wonder what sort of potential student that kind of challenge appeals to. Not pleasant to think of folks like that with guns...

A couple more interesting points.

1. Apparently things were getting a little too hot--Mr. Yeager posted some responses and then disabled further text commenting on the rebuttal video.

2. The original training video was removed (although it appears that it has been reposted by a different person). The fact that they removed it suggests that perhaps they're not quite as proud of it as the rebuttal video would have us believe.
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Old June 21, 2009, 03:14 PM   #25
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Double Naught Spy wrote:
Quote:
Yeager does make a very convincing argument for why I will never take training with his company.
That about sums it up for me too. I bet their insurance company sees that video and drops their coverage.
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