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Old October 6, 2010, 12:49 PM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Tactics on Spike's Conceal & Carry School

Recent threads and watching Spike's Conceal & Carry School have made me reflect on how many of us assume that the mere presence of a gun will shift a conflict in our favor - and that isn't totally without reason since in a large majority of crimes, the mere presence of a firearm does deter the criminal without a shot being fired.

However, it doesn't always work out that way. Recently watching Spike's Conceal & Carry School, they did some Force-on-Force training using the same scenario for each student. (You can watch the episodes online, the Force-on-Force training is the last two episodes (there is also a third episode that has been aired on TV; but is not yet online).

The scenario is one of a couple arguing in front of the student's car as they exit a bank. The man yells at, and in some cases, strikes the woman. As the students approach, he tells them to stay out of it and grabs a bat. The woman stays subdued at first but immediately joins in yelling at the student if the student is in anyway aggressive towards the man. The longer the scenario lasts, the more both the man and the woman escalate their aggressive behavior towards the student.

Time and time again, I saw students pull their firearms to react to a legitimate threat; but then become flustered when the person refused to comply with their orders and only modified his behavior to the point that he wouldn't be immediately shot. Inevitably the students ended up getting sucked deeper into the conflict instead of decisively ending it by flight or fight.

So I thought we might get a good discussion about this type of scenario. What do you do when the bad guy isn't terrified by your firearm but doesn't cooperate while attempting to muddle the ability, opportunity and jeopardy elements long enough to draw you in?
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Old October 6, 2010, 02:45 PM   #2
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Excellent point. Maybe it ended up on the editing room floor but wouldn't walking away and calling the cops be an option, particularly after the male role player smacks the female role player?

In the clip Davison says something like, "We've got to make the situation better for us and worse for them." That doesn't necessarily mean unloading on someone. Maybe making the situation better for us is getting out of there (even if means leaving the car for now). I can come back and get the car later.
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Old October 6, 2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts
The woman stays subdued at first but immediately joins in yelling at the student if the student is in anyway aggressive towards the man.
That is ugly. And a big downside of using the handgun as a "tool of compliance".

Once our hypothetical guy throws down in a situation where he isn't immediately and justifiably compelled to shoot, the first person to get through to a 911 operator is the "victim", and it's just his word against both of theirs.

Without watching the video, was it possible for him to have just called the cops from inside his car or inside the bank without becoming directly involved?
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Old October 6, 2010, 03:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara
Without watching the video, was it possible for him to have just called the cops from inside his car or inside the bank without becoming directly involved?

Seems like this is almost always the best response. Do not get directly involved and make every effort to extricate yourself if you do somehow get involved.
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Old October 6, 2010, 03:33 PM   #5
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I agree that calling the cops is the best solution unless there is an imminent threat of "death or great bodily harm."
It appears that the argument/fight was not a deadly force situation, and I would not intervene.

It is a bad idea to draw a gun unless there is a justification for deadly force. If it doesn't dissuade the person you are in a dilemma and could be guilty of escalating the situation.

If reasonably possible don't get involved except to call the cops.

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Old October 6, 2010, 04:55 PM   #6
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Call the cops. Use lethal force when there is fear of death or grievous bodily harm to you or someone else. You must articulate the perpetrator had the means, opportunity, and intent to do the above.

If he were to have struck her or you with the bat or started beating her or you severely with his fists, raised the bat at you and said I'm going to kill you, etc... and you choose to then game on. Otherwise let the cops handle it, that's why we're paid the big bucks! Get something between you and the BG, keep eyes on him, and call the PD. Also give a good description, etc...
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Old October 6, 2010, 05:05 PM   #7
Bartholomew Roberts
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At least one of the students did immediately return to the bank and summon help. However, while that was probably the best response, it didn't give her much in the way of training value with regards to force-on-force, so they had her run the scenario again. The second time around she drew her pistol when threatened with the bat and retreated to the bank. She was one of the more succesful in the scenario.

One of the big things I really liked about the videos is it shows what a valuable tool movement is. One of the other more successful students was able to get the man to move enough just through her own movement that she was able to make a run for the vehicle and escape with no shots fired.

The roleplayers also used movement to good effect. The woman in the scenario actually had a handgun and used it several times (on the students) when the students threatened the man with their gun. If you watch the roleplayers movements, there are real clear warnings there of predatory behavior that the students mostly missed. Things like the attackers separating and coming in from different directions.

Then again, I think a lot of the students saw the woman as a "victim" and didn't realize she might not view herself the same way. Many of them even purposely put themselves between the two and then turned their back on her.

The shows have a ton of commercials in them and a lot of repetition as well; but the force on force is really worth watching for all the lessons.
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Old October 6, 2010, 05:23 PM   #8
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First off... I've never seen this show. Given the scenario described in the post. I dont inderstand how this even ties in with CCWing, or force on force training. Two people arguing, and one has a bat?

Am I missing something?

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Old October 6, 2010, 06:08 PM   #9
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I watched one of the episodes with the force on force. I have to say that it was pretty shocking to see how badly the students were affected by tunnel vision. After they turned their backs on the female they became completely oblivious to her until she either put a gun to the back of their head or shot them.

After watching that episode I've gone back to the start and have been watching each of the episodes in order. I'm a bit surprised with what I'm seeing on the range. The students are doing live fire exercises and some are obviously having a difficult time just taking their guns out of the holsters (I mean it's downright painful to watch).
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Old October 6, 2010, 07:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATW525
The students are doing live fire exercises and some are obviously having a difficult time just taking their guns out of the holsters (I mean it's downright painful to watch).
How many people CCW and have never shot anyplace but their local indoor or Fish & Game range and have never drawn a loaded handgun from concealment? Especially in a hurry?
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Old October 6, 2010, 07:26 PM   #11
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How many people CCW and have never shot anyplace but their local indoor or Fish & Game range and have never drawn a loaded handgun from concealment? Especially in a hurry?
Oh... no doubt... I don't expect any of the students on the show to know how to draw a pistol correctly. It just seems odd that watching the episodes I get the impression that they are being taught to shoot on the move while some students are still having trouble just getting the gun out of the holster. Of course, it could just be way the footage is edited... it does seem to jump around the timeline of the course quite a bit.
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Old October 7, 2010, 12:34 AM   #12
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It just goes to show how many people, even after training, are woefully unprepared for the reality of a dangerous situation. Why weren't the students armed with a cell phone in addition to their gun? Many criminals work in teams. So, in any situation, no matter how it appears to be going down, the best defense is to get to a safe place (like back inside the bank) and call the authorities. Domestic disturbances are some of the MOST dangerous of all situations to get involved in. In such a case, it's better to step off and call the authorities.
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Old October 7, 2010, 01:05 AM   #13
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In my limited experience, some folks have more trouble grasping the holstering/unholstering bit than others. Just as some will shoot on the move better or others will shoot from prone better etc. Most beginning classes are there to give you a set of tools to practice. You have to get all of that material in or it's a disservice to the folks that paid for it.

If the students are struggling but safe and it doesn't affect the rest of the material, I don't think it's unreasonable to go on, after some words encouraging that they practice the technique more later. Safety is the key, no one is going to master a technique in one class, many won't even get OK at certain parts.
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Old October 7, 2010, 04:43 AM   #14
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Training is nothing without practice.
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Old October 7, 2010, 08:50 AM   #15
Bartholomew Roberts
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Also, you wouldn't know this without watching the whole series; but several of the students have disabilities - some because they were victims of some horrendously violent attacks and others because of age. So I imagine that adds to the training challenge, though I suspect it is like ATW525 mentioned - they are probably just using whatever scenes they had available on film - so you may see a day 1 scene followed by a day 5 scene.
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Old October 7, 2010, 09:48 AM   #16
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This type of scenario-training may be the BEST training you can do. Becoming proficient in drawing, shooting, movement, etc. is all relatively easy compared to working out all the other problems you have to figure out.

You can "what-if" anything to death and these scenarios obviously won't cover everything but they go a long way to at least making you aware of how murky a situation is, and how fast the dynamic can change.
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Old October 7, 2010, 04:20 PM   #17
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WALK AWAY!

I know that I'm dating myself, but this story reminded me of an incident that occurred more than 50+ years ago when I was a patrol boy in grammar school on the south side of Chicago.

On my way home one day after finishing my patrol duties, I came across a couple that was having a heated argument. The man was slapping and punching the woman and I felt that I should do something to assist her. I grabbed a brick from under the corner news-stand's ash can, reached up, and smacked the guy on his right shoulder (back then the "newsies" used to set an "ash can" [a 55 gallon steel drum with holes punched in it] on some bricks and burn old newspapers in it to keep them warm in the winter). The woman became irate and screamed at me to stop! I told her that I was just trying to help her and she then screamed that it was OK for him to hit her but it wasn't any of my business and to leave them alone!? I remember being quite puzzled and taken aback by her reaction. I thought about it for a few seconds and then handed the brick to the man and continued on my way home.

When I related the happenings to my father, he told me that this should serve as a good lesson to me. He explained that if a neighbor's house was on fire it was my duty to help them put it out, however, anything that happens inside a neighbor's house or between "grown-ups" was their business and that it was up to them to resolve their own problems!

Regarding the OP, I would not let myself be drawn into this type of a scenario. Drawing a gun under these circumstances, not a chance! There are a lot of "crazies" and "sick puppies" out there and it isn't my job to analyze or cure them. As far as I'm concerned, unless someone is actually threatening me or mine, yelling for help, or asking me for assistance, I mind my own business. (I suppose you could call and report a disturbance if you wanted to stick your nose in it [and not by using the "911" number by the way!] but that would be the most I would ever consider doing in this type of situation.)
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Old October 8, 2010, 02:15 PM   #18
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Use lethal force when there is fear of death or grievous bodily harm to you or someone else.
Nope.

I am only in the business to protect my family and myself. I'm not a cop and I don't play one on TV.

Call the cops. That is what they get paid for. My job is to go home to my wife and kids.

Isn't a domestic violence call the worst thing police deal with?
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Old October 8, 2010, 03:11 PM   #19
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Never get involved in a domestic dispute, never. Call 911 and let the pros handle this, many folks get hurt trying to intervene in these situations.

If you do pull, the guy seems to not give a hoot, smack him upside the head (I use a 1911).

My sis was getting the crap beat out of her one day, mom was over and he hit her. Mom calls me, I go over, we get into it and he was knocked out but when he went down he hit the curb and busted open his head. Cops and ambulance show up, one gal cop wants to arresat me, the older guy tells her the guy hit needs to file charges and he isnt concious so I wasnt arrested. Sis dropped to her knees cradleing the creeps head crying that I hurt him. I dont speak to her much, he passed away from cancer. Should have seen her face, makes me wonder how can a person be so confused to let a guy miss treat her like that.

Call the cops, you will be better off.
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Old October 13, 2010, 08:30 PM   #20
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IMO learning to run a gun well is child's play compared to being able to process information and make the right decisions under stress in a situation like the one in the OP.

We can with only a coach, handgun, place to shoot, and ammo pretty much learn to shoot well.

Learning to make the right decisions under stress requires much more: a well-crafted realistic scenario, one or more capable instructors, a realistic environment, role players, training versions of various weapons, etc. And it requires repetition, honest feedback and progressively more demanding scenarios.

I've only done a Force on Force training class once for two days back in 2008. It was a huge eye-opener for me. I didn't know how amazingly ignorant I was prior to this class. I've done about 7-8 days of formal handgun training, and some rifle training as well, but the two days of FoF was arguably more useful than the rest combined.
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Old October 13, 2010, 09:31 PM   #21
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Great first post, oldtexan. Welcome to the forum. I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts and ideas.
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Old October 13, 2010, 10:05 PM   #22
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Big Bill, thanks for the kind words. It's good to be here.
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