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Old April 9, 2013, 05:05 AM   #1
sfmedic
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What about avoiding gunplay in the first place?

Was reading a post by Pax concerning women and weapons training and it got my mind going down a rabbit trail about men v women and how they differed when handling encounters and how they approach handling a threat.

ended up on wondering...


Who (instructors) here devotes any of there training time during weapon classes to actually avoiding the threat or in the case of a threat avoiding bringing the firearm into play?

after all proactive security trumps having to get into reactive security any day and IMHO if im carrying chump change and the guy got the drop on me, it might not be worth the hassle to test the reaction versus action theory and I think I might just chaulk up the loss to street tuition.
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Old April 9, 2013, 06:05 AM   #2
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Any good course always explains the importance of avoiding the conflict.It's the safest for everyone. And BTW when carrying leave your macho at home !! Don't do anything that is confrontational. Not gestures, words or anything else.
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Old April 9, 2013, 06:27 AM   #3
rebs
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The course I took back in the mid 70's, the instructor very well covered the importance of avoiding a conflict, among things such as always be aware of your surroundings, environment and people around you. Avoid area's where you know have high crime etc..
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Old April 9, 2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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excellent points - also avoid the problem areas in the first place

Bars
Drug areas
Known high crime areas


I have always taught that body language is important and that most criminals are predators and act as such

keep your head up and on a swivel
walk with a purpose and dont wander
let them know that your alert and looking around
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Old April 9, 2013, 08:11 AM   #5
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When I took my CHCL class, the instructor discussed this. The most amusing thing he mentioned was to watch for "The Felony Look," when a criminal looks around right before committing a felony.
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Old April 9, 2013, 08:32 AM   #6
geetarman
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The best advice I have read is to be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.

If you pull up to an ATM and it does not "feel" right, then move on and don't stop.

We have had a rash of people here being held up at gunpoint while waiting in line at an ATM or fast food.

I carry a G30 in my truck on the console. When I pick up treats for the ROs on Friday morning, I ALWAYS have that gun in my lap. If it is later in the day, after sunrise, I am not as concerned.

I really try to avoid problem areas but sometimes trouble will find you. You need to be prepared.
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Old April 9, 2013, 09:22 AM   #7
sfmedic
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yea i know what your talking about with that felony look. The usss had a good class on detecting armed individuals. One of the things that I picked up on and subsequently noticed in others is the tendency to always be touching your weapon.

watch others you know to be armed - its pretty much true.

criminals are no exception and back to that felony look - their body language is a great tell to alert you to get ready.
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Old April 9, 2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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Most classes cover the importance of avoiding having to use your gun, if possible.

I took a short class from Andy Stanford at a conference once and I recall this was the major emphasis of the class. The class included some gunfighting stuff, but most of the material was on what he called 'verbal judo', trying to manage the situation nonviolently and de-escalate it if possible. Tools covered included being aware, body language and "the fence" posture, hardening up your response with a friendly "no, thanks" when approached in say a parking lot, all the way up to screaming "BACK THE eff OFF!" if the other steps don't work. (assuming also there's time, and also note it's telling the guy to back off with profanity, but not calling him an eff-word name which would escalate things). He referenced Southnarc's "Managing Unknown Contacts" extensively, which would be an even more direct link to the source for training on this issue.
I haven't been able to find one of his (Stanford's or Southnarc's) classes near me since, but that was some of the most useful stuff for a non-fighter like me to learn.

Also, I recommend the book "Facing Violence" by Rory Miller. Being a book, it's not a training class, but I think it's aimed squarely at the what you're talking about including what to do if you're unable to keep it from turning into a fight or an attack.
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Old April 9, 2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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Most quality trainers spend a great deal of time on such, I've found. Those courses may be separate from pure skill and technique courses. You need both.

The TX CHL course spends a great deal of time with that.

If you just take shooting courses - you are missing a vital part of the skill set.
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Old April 9, 2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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I have been telling folks for years that a gun is just one tool in the tool box. People tend to think linear - I have a hammer, the correct response will be to hit the nail.

Training in de-escalation and verbal skills is a must, but usually not in the same class as a shooting skill class.
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Old April 9, 2013, 07:13 PM   #11
johnelmore
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Excuse me for saying but I think Sfmedic might be on the other side if you know what I mean. Every single training course places emphasis on safety, common sense and avoidance. The NRA is a strong advocate for avoiding problem situations and being safe. Just ask any NRA instructor or take one of their classes.

By now avoidance should be common sense and a trainer shouldnt have to explain avoidance to anyone. However all trainers explain responsible use and avoiding situations. Great pains are taken to emphasize these points.

If you dont know by now its a good idea to avoid a gunfight what can I say? The NRA teaches safe responsible handling all day long even when these ideals should be obvious and common sense to all.
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Old April 9, 2013, 10:08 PM   #12
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We certainly discuss the topic at some length in our Personal Protection classes and point out repeatedly the desirability of avoidance and some of the less desirable side effects of even successful self defense (e. g., involvement with the criminal justice system, legal expenses, potential psychological and physiological artifacts, etc.).
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Old April 10, 2013, 06:37 AM   #13
sfmedic
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Sfmedic might be on the other side if you know what I mean.

As in being the bad guy??


Yea I agree it should be common sense - fully


let me drill down a bit what Im talking about.

when i get civilian students they show up with the singular goal of bettering their shooting either by polishing existing skills or by adding a new tool to their tactical toolbox.

after reading the above posts I guess im the odd man out here because i dont normally incorporate proactive security or situation avoidance in my normal classes.

I teach TONS of that in my protective services programs - but not during weapons classes.

I do my safety briefs have the students prep their gear get on the firing line or in the apparatus and start the required range commands and run the days session.

Im thinking of consciously writing in some sort of proactive side training or incorporating it into range sessions. Im mulling over exactly what or how that would look. hence my post

I am a firm believer that a lot of encounters can be traced back to poor decisions on the part of the victim in some way or another and not in the 20/20 hindsight sort of way

and no I dont believe staying out of trouble is as common sense as was stated. If it was there would be no use for personal security courses. I have to go to personal security briefings all the time and to this day I dont see them as a waste of time - there is usually a nugget of information or something put out that makes you think - ahh good point


hmmm maybe I could work in a tidbit just before i start my range commands:

all right shooters - you screwed up and hung out in the bar parking lot at closing time and your being robbed - shooters - standby - ......

or

all right shooters you wore a flashy 30,000 dollar watch and a 4 karat ring on your walk on the wrong side of the tracks and your being robbed - shooters watch your lane ........



hmmmmmm
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Old April 10, 2013, 07:07 AM   #14
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Even armed to the teeth, Glock 19, spare G17 magazine, large (very sharp) folder. The Pistol is not in the forefront of my thought patterns.

When driving, focus on that activity, stopped for breakfast, seeing my Wife safely out of the passenger side of the Jeep, assessing all aspects of the walk to First Watch, what ever comes to light, is processed, be it an oil spill, on the car park, someone assessing me! As I asses him, whatever.

Speaking to some other walker, can fluctuate between "Good Morning" To "That's far enough" left hand up in the universal stop sign.

The good news is? A lot more good mornings.
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Old April 10, 2013, 09:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Speaking to some other walker, can fluctuate between "Good Morning" To "That's far enough" left hand up in the universal stop sign.
Good point. My wife and I were driving back from Illinois to Arizona a few years ago and stopped for the night in Oklahoma City and we checked into a hotel that had more than the usual foot traffic outside. We had a rental car that had been upgraded to a new Infinity G35. I noticed a lot of interest in the car.

We got checked in and everything seemed ok and decided to drive a couple of blocks away to a Cracker Barrel for dinner.

After dinner, we started to walk back to the car and I saw this guy coming toward me. He did not seem threatening at all but I was watching him closely.

I unlocked the car and told my wife to just be quiet and get in the car and don't start a conversation with this guy. The guy says he really likes my ball cap. I usually wear one that has the name of the ship I served on. I thank him and I am moving to the car door. I can tell this fellow is not done with the conversation. The guy is smaller than I am and he started telling me that he was in town to do an air conditioning repair on a home and the deal fell through and his truck broke down and he needed a few bucks to get back to wherever he was from.

I told him I was sorry but did not have any spare change and I never stopped moving for the car door. I got in, started up and went back to the hotel.

I talked to the desk clerk about what happened and she told me the hotel was very close to a bus depot and there were a lot of people who would make the rounds of the hotels and restaurants in the area looking for money to buy a ticket back home.

That is what accounted for all the people milling about on the parking lot of this hotel.

What I learned from this encounter is to be more careful picking a place to spend the night and it would have been a better decision to not leave the gun in the hotel.

While the guy did not directly threaten me, it COULD have turned out a lot worse.

As it was, no harm. . .no foul. It is also true that while I was aware of what was around me, I was NOT really prepared for what could have occurred had the guy been armed and been bent on robbery.

In this case, I learned a lot for little cost. Things don't always turn out that way.
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Old April 10, 2013, 09:55 AM   #16
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sfmedic, I don't think others are saying that avoidance is taught at handgun shooting skills classes, I think they are saying avoidance is taught at CHL, legal, and tactics oriented classes.

I know it was discussed in CWP/CHL classes I took in Florida and Missouri, and at Massad Ayoob's MAG-40. It was not discussed at the NRA basic pistol instructor's course, which is more about weapons safety and how things work, nor was it discussed in any of the handgun classes I received via the military.

So, the purpose of the class factors into things.

Edit: On a related note, I think every instructor who ever taught me a knife disarm said to avoid wherever possible, and to expect to get cut in a real encounter...
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Old April 10, 2013, 10:15 AM   #17
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The best gunfight is the one you don't get into. There is a tendency on the part of some folks to think that they can shoot someone, and if
it seems justified, the result will be like in the Old West movies where the sheriff buys the shooter a drink as his deputies carry off the body of the bad guy.

IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY and probably never did in the real Old West, either. The law takes killing seriously, and a shooter is not going to be allowed to walk away whistling.

If you carry a gun, you should have an attorney on retainer and have his phone number memorized. (Prisoners don't get to keep their cell phones.)

Jim
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Old April 10, 2013, 10:31 AM   #18
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I guess one of the things my earlier posts may not have mentioned is, I don't believe in wasting lunch time or breaks. People need to stop shooting to eat, but that doesn't mean they need to stop learning. After a long stretch of shooting, people need a change in pace and a break from physical activity. I love getting the important stuff to the students in the form of an 8-minute lecture during a 15-minute break. They tend to remember the critical points better when the lecture is short and clear in any case.

Mindset also shows up, over and over again, during the quickie skill set lectures before going live. You have to explain to students why you want them to learn various skills, or do those skills in a certain way. It absolutely permeates everything you do even in a class that's all shoot-shoot-shoot.

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Old April 10, 2013, 01:16 PM   #19
johnelmore
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I just think this is a loaded question asked in the forum. The question suggests that gun owners need lectures on how to avoid gun fights and that the current classes on firearms dont include such material in their coursework. This really isnt true.

No one should need a class on avoidance because avoiding a fight should be common sense. If you are one who needs a lecture on how to avoid a fight then you are not a representative of gun owners but an exceptional case who should rethink. In any event every course on firearms includes this kind of training. I was in the Boy Scouts back in the day and that was my first encounter with an NRA instructor who gave us a lecture on responsible handling. He went out of his way making sure we knew how to handle firearms safely and responsibly.

There are people who mishandle firearms just like there are people who cant drive, however, that is not for a lack of instruction.
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Old April 10, 2013, 04:44 PM   #20
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How many times have we heard it? "The first rule of gunfighting is 'Have a gun.'"

Which is arrant BS. The real first rule of gunfighting is, "Stay the hell out of gunfights any way you can."

Unfortunately, I know people who, despite having passed CCW courses that included training in threat avoidance, seem to feel that carrying a weapon makes it okay, if not actually a bit of a thrill, to go into questionable places and take risks in how they address potentially dangerous people. If one has that attitude, training and common sense may both go flying out the window.

In addition to alertness, awareness and observation, I think a fourth key word needs to be added. The word is maturity. Gun owners are like anyone else: some of us are mature and some are not.

To me it just seems like maturity of judgment to avoid unnecessary risks, but there'll always be a few folks who don't employ it.
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Old April 10, 2013, 06:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
What about avoiding gunplay in the first place?
We do.

It's called not doing the THREE STUPIDS.

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Old April 11, 2013, 01:45 AM   #22
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after all proactive security trumps having to get into reactive security any day and IMHO if im carrying chump change and the guy got the drop on me, it might not be worth the hassle to test the reaction versus action theory and I think I might just chaulk up the loss to street tuition.
IMHO
You are starting off with the wrong mindset if the amount of money in your pocket is what will dictate your response to the situation.

I live in Canada where there is no CCW but it is not the amount of money in my pocket that will dictate my response, but what the threat to my physical person is.
If I believe that handing over all of my money, wether it's $20.00 or $2,000.00, will allow me to walk away from the situation with only the holes in my body that god gave me then that's what I'll do.
If I believe that regardless of what I do I will be harmed then a different course of action is required.
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Old April 11, 2013, 06:53 AM   #23
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johnelmore

i dont think its a loaded question - I have no problems whatsover listening to a fellow instructor talk about his or her views or strategies for pro-active security / avoiding situations and diffusing situations while armed

If avoiding situations is common sense there wouldnt be a booming personal protection industry. - Im sure gun owners attend those :-)

If you look at it in that narrow term - avoiding a fight I dont know what your take is on my post. Its much broader than that.

staying out of the situation, getting out of a situation, force escallation once you cant get out of a situation, weighing the consequences of actually ramping up the situation to gunplay.

Jo Bang Lee the sensei that taught mike enchanis of the soldier of fortune magazine fame (idiot to the max) had a great philosophy that he engrained in his Hrang-Do students

If you find yourself in a fight , you have forgotten everything about Hrang Do - his philosophy was staying out of an altercation.

I teach Head of State operations - there are six elements to a Head of state detail - Protective Operations Management(POM), Close Proximity Details (CPD), Counter Assault Teams(CAT) Advance Teams (ADV) Drivers (DRV) and Uniformed Services and Suppprt (USS)

Of all of the sub-elements the most important element is the ADV because they are the ones that deal with proactive security and keeping the principle out of trouble - if there is gunplay involved someone screwed up somewhere and it was probably the ADV

so no I dont think it was simply a loaded question and I certainly dont think you can sluff off proactive security as simply common sense - it isnt anymore common sense than anything else that is taught throughout ranges around the world

Thus my question - How much time do instructors spend to incorporate staying out of trouble into their programs?

second question whats it take to pull a gun? two people die in a situation John Wayne and Woody Allen - how far between the two do people go?
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Old April 11, 2013, 08:33 AM   #24
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How many times have we heard it? "The first rule of gunfighting is 'Have a gun.'"

Which is arrant BS. The real first rule of gunfighting is, "Stay the hell out of gunfights any way you can."
I have often expressed this same thought as:

The first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun, but the Zero-eth law of gunfighting is to be somewhere else.

The reason it is the "zero-eth" law is that it applies to private civilians. Police, Security, Military... they don't have a choice. In many cases it is there job to seek out the kind of trouble that could lead to a gun fight.

But for me... being somewhere else is even more important than having a gun.
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Old April 11, 2013, 10:07 AM   #25
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About the amount of money you are carrying - this goes back to the good shot mantra. Involved in a lethal shooting - you might be silly not to engage an attorney to protect you in your 'good' shoot. It's estimated that even if they don't bill you - it might cost $5000. Yep, some people have not had to do that but you might not be so lucky.

I don't usually carry that much.
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