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March 16, 2018

For the last month, I've been blogging about the heart-breaking atrocity at the high school in Florida, and the misguided assault on gun owners' civil rights which followed it. I thought I might escape that grimness at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. No such luck.

Today was the first of the three days of this prestigious seminar. All of us, of course, were discussing the incident and its misplaced aftershocks. My day began taking a long-range pistol class taught by my colleague Marty Hayes and his assistant, Belle McCormack from the Firearms Academy of Seattle. In their introduction to the class, they pointed out that the interdiction of a mass murderer might require distance shooting even if the rescuer only had a pistol. The shooting curriculum put pressure on all of us pulling the triggers to get precision hits under stress.

I also took a class on training to the gun owner's specific needs from Jack Feldman, Ph.D, and Martin Topper, a well-known psychologist who moonlights as a gun magazine writer. For anyone buying into the anti-gun meme that "no one needs a defensive firearm that can hold more than ten cartridges," both pointed out the fact that home invasions these days tend to involve multiple perpetrators, who are sometimes wearing body armor. (One of the other attendees told me of a case in his bailiwick that involved eight armed home intruders.) Being the actors who initiate the assault, the home invaders can be expected to make their violent entry with multiple guns per offender and all the ammo they wish to carry. The reactor, the home defender, by contrast is likely to have only the number of rounds in the gun he or she barely had time to get to. Do the math...

As grim as the topics at TacCon are, there is some sport to it. Host Tom Givens includes a combat handgun competition called The Polite Society Match. The name derives from a Robert Heinlein quote popularized by Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC Retired: "An armed society is a polite society."

TacCon draws some serious shooters. To preserve suspense, the hosts don't post the scores as soon as they are recorded, but I can tell you a couple of things. First, the Evil Princess, who has twice been high woman at this event in the past shooting against some of the top females in the country and beating most of the men, is only two points down from perfect. Second, the quality of shooting here is so high that just after the first day, several perfect scores on the fixed-time speed shooting event have been recorded. Good news (for me, anyway), I'm one of them. Bad news: the competing field includes world-class champion shooters like Gabe White and Ernest Langdon. In the shootoff for the title, my chances are about like a snowball in hell...but at least I'll go down shooting. We'll know the results Sunday night, but I won't have time to blog on it for a few days because on Sunday I have to race to the Little Rock airport so I can get to St. Louis on time to chair the Panel Of Experts on Deadly Force and Firearms Training for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers seminar.

Oh, and one more thing: one trainer scheduled to teach at TacCon couldn't make it. He is a veteran street cop, and a master instructor in both the gun and hand to hand combat. Scuttlebutt is, his department had an officer-involved shooting and even though he apparently wasn't the cop who pulled the trigger, his name came into it. The trolls - haters of cops, haters of armed citizens, haters of those with the courage to defend themselves - got hold of his home address and the address of the gym he owns as a sideline, and published it. Death threats to him, his family, and his students have reportedly resulted. Understandably, he is staying home in a protective role.

I know this man. A note to the trolls stalking him and those within the mantle of his protection: if you actually are stupid enough to send your punk puppets after him and them ... send the ones you don't need back.

In the current climate, the hatred of the weak toward the strong seems to grow day by day.

Psychologist Martin Topper...

...and retired psychology professor Jack Feldman discuss how to tailor priorities of practice and training to the individual's lifestyle.

The firing line takes a look at their distant steel targets on the FAS long range pistol course.

Here I'm giving my lecture, on why typical defense strategies for guilty defendants translate poorly to wrongfully-accused good guys and gals who used deadly force in self-defense.

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PERSPECTIVES... - 12 Comments

pigpen51 on March 17, 2018 at 10:52 pm said:

My son serves on a Navy vessel in Norfolk. A few years ago, they had an active shooter who killed a sailor, during a time when proper protocols were not followed. My son and his ship were on fleet week in Baltimore, at dock, when an elderly couple, of about 70, came paddling up to their ship in a canoe. Standard procedure was to keep them away by like 50 yards. The couple was taking pictures, and waving, etc. My son was on the 50 caliber battery, and they were trying to get the couple to back off, yelling and such, but to no avail, the people thought they were just waving back. Finally my son, who is a second class petty officer, yelled to his chief, what do I do, and his chief told him, load up. So my son loaded his quad fifties right there in Baltimore harbor. That got the peoples attention, right away, and the crew was able to tell them to back off, and get the heck out of there. But I was able to understand just what kind of pressure our military is under at any time, from a seemingly innocent source. His ship was in the straits of Hormuz, and they were under constant threat of being rammed by the Iranan naval ships, who were trying to cause an international incident. It seems as if now, things have settled down a bit, but when he was over there this past summer, it was a difficult thing to maintain their cool at all times. The Iranian boats would buzz them within just a few hundred yards. My son is on a cruiser. Some of the things that they did on their mission got the entire ship a commendation medal from the president, given to them from an admiral. So I am understandably proud of him, as he got an individual medal, for his part that enabled the ship to do what they did.

Russell Ashbaugh on March 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm said:

Great Perspective Mas! Especially on ammo limitations ie multiple attackers and body armor.

In the rhetoric wars I've been tweeting for for weeks that AR-15's are "self-defense rifles" - why they are made and purchased. Obviously this is to combat liberal "assault weapon" agitprop. Looks like the NRA is catching on too.

MAG40 Graduate


Rusty Ashbaugh @MuskieRA

LarryArnold on March 17, 2018 at 4:09 pm said:

In the new Texas School Safety class for armed school employees the course of fire ends with ten rounds at a B-27 at 50 yards. This is supposed to convince students that shooting at such extreme ranges is unrealistic.

Lonnie Ward on March 17, 2018 at 9:38 pm said:

"This is supposed to convince students that shooting at such extreme ranges is unrealistic." Hmmmm ... Our group was semi rushed off the range after that last course of fire without much of an explanation on that. I took it an being an exercise to help people have a better understanding of what they can and can not accomplish at that distance.

Dennis on March 17, 2018 at 11:17 am said:

Mas, has it occurred to you that you are going about this long range pistol shooting all wrong?

When I retired 13 years ago, I felt a foreboding that our society and leadership was deteriorating and I should start preparation for uncertain times. I looked for information to aid in my quest and took out a subscription to " Backwoods Home" because the folks here seemed to be knowledgeable and more sane than the majority of prepper/ survival sites. Having a solid background in firearms and their use, I gravitated instantly to your columns and this blog. I've benefited greatly from the association. In my searching the internet for similar sites, I found that the majority of "survivalist" blogs/websites were congregations of self styled experts putting out information that is based not on factual real life experience, rather, fanciful "Hollywood" fiction. I don't know how many times I've read comments from people claiming they took their newly purchased "High-Point 9mm" and "consistently" hit clay pigeons at 100 yards.

So, you are going about it all wrong. Seeking out good solid instruction and expending thousands of rounds of ammo practicing is a waste of time and money. All it takes for successful long range pistol accuracy is a cheap weapon and natural ability. Having no problem lying about the whole experience also helps.

Strategic Steve on March 17, 2018 at 6:36 pm said:

This Rangemaster TacCon looks like the real deal. My year as a range supervisor did very occasionally see me wondering whether or not I might not have to put a full stop on somebody who was out of control. Fortunately, all I ever had to eliminate was a rattlesnake, and that only after-hours. My primary weapon, though, was a rifle, with which a 100-yard shot would usually be little challenge. In all my days I have never heard of a Rangemaster who actually shot a hopelessly troublesome customer. I do wonder if anyone knows of such an event.

TN_MAN on March 17, 2018 at 10:11 am said:

"In the current climate, the hatred of the weak toward the strong seems to grow day by day."

As I noted in a previous comment, the ideology of the Left is to view the "masses" as "innocent sheep" who need (and who should want) the guidance, control and protection of a strong, left-wing oriented, central government.

The Left truly believes in "Big Government" and truly believes that governmental control is the path to their utopia on earth. Many leftists are atheists and do not have any beliefs in an "afterlife". The only "heaven" that they can envision is a left-wing utopia which they are fighting to create here on earth.

Is it any wonder that such people "hate the strong". The segment of the masses, that want to be independent and strong, is a direct challenge to left-wing ideology. By wanting to be independent, rather than dependent on the central government, these people directly challenge the left-wing world-view of "innocent sheep". By wanting to be strong, they place themselves outside of the circle of leftist control. Believe me, the leftists are the greatest "control freaks" that the world has ever produced. They simply cannot tolerate anyone standing up to them. They simply cannot tolerate anyone that they cannot control. They simply cannot tolerate anyone who thinks a single thought that is independent of their approved "Political Correctness".

Indeed, that is why the left is currently churning in a whirlpool of anger and hatred. This is why their news-media attack dogs are spewing forth a never-ending flood of anti-trump and anti-conservative hatred. This is why they are so, so, so desperate to win the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections. They lost the 2016 Presidential Election despite all their propaganda and rigging efforts. They are OUT OF POWER as a result!

To the "Control Freaks" of the left, being OUT OF POWER is INTOLERABLE! IT MUST STOP! They are WILD with HATRED and ANGER to DESTROY their political opponents and re-take governmental CONTROL and POWER BACK into their hands. They will do WHATEVER it takes to get POWER back. They will use their media to spew forth a continual stream of lies and propaganda. They will use the "Politics of Personal Destruction" to bring down their opponents. They will break the laws, violate the Constitution, rig the elections. They will force schools to be unprotected "Gun Free" zones simply so that children WILL BE SLAUGHTERED. They will then use the blood of the murdered children to grease the skids of their movement. They will indoctrinate the living children with their leftist teachers and use them as prop and tools to further their movement.

The left has no shame and no moral principle EXCEPT to SEIZED POWER by WHATEVER MEANS that are necessary and to then implement their ideology.

Sun Tzu said that to win the battle, it is necessary to "know the enemy". Well, know it now. The above description should let you know the kind of internal enemy we are facing with the American Left.

Curtis on March 18, 2018 at 12:59 am said:

I find it paradoxical that students who walked out of class on March 14th to advocate banning guns and mitigation of "gun violence" decided instead to engage in "fun violence" by rioting, abusing and stomping on an American Flag, vandalizing property and climbing on top of a police cruiser.

How fortunate these young miscreants were to have committed the aforementioned crimes in the good old USA.

Had they decided to go "wilding" in public anywhere between northern Mexico and southern Argentina, it is likely that 100% non-politically correct law enforcement officers and soldiers would not have hesitated for one second to employ lethal force against the rioting students.

The wide, wide world outside the USA would be a very harsh proving ground for anti-social, disrespectful, rude and selfish "Ugly American" high school students whose leftist, progressive protests are endorsed openly by the American Federation of Teachers and The National Education Association.

Paul on March 17, 2018 at 7:23 am said:

"In the current climate, the hatred of the weak toward the strong seems to grow day by day."

It has ever been thus, Mas. People want the protection of the strong who are willing to protect the weak, until they perceive there is no longer a need. Then they want them out of mind, because the mere thought of their existence brings them feelings of insecurity and peril. It's an unfortunate facet of human nature as I see it.

The difference today, in our current climate as you say, is that the weak are provided fresh fodder for fear on an hourly basis by the far left and their puppets in the media. How often lately have we seen a "good guy/girl" to the rescue story? They don't fit the narrative.

Tionico on March 17, 2018 at 3:29 am said:

Mas, that is SO YOU!!!! "Send the ones you don't need back".


Greg Taggart on March 17, 2018 at 2:17 am said:

Dear Mas

Thanks for the report. Good luck in the shoot tomorrow.

I sure wish I were there.

Maybe next year.

Steve C on March 17, 2018 at 1:10 am said:

About that long distance shooting with a handgun. An Air Force Security Policeman (Andy Brown) took out an active shooter at 75 yards with his M9 Beretta (see his book, Warnings Unheaded). Only active shooter I've ever heard at an Air Force Base in the US.

We all need to train for what's reasonable, and everything else these days.

Stay Safe Out There.