reasons for not hitting targets in shootings

reasons for not hitting targets in shootings

This is a discussion on reasons for not hitting targets in shootings within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I had originally started typing this as a reply in Lima's thread Number-of-Training-Hits-vs-Number-of-Real-Hits , but I removed it and started a new one. ------------------------------------------------------------------ I ...

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Thread: reasons for not hitting targets in shootings

  1. #1
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    reasons for not hitting targets in shootings

    I had originally started typing this as a reply in Lima's thread Number-of-Training-Hits-vs-Number-of-Real-Hits, but I removed it and started a new one.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    I don't want anyone to think I'm trying to beat my chest as a LEO....not even close. I'm just sharing an opinion and hopefully contribute to the education and thought process of everyone that reads it. All of this is applicable to everyone here, not just LEOs. When a BG comes calling to do his/her evil we must all be prepared.

    Lima... on another good topic/post

    On Killing is an excellent book as well as On Combat, I recommend everyone here read both.

    Our dept doesn't use airsoft, but rather Sims but its the same concept. I like the sound of the Sims gun being fired, the smell of the burnt gunpowder, and the recoil (although not full recoil of real rounds). I too have been surprised at the hits I've taken as well as given in some pretty stressful and awkward situations.

    I think the issue of low % hits by LEOs in gunfights is influenced by various things, and is most likely varied around the country
    Here at our dept we've have a pretty good hit % in our officer-involved shootings in the last 2-3 years, hits on person out of rounds fired:
    1-1
    1-1
    1-3 (rounds into car, 2 stopped in engine compartment/firewall)
    4-7
    1-1
    1-3 (rounds into van through door)
    2-3
    0-1 (into car)
    1-1
    Something else about this list....all the officers involved in the list except one are former military or are gun guys like me that have collections and go to the range and practice, have taken training, etc.

    From what I've seen on videos, interviews, and in reading, a big influence is training (firearms, by repetition, or influence by administration) or lack of training. If officers are not trained at the range with the skills of shooting like they need, and if they are trained to not engage (sometimes subconscious level) when they should engage instead of worrying about lawsuits or the dept not supporting them, etc (which is happening a LOT around the country), then they are setup to not succeed.

    Some departments don't pay for officers to train, ie: take additional training classes or provide them, beyond what is taught in the academy, or they don't provide the ammo. This leads officers to not get the training since they either can't afford the ammo or the classes, or worse of all....the officer doesn't have the initiative or doesn't regard it as important. WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU BEING ABLE TO PERFORM AND USE THE NECESSARY TOOL TO DEFEND YOUR LIFE?!?!?!?!?!? And that goes for non-LEOs too. Its not how fancy your custom made, engraved, deluxe weapon may be, or how fancy or expensive the holster may be, or how high dollar your super-duper hollow points may be. I'm not saying that quality stuff isn't important and having some cool stuff shouldn't be fun, but no matter how much money you've spent on gun, holster, and ammo.....if you don't train to be able to employ it and use it the way it needs to be used when the SHTF, then it doesn't matter if you have a $2500 1911 or a $230 Keltec.

    With our dept, we get 50 free rounds a month at our range and I take them up on this offer each month, as well as using some of my own stash. I'd bet that at least half of our department only goes to the range when we qual each spring and fall. That is sad, and IMO...dangerous. We study incidents, view videos, go to seminars, take classes, learn unarmed self-defense, take driving classes, take firearms training...all in the academy so we are prepared to defend ourselves and not lose our lives, yet some won't take the self-initiative to maintain what they've learned or take it up a notch and improve their skills. Its our life on the line everyday, not the Chief, Col., Cpt. Lt., Sgt, supervisor, city manager, mayor, or city council's.

    Officers should do what it takes to provide themselves the tools, training, and skill to do the job right, effectively, and stay alive, even if it means out of our own pockets. I think too many fail in this regard and its sad. I just spent my own cash going to a class since the dept wouldn't pay for it, and it was worth every penny to me. Great training and it was for ME, MY career, MY life. If more officers had this fortitude they would be better off and we wouldn't have so many officer funerals, just my opinion.

    MINDSET
    Some of the problem of not hitting a high enough percentage is mindset related. We have to know that there are people out there intent on killing us. We have to be diligently intent on stopping this threat when it is presented, and if that means killing another human being then so be it. They made that decision to put your life in jeopardy and its your right and responsibility to respond to that decision with extreme violence and kill them if necessary. We (LEOs as well as non) should not wait until after giving them numerous commands to get back/drop the weapon, etc, or call them sir while requesting they put their gun down. We should not wait until a shot is actually fired at us, not wait until they are charging at us with rifle in hand. Unfortunately, each of these situations has happened at different times in the LE world and in each the officer didn't hit what he was shooting at and lost the fight...and their life.
    [I'm not insulting the memory of my brothers, these are used around the country now to train officers to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done]
    This is all about mindset and this is extremely important to grasp.
    Two examples of this:
    (viewer discretion advised-not edited, these are reality)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX5kwVc9IOk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFPDeiQFfZs

    -Texas DPS Trooper Randy Vetter was a healthy 26 year old and was killed by 72 year old Melvin Hale. Did he hesitate because the suspect was an 'old' man? Did he not want to shoot an old man? Did he think the "old" man was not going to be able to harm him? He didn't know Hale because Vetter had just transferred to this area. We don't know why, but for whatever reason he didn't unload on this guy and dump him when he got out of the car. His wife had to continue with their 8 month old son without the father.
    -Deputy Dinkheller was 22 years old, pretty much fresh in the world of LE.
    Why did he not perceive this sub-human garbage as a threat and do what needed to be done? He calls him sir over 20 times in the video, tells the guy "sir put the gun down", and in fact...says "sir stop shooting me" at one point after he'd been hit. Two weeks before this stop he was disciplined for being too harsh and aggressive on a traffic stop because someone complained on him. So his supervisor brings him in and chews his butt.
    What do you think his mindset was when this traffic stop unfolded?
    His wife found out that afternoon she was pregnant with their first child and was going to surprise him that night when he got off work.

    Now....what is your MINDSET when you train at the range--what are you training for? What is your mindset when you're around walking through the walmart parking lot? at the movie theater? at church? at home? What will it be at all these places when the SHTF ?
    Remember the saying: When its time to shoot, shoot. Don't talk

    They can be 17 or 70, male or female, black/white/asian/hispanic. We have to visualize before-hand, that we may have to shoot a 12 year old boy because he pulls a gun out of his pocket as we step out of our car, or shoot a 60 year old lady because she is yelling inside the apartment that she is about to shoot and answers the door with a .357 in her hand and gives you the 1000 yard stare. Both of those situations happened to me on-duty last year and I was nanoseconds from pulling the trigger and dumping both of them. Thankfully I didn't have to because the threat was stopped by them dropping their guns and complying with my requests, but I was prepared to and would have been legally justified and would have known I did what I had to do.

    Sorry, I kind of expanded on the intent of your post Lima, but I think its all related to the subject at hand for why officers don't hit more in the shootings. I know that the argument can be made that non-LEOs also have limitations on training, ammo supply, etc, and I know there are plenty of CCW'ers that go to training, practice regularly, and I was one of them before I became LEO. I believe these people are going to have a higher percentage of success in shooting encounters compared to the guy that buys his gun, keeps it in the vehicle most of the time, and shoots a box of ammo at the range once a year.
    It would be interesting to see stats for LEOs and CCW'ers that were involved in shootings, and see a breakdown of which ones in each category train on a regular basis vs ones that only do dept quals/just shoot every once in awhile.

    I hope everyone, LEO and non-LEO alike can get something out of my comments and evaluate yourself, your mindset, your training, and constantly look for improvement from where you are with all of these things.
    Train hard, train often, stay safe, and WIN the fight.
    Last edited by 64zebra; September 16th, 2010 at 05:21 PM. Reason: spelling
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    Awesome post 64zebra. I am sorry for those officers who were killed/injured in the line of duty. I agree, you need to train for a purpose, not just go and shoot 100 rounds and say you are good. Train with a purpose, because you never know who you might have to defend yourself against. If you aren't comfortable pulling the trigger on a 12 year old with a gun or a 60 year old lady with a gun then you definitely have no business carrying a gun. You definitely would have been justified in those shoots, glad you didn't have to though! My girlfriend loves going to the range with me, and she loves shooting my gun. But she still can't come to terms with taking someones life if she needs too, that is why she doesn't carry a gun. Who knows, maybe one day she will have confidence in herself to pull that trigger if need be, or she might never be comfortable with it.
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    Ex Member Array EB31's Avatar
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    Thank you. Great post and hopefully will get people thinking.

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    Excellent article. I use to tell my troops that when you step out there and you run into a situation,, always keep in your mind, it could be you and them. The choice is yours.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

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    As far as mentality goes, I made the decision a long time ago, that if I needed to use my firearm to protect my family or me. The who, what, where, were all secondary to WHY.
    Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
    -Tony Soprano

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    Great post with some terrific examples of what a difference training, mindset can make.

    Thank you,

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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    That first video was very chilling
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    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    Good post 64Zebra.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    Edit:

    I removed my post so as to not detract from the spirit of this thread.

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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    I don't understand how it is over simplified? Explain please?
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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    So in summary, people who practice and train tend to put more hits on target.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

  12. #12
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    As bad as that first video was, it was the second one that really got to me. That old man got out of his car with a rifle, and after repeated warning to "Drop the weapon" he was allowed to advance on the officer and shoot him. Now that is bad enough in and of itself, but when backup arrived and the perp was still on the scene and armed and there was a wounded officer on the gournd, I find it totally inconcievable that the respondeing officers did not shoot the suspect. The perp was allowed to wander around the scene of a cop involved shooting, yelling and pointing his rifle at the responding officers who for some unknown reason did not shoot him. The perp was then allowed to re-enter his vehicle and drive off. What the hell kind of training do police in Texas receive anyway. My god a fellow officer was shot and down and they are going to try and talk this **** head down. Come on, what is this world comming to when police officers see a fellow officer shot and do nothing even letting this scumbag walk around for several minutes and then drive away. Aboslutly incredible, that perp should have been dead 2 second after responding officers arrived.

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array EB31's Avatar
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    Training and mindset will save your life. There has to be the ability and willingness to do what must be done. Between my up bringing, military training, LE training, martial arts and self defense training...I've developed a certain mindset. Simply put..."It's me or you". And in my visualizations of ever possible scenerio, I go home to my family each night. My family is safe when we are at home. My loved ones are protected.

    Owning a gun is good. But guns malfunctions. Guns run out of ammo. Could you make do with a medium point Bic pen? In a close quarter struggle with an intruder armed with a knife...could you (would you) bite through his jugular to stop the threat? I know I could and would (side note to that...yes, I've thought of the risk of AIDS and other diseases).

    I believe it was this site where I was recently called a "Rambo" who was "just looking to blow someones head off". This couldn't be further from the truth about me.

    The truth is I despise the thought of taking someones life. Could I? Yes. Would I? Yes. If it came down to my life, my family's lives or even a innocent citizens life vs a BG's life? Bad guy loses without hesitation and I don't lose a minutes sleep over it.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shockwave View Post
    So in summary, people who practice and train tend to put more hits on target.
    Sounds like it to me!
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    64zebra, thanks for your post. Gives us all something to think about.
    Steve

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