Bad guys, police and armed citizens

Bad guys, police and armed citizens

This is a discussion on Bad guys, police and armed citizens within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Recently I read a study conducted by the Force Science Institute Research Center titled Violent Encounters, A study of felonious assaults on our nations Law ...

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Thread: Bad guys, police and armed citizens

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Bad guys, police and armed citizens

    Recently I read a study conducted by the Force Science Institute Research Center titled Violent Encounters, A study of felonious assaults on our nations Law Enforcement Officers. The study showed the glaring differences in mindset and training between law enforcement and the criminals they face. The point on this article it to discuss the implications this has in regards to the armed citizen.

    During the study 40 incidents were studied out of 800 that were considered. Interviews were conducted with 43 felons and 50 police officers. The scenes of the shootings were also visited.

    Not surprisingly the handgun was the weapon of choice for the bad guy and all but one was obtained illegally on the street or from a robbery. Only one of the felons claimed to have actually selected a particular firearm believing it would be more destructive. Most said they used whatever was available at the time they needed it.

    Some of the bad guys began carrying a firearm as young as nine years old and 17 was the average age at which they began to carry a firearm all the time. This is frightening since we know how unpredictable even non-violent juveniles can be. They also realize that they are protected under the juvenile justice system.

    Approximately half of felons interviewed claimed to have some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. The one statistic that blew me away was that on average bad guys reported practicing about 23 times a years in informal settings like back yards or drug areas. This type of constant informal training, which I doubt, is seldom conducted with the goal of shooting tiny little groups in a piece of paper, in very unstructured environments can obviously lead to a “thinking outside the box” mentality. The average police officer in the US qualifies 2.5 times a year. If you are an armed citizen, have you ever qualified? How often do you draw from concealment and engage live/moving targets? The officers who practiced the most off duty did so in the form of competitive shooting. You have to ask yourself how much of that transfers to shooting to save your life.

    Over half of those interviewed had participated in live gunplay prior to engaging a police officer. That means that half of them had previously been inoculated to being shot at or shooting at another person. Ten of the felons had been involved in five or more live firefights. Have you participated in any use of force in the form of Simmuntions or airsoft? Only eight of the 50 police officers had been previously involved in shootings. I have to imagine that number would dwindle even more for legally armed citizens.

    Across the board like most of us, the bad guys carry their guns in the waistband with the groin and small of the back being almost tied in way of preference. Amazingly 40% claimed to carry back up guns. None of them reported using a holster, which leads me to believe they will need only more preparatory movement to access their firearm.

    Approximately 60% of all offenders including the street combat veterans claimed to be point shooters in that they focused on the target. They seemed more willing to shoot at the available target and were not focused on center mass. The concentrated on shooting their victim to the ground and once that was achieved had no problem walking up and executing them.

    In the shootings investigated the bad guys put rounds on target a staggering 70% of the time with only a 40% hit rate for the police. Even though it is not discussed at length in the article it is interesting to note that the majority of time police are involved in a shooting the initial contact is made by the officer. At some time during the contact furtive movement on the part of the suspect often initiates the shooting. Obviously even the most lackadaisical officer realizes the danger of any contact. Police are loosing gunfight even though they initiate contact. The armed citizen is even further behind the power curve since it is usually the criminal who initiates contact.

    Even though I know that many folks seem to know exactly how they will respond to a deadly threat, more than half of trained police officers failed to use deadly force when it would have been justified.

    Existing every day in an environment where violence from fistfights to shootings are the norm the felons expect to be killed and will not hesitate to fire first. They have learned to survive by hitting while their victim is thinking about it.

    Here I only covered some of the high points. What is more important is what it means to police officers and our focus here, the armed citizen. The key to survival is constant, unpredictable training in chaotic environments. Constant means that training cannot depend on just live range time and a choreographed routine. Unpredictable means that what you do in a training session not always be based on what you have in mind and must encompass open hand combatives and the introduction of not only firearms but edged and impact weapons. The chaotic environment is the hard part. For many staying away from these places is what keeps us from getting locked up that would result in us being prohibited from purchasing or carrying a gun. When you do find yourself in a chaotic environment focus on scanning for possible threats without getting tunnel vision.

    In my opinion one of the best training investments you can make is a quality airsoft and Blue Gun. Make the focus of your training responding to furtive movement within seven yards. Putting rounds on target and using every possible aide at your disposal such as open hand skills, light, sound, movement, angles and physical barriers. Learn what your natural responses are and train into them. Come violent or don’t come at all.


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    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercop View Post



    The key to survival is constant, unpredictable training in chaotic environments. Constant means that training cannot depend on just live range time and a choreographed routine. Unpredictable means that what you do in a training session not always be based on what you have in mind and must encompass open hand combatives and the introduction of not only firearms but edged and impact weapons. The chaotic environment is the hard part. For many staying away from these places is what keeps us from getting locked up that would result in us being prohibited from purchasing or carrying a gun. When you do find yourself in a chaotic environment focus on scanning for possible threats without getting tunnel vision.

    Make the focus of your training responding to furtive movement within seven yards. Putting rounds on target and using every possible aide at your disposal such as open hand skills, light, sound, movement, angles and physical barriers. Learn what your natural responses are and train into them. Come violent or don’t come at all.
    Quite an interesting read! All of the above sums it up. However, all of us are not capable of, nor have the ability, to train on open hand skills, edged weapons, or alternative weapons, because of age, physical makeup, etc. I will strive to "master" my SD weapon, light, sound, movement, angles, and using physical barriers, then I will do my absolute best to keep myself out of situations requiring open hand, edged, or alternative weapons use. For those that are young enough, physically fit, citizens, LEO, Security, Military, then I agree that they should make every effort to enhance their Fighting Skills and their Self Defense Skills. Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I had done more to develop these skills when younger, but I will NOT go down without a fight, regardless.
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    The one thing that didn't surprise me at all is the fact that many of the officers didn't use lethal force even when it was justified. It just goes to show that the "Nice Guy Syndrome" is alive and well in our LEAs as well as our civilian population.

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    First Sgt, I understand where you are coming from. I get e-mails all the time from folks who want to attend courses but are not sure if they can handle it physically. My answer is that it is always go at your own pace. When things are principle driven they are more adaptable. He is something I wrote on the subject a while back.- George

    MODERN COMBATIVE SYSTEMS - Offensive Defense for the Wounded Combatant

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    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    George..appreciate the link to your site. I will be reading on there for a while. The credentials that you have are staggering, and obviously qualify you not only for teaching, but presenting your views on this forum. I understand totally what you are saying, and perhaps I should rethink my position. Let me take one step at a time, attend Fighting Pistol, begin to seriously train in the use of my firearm and then consider other training options as well. Thanks for your input always.

    Pat
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
    The one thing that didn't surprise me at all is the fact that many of the officers didn't use lethal force even when it was justified. It just goes to show that the "Nice Guy Syndrome" is alive and well in our LEAs as well as our civilian population.
    That combined with the push of departments to reduce shootings - the local media often begins to cry foul at a single shooting, let alone multiple. Sadly, its a public image thing and it seems officers get injured as a result.

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    That and reliance on the Taser and well, that is the way it is.

    First Sgt, thanks for the kinds words. Hope you find some of the information useful.

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    Senior Member Array community's Avatar
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    very very interesting and informative post. I really enjoyed reading it. I will remember the salient points and put them to use. thank you.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Yes, thanks from me as well. Mercop is always a great source of good, solid information. You should scope his website out for other good stuff he has written on similar subjects.

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    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    I think this article was posted/discussed before. The main lesson I took from it: Don't underestimate the bad guys.

    I do understand the hesitation on the site of the LEO (or armed citizen). 99% of the time, a "tricky" situation can be avoided without using the firearm. One gets used to talking his way out of "condition orange". And the cost of using the firearm is rather high.
    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    The last year that I cared to pull my stats was in 2004 when I conducted approximately 1100 traffic stops. Before you break out the calculator I worked approximately 20 days a month and stopped about six or so cars a day. A perfect figure using that data would put me at 1440 stops so 1100 makes sense. The vast majority of those stops were on RT 40 between Philly and Baltimore. I was looking for bad guys, drugs and guns.

    Every stop had a pretext (legal reason for the stop), interview (screening process) and conclusion. You get pretty good with the screening process and figuring out what you had. You also get pretty good and anticipating when there is going to be a problem. You combat that by dominating the stop by controlling the subjects moment and occupying their minds. Traffic stops are ultimately more controllable that walk up stops. The person is tied to the car and has to produce identification. Even using all the skills sets in the world officers are injured and killed. Just as you learn to notice the clues that add up to different crimes you also learn to add up the ques that let you know a fight is coming.

    When you are a citizen it is the criminal who decides on the pretext for the encounter. The difference is that he front loads the scanning process to weigh cost vs benefit from his selection. Using awareness and positioning skills along with the ability to walk away from places and things can keep you out of many situations. For those that you cannot avoid you need to see the ques leading to the fight and act accordingly.- George

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    mkh
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    Distinguished Member Array mkh's Avatar
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    I was surprised how well prepared teh BGs were and how accurate. Definitely food for thought.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkh View Post
    I was surprised how well prepared the BGs were and how accurate. Definitely food for thought.
    It also shows the huge accuracy increase you get from attacking from ambush vs. reacting to an ambush. Just the act of taking a few seconds to get ready to go vs. reacting to something from out of the blue can make a huge difference.

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Traditional military wisdom advocates that the best way to defend against an ambush is a counter attack. This is why fouling an attackers draw at conversation distance is a valuable skill. It also requires the identification of preparatory movement. The muzzle of the gun has to be in line with your body for a round to strike you.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Combine that with a (hopefully) firm grip on the mechanical parts of the weapon and you have yourself a scuffle over a single-shot autoloader or no-shot revolver.

    Despite having practiced this again and again, I have absolutely zero interest in testing these techniques out on the street. Kind of funny that we would spend all of this time on stuff that we hope we will never get any real use out of, now that I think about it. *shrugs*

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