Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Concealed Carry... Useless?
In this video filed by Diane Sawyer we see several hapless "concealed carry" people immediately gunned down by assailants. Certainly, it would seem that concealed carry in this situation is absolutely useless, and that, as the YouTube host suggests, civilians who carry concealed weapons are living in a fantasy world. First let's take a look at the test itself, the results, and then analyze lessons learned.
First and foremost, Diane Sawyer is a liberal, and an anti-gun advocate. This is common knowledge, blah, blah, blah, water is wet. Let's get past that. We are about the truth here not about protecting any one view point... Well, I am about protecting my viewpoint... So it is good to note that I am a Freedom loving guy who believes that everybody should be packing at all times. Or not, who cares, keep the Government out of it. Moving on...
Let's take a look at how the test was set up, who the participants were, and what we can learn from it.
The show selected three people to have do their little test. Two of which were absolutely new to firearms, their use, and their concealment. One had some range firearms experience. All seemed to be not versed at all in any type of tactical deployment.
They are then allowed to carry the gun, in an outside the waist band holster with a securing strap that actually snaps over the back strap of the pistol. In other words, the absolute worst type of holster you can buy... I don't think I can even find this type of holster any more...
The test consists of putting the armed person in a class where they would learn about safety equipment. At a certain point in time a gunman will enter and start shooting up the place.
Who are the gunmen? Two SWAT police instructors. In other words they make their living by teaching other SWAT officers how to shoot, and firearms tactical deployments.
In addition to this, the armed people are sitting in the exact same place each time the test is run, and the "gunmen" know exactly where they are sitting. Oh, and the class is an amphitheater style classroom where a person on the ground has an unobstructed view of everyone in the class... And there is only one entrance and exit easily controlled by someone on the ground.
What happens? The first one was shot as he stupidly stood up, and tried to draw his gun through his shirt. He is shot before he can get his gun out of the holster.
The second appears to be in better shape as she takes some cover, but is shot as she stands to shoot.
The third... Our firearms guy... It seems that the show was not comfortable enough with this guy just failing, they wanted him to super fail. The send in TWO SWAT trained officers. Turns out this guy is a pussy and is drilled multiple times as he cowers in and indefeasible position.
What do we learn? First, we learn that trained people defeat untrained people every time. The trained SWAT officers who knew where and who to shoot were very effective in taking out their target.
Next we learn that when a gunman knows that there is an armed person in the room, the armed person is the first to be shot. Conciel your weapon, never open carry. That gun on your hip paints a target on your chest that says "Shoot me first!!!"
We learn the first rule of surviving an armed encounter. GET SAFE!!! If someone comes in to a room shooting, you must must must must find cover or concealment. After you are safe, you can then think about returning fire. The only participant who had any luck at all was the one who first got safe.
What this video really shows those of us who choose to carry concealed weapons is that we need to practice. Practice your draw from your concealment. That means moving your shirt pulling and firing. It means going to the range and instead of just blowing through 200 rounds, do 100 rounds drawing from concealment first.
We must practice shooting from concealment and shooting from the kneeling position. And we MUST train ourselves to find the best places for cover and concealment in a room every time, without exception, we enter. Without exception, we must find all of the exits to a building so that we can quickly get to safety.
We must train our bodies to deal with high stress situations. That means going to IPSC night at the range and running through the course. It means training your body in the Martial Arts gym and fighting somebody better than you. It means doing things that force your body in to the fight or flight mode, and learning to function in that mode.
I learned about this mode when I was in Primary Flight School. Back when I was learning how to fly, there was a spin requirement. The airplane had to be put in to a spin, and the student pilot had to recover from that spin. The first time we did it, I froze. I could not function, and the instructor had to pull the plane out of the spin. We talked about what happened, and for the first time in my very young life I realized that I could die in that airplane if I made the wrong choice, or froze like I just did.
My flight instructor was not the type to ever end on a bad note so we did the spin again. This time I recovered properly from the spin. It did not freak me out any less, I just was able to force my body to do the recovery that I practiced.
From that point on I have looked to find that Fight or Flight response. When I know I am getting rusty, I will do something stupid... Like rent an aerobatic airplane with an instructor and run through spins. Or participate in a Martial Arts tournament, or get in to the ring for an actual fight... something I won't be doing again.
With the gun however, I do make it a point to go and do at least one IPSC night a year. It forces that fight or flight in me, and I have a loaded gun on my hip. IPSC forces you to bite down on that fight or flight response and put rounds safely on target. It is the closest thing I can get to actual police SWAT training.
That brings me back to the video... I wonder what would have happened if a trained IPSC guy would have been in that room, in a place unknown to the SWAT officers... Or better yet if the gunman was one of the untrained people told that there would be no one armed in that room. This would be a much better approximation to real life. Because you see, in real life, gunmen don't attack places where there will be armed people to shoot back at them. The hit places where they believe NO ONE is armed. When the police show up, they kill themselves.
This is a good video. First it shows us that the opposition to concealed carry believes that the public are complete morons. It also shows us what happens to the unprepared and the untrained when the unthinkable occurs. Be prepared for when the Fit Hits the Shan. Train yourself for the worst.