Category Archives: 010 Firearms Training

Selecting a Safe Dry Practice Area

If you understand the value of dry practice and are ready to begin training, the first thing you need to consider is a safe location to dry practice in.

A good dry practice area will help you maintain focus on the task at hand while keeping you and others safe.

Much like establishing a storefront, you need to select your dry practice area with the most important factor in mind “location, location, location.”

When selecting your dry practice area, ensure it meets the following criteria:

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IN THEIR OWN WORDS…

Here’s some ‘continuing education’ on the topic of revolutionary leftists in modern America. This time it’s “Redneck Revolt” – a cute name that “puts the RED back in REDNECK.” They’re talking about the historical connotation of red – communism – not the recent media reversal into ‘red state/blue state’ in America.

They operate more than 45 “John Brown Gun Clubs” around the country, named after the man who led the raid that captured the federal armory in Harpers Ferry Virginia in 1860, hoping to incite a slave revolt.

Sherrie Smith of Fountain, Colorado, recently arrested for threatening citizens with a rifle, is a member; note her red bandanna in the picture below, which is an identifying mark they adopt.

Oddly, the backdrop for each page on their website is… a forest fire. Check them out at redneckrevolt(dot)org.

Excerpts:

“Redneck Revolt was founded in 2016 as an anti-racist, anti-fascist community defense formation.”

“WE ARE AN ABOVEGROUND MILITANT FORMATION”

“WE STAND AGAINST CAPITALISM”

“WE BELIEVE IN THE RIGHT OF MILITANT RESISTANCE”

“WE BELIEVE IN THE NEED FOR REVOLUTION”

Your neighborhood Communist militia?


Sherrie Smith, Fountain, CO

What Went Wrong in Kenosha on September 1, 2020 – and How to Avoid It

Attacking a man when he’s down is not always a good idea

Let’s get this straight, first: 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse performed as well in the circumstances as most adults 2-4 times his age, and with far more training and experience, could hope to do.  Once he found himself isolated and under attack, his decisions to retreat, his discretion in engaging only those that physically assaulted him, and his shooting leave little to criticize. 

Of course, the Monday morning quarterbacks are going to work on him.  He may have missed with several rounds he fired at his first assailant – except we’re still sorting out who all the other shooters were on the street that night – but in any case, he got good hits and stopped that assailant, in the first lethal force encounter of his life, in the midst of a huge adrenaline dump and Sympathetic Nervous System storm.  He tripped and fell in the street while running from a pursuing mob (which could never happen given the cat-like reflexes and superior gym-rat conditioning of true operators, right?). He hesitated until the last second to fire on the third assailant, who was charging him with a pistol (perhaps confused by the stupidity of that assault, but in hindsight, a remarkable display of restraint).  And so on.  All in all, I’ll say it again, he did as well as most bad-ass “opr8rs” would have done, who have never before found themselves in the midst of an angry mob, fronted by at least three crazed felons, yelling “get the m-f!”

But that takes us to the real point: how did Kyle find himself in that situation?  We do not know the details yet, as there is a gap in the video footage between the “tame” situation of several armed defenders on private property, and Kyle fleeing on his own across a lot with the now-deceased felonious pedophile hot on his trail.  There is only one witness statement available which may shed some light on what happened in between, but we’re neither trying nor defending the case, nor trying to fill in the gaps in the second-by-second narrative. The truth will out.

All of this might have been avoided had the folks associated with that car dealership under siege in Kenosha exercised more foresight, planning, and preparation, and ensured a higher level of training and teamwork. In fact, we saw a demonstration of how it could have gone, in video footage from the night before that showed several rifle-armed men standing in front of a Kenosha business as a large mob flowed past.  One at least of them verbalizes to the “protestors” who throw some harsh language back as is their wont, but quite rationally they “just keep moving,” while the defenders keep muzzles depressed, fingers straight, heads on a swivel – and in clear line of sight and mutual supporting distance, something Kyle missed terribly, the following night. Mission accomplished, that first night: that’s a good picture of how the protection of private property in a civil disturbance could go.  The next night, not so much.

Distributed Security, Inc. (DSI) offers a well-developed model of how an enterprise (i.e. private business), institution (i.e. church or school), community, or a network of any or all of these can protect lives and property in the midst of a violent civil disturbance.  Here are the basic tenets of the DSI approach – all of which were absent (or inadequate) in the Kenosha example we’re looking at:

  1. Analysis, comprising a threat assessment, area study, site survey(s), and an evaluation of outside assets that may contribute to safety and security, such as police, fire, and emergency medical, and response times and capabilities for each. Understand the law, and its constraints (what you must do) and restraints (what you cannot do). Take a realistic look at the political, social, and legal environment. What have the local authorities said (and done!) about maintaining order, and protecting lives and property? What is their attitude about citizens doing so?  This kind of information collection and analysis can’t be done overnight.
  2. Establish full, open, and sustained communications with local law enforcement, ensuring that you operate within the law and are prepared for safe and effective linkup with responding officers. If you can’t get law enforcement concurrence and support for your efforts, you should probably consider voting with your feet – relocating – rather than trying to defend under conditions that will put you at odds with local government and the legal system.
  3. Organize your private security force, so you don’t face a crisis with a last-minute pickup crew.  Neighbors and friends pitching in on the spur of the moment may be better than nothing – but it’s a lot worse than what you can accomplish with some prior organization. One of the most important elements of this is to insist upon teamwork and “battle buddies” so that no one finds themself left alone facing a lethal threat.  That alone could have changed the outcomes in Kenosha.
  4. Develop plans and procedures, for both ‘normal’ day-to-day conditions and for facing the threats you have identified.  Make sure everyone understands their role. Test your plans and procedures with validation exercises that can vary from a BOGSAT discussion (Bunch of Guys Sitting Around a Table) to formal war gaming, walk-throughs, and performance testing. Fix the errors, fill the gaps. Leave as little as possible to native wit and improvisation.
  5. Develop leaders, an organizational structure with shared understandings about discipline and the chain of command, IFF, and redundant communications.
  6. Make sure that everyone involved clearly understands their rights and responsibilities under the law, to include the crucial distinction between defensive actions wholly within private property versus engaging in melees, or projecting force, into public areas.
  7. And finally, neither last nor least, is training: both individual and team training, in firearms and in tactical and decision-making skills. We see many examples like Kyle Rittenhouse, of gifted amateurs, or individuals with little or no formal training who manage to come through in a crisis – but relying on hope, luck, or divine intervention in a life or death crisis is not a good strategy.

DSI offers training and guidance in all these areas.  We train individuals and enterprises to defend life and property. We pioneered distributed security networks which enable businesses, churches and schools to coordinate an active defense of their premises and their immediate community.

Our offerings range from $19/month on-line memberships for individuals to $1 million plus turnkey enterprise packages, all built on resources and programs including on-range training leveraged by on-line resources in 27 course formats, 6 enterprise service offerings, 114 online learning modules, 150 videos, manuals, training plans, a mobile app, and more.  All this is designed to assist individuals, enterprises, organizations and communities avoid the pitfalls of standing up a security capability to protect lives and property at the last minute in a crisis, as happened in Kenosha a few nights ago. These are dangerous times; best to do the thing well.

Go to www.distributedsecurity.com to find out more.

Ohio Schools 0, Bloomberg 1

In March, an Ohio district court appellate judge reversed a lower court’s decision regarding a school district’s policy mandating 26 hours of training for school employees authorized to carry concealed firearms for the protection of their schools. Read about it here.

Here we go again: lawyers, guns, and money.  Ohio statute clearly authorizes the governing board of a school district to approve the carry of firearms by whomever they choose. This district – which in fact suffered a school shooting in 2016 – wrote a policy, similar to those of hundreds of other districts across the state and thousands more around the country, specifying the selection and training process for employees interested in carrying concealed firearms. Their training requirement was for 26 hours of initial training, which is a fairly common and entirely adequate standard.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit, seeking to stop implementation of the new policy (passed by their elected school board), sued on the absurd basis that another statute, governing cops and security guards employed by schools, should override the clear intent of the legislature, and require that teachers, administrators, custodians, or any other employee authorized to carry a firearm complete the same 728 hours of peace officer training that full-time officers undergo.  The first judge very sensibly ruled against this; now an appellate judge sympathetic to the anti-gun sentiments of the plaintiffs has reversed that decision and required full peace officer training for armed school employees. 

Don’t for a minute think that this is anything but lawyerly opportunism by anti-gun zealots, encouraged and financially backed, as all reports confirm, by Everytown for Gun Safety, Mike Bloomberg’s national gun control group.  When will Americans get tired of letting Mike Bloomberg’s money decide firearms law?

The merits of the case are simple and clear.  Allowing concealed carry by school staff has only one goal:  to enable an immediate response to a lethal threat in the schools, during the critical response gap of 5-20 minutes before police are capable of intervening, and during which almost every school shooting is over and done with, leaving the victims bleeding out on the floor.  Armed staff are not cops; they do not rescue cats and babies, save children from demonic clowns, write traffic citations, or arrest students for selling drugs, vandalizing property, and fighting on the playground. 

In Ohio, those 728 hours of peace officer training encompass the following categories: Administration, Legal, Human Relations, Driving, Subject Control, First Aid, Patrol, Civil Disorders, Traffic, Investigation, Physical Conditioning, and oh yes, Firearms.  Exactly 60 hours of firearms training covering handguns, shotguns, patrol rifles, and more. 

Armed school staff train with handguns only. Their live fire range time is supplemented with scenario-based training that teaches specific and appropriate tactics and decision making specific to reacting to a lethal threat on school property; specific state and local laws defining the legal use of lethal force; and immediate life-saving medical care as taught in the American College of Surgeons “Stop the Bleed” course.  This is very little different than any good citizen’s training for safe, responsible, and effective carry of a handgun for self-defense.  Across America, this training is accomplished by a wide variety of training providers in 24-40 hour programs.  Distributed Security, Inc. is one of those providers; we know whereof we speak.

But the plaintiffs in this case and their fellow travelers across the country could care less about the logic of the thing. They don’t believe in self-reliance, self-defense, constitutional rights, or the principle of governmental decisions and responsibility at the lowest possible level. They just want fewer guns everywhere, fewer and fewer until they’re gone, and will fight bitterly with their sponsoring billionaires’ money to advance that goal. It’s a pity that we have judges on the bench who sympathize with them, but there are plenty of good ones out there too, and Ohio’s Madison Local Schools will almost certainly win this fight on the next appeal. If you don’t like the way this latest decision went, find a way to support them in their continuing fight for the safety of their schoolchildren.

Training = Instruction + Practice

Ariel Gresham, left,  Nancy Robb, both of Finneytown hold an unloaded revolver during an all-female concealed carry and weapons class Saturday, February 8, 2020, at New Prospect Baptist Church in Roselawn sponsored Arm the Populace.

Words mean things.

Rush Limbaugh has been making this point for decades.  And, no matter how you feel about Rush, he’s correct on this one.

Despite the popular beating that English takes for being an inconsistent, hodgepodge and difficult to manage, the English language, properly used, is an amazingly precise communication instrument.

Lately, I’ve seen the word “empowerment” thrown around a great deal.  Particularly in the firearms industry. To the degree, in fact, that it’s become nauseating.  I browsed one range website yesterday that made use of the word no fewer than 100 times when describing company values and mission.  This company’s raison d’être is “empowerment”. It says so. Right there on the internet.

Everybody’s using it.  It has become a multi-industry catchphrase.  But, what does “empowerment” mean? If words, do indeed, mean things and if we are going to effectively communicate, we have to define terms and use them appropriately.

“Empower” was coined as a word somewhere in the 17th century as a compound of  “en” and “power”. However, it never really entered common parlance until the mid-1980s.

One can obtain the textbook definition here.  Without getting overly pedantic about it, I think it’s fair to say that:

Empowerment = Confidence + Competence

Further, if one of the components of empowerment is competence, we must clarify that competence is developed through “training”.  At Distributed Security, our working definition is:

Training = Instruction + Practice

So, competence (and therefore, empowerment) is inextricably linked to training. Through that lens, I offer this piece from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

A woman holds an unloaded revolver during a concealed carry weapon (CCW) class at New Prospect Church in Roselawn for women Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020.


Ok.  Let’s unpack the article:

  1. +/-180 gun-novices
  2. 1 or 2 instructors
  3. a church basement cum pistol range
  4. 9 hours
  5. a few revolvers
  6. $25/head
  7. Intention… “empowering” the attendees.

My rebuttal, point by point:

  1. Even in the Army (where mass training is the model) you do not instruct basic marksmanship or administer range training with more than one company (<100 men) of novices
  2. The Student:Instructor ratio in the army is roughly 10:1.  Not the best case 90:1 ratio identified above.
  3. Church basement?  Does that seriously require rebuttal?
  4. 9 hours is too much to teach anyone to “fire a gun”.  And, it is wholly insufficient to train men or women to a level of competence.
  5. How effective do you suppose each of those hours were if each participant had access to a pistol for only a fraction of the time?  Again… does that require rebuttal?
  6. This ridiculous dollar amount reinforces the specious notion that training should be inexpensive or free. Per the article, the $25/head was to cover the rental expense of the space.  So… the instructors were free? Their time was free? Where I’m from, you get what you pay for.  And, if you pay nothing, well… You do the math. What sort of result would you expect if your auto mechanic charged you nothing? Further, $25 x 180 participants = $4500.  If that is the cost to rent the basement for a day, I need to reconsider my career choices…  I don’t need a job, I need to repurpose my basement. For that price a very nice, legitimate range could have been rented for a day or two.
  7. If the intent was to empower, and we accept that empowerment is a function of competence, and that competence is a function of training, then this episode was a miserable failure.

Based on the definitions above, does that experience sound “empowering”?  Does that constitute “training”? At best, that scenario speaks to “exposure”… but, certainly not training.  To be fair, the headline had it right; “Learning how to Fire Guns”.

All that said, I want to give credit where it’s due. Kudos to Arm the Populace and to the ladies in attendance, I think their intent was admirable. I also think it was misguided. What the article demonstrates is a good (if tentative) first step, but falls severely short of anything resembling “Training” as we understand it… much less “Competence”. My concern is that what has been achieved is 180 women with a false sense of confidence about their firearms competence

If we accept that, as a civilian, gun handling and gunfighting is one of the most potentially lethal activities you can engage in, doesn’t it follow that one has a responsibility to train to a high level of competence?  So that, one is not simply a danger to oneself and others?

Finally… answers and solutions

In the interest of providing solutions to problems, as opposed to simply armchair quarterbacking, consider the following:

Gun owners owe it to themselves and their loved ones to engage in real, effective, efficient training.  We at Distributed Security, Inc offer World Class Combative Firearms Training. We have the broadest and deepest curriculum, developed and delivered by some of the most experienced Instructors in the business.

In contrast to the exercise from the article above, DSI training is offered, complete, as pre-range (online), hands-on (on range), and persistent, ongoing practice supervision, at a student:instructor ratio of 3:1. A model no one else in the Firearms Training Industry can replicate.

For a complete look at our training offerings and what we see as necessary to develop the degree of competence you deserve, visit us at https://distributedsecurity.com/offerings.html

Buy a gun.  Get trained.  Properly trained.

Safe Spaces

Circa 2500 years ago, a Greek fellow by the name of Heraclitus, observed the following:

See the source image

Why, in 2020 AD, does that matter? It matters because, for all our advancement over the last two and a half millennia, the world is still a dangerous, unpredictable place and, as a result, bad things happen to good, innocent people. And, when they do, the good and innocent still need warriors to stand between them and danger. Willing, able, properly equipped and trained, warriors.

Training matters. Proper training matters more. Because when the balloon goes up, you will not “rise to the occasion” as many would have you believe. You will, however, default to your level of training. Warriors are not born, but trained.

Business Enterprises and Community Organizations do a fantastic job of convincing themselves that they are safe and secure because they have engaged in “Awareness” training, or “Active Shooter” training… or worse yet, that “it can’t happen here”. Yet, invariably, when the unthinkable happens and a violent attack occurs on premise, what happens? Best case… a handful of employees, customers, or community members are injured or killed. Why?

Because, the “training” those enterprises bought and participated in via death by PowerPoint, isn’t training at all. The preparations made, cameras bought, policies written, and signage hung don’t save a single person.

Running away is hysterical. Hiding under a desk, wrapped in terrified prayer is ineffective. Fighting back, armed with office supplies, is asinine and suicidal. And, all cameras do is record where the bodies fell. That’s not security or safety.

Most folks in any given organization have no business in a fight for life. But, someone ought to be trained to effectively respond… Right? Maybe a few someones. Trained to capably mount an Active Defense of life and property, giving Law Enforcement the time they need to respond and intervene.

Coming back to our friend Heraclitus… those aforementioned “someones” are the warriors. The one percent built to keep the other 99 safe.

So… What’s the punchline? Simply this: You and your organization do not have to remain helpless in the critical gap between the inception of a violent threat and Law Enforcement response. There are answers. There is training. There is “Heraclitus’ Niche”. There is Distributed Security.

What should Walmart really do about mass shootings?

Walmart needs to do the following in order to respond to active shooters:

  1. Develop a select cadre of highly-trained, armed, and wired employees to eliminate an active shooter.
  2. Build a shooting range into every store. Use the range to train employees and sell range time to customers.
  3. Extend their security cadre and training to other retailers in their immediate vicinity.

DSI’s Enterprise Offerings were created to do this. For more information:

Enterprise Offerings:
https://distributedsecurity.com/start-here/defended-enterprise.html

Distributed Security Networks:
https://distributedsecurity.com/offerings/private-defense-networks.html

Debunking the Notion that only Former Military and Law Enforcement Officers can Defend against Active Shooters.

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On 5 AUG 19, in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton active shooter events, Sean Hannity recommended a volunteer initiative of former military and law enforcement officers deployed to schools and other vulnerable public areas to defend against future violent threats.

While that thinking is a step forward on the conventional thought spectrum, the team at Distributed Security, Inc (DSI) is actively training school staff and other civilians for the necessary and immediate response to threats in the critical gap between the onset of an attack and effective intervention by police.

We want to correct the fallacy that only law enforcement or ex-military can perform this task. As trainers, who have trained the highest level military, contracting and law enforcement, we can definitively state that private citizens can be trained to be safe and effective defenders of business, school, church and community. In fact, in most cases, private citizens who go through our training are better prepared to deal with an active threat than most police and military veterans. Any smart, fit, dedicated citizen can be trained to the necessary standard for the defense of innocent life. Prior military or law enforcement experience is not a requirement, and is not a guarantee of success.

In a world that is increasingly fractured and unpredictable, DSI draws heavily from the strategic ideas of William Lind’s 4th Generation Warfare theory and the OODA Loop methodology of John Boyd in our efforts to assist individuals, communities, enterprises, churches, and schools defend themselves in the event of violent threat.

In short, we begin training where many other organizations leave off. And, we train our clients to best practice, SWAT-level proficiencies in handgun, rifle, shotgun, tactical communications and tactical medicine. Our offerings are tactical and holistic. And, we actively engage and manage the necessary consistent, follow-on training beyond initial certification.

We do not believe that having had training at some point in the past is enough. Simply possessing a prior military or law enforcement credential does not keep one sharp. Threats evolve, tactics develop, and technologies advance after one leaves the training and operational world. The active shooter environment is a dynamic and asymmetric one, and those who would respond should have the benefit of appropriately dynamic and asymmetric training to meet the challenge.

In all, the most effective public safety strategy is for community organizations to insource their security capabilities as “quick reaction force” to manage emerging threats, real time. There is certainly a law enforcement role in an active shooter scenario, but as Hannity noted in his monologue, the police cannot be in all places at all times.

We commend Mr Hannity for his forward thinking comments and for raising awareness that there is a better way. Meanwhile, Distributed Security, Inc has developed and is executing a plan that exceeds his suggestion in breadth, depth, and effectiveness.

Buy a gun. Get trained.

A Bridge Too Far…?

When I was a younger man, still in the Army, I had the opportunity to participate in the annual Nijmegen March. Nijmegen happens as a commemoration of the US’s role liberating the Netherlands in World War 2’s Operation Market Garden and was immortalized in the movie “A Bridge Too Far”.

The annual event is a 100 mile march (25 miles a day) in and around the town of Nijmegen, Holland. Troops are invited from around the world to participate, but the vast majority of marchers are from US Army units.

Each morning, around 4 am, our team would get up, ruck-up, and begin the daily walk. We’d finish and get back to our sleeping accommodations late morning, shower, sleep for a couple hours, and then we’d hit the town to party with the locals until, 1 or 2 am, ready to rinse and repeat.

Each morning, the roads we marched were lined with locals. Predominantly, young women. And, they would cheer and make a hell of a spectacle of themselves. Throwing flowers, paper slips with phone numbers and addresses, and various pieces of clothing at the American Paratroopers. You see… we had a reputation. While Operation Market Garden was not a complete success, the Nijmegen operation was. We were the direct descendants of those paratroopers from WWII who had walked in, smacked the Nazis in the mouth, rescued the damsel in distress… and, bedded her.

We were Kings. We were Rockstars. We were Men among men. And, we were desired.

Around the world, many American men had that sort of reputation and aura about them at one time. Not so much any more.

I’m looking for a word… Bland. No. Vanilla… mmmm… Ice Cream… Milquetoast? Too British. Neutered? Close…

Eunuch. That’s the word I’m looking for. Eunuch.

Eunuch: noun

a castrated man, especially one formerly employed by rulers in the Middle East and Asia as a harem guard or palace official.

Why am I kicking this word around? Because, the vast majority of supposed 2nd Amendment “advocates” I speak to (you know… the guys who talk about being citizens as opposed to subjects) seem to be Eunuchs. Every one of them seems to have had his daddy-tackle removed.

Sure, there’s lots of tough talk. There are promises that eventually “We” (you know, the royal we) are going to cross some notional Rubicon regarding our rights and these nutless wonders are going to spring into action, locked and loaded. But… are they? Really?

Because, entire revolutions have occurred, blood in the streets, kings toppled, governments converted, borders changed, for far less than the infringements we’re currently watching occur before our very eyes. And, when you start to talk nuts and bolts with the 2A crowd, when you really start to press them about the plan, or the training, or where that line in the sand really is… it all falls apart. We’ll just rely on voting the bastards out and pay lobbyists to tell the gov’t that we’re really upset.

In a country with a God given, Constitutionally affirmed right to arms (the 2nd Amendment for the new guys), we rely on the lobbyists, lawyers, and politicians to do what men should be doing. There are a number of implications in that last sentence, and I want you to consider all of them.

By delegating our responsibility to actively preserve our rights, we are abdicating them. It is not necessary, and certainly not desirable, to lobby (i.e. beg) for our rights to be observed, honored, and respected by the Crown. They are not the Crown’s to give, much less to take away. The rightful remedy to government over-reach is to exercise our rights, forcefully if necessary. Not to grovel and whine.

Why is it, then, in the United States of America, a country founded on the premise that Citizens possess the right to be armed and to be able to respond violently if a government were to attempt to deprive them of that right… Why is it, that we are actively losing the 2A war? Why is there a battle? Why even a debate?

Because we American (formerly) men, have traded our balls and guns for loafers and ballots. Because we’ve decided that lawyers should do the heavy lifting. Because all that training and preparing shit is hard and expensive. Because we’ve convinced ourselves that being “civilized” and soft is a good thing. Because, American men act like neutered, flaccid house cats. We act like eunuchs. As a culture, we are kept men.

Rights, particularly gun rights are maintained by unapologetically training and exercising those rights. Lobbying for them is the equivalent of sitting in a drum circle, contemplating our collective navel, and hoping for the best.

We don’t lack for good, historic role models. We American men were pioneers, mountain men, gunslingers, and war heroes. Now, we won’t even exercise our own rights, seemingly for fear of breaking a nail or offending some blue haired, female soccer player.

See the source image

How’s that going for you? And, what are you willing to do about it? What’s your birthright? When will we reach our “Bridge too Far”?

Reach out. I can help.

Of Tribes, Transitions, Voids, and Resurrection

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I’m a veteran. More specifically, I am a US Army, Light Infantry veteran.

As a grunt, I was surrounded by like-minded individuals who were working as a team toward a goal with a “higher purpose”. Now, in retrospect, I have some doubts about the means, methods, and righteousness of that goal, but I cannot ever doubt the commitment and cohesion of my peers or the merits of service to something bigger than myself.

My various units and the relationships within them were indescribably tribal. We were much more than “co-workers”. We were family. Moreover, we were family who understood that we may have to die for one another on a foreign battlefield, in a fight we didn’t start, at the direction of faceless bureaucrats, in service to a country we all loved. That is a bond that is not replicate-able outside an infantry environment.

When I decided to leave the Army, I had lots of good reasons to do so. And, those reasons still stand today. However, what I could not have predicted was the void left by not having my tribe at my shoulder, going forward. And, it was unrecognizable for a good long time. In fact, I have only very recently identified it for what it was and is.

That void is tangible. It acts on each of us in different ways I imagine, but it’s there for each of us. I suspect that it is what drives the veteran suicide statistics. I suspect that, if one were to be diagnosed, it would be identified psychologically as a sort of depression. It doesn’t render any of us dysfunctional, but it renders us less than whole. And in a way that is impossible to adequately describe to those who haven’t experienced it.

My own personal journey has been marked by any number of attempts to fill that unnamed void. From immersing myself in family, to attending college, to working in various fields that held some interest for me, to pursuing high level management positions and business ownership in order to recreate some meaning in my life. The end result has been that, I have professionally, wandered aimlessly for 20 years. And, again, until very recently, I couldn’t identify the feeling or where it was coming from.

There is a deep satisfaction in being involved with a tribe that has a mission bigger than the individual and the team. There is a deep satisfaction in fighting the “good fight” against all odds. There is something empowering about a situation where it is just you and your tribe against the world. And, my experience to date is that, it is very difficult to achieve that state of satisfaction away from your tribe and in the civilian/corporate world.

The problem is, I think, that for fighters, warriors, soldiers, etc, the civilian world is a shallow and superficial place. It is completely alien to our programming and wiring. The psychology is different, the goals are different, and the outcomes are not vital. Winning and losing boils down to getting paid and cashing the check every other week.

Contemporary civilian life exists in a world of paychecks, balance sheets, sitcoms, and politics. That’s where it seems to begin and end. There is no higher purpose to be found there. No brotherhood. At the end of the day, no matter if it was a good day or a bad day, everyone goes home. At the end of the day, there are no life or death consequences to being good or bad at your job. There is no need to survive. Civility is the realm of the soft and corrupt. And, for the former soldier, there is no place that feels like home.

This is why the idea of “transition” from the military is a myth. It does not exist.

Now, I say that with no malice. It isn’t anybody’s fault. But, it is the reality. Former service members, particularly triggerpullers, are aliens in the civilian world. They are left missionless, alone, and burdened with rules that have no merit.

When you are “transitioning” from the military, it is commonplace for the resume writers to try to highlight “leadership experience”. Which is great… and appropriate, but one’s military leadership experience is irrelevant on the other side of the wire. I have been asked more times than I can count to institute and apply “military-style leadership principles” in companies I have worked for. And, each and every time was a dismal failure. Because, those who need to be led are incapable of it and company ownership has no idea what they’re asking for. Moreover, in a feelings-based, emotion driven, civilian economy, that ownership has no tolerance for the waves that “military leadership” creates.

And, so, veterans are left aimless to wander the civilian wilderness. Strangers in a strange land. By the time they find out how separation from their tribe will affect them, it’s too late. Our purpose has been stripped of us and the search for new purpose is lengthy and difficult… and for some, an impossible quest.

So, what to do? The “yearbook” answer is, “use your GI Bill, go to college”. Been there. Talk about agonizing. If you want to feel alienated, just attend college as a veteran. I could go on, but I won’t. I’ll simply tell you that, for me, college was an exercise in absurdity.

Working for others doesn’t typically mesh because, in order to be happy doing that, you have to respect your employer. And, frankly, most employers don’t have the prerequisite experience necessary to inspire respect from a veteran who’s spent any time downrange. Additionally, the employer has to respect the veteran. And, they can’t because they lack the frame of reference to do so.

So… the option is to work for yourself. Right? Maybe. That’s a minefield all it’s own. Because, the reality is that the economy is set up to reward one of three things; creation, sales, or labor. Creating a product or service OR assembling or selling someone else’s product or service. Without getting into the relative merits of creation and sales, the reality is that there is little inspiring or “higher calling” about either of those endeavors for warriors. And, that inspiration to a higher calling is what the veteran seeks. The only inspiration and satisfaction that I have found is finding that thing that meshes with what I enjoy, am good at, and where I deal with little interference from ‘higher’..

So, what is it that former triggerpullers are good at? Well… shooting and teaching others to shoot. All that being true, it’s important to approach that vocation and marketplace with eyes wide open.

It’s become a reality that the “tactical” market is somewhat saturated. And, it’s more saturated with know-nothing clowns than it is with real-deal, former action guys. So, if that’s the path you want to go down, and you recognize that the market is saturated… how does the prospective entrepreneur set themselves apart in that marketplace?

You have to start with a plan. Not a gimmick-y, hyped plan. A real plan, with a real foundation, based in real knowledge and skills. If you want to build a solid business that will serve you and your market for a long time, it is not enough to simply hang your veteran credentials on a shingle and open shop. You’re going to need a curriculum, a business plan, marketing materials, teaching chops, and the desire and ability to talk to people. And, that is where I think I can assist.

In my own personal search, I finally found Distributed Security, Inc (DSI). A company of former military personnel, contractors, and businessmen with a desire to improve their communities and country with Combative Firearms training offerings for individuals, enterprises, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities.

The business model satisfied my higher-calling needs, the proof-of-concept has been established in recent years in Iraq and Afghanistan, there was an established curriculum that had more merit than I have seen elsewhere in the firearms training community, and I could work for myself and with guys who had a common background and understood where I was coming from. Jackpot.

As a part of my involvement with DSI, we have introduced the Defender 300 Program (D300). Through which, a veteran who wanted to embark on the path of self-employment in the firearms training industry could carve out his place. Along with the benefits of commission based sales of DSI products and reduced personal training costs, that veteran can (and is encouraged to) certify as a Combative Firearms Instructor. After which, he may become an independent instructor or prospective DSI franchisee.

Based on my particular perspective, and head full of questionable wiring, this is a no-brainer kind of choice. If you are a vet, enjoy shooting and training, and are looking for a higher-calling career that taps into your skillset, I think you owe it to yourself to check out the D300.

Join the Tribe. Be a Warrior Capitalist. Fill the Void. Recreate yourself.

Get in touch. I can help.

Virginia Beach shooting victim considered taking gun to work over concerns about colleague…

One of the more tragic consequences over the past several active “shooter” events, has been the unnecessary sacrifice of individuals who with the proper training, could have put down the threat.

Now we learn that Kate Nixon, one of the Virginia Beach victims indicated the night before she was slaughtered by DeWayne Craddock:

The public utilities engineer was concerned about DeWayne Craddock “as well as one other person,” said Kevin Martingayle, an attorney working with Nixon’s family. So on the night of May 30, Nixon had discussed with her husband, Jason, “whether or not she should take a pistol and hide it in her handbag,” Martingayle said. She decided against it because of a city policy that prevents employees from bringing weapons to work.

If your security plan does not include highly-trained, armed, and wired employees then the slaughter will continue. How much are you willing to pay for that ticket to the security theater? How many lives are you willing to sacrifice in order to appease the gun-controller?

https://pilotonline.com/news/local/virginia-beach-mass-shooting/article_3843db5c-8b9e-11e9-b87f-e3e87b2a3b42.html

Escalating Workplace Violence Rocks Hospitals

“An officer inspects all bags and then instructs you to walk through the metal detector. In some cases, a metal wand is used — even on patients who come in on stretchers. Cleveland Clinic officials say they confiscate thousands of weapons like knives, pepper spray and guns each year. The metal detectors were installed in response to what CEO Tom Mihaljevic calls an epidemic.”

Be A Rooftop Korean

More goodness from Kurt Schlichter…

“See, the dirty little secret of civilization is that it’s designed to maintain order when 99.9% of folks are orderly. But, say, if just 2% of folks stop playing by the rules…uh oh. Say LA’s population was 15 million in 1992…that’s 300,000 bad guys. There were maybe 20,000 cops in all the area agencies then, plus 20,000 National Guard soldiers and airman, plus another 10,000 active soldiers and Marines the feds brought in. Law enforcement is based on the concept that most people will behave and that the crooks will be overwhelmed by sheer numbers of officers. But in the LA riots, law enforcement was massively outnumbered. Imposing order took time.”

Kurt Schlichter: We should all be ready to do our duty as

Source: Be A Rooftop Korean

“Arming Teachers” – Fallacious Arguments and Irrelevant Evidence

Colorado Educators Training to Protect Their Schools, 2017

There is a disproportionate buzz about the newly signed Florida legislation that allows its school districts (each at its own discretion) to authorize concealed carry of firearms by teachers in their schools.

Why disproportionate?  Because the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, signed into law in March 2018 soon after the Parkland mass shooting, had already established the “Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program” named after the coach who gave his life attempting to shield students with his body during that shooting.  That program gave school boards the option of allowing school staff members to carry firearms, excluding most classroom teachers who were not JROTC teachers, or current service members, or current or former law enforcement officers.

Last year’s bill established a tough training standard, and left the decision to local school boards, both very good things.  And since school staff who are not classroom teachers often comprise as high as 50% of the total, this approach was rational, if overly cautious, as school boards would still have the authority to approve or disapprove any applicant, without the no-teacher provision imposed by law.

The only change with the new law is that now all classroom teachers are also eligible to volunteer for the Guardian program.  Note “eligible” and “volunteer” and you will understand why so much of the near-hysterical opposition to this law is baseless.

In Loco Parentis

Of course, no one is actually “arming” any teachers – there is no arms room where they will line up to be issued weapons before filing into the trenches – much less “all” teachers, which is how the opposition likes to frame its strawman argument.  They will arm themselves, if their school board votes to implement the Guardian program, and if they individually volunteer, pass rigorous screening and selection, and complete the legally mandated 132 hours of training.  No one is guaranteed approval, and the standards they must meet are high.

The Miami New Times, not known for smart or principled positions on any firearms issue, is one of the media outlets appalled that the legislature and governor, elected by citizens to legislate and govern, have not allowed themselves to be ruled by teachers’ unions, high school students, and some school boards and administrators. All those folks display their statist leanings by wanting to impose their own fears of positive protective measures on everyone. Under Florida law, if they (and, pointedly, the voters in their school districts) do not want to implement the Guardian program, they don’t have to. They can keep the Gun Free Zone signs over their doors and hope for the best. But that’s not enough for them; they think they know better than anyone else what is best for every school district in Florida.

Local control on this issue is a sound and sensible approach, in line with the rule of subsidiarity, the concept that decision-making should occur at the lowest level appropriate to its purpose. Local control is often preferable to decision making by officials far-removed from the affected population, less responsive to their local and regional preferences, and more likely to impose one-size-fits-all solutions. Voters can more easily influence or replace an unresponsive local elected official than his state or federal counterparts.  Here it means what Florida and many other states have ruled: let the school districts decide for themselves.

Beyond that repugnant statist attitude, opponents of “arming” school staff try to bolster their argument with unsupportable claims and sloppy ‘research’ – textbook examples of confirmation bias, the tendency to only consider evidence that supports one’s preconceived notions. The Miami New Times cites an analysis by Gabrielle Giffords’ anti-gun organization that purports to show how dangerous introducing “more guns” to schools will be. It is such a sloppy piece of research and reasoning that we cannot let it go unanswered.

This long piece cites 67 “incidents of mishandled guns in schools” from all over America, from 2014 to the present, to support their opposition to concealed carry of firearms by school staff who meet the requirements of Florida’s Guardian program.  But here’s the rub: only one of these 67 incidents involved a school staffer carrying a firearm under similar requirements. That one involved a Texas superintendent who left her authorized firearm locked in a district vehicle when she and her staff visited another district where she was not authorized to carry it – and then forgot to recover the weapon and left it in the van overnight, to be found in the morning.

Every other incident on this list actually supports the premises behind Florida’s Guardian program, and similar programs in the many other states with similar laws on the books.  Not one carefully vetted armed staff member carrying a concealed firearm with knowledge and approval of their school board, in accordance with strict standards, in well over 1,000 schools around the country, was involved in any of the other 66 incidents cited.

Better than a “Gun Free Zone”

Fifteen of the incidents on this list involved subjects who were not staff members at all; some of these were commissioned officers, while others were merely family members or or other visitors carrying firearms on school property in violation of the law.  Another incident involved two coaches, but occurred off school property.  Desperate to plump up the numbers, are we?

What this list actually does is to demolish the assertion often made by opponents of armed school staff, that guns in school should be left to the “armed professionals.”  While the Miami New Times quotes some who seem to believe that armed officers make schools safer, Giffords does not think so, and on this point at least, we can at least understand the sentiment.  Fully 27 of the 67 incidents in the Giffords study involve “armed professionals” – commissioned police officers or deputies assigned to a school, officers responding to a call for assistance or visiting for other reasons, or other uniformed security guards or school resource officers employed on site. These “armed professionals” had unintentional discharges (several of which injured themselves or others), left their weapons in restrooms or elsewhere unattended, and in two egregious cases, failed to stop a child from pulling the trigger of their holstered weapon.

So much for ‘armed professionals’ – we who are armed professionals know how little sustained, realistic, demanding training most officers undergo, and how easily complacency creeps in.  Uniformed guards – commissioned or not – are not ten feet tall. They are unfortunately sometimes less dedicated and often less proficient than educators who understand their responsibilities “in loco parentis” and undergo rigorous and frequent training required by law and school district policy. Who has not heard educators saying, “we would sacrifice our lives to protect the kids in our care”?  Give the tools and the skills to those who are willing, and they can do better than just sacrifice themselves like Coach Feis did at Parkland.

This is not to say that officers are all deficient in their skills and judgment – far from it – or that they cannot train to a high standard; but we who are trainers know without a shadow of a doubt that motivated civilians can do just as well, with the proper training. In the schools as on the streets, they are not volunteering to act as law enforcement officers, which is a very broad skill set indeed, but only to protect innocents against lethal threats – a very narrow skill set that comprises only a small slice of a police officer’s responsibilities.

In fact, what we do know is that responding police – even when do not have unintentional discharges like several in this list – do not protect schools against active shooters, because they almost always arrive too late; and that uniformed officers on site have a very spotty record. The uncertainty in a potential aggressor’s mind that is created by the prospect of an unknown number of trained staff members carrying concealed weapons at various but unpredictable locations throughout a school, appears to be a better deterrent than one uniformed officer, as evidenced by the complete absence of active shooter incidents in such schools.  Arguably, if one is swayed by logic, they will prove to be a more effective and flexible defense as well, if that unprecedented day does arrive when a shooting happens in their school.

Columbine high school shooters captured on video.

Again, with the exception of that Texas superintendent, none of these incidents involved an approved, trained, school staff member carrying a concealed weapon.  The closest thing to it is the anomalous case of a teacher in Utah in 2014. State law there allows any resident with a concealed carry permit to carry in the schools. There is no requirement to even notify the school board or administration, much less be vetted or approved, or to be trained to any standard beyond the 8 hours of mostly classroom training required for a permit. This teacher dropped her weapon in a toilet stall (before school, with no students in the building); it discharged, shattering the bowl and cutting her calf with a flying shard.  That’s not a laughing matter, or not only a laughing matter, but should be taken in context. Utah’s law has been in place for 20 years, and out of 700,000 citizens with concealed carry permits (14 million person-years?), this is the only reported occasion in which anyone has been injured by a legal concealed carrier’s firearm in a Utah school. And she doesn’t work there any more.  It may also be significant that Utah has had no mass shootings in its schools, but we can only speculate. Pretty safe state, Utah, for all that their statute is far less prescriptive than Florida’s or many other states.

So Giffords, although it titles its piece “Every Incident of Mishandled Guns in Schools” and assures us that theirs is a “systematic analysis,” and that this list of 67 incidents is “comprehensive” for the date range of 2014-2014, has absolutely failed to make a case against armed school staff members in districts that opt in, under authorizing state law, with well-drafted programs and requirements.

Opponents of protecting our schools and children with armed staff on site will have to do better than this, to make a case worth listening to.

Below is a tabulation of the incidents the Giffords piece cites, upon which these conclusions are based. The “Disqualifiers” column notes specific conditions which render the example irrelevant to the argument. “Illegal firearm” indicates that the weapon was on school property in violation of federal and/or state law.  The only exceptions to this disqualifier are the 27 cases involving law enforcement officers and paid security guards, and the afore-mentioned cases of the Texas superintendent and Utah teacher. Those who violate the law or handle firearms incompetently are precisely the sort who are unlikely to volunteer in the first place, or to pass a careful vetting and selection process, or a demanding, standards-based training program, all characteristics of Florida’s Guardian program and those of many other states. As in so many firearms discussions, the actions of criminals and incompetents do not form a rational basis for critiquing the vast majority of actual or potential armed citizens in any venue, including schools.





Dallas DA says he won’t prosecute ‘low-level’ crimes like theft up to $750 or criminal trespass. 

If law enforcement cannot or will not enforce your constitutional rights then when do you have the right to take matters in to your own hands?

Gov. Greg Abbott, too, has joined in the condemnation: “That is legalizing stealing for property less than $750”.

The Governor, the Mayor, the Police Department, the Police Union and many more aren’t too happy about this Democrat’s reform ideas.

Source: Dallas DA says he won’t prosecute ‘low-level’ crimes like theft and felony drug possession

TIER 4 – ENTERPRISE CCW CARRIERS – $8,568 – 2 Days, Cody, WY – 07.15.19 – Last Chance To Register

REGISTRATION CLOSES JUNE 30.

The Distributed Security, Inc. Tier 4 Enterprise CCW program trains employees to safely and effectively carry concealed weapons on site. This is not a typical concealed carry permit course and is designed for six employees from a single enterprise desiring serious training.

Location for the program is Cody, WY, which offers direct access to Yellowstone and other tourist destinations should employees want to bring their spouse or family.

Program includes:

1. 16 hours of dedicated range training.
2. Access to on-line resources, courses and content.
3. A dedicated enterprise Private Training Group
4. An interactive training plan,
5. Introductory tactical medicine skills are integrated into the on-range and on-line training.

This program requires a minimum of 6 employees per class. The on-range portion of the course is two days in length. There are also pre and post course preparation and follow up activities conducted on-line via the Defense Academy.

Total cost for the enterprise is $8,568 which includes 12 months access to the Private Training Group.

Qualifying students receive the DSI “Tier 4 Defender” certification. Range facility surcharge may apply based upon location of client.

Send email to info@distributedsecurity.com or call 1.877.452.0951 for details.

PROGRAM DETAILS

For more details on what is included please download our enterprise offerings brochure.

Students or Members: We Have Answers.

Do you have questions about how to use the DSI Defense Academy, or how to prepare for your course?

Has it been a while since you visited the Defense Academy and things are looking out of place?

Would you like to specific guidance on how to use the DSI Training Notebook so you can maximize your dry practice time in order to keep your skills sharp in preparation for your next course?

If so, please join us for our Weekly Tuesday Evening Students Defense Academy Tour, Pre, and Post Training Q&A sessions.

All times Central:
Defense Academy Tour: 1900 – 1930
Pre Course Instruction: 1930-2000
Post Course Instruction and Training Q&A: 2000-End

Simply click the provided link in the Student’s Portal (Login> Student Portal> Combative Handgun>Pre-Course, see bottom of Intro page).

Teens Beat Armed Guard Outside of Restaurant on Chicago’s Gold Coast…

“Video emerged today of an armed man pulling his weapon to ward off two apparent attackers near the Magnificent Mile, just two days after widespread mob action prompted police to arrest 21 people in the area. The video, filmed from inside McDonald’s at 10 East Chicago, shows two males attacking a middle-aged man who appears to be a security guard. The man is slammed against the restaurant’s outside wall by the pair who punch and grapple the older man as he works to free himself.”

Buy a gun. Get trained.

Tactical firearms training course, April 26-29, Tier 3 Course at Archbold, Ohio

Click here to register: https://distributedsecurity.com/offerings/training-calendar.html

DETAILS

The Tier 3 – INDIVIDUAL TACTICS Program is designed for individuals who want to master armed self-defense in home and street scenarios. The on-range course reviews, refreshes and hones handgun skills taught in our modular Combative Handgun Program, and develops decision making and tactical skills with 12 escalating Reality Based Training (RBT) scenarios using non-lethal training firearms and live role players. Online training resources introduce a wide range of tactics, techniques, and concepts to streamline and accelerate the on-range training.

WHAT IS RBT? RBT is a type of simulation or “force-on-force” training that provides stress inoculation – allowing the student to experience what violence looks and feels like during a lethal force confrontation. Because of the immersive nature of the training, the brain and body can absorb and process the experience as if it were actually occurring to nearly the same degree as if it were an actual situation. RBT boosts the student’s confidence in his ability to dominate adversaries under the normally debilitating stress of a lethal force encounter. This type of experiential training builds the fund of applicable experience that will speed effective decision making and effective performance in a crisis.

STUDENTS LEARN how distance and reaction time force decision making in a lethal force confrontation. They learn how to test for compliance and de-escalate a situation by clear, forceful verbal commands. They learn how to quickly assess and react to a wide variety of threats, and apply their decision making, gun handling, and tactical skills in realistic scenarios, under conditions that include low light, multiple adversaries, stress, limited time, and uncertainty. They learn how to communicate effectively with 9-1-1 operators and responding law enforcement officers.

This course is suited for graduates of our Combative Handgun Program (or, with our review and approval, similar quality training obtained elsewhere), who want to hone and refresh their gun handling skills while applying them in the challenging RBT environment. We include basic tactics and techniques for two people working together, making this Program especially well-suited for couples who want to learn how to defend their home, working both individually and as a team.

Our training methodology is delivered in three phases: pre-course information and guidance, range training, and our post-course support system.

  1. Pre-course: When you register for this Program, you will receive detailed instructions and access to curricula, instructional videos and photos, drills, manuals, scenarios, and other resources in our online Defense Academy so that you can, on your own schedule, become comfortable with key concepts and techniques before you attend your on-range Tier 3 course. You will have access to qualified instructors who can answer your questions and address your concerns before you ever set foot on the range.
  2. Your completion of the pre-course work allows us to minimize “classroom” or lecture time during the range training event. While awaiting your turn to rotate through each RBT scenario, you will practice and polish your gun handling skills with our expert instructors on the live fire range. In RBT, you will apply those gun handling skills along with effective tactics and solid decision making to solve realistic, stressful, and increasingly difficult problems that pit you against well-trained and carefully scripted role players in a safe training environment.
  3. Post-course: You will gain access to additional resources in the Defense Academy to help you review and sustain the skills and knowledge you have developed in your Tier 3 course. Our training staff will remain accessible to answer any questions and recommend further training opportunities. 
    Program Information

COST: $1,695
DATES: April 26-28 2019 See Calendar
TIME: 3 Days on-range
LOCATION: Archbold, Ohio
PREREQUISITE: Completion of DSI’s Combative Handgun Program. Comparable training obtained elsewhere may be an acceptable substitute, at the discretion of DSI’s Chief Instructor.

How Much Training Is Enough Training?

Anybody who purchases a gun for self-defense at some point might find themselves actually having to shoot somebody.  Theoretically, any basic firearms training should teach you how to use a weapon to defend yourself in a lethal confrontation.  Since your life and the life of innocent bystanders are at stake – you should get competent training.

Most first-time gun buyers spend less on their firearms training than they do for a month’s worth of yoga classes.

After all, people spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours annually to pursue their hobbies and athletic pursuits. So you would think that a potentially deadly pursuit like purchasing a weapon for self-defense would cause them to prioritize their time and budget to learn how to safely and effectively use a weapon. Right?

Wrong.

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