Wednesday, December 9, 2015

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right!


Today I heard a sound bite on the radio from a County Sheriff in Florida that first had me shaking my head, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.  I went online looking for the complete message and found there were several similar messages from law enforcement officials in New York, Kentucky, others in Florida, and elsewhere.

It was the Marion County Sheriff, Chris Blair, who said, "If you are certified to carry a gun, I would like to encourage you to do so. Those who carry firearms responsibly and are confident in their abilities can---and should---be our first line of defense in an active shooter situation."  He went on to say IN NO WAY does he suggest armed citizens should act as vigilantes.

But here's what really got me to thinking:  It was the Brevard County (FL) Sheriff's office that invited its concealed handgun license (CHL) holding citizens to attend one of their self defense / tactical shooting / decision making classes.  Its purpose is to mentally prepare legally armed citizens on what to expect and how to react in a shooting situation. 

More education....how can that be anything but good?  Plus, it might be enough to scare away those who might not realize how life altering it can be to find yourself in that position.  Better to educate them in a "controlled stress" environment than to have them learn the hard way under fire.  

Little good can come from a panicked person with a gun.  And for those who are waffling on whether to have a gun or get a license, this will make the decision easier.  If you're not sure, then the correct answer is...NO!   To paraphrase Harry Truman, "If you won't be able to handle the heat, then don't go near the kitchen."

Why not take it a step further?  Just like you have several levels of higher university degrees, and several levels of drivers education for new drivers, why not have multiple levels of firearms competency?  Current / retired law enforcement and military MP's should logically hold firearm PhD's, while novices must complete basic course 101 (such as the NRA basic safety program) before being eligible to even (legally) purchase a gun.  

The rest of us could advance up the ladder in increments  once we prove our increased competency.  Those at the highest level could then effectively be "our first line of defense in an active shooter situation" until law enforcement arrives as the Sheriff suggested. 

There are private schools now that do essentially the same thing (proper self defense training and preparation), but they are usually held over several days at a remote location, and cost lots of $$$.  This could be training for the Everyman.

  
And *snicker* I doubt many gang bangers would willingly attend a class AT THE SHERIFF'S  OFFICE.  Hahaha! 


Advantage Good Guys!

I'd do it.

S



13 comments:

  1. Mark Kelly recently made an interesting point. Individuals with concealed handguns are no match for people in combat gear showing up with assault weapons and bombs. And I have to wonder how police will react when called to scenes with multiple shooters. Our police have a difficult enough job to do without worrying that the person firing the gun is a permit carrying citizen.

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  2. Just because a person has bought some "combat gear" (black clothes?) and assault weapons does not necessarily make them competent to use them. And how will they (police) react when called to scenes of multiple shooters? If you mean multiple bad guy shooters, and if they are properly trained, they should do well. Case in point: earlier this year you may remember 2 radical jihadists attempted to shoot up a cartoon competition in Garland TX, and a single cop, a traffic cop at that, with his duty handgun, took them both out in less than 20 seconds. If you mean a good guy engaging a bad guy when the cops show up, the good guy training should teach them to cease immediately when they see police arriving. No sense making a bad situation worse.

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  3. Just because no private citizen has ever broken up a mass shooting doesn't mean it couldn't happen, right? Why not just go a step further and force everyone to do a hitch in the military like Israel?

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    1. Awesome idea Pat!

      Cops mow say the sooner a shooter is confronted, the fewer lives are lost. At one early mass shooting (Colombine?) they waited outside while they made detailed plans for entry, which in their debrief they realized was a mistake. Of course first choice would be for the cops to intervene, second retired police/ MP's or former special ops soldiers, before a well trained civilian. Last place would be a civilian Rambo wannabe with a gun, which is a possibility right now. While not ideal, you have to make do with what you have in a dire emergency.

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    2. Here's a prime example for you Pat: It was the Sergeant-at-Arms in the Canadian Parliament shooting several years ago, a retired Royal Mountie, who produced his private firearm and stopped the carnage.

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  4. At one of the more recent school shootings (was it the college in Oregon?), one of the students had a concealed weapon. He did not want to use it because he thought that once the cops arrived, they would kill anyone with a drawn weapon.

    But basically, and in theory, your idea sounds like a great idea.

    The cynic in me is waiting for the lawyers rubbing their hands in anticipation of civil lawsuits for when innocent people get killed by those civilians who misjudged a situation.

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    1. You are right, Betina, civil lawsuits are always a possibility. We are responsible for the rounds we shoot. But in a last resort, shoot or die situation, it would probably be worth taking the risk. There's an old saying, "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."

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  5. In Lowandslow's world, this would not happen. The 'Phd''s would all have had the same training, it sounds like, that my son Henry had, an Army Ranger, E5, before his two deployments to Afghanistan and one in Iraq. He has told me that probably 60% of the rounds he saw fired in combat were aimed, the rest shot in randon, though in the general direction their comrades were firing.
    This is about what I saw in Vietnam, '66-68. Then it was documented that around 30% of rounds fired in combat were aimed. This is all by military personnel, who have gone through military training.
    Clearly, in the training Lowandslow has in mind, the training will be better. And there obviously will be recurring training, probably quarterly, that they will attended. Somebody will pay for it, who is unclear.
    So don't worry, lowandslow has all the answers. I'm sure he'll provide them.

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    1. Hahaha! I love how you set me up. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      First of all, in my scenario, I'm not going to wander into a hot combat zone, I won't arm myself with a FULL AUTOMATIC M-16/SAW, and I won't be carrying half a dozen loaded magazines, like you and your son did. (And thanks to both of you for your service, BTW.)

      I will simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It happens, just ask any victim of crime. Will every round I fire hit it's intended target? Of course not, well trained as I might be. But if/when I'm they ONLY thing standing (peeking out from behind cover) between a crazed/pissed off gunman firing indiscriminately into a room full of innocent, soon-to-be dead people, I think I'd take the shot.

      In a best-case scenario, police can arrive on the scene in 4 minutes. (That was the police response time in the San Bernardino shootings. That massacre was all over with before they got there, literally.) The police advise to always RUN if possible. They couldn't, the shooters blocked the door. If running isn't possible, the police advise HIDING. There were no adjacent room or closets to hide in. Last resort, the police advise us to FIGHT. That's when a well trained, armed civilian might, MIGHT be able to save lives. I'm not looking to put a bunch of Rambo's on the street. That's what I'm trying to AVOID.

      So yes, I do have a viable alternative to what you propose, which is to just sit there and allow yourself to get blasted full of holes. Yes, my way is better than anything you've put forward. Oh, wait, you haven't put ANYTHING forward, which is always your MO. Whine, complain, find fault, but NEVER, NEVER offer any reasonable alternatives. Nice! :)

      Imperfect as any response to a mass shooting might be, ANY response is better than NO response. Critical study of mass shootings now says the sooner the gunman(men) are confronted, the fewer causalities there will be. That's why they advise responders to not delay, to not wait for a full compliment of SWAT to arrive before entering. Obviously, if police arrive while the shooting is still underway, THEY take control, THEY do all the return firing, the civilian response ceases in order to minimize the confusion.

      So yes, I DO have answers, Mike. We can't all live in your perfect world. Don't I wish.

      S

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    2. Just wrote and erased several replies, ranging from snarky to 'let's all just get along'. Decided it's hopeless. It appears all we can do is be unpleasant to each other. Let's just not.
      Good luck.
      Mike

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    3. Nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree. :)

      S

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  6. I have had a gun on my person, most of my life. Used twice to stop a situation, no shots fired. Police showed up and I identified myself and disarmed at their command. I had no concern of being shot or arrested. All turned out well, for me anyway.

    Contrary to news media, police do not want to shoot.

    It was a Brevard County deputy who suggested I renew my CCL, so I could carry in Florida. He saw me and started conversation, rarely are they there when a bad guy acts badly. I took his advice, hope to never need it.

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    1. Tom, you are the type of responsible, rational gun owner I would like to see us all be. Guns CAN be used to diffuse dangerous situations before they turn deadly. My hat is off to you. I, too, hope I never need to show my gun, much less need to fire at anyone.

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