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Thread: engaging the active shooter

  1. #1
    Newbie W.E.G.'s Avatar
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    engaging the active shooter

    engaging the active shooter.

    I got this as part of an email today from Gabe Suarez.
    (I am well aware of Mr. Suarezís reputation and detractors on the internet Ė please focus on his message, and leave character-opinions out of any replies.)


    As it pertains to the tactical response of the lone armed-citizen when confronted with an active shooter, I find it hard to disagree with one word of Mr. Suarezís post.



    Napoleon once said that a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. We can learn a great deal from what went wrong here can't we?

    Here are some points for you to consider.

    1). A pistol will win against a rifle IF the pistolero kills the rifleman before the rifleman sees him. Much of this has to do with tactics, but that should be part of your skill set.

    2). If the pistolero fails to drop the rifleman due to an inoperative pistol, a miss, or insufficient damage caused by too few pistol rounds, the rifleman will probably kill the pistolero.

    3). The surest way to stop a man in his tracks (with some permanence) is with a shot to the head delivered at close range. Some folks dislike teaching head shots. I require them.

    4). Verbalizing or challenging, as in "Halt - Drop The Gun" is not a good idea. In fact, its virtual suicide in a situation like this. You cannot yell and shoot well at the same time, and yelling may alert the bad guy to your location. There is evidence that this occurred in Tacoma.

    5). You verbalize and challenge ONLY when you are not certain of what is going on and then ONLY from behind solid cover (if the adversary is armed with a rifle, few things qualify as cover). If you have enough to justify shooting, then shut your trap and work the trigger.

    6). There is a great deal of discussions on Defensive Shooting. Shooting in a case of this magnitude is only defensive in concept. It is pro-active and aggressive deliberate and premeditated shooting.

    7). Although I like and teach point shooting (in its context), pro-active shooting like this requires traditional marksmanship. Be deliberate! Watch your front sight and press carefully and repeatedly (with your mouth shut).

    8). Train with photographic targets and do force on force training. Get used to the idea that you carry your gun to potentially shoot at a human attacker. The more you get comfortable with this the easier it will be. Tommy Lee Jones' character in the movie, The Hunted, told his students that when you can kill in your mind, the physical part is easy. He's right.

    9). Consider that under some circumstances you may have to make do with a knife. I'm not saying that you will attack a rifle man with your Spyderco at 50 yards, but that in the event that he is within arm's reach (which was the case with several of the Tacoma hostages) your knife may be the only thing between you and being killed. So learn how to kill with your knife.

    10). Last, consider that there may be a reason why God (or fate if you wish) put you, armed and trained, at that very spot and place in time, with the ability to save innocents. This is the life-giving sword (or gun in this context) that some ancient warriors discussed in their writings.

  2. #2
    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Good list. Thanks for that post. That guy in the Tacoma Mall learned what I think is the most important lesson out of that list. When the time comes and you have another human being in your sights, you HAVE to be able to pull that trigger. If not you shouldn't even carry until you have that mindset. Something I've discussed at length with a few people who said "I'm just going to buy a gun and carry it, I don't want to shoot anybody but it'll scare a bad guy off...."

  3. #3
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    I cannot disagree with the OP's cite of Suarez. It's spot-on and a lot of what Suarez is saying are what I teach as well.

    If you're going to shoot paper for self defense then get mad, get your adrenaline up, and shoot something with a doggone human face, heck get one with a gun pointed at you. Force on force training is one of the best ways to get the point across, especially when there's a slight pain option available to those who question it. I use SIRT laser trainers as well as airsoft to get the point across.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
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    #4 and #5. I agree so much with this that I would use really bad words to express my solidarity with it.
    Freedom is a bit like sex, when your getting it you take it for granted, when you're not you want it bad, other people get mad at you for having it and others want to take it away from you so only they have it.

  5. #5
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    The Tacoma mall shooting is proof of keeping your mouth shut. Active shooter, absolutely, use the most effective and sure shot in your skill box.. and there is only one..head, neck, spine, disable the nervous system

  6. #6
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    Can't say I see anything wrong with Suarez advice. Mental preparedness is huge being able recognized that something is happening and what it is very important.

    How many times have we heard from witnesses I couldn't belive it was happening to me,I thought {gun shots} were fire crackers.

    A lot of people just do not want to belive that something bad is happening to them.

    After you have recognized the problem being able to take the proper action. A lot of people say I'll shoot the bad guy. Well that may or maybe the proper action.

    If shooting is the proper action can you hit your target. Your super compact easy concealed firearm might not cut it. Sure it great and easy to carry but using it to hit a target yards away instead of mere feet could be a problem. Malls and a lot of other buildings have open spaces and long hall ways that measure in yards not feet.

    When was the last time you practiced at 20,25yards or farther. Most decent sized handguns with good sights can place all there rounds on a 8x11 target at 50 yards a lot can do much better then that.

    It is one thing to engage targets up close and fast and another to take precision shots past your normal practice ranges.

    Just some thoughts that might be useful.
    Personal Defensive Solutions professional personal firearms, edge weapons and hands on defensive training and tactics pdsolutions@hotmail.com

    Any and all spelling errors are just to give the spelling Nazis something to do

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    Re: engaging the active shooter

    Re saurez: he may not be moral or a stand up guy. However, his tactics, skill and firearms advice ARE top notch and i agree with everything he says. There are 2(?) other parts to this series of emails also.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by compmanio365 View Post
    Good list. Thanks for that post. That guy in the Tacoma Mall learned what I think is the most important lesson out of that list. When the time comes and you have another human being in your sights, you HAVE to be able to pull that trigger. If not you shouldn't even carry until you have that mindset. Something I've discussed at length with a few people who said "I'm just going to buy a gun and carry it, I don't want to shoot anybody but it'll scare a bad guy off...."
    What happened at the Tacoma mall?

  9. #9
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    Re: engaging the active shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by NCCobra View Post
    What happened at the Tacoma mall?
    This reminds me of when I had an anti ask me "what happened in Aurora" once.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_Mall_shooting
    Last edited by SPOProds; 01-02-2013 at 06:44 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPOProds View Post
    This reminds me of when I had an anti ask me "what happened in Aurora" once.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_Mall_shooting
    God forbid I dont follow EVERY story on the news.

  11. #11
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    Re: engaging the active shooter

    Quote Originally Posted by NCCobra View Post
    God forbid I dont follow EVERY story on the news.
    Pretty big story at the time. But i forgive you

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