I came across a meme on Facebook the other day that said, "Just checked, and I didn't use algebra once today."

The implication of this facile message is that algebra--and by extension, any subject you didn't like when you were in school--was a pointless exercise, a useless time-waster, a needless instrument of torture that you were forced to endure by a cruel and unfeeling education system.

But nothing could be further from the truth!

In the first place, despite the fact that you didn't notice it, you used the skills you learned in middle-school and high-school algebra dozens, maybe even hundreds, of times today.  I know, I know... you didn't use a single x, y, or = sign, you didn't solve a single quadratic equation, you didn't follow a single identity equation to its logical conclusion even once. But that's not the point. Multiple times today, you used the skills you learned in algebra unconsciously, because you were busy thinking about other things. And what you really learned in those tedious algebra classes was how to think.

I discovered this crucial fact in 1976, when I was in university. I had completed by B.Sc. degree in Zoology, and realizing that my degree was worthless in terms of finding gainful employment unless I went on to graduate school, I elected to take a second degree in Education. This entailed a single year at the time, which involved a year of Education classes that I thought were ridiculously easy at the time, and essentially worthless except that they would get me to my goal, i.e., a teaching certificate and a decent job. But after only a couple of days in class, I became fascinated by the process of how kids (and adults, to some degree) learn, and what the benefits of learning are.

To cut to the chase, algebra teaches kids incredibly useful skills that they need to function in a complex society. Among these are such essential skills as higher-order pattern recognition and the most critically important cognitive skill of all, logic.

Algebra teaches us, by recognition and repitition, the process of logical thought. If a, then b, and if b, then c,, means that by logical extension, if a, then c. 

"Oh, yeah, everybody knows that," the simpleton scoffs.  

Well, everybody does not know that. If they did, we wouldn't be facing a crisis of unemployment and personal economic disaster all over the country. Huge numbers of Americans are not employable because they don't employ anything above the most rudimentary logic in their lives. Sure, they understand if a, then b. But that's about it. "If I don't get some money, I won't be able to eat." Which is about as complicated as the untrained mind can function. The extension of logic that gets someone from Premise A to Conclusion C, let alone Conclusion F, G, or Z, is beyond them. So they can't perform the higher-order functions necessary in any form of skilled labor.

Logic is essential to the application of the mind to complex processes. People who are incapable of using higher-order logic are cognitive cripples. And since our nation has advanced to being a highly technological civilization, we can't afford to allow our schools to keep spitting out cognitive cripples and falsely calling them High School Graduates.

If every American knew that, and applied that process to life, we wouldn't be in the mess America is in today. We would have an ample supply of educated, disciplined thinking people to fill our workforce. And we would have ample jobs to employ them. But we don't have those things, in no small part due to the fact that the ignorant and evil-minded among us have been crying for 50 years that algebra is a tool of the bourgeoisie, or that algebra is not needed in "real life", or that it is a tool of the white man to oppress the man of color. So we have dumbed down our schools. We have made algebra "optional". We have eliminated the most important tool for teaching our children logic that we have in our arsenal. And as a result we have a population led by emotion, by impulse, and by the cult of celebrity... all of which would be impossible to imagine if logic had not ceased to be at the core of our collective consciousness.

This is very dangerous for America.

America is supposed to be a nation of laws, and all of us are equal before the law. And by logical extension, if that principle is undermined, the foundation of America is in jeopardy. It's simple logic. And we ignore that logic at our peril.

Think about this example: if someone violates National Security law with their private communication, that person is by definition a criminal. If a, then b, right? And if someone violates that law, in fact commits a felony by their action, that person is by definition a felon, right? If b, then c, right? Okay: so if that person violates the law, s/he can and should be prosecuted, convicted, and face all the consequences of being a felon, right?

Sure! You say.  And I agree with you. Even if that person is a good person, who has done a lot of good, if they violate such a serious law, they should face the consequences. And that is exactly what happened to General David Patraeus when he violated our National Security laws.

But Hillary Clinton has by her own admission commited the same violation if not worse, and it seems she will not be held to the same law as General Petraeus was. She is by all logic a felon, pure and simple. And our laws say that a felon cannot vote, and cannot hold public office. Yet she is at this time the front-runner for the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidency. This defies logic!

And this is very, very dangerous for America.

Disparage algebra at your peril, people.

 

 

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A good friend of mine forwarded a Facebook post to me today, and I read it with interest. It's a well-written account of an OIS in which "center mass" hits failed to stop an armed and aggressive felon. If you want to read the account, please open this link:  http://www.lawofficer.com/articles/print/volume-4/issue-12/features/officer-down-peter-soulis-inci.html

The first thing I must say is that in my opinion Officer Soulis did an outstanding job in this gunfight. Did he make some mistakes? A lot of people on Facebook seem to think so, and they're not shy about pointing Soulis's "errors" out. But I wasn't there, and I refuse to second-guess a copper's actions in a deadly force incident without a FULL set of facts.

Second thing: Soulis did several vital things that ended this encounter in a positive manner. That is to say, he lived, and he stopped the perpetrator's attack. He was surprised by the felon's aggressive resonse to his questioning, but he recognized the presence of danger and responded appropriately before the perpetrator could opportunistically murder him. He put bullets into the bad guy, and even though he was hit multiple times by bullets, he did not stop fighting. In fact, he actually escalated his level of counter-aggression.

So on the face of it, I think this officer did a pretty damn good job.

But here's a hint as to the root of a correctable problem: the author of this article states that  "Palmer had taken 22 hits from Soulis' .40-caliber Glock, 17 of which had hit center mass".

The author's implication is that a "center mass" hit is a good hit. And that, my friends, is where we descend from good tactical analysis into the Land of Bullshit.

If you've attended my Shooting With Xray Vision class (SXRV), or you've read my book, you have heard me say this before:  there is no such thing as Center Mass.  In 6 years of undergraduate and graduate level science, I never once read or heard of an anatomic structure called "center mass". In all my years of medical school and postgraduate residency, I never read or heard of a medical term called "center mass". And in 40 years of hunting animals for food with rifles, handguns, bows, blowguns, atlatl's, and other weapons, I never once heard another hunter tell me to aim for "center mass".

The reason for that is that outside of police circles, the term does not exist. And for good reason. It's a bullshit term that has no relevance to reality. People use the term "center mass" because they're lazy and ignorant. Sorry if that offends you, but that's the bottom line. People who use the term "center mass" are admitting for all intents and purposes that they have no idea that critical structures of the human body exist in the human body that need to be interdicted by a police bullet to stop a felon's violent actions. They are admitting that they have no idea where those vital structures are, and they have no idea how to visualize those anatomic structures in a real live human body. 

If you don't know a fact, you are ignorant of that fact. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. But if that fact is highly relevant to your job, continuing to not know that fact is willful ignorance. And if your job involves training cops how to win and survive deadly force situations, not knowing that fact is in my opinion gross negligence.  And if you fail to learn the fact you are ignorant of and you fail to incorporate it into your training, you're not only negligent, you're lazy.

In other words, police firearms instructors who continue to use the term "center mass" in training their officers are, to borrow a phrase from Chief Jeff Chudwin, "occupying a uniform that rightfully belongs to someone else."

 

Defining Center Mass

In 2003, I stood up in front of 18 police LE instructors in a classroom and asked them to take out a sheet of paper and write down the definition of "center mass", and pass them forward. During the break I read through them and was only slightly amazed to read 18 different definitions. This shouldn't surprise anyone, because there is no credible publication anywhere that adequatly defines this bullshit term.

I then proceeded with the full SXRV  curriculum, and all 18 officers passed the final evaluation with flying colors. In the end-of-day debrief, I asked each the class to raise their hands if they thought that "center mass" was useful term in training police officers in the use of dealdy force. Not one hand was raised. And one veteran officer said, "Training cops to shoot 'center mass' is getting good cops killed." As each of those officers discovered, just because you think you know what center mass means doesn't mean that the green recruit you're training knows what you mean. And it for damn sure doesn't mean that the armed and aggressive felon shooting at you gives a tinker's goddam that you think you know what center mass might be!

Training cops in something that is going to get them killed is gross negligence, pure and simple.

 

A Better Alternative: Mediastinum, or High Chest

In Tacical Anatomy's SXRV training, we teach relevant human target anatomy, not meaningless bullshit like "center mass". We demonstrate to students in easily-grasped demonstrations exactlywhere the relevant target anatomy is located, and we teach our students how to visualize that anatomy in three dimensions. Which means a cop who is trained in SXRV is able to place his or her bullets where they will do the most good in the shortest time frame. The primary target area we teach is the mediastinum, or the high chest. This is both easier and harder than it sounds... trust me, you need to take the class to get the full understanding of what I'm saying. But that's not all (cripes, I'm starting to sound like a late-night commercial for a Salad Shooter!): we also teach alternate target zones if the high chest isn't available, or if bullets going into the primary target area are ineffective.

 

Better Hits = Better Outcomes

When cops learn precisely where to place their shots in an OIS, they make better hits and they miss less often. Don't take my word for it, look at the data from agencies that have adopted SXRV for their firearms training programs. Oh, wait, you can't look; police agencies still consider that info highly proprietary and highly classified. So you'll have to take my word for it, after all. Sorry about that.

Example One: large midwestern metro department, 2000+ officers. In the 3 years after they eliminated "center mass" targeting and completed SXRV training for all officers,  their OIS hit ratio rose from ~20% to 94%. Of 34 felons shot in 36 OIS's, 27 were permanently removed from the criminal population. And in those 36 OIS's not one officer was shot.

Example Two: a smallish West Coast sheriff's office, ~50 deputies. In the two years after they eliminated "center mass" targeting and completed their SXRV training, they had a dozen OIS's, 98% hit ratio, and 100% permanent removal of relevant felons from rescidivism. Again, zero officer casualties.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Providing better training to police officers on where to shoot the bad guys rather than flipping them off with a bullshit term like "center mass" is a training concept that our LEO's deserve to get from us, their trainers. Shooting with xray vision stops felonious behavior before cops or innocent bystanders can be injured by violent felons.

Better hits result in better outcomes.

It's time to purge the bullshit terms and techniques from police training so that we can guarantee the best possible outcomes from our OIS's. "Center mass" is a term that was always bullshit. It's time we turn it into antique bullshit.

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A few years ago I held a Tactical Anatomy Instructor Course at Milwaukee, WI. Police firearms instructors from all over the upper midwest attended, and we had a great, great class, in which 25 LE instructors learned how to train their officers in the principles of Shooting With Xray Vision (SXRV).

But what came out of that class was the stuff of legend. 

One particular agency sent its entire Firearms Training Unit staff to this class, and after it was done they went home and put together a plan to train all 2200 officers in their agency in SXRV's anatomically-correct targeting techniques. Administrative approval was given, and the FTU started a 2-year inservice program to take their officers to "the next level" in handgun combatives. The course of 8 half-day inservice courses over that 2 year span was based on the Tactical Anatomy Shooting WIth Xray Vision class and concept... and was designed to revolutionize the way cops shoot bad guys in their city. 

I had the privilege of attending a few of the last inservice sessions in this series as a guest teacher, and I was impressed by the confidence these rank-and-file officers got out of the training. At the end of the class I overheard one longterm veteran copper say to his partner, "I used to be scared to death of getting into a shooting scenario... but now I'm not only not afraid, I know I'll win if I have to shoot it out with a bad guy." (FYI, he used a more colorful expression than "bad guy".)

Here's the payoff of that department's SXRV program: they went from an  "average" police agency (compared to national data) to a team of gunfighting experts. Over the next 3 years, they went from a less than 20% hit ratio to over 90% round accountability. That's right, NINETY percent of their bullets hit the bad guys after this training! Moreover, the number of OIS's in that time period was 34, and 27 of these resulted in permanent removal of the offender from the criminal element. Best of all, not a single police officer was shot, wounded, or killed in those 34 deadly force encounters. And the total number of  OIS's in that time period dropped nearly 50%! These are the kinds of numbers that even city administrators and risk management pukes can get behind. 

At this point, 15 years after I started teaching SXRV, dozens of American police forces have incorporated the principles of anatomic-target based combat shooting into their firearms training, and thousands of private armed citizens have done so as well. The outcomes across America mirror the experience of the midwestern city police force I just told you about.  Shooting With Xray Vision is one of the most powerful success stories in law enforcement firearms use in the past half century, and most people are completely unaware of it.

Why have law enforcement agencies embraced SXRV? Because, as SIMUNITION inventor Ken Murray wrote in my books' foreword, "Society does not expect cops to enjoy shooting people; but it EXPECTS THEM TO BE GOOD AT IT!"  And quite simply, the SXRV gives cops (and private citizens) the tools they need to get good at it! The principles and training in SXRV can take ordinary shooters and turn them into exceptional shooters when it counts and your life is on the line. 

I'll be teaching an 8-hour SXRV class at the Saukville WI police department on May 30, 2015. This course is open to law enforcement and non-sworn civilians with proof of good character (concealed carry license, MAG alumni status, etc). Class will start at 0830 and will conclude at 1630 sharp. 

I will also be offering a 6-hour Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds (TTGSW) class on Sunday, May 31, at the same location. This is a unique class that you can't get anywhere else from any other tac med instructor, in which I combine my 25 years experience as an ER trauma physician with my experience as a SWAT officer and medic to offer a full-spectrum course on treating and surviving trauma in the combat zone. You will get an intensive short course in human anatomy and physiology, triage, recognition of life-threatening emergencies, and the tools/techniques you need to address these emergencies. Training will be a combination of classroom learning and hands-on training. I strongly recommend that you have at least BLS training prior to taking this class. Like SXRV, TTGSW is open to any citizen of good character. 

Tuition is $100 for each class. (If you've previously taken SXRV, you can take it again for half price.)  You can register for the class through the Tactical Anatomy website using your credit card, or you can contact my partner David Maglio (phone 414-659-5811) to register in person with cash/check payment. For further information on the class contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or David at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are a trainer/cop coming to Wisconsin that weekend to attend Davied Maglio's retirement party, you can sign up for one or both classes and write off the whole trip!) 

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Yes, that's right... an online expert has declared the lateral pelvis as the "best worst option" for the tactical shooter, whatever that means.

I've read a number of online blurbs & blogs about this topic, and have mostly dismissed them as unworthy of response. But this one got my attention. Not just for the confusing title, but for the surprising amount of verbage in the article that appears to have been lifted directly from my book, Tactical Anatomy Instructor Manual (TAIM; copyright 2006). I'm not saying it's plagiarism, because you can't say that when someone has copied a term or a phrase or even a partial sentence. But it's clear enough to me that either the author, or someone the author knows, has read my book and copied some of my words directly.

Which is not a big deal, as long as the author(s) use my words to  promote tactical advice I endorse. That happens a LOT (which tells me a lot more people have read my book or my magazine articles than I thought). But when someone turns around and says the opposite of what I teach using my terminology, that sticks in my craw more than a litte.

Let's put it this way... prior to the publication of the TAIM, I had found nothing in the laymen's press  stating that "there are only two reliable means of incapacitation by GSW: CNS disruption, or rapid, incapacitating disruption of blood flow to the CNS."  This is a phrase I've been using in my lectures and in my SXRV training since 2002, and I've seen it repeated in multiple sources both online and in print since my book came out in 2006.  So when someone uses this exact same phrase in their writing, and uses it to supposedly prove a point that contradicts my position on the matter, I get a little bit miffed. 

(Author's note, added Dec. 11, 2016:  Please let me emphasize: I wrote the above phrase and used it in my book, but the concept is not my intellectual property nor my own invention... it is an axiom of wound ballistics and terminal effects, going back to Dr. Martin Fackler's work in the 1970's and Dr. Gary Roberts' work in the 1980's, the numerous contributors to the IWBA Journal,  and beyond; I do not mean to give the impression that this is anything I discovered or promulgated on my own! I read the wound ballistics literature of these, my predecessors, and assure you that nothing I have done through my training or through TAS could have been accomplished without the foundation works of these authors.)

However, I made it clear in the TAIM and I make it clear in all my talks & classes that there are exceptions to this rule. And ONE of those is a lateral pelvis shot that fractures the bony structures of that region (the "weight-bearing triangle", an orthopedic surgical term), WHEN the subject is armed with a contact weapon. A contact weapon is an edged weapon or a bludgeon.

Some authors, such as the "best-worst" guy, point out that a bad guy lying on the ground with a shattered fem, aur can still fight. Well, duh. I wish I'd thought of that... oh, wait, I already did!!  Read the book, Sherlock!

I covered this in detail in the first 2 pages of the chapter on lateral pelvis shots. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that a bad guy with a firearm who's got a busted leg can still shoot you, and he can still fight you if you close with him. But we're not talking about bad guys with guns, for the most part. We're talking about bad guys with contact weapons. The POINT of shooting a contact-weapon-armed adversary in the lateral pelvis is to KEEP HIM FROM COMING INTO CONTACT WITH YOU. He can't stab you if you're 2 steps away. He can't hit you with his tire iron if you're 10 feet away. And if your adversary can no longer offer you harm with his contact weapon, you don't have to shoot him again. You can wait for backup to arrive to help subdue him... he sure as hell isn't going to run away from you!

The plain fact is that police (and righteous armed citizens) are FAR more likely to encounter a criminal attacker armed with contact weapons than they are with a bad guy carrying a gun. The statistics are pretty clear on this.  Being able to stop a potentially deadly attack by a guy with an edged weapon without killing him is a nice tool to have in your toolbox, most of us good guys agree! 

Curiously, the critics don't talk much about this. And the author of the "best-worst" piece certainly didn't offer any cases where a lateral pelvis shot failed.

But, being the nice guy that I am, I will offer you not one, but TWO real-world cases where a lateral pelvis shot stopped the attack and saved at least one life. These are not hypothetical cases. These aren't internet rumors. These are real life cases, not something I heard from a guy who heard it from another guy. I spoke directly with the officers involved in these shootings, and I have verified the pertinent facts through corroborating evidence. I could cite upwards of a dozen more cases, but these two stand out in my mind because they were two of the earliest successful lateral pelvis shootings by some of my SXRV students.

CASE #1

Multiple officers in a mid-size Midwestern city responded to a call to an angry man with a knife. One of the responding officers, who had taken my Shooting With Xray Vision class (SXRV), retrieved his department-issue shotgun from his squad car as he exited the vehicle. He saw that the subject had a large knife in his hand. The subject was shouting and cursing at the responding officers, threatening to attack. The officer in question took aim at the subject's lateral pelvis and fired one round of 00 buckshot (this was Federal ammunition, with the Flite-Control wad). The buckshot entered the subject's pelvis and shattered the head of the femur and the acetabulum. The subject fell to the ground immediately, and offered no further violence. He subsequently had to have the leg amputated at the hip.

CASE #2

A police firearms instructor in a large Midwestern city was off duty, visiting his girlfriend in her home, when he heard a vehicle alarm. He looked out the window and saw a man trying to break into his personal vehicle with a large screwdriver. The officer, who is a nationally-ranked champion shooter, ran out and confronted the felon. The subject responded by advancing on the officer with the screwdriver as his weapon and threatening his life. The officer, who has not only taken SXRV but teaches it to his department's personnel as part of their firearms training program, recognized the possibility of stopping the attack without killing the subject, and shot him in the lateral pelvis (double-tap) with his service pistol. The subject's pelvis was fractured (the right ileum, as I understand) which was both very painful and made standing on the right leg structurally impossible. The subject fell to the ground immediately and ceased the attack. He was taken to hospital and survived his GSW.

Notice that in both the above cases nobody was hurt except the bad guy. And as the second officer told me, it was a huge relief to him to know he could shoot the bad guy without having to kill him. As it happens, he knew the subject to be a juvenile, and the son of a neighbor. The death of this boy at his hands would have been devastating to him. 

Now, I'll offer you a freebie. Don't tell anyone.

CASE #3

This isn't a single case. The guy I'm talking about here was a cop in a third world country, a former colony of a European power, and who went on to serve in that country's special forces unit. After that, he worked in executive protection for another country outside the CONUS for a number of years, and eventually moved to the USA to open a shooting school. This school was very good, very hard to get into, and it wasn't around very long because some people who have much deeper pockets than you and I gave him an offer he couldn't refuse. Since then, he's been the fulltime trainer of a group of very high-speed low-drag tip-of-the-spear guys a lot of us admire who do good work in the GWOT. This guy (I'll call him "Harry", not his real name) has been teaching the use of lateral pelvis shots for a lot longer than I have. Harry's been teaching lateral pelvis shooting as part of his CQB package because he's actually shot multiple bad guys in the lateral pelvis, multiple times over multiple years, in multiple jurisdictions; and Harry's served alongside other guys who've done a lot of the same kind of stuff. And Harry is a strong proponent of this tactical expedient... because it works.

<sigh>

This is not a theoretical discussion, unlike the blog written by "best-worst" guy.  I'm not citing a bunch of medical papers to prove my point, because as a trauma physician I know very, very, very few doctors who have any experience in shooting people... and aside from myself, I only know a handful of medical doctors in the USA who have enough tactical training and experience to even comment on this subject. I'm not offering the opinions of a bunch of supposed experts who have never actually done what they say can't really be done.... I'm offering examples of real guys who've BTDT and got blood on their shirts doing it.

Shooting bad guys in the lateral pelvis is not an "entry level" tactical tool. I don't recommend it to new shooters, and it don't recommend it to IDPA/IPSC or other recreational shooters for their home defense planning. I only teach this tool to people who have the advanced firearms skills, anatomic knowledge, and tactical training to implement it effectively. I do cover it in my lectures and in my SXRV classes, with some significant limitations... and the only class I train people in this skill (outside of special classes for SWAT/military personnel) is my Deadly Force Decisions class, which I co-teach with my great friend and training partner David Maglio.

I don't intend this to be the final word on lateral pelvis shots. But like I more or less said in the beginning of this blog entry, I'll be damned if I'll let some armchair trainer use my own words to say the opposite of what I teach.

 Train with good trainers, and keep your skills sharp.  

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A week ago I wrote that I feared the Federal government is on the verge of waging a shooting war against American citizens. In the last few days, however, I've seen and read some things that have given me pause. Maybe I was being too pessimistic.

The key element in this has been the overwhelming response across America to the news reporting of the Bundy-BLM standoff, which the government did not expect. The feds thought they could impose a news blackout, and thereby operate with indifference to the law, then peddle a sanitized version of events through the mainstream media that told the version of events that showed themselves in the best possible light... in other words, propaganda. Instead, video of them sicing their dogs on unarmed and unaggressive people sparked a firestorm of outrage that swept across the nation and around the world. As I've followed the story in various internet news sources--and observed that the mainstream media is still largely silent on this story--I realize that the information revolution that has come about through the internet is quite possibly going to save America.

The Bundy-BLM story has shown that the mainstream media is becoming irrelevant. The fact that ALL the major networks agreed to a news blackout at the request of the feds and the White House is staggering... can you imagine Walter Cronkite refusing to cover this story because the president asked him to? I sure can't! It just goes to show how much of a lapdog the MSM has become in the past quarter century. If the MSM had held a monopoly on information in the past few weeks as they did when Waco and Ruby Ridge went down, the public might never have known the truth about this story. But the facts came out, and the whole world watched as the BLM was forced, not by guns but by information, to back down.

The "viral" spread of real-time news from the Bundy-BLM standoff will quite possibly prove to be a watershed event in American history as singular as the battle at Concord in 1775. One journalist (Mike Adams, editor of Natural News.com) says that the Revolution of 1775 was made possible by technology that allowed every individual in the 13 Colonies to own a high-quality rifle. The British, like all other European powers, allowed firearms only grudgingly to their subjects, and concentrated their firepower in the Army. In effect, they had a monopoly on weapons back home that didn't exist in America. They had never had to deal with an armed citizenry; they had never even considered the possibility. In 2014, the government had assumed that it "owned" the media but failed to grasp the fact that nearly every person in America has a portable video recorder on his person at all times in the form of cell phones, and that anyone can upload a video for the entire world to see seconds after the event has happened. The monopoly on information the feds thought they had proved to be an illusion.

So alternative media have had a field day, and anyone can see that the news networks are like the emperor with no clothes. The feds must be realizing that they can't conduct paramilitary operations against citizens with impunity any more (one would hope, anyway), and the egg on the faces of the MSM for abrogating their sacred trust to inform the public is truly epic.

The central political issue today is the same as it was in 1775: the government exists and functions only as long as the governed give their consent, so when the arrogant overreach of the government becomes intolerable to the governed, that consent is withdrawn. At that point the government is in jeopardy and its power begins to crumble, whether individual politicians realize it or not.

 
The politicians will bluster and pontificate and announce that they will only redouble their efforts to coerce the governed into submission, as Harry Reid did last week (sounding a lot like King George III, it seemed to me!). But eventually the reality of their loss of power will be unmistakable, even to the dinosaurs on Capitol Hill. And once the government realizes it has lost the consent of the governed it must necessarily retreat, as the British did after the final defeat in 1783. But we have to take note that it took 8 years for that to come about. If the Bundy-BLM standoff was the watershed event in American history that will lead to restoration of the American Republic with limited government and true restoration of the Bill of Rights, the process is going to take some time, and it might get messy. I hope and pray it will be a bloodless revolution this time, though.
 
And it appears to me that this bloodless revolution can be effected through the power of the people to share information without having to accept the government-controlled mainstream media acting as the middleman. The rise of alternative news outlets has been burgeoning for some time, but in the past few weeks it seems to have come of age. Well done, indy newsmen!

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We will be holding a special "express" version of our flagship Shooting With Xray Vision class at the Saukville WI Police Department on May 23, from 5 pm to 11 pm. This class will cover ALL of the same core classroom material I cover in the regular class, the only difference is there will be no live-fire training. 

SXRV is the original "deadlier force" course, developed over 15 years ago and taught to thousands of police and military personnel in the USA and abroad since then. I have distilled the thousands of hours spent in research and training I've done over the years into this class. There is simply no other course anywhere that can teach you what you'll learn in SXRV.

People who have put this training to use in actual officer-involved shootings and defensive shootings have experienced extremely positive and victorious outcomes again and again. I'll share some of those stories with you in class, if you're interested. 

Topics to be covered in this class will include:  ethics of use of deadly force; US case law in use of deadly force; practical terminal ballistics; gunshot wounds and incapacitation; review of vital human anatomy and physiology; and training in 3D anatomic visualization and targeting. This is a rare opportunity to take this training, I am only teaching this class twice in 2014 and only once in Wisconsin.  

Attendees will need to bring a notebook and pen/pencil, and colored markers (black, red, and blue). 

Tuition is reduced for this class at $100.00 per person. Please do NOT try to register for this class through this website. To register, send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I'll send you a registration form which will need to be mailed in with your check. 

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Leftists have been rocked to their foundations by several developments in the past year... starting with the enormous failure of their gun control campaign following the Sandy Hook massacre (which, was clearly a coordinated publicity campaign involving the Democratic politicians and the anti-gun mainstream media), followed by the gigantic failure of Obamacare rollout and the public outcry against it from all quarters (including leftist news outlets), then the abysmal failure of the Connecticut AR-15 ban followed now by the equally complete failure of the New York "SAFE" Act "assault weapon" grab, and of course last week's BLM backdown from the the Nevada stand-off, it has not been a good year for the Democrats. 

Under the provision of the SAFE Act, citizens of the Empire State were given until midnight on April 15, 2014, to register any "assault weapons" in their possession, thereby creating a state registry. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who pushed this bill through the legislature in only 3 days under circumstances that would be called shady at best, is now faced with the fact that the first real test of his anti-gun law has been an almost complete failure. Unnamed sources from within the NY state government have said that less than 5000 weapons were voluntarily registered by New Yorkers. It has been estimated (by the NY state govt) that there are at least 1 million "assault weapons" in the state, which means that 99.995% of New York's assault weapons are now illegal, unregistered, and firmly in the hands of private citizens who don't give a tinker's damn for Cuomo's gun law. These citizens are now, by the definition of the SAFE Act, felons.   

But New York gun owners clearly don't care. For that matter, neither do gun owners in Connecticut, who similarly defied an "assault weapon" registration law in their state earlier this year. 

Cuomo's law, which faces several serious legal challenges on its constitutionality, is in big trouble. The flat refusal of hundreds of thousands of New York's citizens to comply with the "assault weapon" registry is a wake-up call for the gun-grabbers, and they appear to be totally confused by it.  

Cuomo is faced with the fact that Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy had to swallow earlier this year: a law of this type that the people choose to disobey en masse is a ticking time bomb, and the incumbent is stuck with it. The people who oppose the SAFE Act, which is by polls a majority of New Yorkers, are voicing their intent to throw Cuomo out of office at the next election. The people who applaud the SAFE Act are furious with Cuomo for not enforcing the law vigorously, and they vow to replace him with someone who will. He can't win. If he backs down and repeals the law, he loses the liberal gun-control vote. If he enforces the law, he risks inciting violence between police and gun owners and an even greater public outcry as bloodshed is visited upon the good people of New York.   Gun control zealots like Cuomo and Malloy are re-discovering the political consequences of being a gun-grabber in America... it's political suicide.

When I read the liberal press they are either conspicuously silent on the issue, or they express puzzlement that New Yorkers have en masse engaged in one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience to ever take place. They fail to grasp the implications of this watershed event. Americans are saying in numbers like never before that they are sick and tired of the overreach of elected officials, and they are not going to take it any more. 

And almost simultaneously with New York's quiet rebellion, a rancher in Nevada along with an awful lot of supporters around the country have forced the Federal government to back down. 

I get the sense that the Nevada standoff was a watershed event in this nation's history. It doesn't matter to most Americans that, as many legal analysts have pointed out, the law was against Rancher Bundy. Yes, we are a nation of laws; but when the government has made so many bad laws that even the lawyers and tax accountants can't make sense of them, the people will cease to have respect for the law. They necessarily revert to Natural Law, the law of Right. Many Americans, perhaps, most Americans, just don't care that Rancher Bundy has defied the law. They recognize that any law that steals cattle and property from a citizen is bad law, and bad enforcement of a bad law just makes it worse. And as the backstory of Harry Reid and other crooked Nevada politicians profiting from this boondoggle comes out, Americans are even more incensed  and even more committed to defiance of bad law. 

There is no doubt in my mind that the Obamacare rollout fiasco and the intense criticism it drew made the Washington Democrats nervous, but it was and is apparent they thought that they could steamroll over that speed-bump in the road to total power. But the failure of the BLM tactical teams to accomplish their objectives, and the failure of their control of the mass media to keep the story out of the public eye (thank God for the internet!), and the realization that they were on the verge of an actual shooting war with American citizens, and now the NewYork (and Connecticut) "assault weapon" registry's failure, well... in my mind's eye it's like a virtual hard left jab between the eyes.  They are stunned, confused, and temporarily at least set back.

However, I expect them to recover and pick up where they left off, with renewed purpose. And like a stunned palooka who's too punchy (and wasn't that bright to start with) to know that he's about to walk into the beating of his life, they're going to regroup and attack again. It might be at the Bundy ranch, or it might be on Texas' Red River, but it's going to happen. It makes me unutterably sad to realize that the powers that be are committed going to war against their fellow Americans in the blind pursuit of and addiction to power, but it seems to me to be inevitable. But I believe we can rest assured that they will attack again, and American blood will be spilled on American soil. 

Unless we can elect a Republican Senate  in November, and a united Congress can force a bloodless revolution, I fear the outcome is going to be unthinkable. 

 


 

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I just finished reading a fascinating new book. Written by Erik Prince, the founder and CEO of Blackwater, it's the inside account of the founding and operations of the famous--some say infamous--security private military contractor (PMC) corporation that made headlines for a decade in the Sandbox. 
 
I have to admit I've been wishing for this book for several years. During the conflicts in the Sandbox from 2001 to the present, but especially during the peak years of counterinsurgency operations, I was fascinated by the stories coming out about Blackwater and other PMC's. The mainstream media and left-leaning internet bloggers portrayed these organizations and contractors as "mercenaries" (which by definition under international law they were not), and as "cowboys" and "unaccountable" operators--again, false. I got the sense early on that these contractors were an essential element in America's war on terror in the Sandbox. And Prince's book confirms this in spades. 
 
Prince's book illuminates the period of Blackwater's operations in a manner only its owner and CEO could. He touches on the history of private military contractors in America (going back to the Revolution, and ongoing in every armed conflict since). He tells the untold stories of heroism and sacrifice of Blackwater contractors that the mainstream media refused to tell. He tells the backstories to the events that the mainstream media and internet blogosphere distorted and outright lied about, which eventually  made Blackwater the target of Washington politicians. And he gives his account of the blatant attempts by congressman Darrell Waxman (C-CA) and other Democrats to politicize the controversy over use of  PMC's in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
 
Anyone who questioned the media reports of the various Blackwater incidents--the ambush and deaths of 4 Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, the Nisour Square shooting--at the time they were first reported will be gratified to read Prince's account, which harmonizes well with the "fair and balanced" reports of these happenings that were released months later (with no headlines, of course) that exonerated the PMC organization. 
 
This is a highly readable book, and for anyone who wants to be informed of the full scope of PMC's in our nation's military ventures, it is a must-read. 

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I've received a number of inquiries regarding TTGSW classes, all from individuals scattered here and there... but it seems most are east of the Mississippi, and more in the southeastern quadrant of the nation. 

I would love to do a TTGSW class in the SE USA, but I NEED a host facility/agency. This is a big, dirty, messy class, with lots of fake blood and screaming. We need a wide open outdoor range with overhead cover in case of rain. Anybody want to volunteer? I will make it worth your while!! 

Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  if you are interested. 

Doc

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"Are you competing to create training scars, or are you competing to hone your training?"  -David Maglio
 
This pithy bit of wisdom from my warrior-brother and longtime training partner is the Word of the Month from Tactical Anatomy Systems.
 
I have been shooting action pistol competitively for 15 years, and hope to be shooting action pistol sports when I'm 80. It's an incredible way to maintain your proficiency with your chosen weapon(s). I've had arguments with folks who refuse to regard competition as a component of your training, and aside from the willfully ignorant people whose minds are made up, I've persuaded more than a few to use their competitive experience to hone their training. 
 
Competitive shooting forces you to put your skills and your equipment up against a clock, and in front of witnesses. Unlike your private training time at the range, in competition there are no self-bestowed "mulligans". You perform, and your results are glaringly indisputible. You hit the targets, or you didn't. You shot the course of fire in XX seconds, period. And if you have a friend video-record your runs, you can analyze the things you did right or wrong afterwards and adjust your training accordingly.   
 
I have recently taken up 3-Gun competition, and in the course of doing so have been challenged to revisit some of my choices: of guns, of holsters, of ammunition, of sights, the whole gamut.  In the process, I have revisited my ongoing defensive firearms training and have found some things I need to change, and some things to keep as they are.  
 
Understand that I am not shooting 3-Gun to win matches, although I hope to shoot and place well each time I shoot. I am shooting these matches to challenge myself to keep as proficient as possible with my chosen weapons: pistol, shotgun, and rifle. I do not shoot "race" guns. I shoot guns that I carry/own for personal defense, or guns as similar to my personal defense weapons as possible. 
 
For instance, I have switched from a straight kydex holster to a Blackhawk SERPA holster for competition. Two reasons: first, I have come to value the retention feature on this holster for personal carry... I never want to have someone take my gun from me. But the second reason is also valid: I don't want to have my gun fly out of my holster during a competition, as it did to one of my friends a few months ago. He had cleaned the targets at Position A and was running with his rifle to Position B when his pistol popped out of his holster and hit the ground. Fortunately, the gun didn't fire when it hit the ground (it's happened, people, despite the claims that it can't!), so all he got was a match disqualification, no GSW's thankfully. He now uses a holster similar to his duty holster when he shoots 3-Gun. Your gun will NOT pop out of a Level-3 retention holster! 
 
Shooting competitively using your daily carry rig, or gear as close to your daily carry rig as possible, makes great sense. It forces you to use your daily carry equipment under the stress of competition. And those of you who haven't had the experience of shooting in competition, it is VERY stressful. Not as stressful as returning fire on a felon who's trying to kill you, of course not; but it puts far more pressure on you than your weekly target practice sessions. 
 
So, you may ask, what am I shooting at these 3-Gun matches? My pistol is a Lone-Wolf customized Glock 17 Longslide 9mm, action customized by David Maglio (a trained and certified Glock armorer) with a NY-1 trigger and 3.5 pound trigger connect. The trigger setup is identical to my personal carry Glocks, a G19 and a G23. The sights are also very similar to my carry pistols. I carry it in the previously mentioned SERPA holster, just like the SERPA I use for my carry guns. My rifle is a Smith & Wesson M&P M4 carbine with 16" barrel, using a Burris Fullfield Tactical 1-4X optic with red dot and reticle in a Larue Tactical  QD mount. When I pack up after the match, I dismount the Burris optic and replace it with an Aimpoint Comp3 optic in its own Larue QD, my preferred CQB battle sight. It takes less than 10 seconds and my zero is always correct with either sight. (The only reason I don't use the Aimpoint in competition is that I can't see the damn targets at 300+ yards with it.) But truth to tell, if I had to fight with the Burris sight on my rifle, it would be transparent to me in functional terms. The red dot on the Burris is the same size and color as the red dot on the Comp3. Lastly, my shotgun is a Remington M&P 11-87 12-gauge, with 6-round magazine. The same shotgun that sleeps beside my bed ever night. Yes, all the other guys have 9-round mag tubes on their scatterguns, and only having a 6-round mag costs me precious time when I'm shooting competition, but I don't want to create a training scar.
 
So, getting back to David's quote at the top of the page: what exactly is a training scar? I first learned the term from my friend Dean Sparks, who used to run the firearms program at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. A training scar is something you build into your shooting skillset without meaning to that puts you at a disadvantage in a real gunfight. And being at an unexpected and unnecessary disadvantage when your life is on the line can be fatal. 
 
Ken Hackathorn famously said, "Train the way you expect to fight, for you will surely fight the way you've trained." This is true in competition and in combat. When the adrenalin hits your bloodstream, you WILL not be a thinking person, you WILL revert to your level of training. If you've trained appropriately, you will overcome your adversary. If you've unintentionally trained a maneuver or "skill" inappropriately, you will default to it when the shit hits the fan. It might only cost you a couple of seconds, but your adversary can put 15 rounds into your body in a couple of seconds. 
 
A well-known example of a training scar occurred at the Newhall Incident, where California Highway Patrolmen were found dead with their spent revolver cases in their pockets. When training, they had been required to put their empty cases into their pockets to save on range upkeep and maintenance... and when they were fighting for their lives at Newhall, they reverted to their training, and wasted precious seconds they could have used to reload their revolvers by carefully extracting their empty cases into their hands, then putting them into their pockets. The desire to save time picking up brass at the range had unwittingly created a training scar that cost good men their lives. 
 
If I shoot 3-gun with a 9-round magazine, I will get used to shooting a shotgun that holds 9 shells. And if I should get into a fight with my 6-round home defense shotgun and run it empty, I may well spend precious seconds racking the gun to put a fresh round that doesn't exist into the chamber instead of dropping the bitch on the ground and transitioning to my blaster!!  (Pat Rodgers taught me a great drill at his 3-day Advanced Carbine class a few years ago: have a buddy load an unknown number of rounds into your rifle magazine, then on signal engage the targets. When your rifle runs dry, let your rifle hang and draw your pistol/blaster and clean up the rest of the targets. Don't waste time trying to clear a malfunction when you're in combat. I use this drill every time I train with my rifle. You just never know.) 
 
Okay, that's my thoughts on competition, training, and training scars for today. 
 
Keep your weapons ready, folks. And remember your most important weapon is your mind. Train it well. 

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Screen shot of Dr. Williams being interviewed by Police One TV