Second thing, the damn near LAST question you should be asking is what gun or what caliber you should be carrying.
Asking what gun or caliber to carry straight out of the gate is like asking whether to buy a DeWalt or a Makita or a Jet without having done more than drill one hole or cut one board, or worse, never done either!
The first question anyone should ask when they "suddenly" realize they live in a "dangerous environment" is, "Why the F*** didn't I realize I was in danger before this?" Because the answer to that question will give you a helluva lot more information, if seriously answered, than asking what kind of gun you should carry. I recognized in freakin' elementary school that this was a dog-eat-dog world, and the thin veneer of civilization that preserves the weak extended only as far as the playground door. I live in what a lot of my colleagues would consider a white-bread civilized town in the middle of flyover country, but I am aware 24/7 that mortal danger is only a heartbeat away. In the common parlance, I'm in Condition Yellow. Have been since I was a kid.
The first rule of self-defense is that the most powerful weapon you possess is your mind. Not your brain; your mind. We use the term "defensive mindset" a lot in civilian training. We use other adjectives in LE/SWAT training, but the bottom line is "mindset", as in, how have you set up your thinking, how have you prepared your mind for what might happen?
When it comes to personal defense against deadly threats, your mindset is the FIRST thing you have to address. Are you prepared to kill someone if they threaten you with deadly force? Yes?
Well, then. My question then is, HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS? Have you ever killed anything? A deer, a squirrel, a fish? If not, you've got a steep learning curve ahead of you. Have you ever seriously fought anyone who wanted to seriously hurt you? If not, you've got a steep learning curve ahead of you.
More important: have you ever obtained training in the use of your weapon(s) in deadly force situations? If not, how do you know you'll be able to utilize your weapon in such a situation? How do you know you won't be overwhelmed, disarmed, killed with your own weapon?
Do you see the operative question here? TRAINING is orders of magnitude more important that what weapon(s) you choose. Training in the use of your weapon is only the first step.
TRAINING in what to do before, during, and after a deadly force encounter is the key to survival. Can you get this training from surfing the 'net? NO!!! Can you get this from buying more guns than God gave a goat brains? NO!!
Before you EVER carry or keep a gun for self defense, you need appropriate training. Training in not only how to use your weapon(s), but when to use your weapon(s), and how to survive the legal aftermath!
I have taken training in these discipline from the best, not only in civilian circles, but also in LE and MIL arenas. I learned a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG time ago that choice of weapon is at best secondary when it comes down to my survival. You might do the same, if you care to follow the path to enlightenment.
I give you two names: Clint Smith, and Massad Ayoob. There are others, but these are the two I've come to know and trust.Follow those names. (Pay the money. It will be less than the cost of a good handgun.) Get the training. After you've trained, you won't have to worry about what gun to carry. You will know beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Until then, you're wasting my time.
What say you?
Greetings, friends. Once again I must apologize for the long hiatus since my last entry. The events behind this pause were genuinely pressing, so much so that I despaired of a return to any semblance of normalcy. Kind of like running a canoe through a long rapids on an unknown-to-me river as a young man, when I began to wonder if I would ever see calm water again. But just as the rapids eventually spilled into a long, smooth pool, life has abruptly calmed down around me, and I foresee a lot of good and productive times ahead.
First things first: to all of you who purchased books, T-shirts, and other materials in the past 3 months, I apologize for the delay and will ship your product as soon as possible, certainly by the end of January. Books are on backorder (again!), but more exasperating, my computer's hard drive crashed and the files that make up the CD that goes with the book were lost. Fortunately, my friend Joe at Ripon Technology was able to find and extract the lost files, and I am able to start burning CD's again. The thought of having to rewrite all 3 of those PowerPoint files again was depressing, to say the least.
Second things second: to all of you who applied for membership on this website, I also apologize for delay in approvals. Since every application is personally reviewed by me, it takes time to ensure that everyone who joins our member group is a bona fide Good Guy/Gal. And as above, time was precious hard to find in the last quarter of 2010. Most of you will be approved before the end of the present week, I expect. Again, thanks for your patience.
So, now: what news from Tactical Anatomy?
Training dollars are tight, and we had to cancel or cut back several classes in late 2010. At this point I have 3 tentative Shooting With Xray Vision seminars on the books, but nothing confirmed. We are hosting several outside trainers in Saukville, and continue to offer our Deadly Force Decisions class there. We will be offering at least one Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds course for civilians this spring, so watch for the announcement. I will be speaking again this year at the annual ILEETA conference in Wheeling, IL, and anticipate at IALEFI this year as well.
I regret to have to announce that the classes scheduled for Live Oak, FL, Oct 23-24 have been cancelled. We simply didn't have enough people register to justify the travel expenses.
This is something I hate having to do, but it is simply unavoidable. The training I offer under the Tactical Anatomy rubric isn't my bread-and-butter, but is rather something I do as a way of giving back to the community of law enforcement and defensive-minded citizens some of what I have received over the years in my own journey toward knowledge. As such, I really don't expect to make much of a profit. If I were to bill Tactical Anatomy Systems what I charge for my medical services, TAS would have been bankrupt long ago. But still, I have to meet the basic expenses of a training trip, and if I can't come at least close to that, I have no choice but to cancel the training.
To those of you who registered, my thanks. I will be issuing refund checks shortly. I have been in contact with Steve Denney at ProArms and we are considering the possibility of trying to schedule a class again in the spring. So keep an eye on the website so you can be apprised of new developments.
We have online registration for both Shooting With Xray Vision for Civilians and Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds set up now on the website. If you want to register for either of these classes, go to the SCHEDULE page, scroll down to the box with the event schedule in it, and left-click your mouse. You will be re-directed to a page where you will be able to click an "Add To Cart" button. From there it should be so easy a caveman could do it. If it doesn't work for you, email me and I'll figure out how to make it work.
Please note that the TTGSW course description on this page is erroneous. We are working on correcting this.
If you do NOT want to use a credit card or PayPal to register for these classes, you can register by snail-mail by sending me your name, home address, REAL phone number (i.e., the one you actually answer), and a copy of some document that proves you're a genuine Good Guy/Girl... a copy of your CCW license, a state-issued medical/dental/paramedic/etc license, a copy of a Lethal Force Institute or MassadAyoobGroup diploma, or whatever else you think qualifies you as a Good Person. Point being I don't teach this stuff to felons. Anyway, if you send me your stuff and a check to P.O. Box 183, Ripon, WI 54971, that'll work.
Any further questions you might have, please contact Steve Denney at 386-364-4867, or contact me by email or phone. Doc out.
Friends, I must apologize for my lack of attention to the website for the past several months. I am looking into hiring a part-time webminder who can provide updates and do site maintenance for me, since I clearly am juggling too many chainsaws as it is.
First thing, in response to all the emails: Yes, we are holding CLASSES IN LIVE OAK FLORIDA in October!!
Sorry about the "shouting", but I wanted to get it out there. I will be teaching at a law enforcement seminar in Tallahasee that week, and in conjunction with my friends Massad Ayoob and Steve Denney we decided to piggback a couple of classes for civilians onto the trip. We will be holding an 8-hour "Shooting With Xray Vision for Civilians" class on Saturday, Oct. 23, and an 8-hour "Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds" class on Sunday, Oct. 24.
"Shooting With Xray Vision for Civilians" has proven to be a highly popular course among defensively-enabled shooters in the upper midwest over the past couple of years, and this is the first time we're going to take it on the road. This 8-hour course is designed for the tactically/defensively-aware private citizen who has no more than the average layman's knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, wound ballistics, and legal aspects of the use of deadly force. I STRONGLY recommend that anyone thinking of taking this class get Massad Ayoob's MAG-20 (formerly, "Jucicious Use of Deadly Force", or LFI-I) class under their belt as soon as possible, since many of the subtleties of the use of deadly force he covers are assumed to be in the student's memory banks prior to taking Xray Vision. In this class we will cover the political, ethical, and legal realities of the use of deadly force; real-world gunfight realities; basics of wound ballistics; "caliber wars", or what calibers and bullets will/won't serve you well in the real world; gunshot wounds and incapacitation; and a comprehensive review of vital human anatomy in 3 dimension. All materials required will be supplied. Cost of this course is $150 per person.
"Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds" (aka "TTGSW") is a relatively new course I developed in response to requests from several major metro police departments, and has become basic academy and inservice curriculum in several locales, most notably Metro Nashville (TN) Police Department. This 8-hour class is designed to give the layman a basic but highly useful approach to assessing, treating, and stabilizing injuries due to GSWs and other violent major trauma. We will cover the major traumatic threats to survival in a battlefield environment: catastrophic extremity hemmorhage, and ventilatory failure (tension pneumothorax, flail chest, "sucking chest wound", airway obstruction). We will cover the basic but highly effective techniques used to address these problems, including use of tourniquets, battlefield dressings (eg, Israeli Battle Dressing, etc), oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways, needle thoracostomy, and Asherman chest seal. Attendees will receive detailed information on the recommended components for a basic personal "blowout kit", as well as recommended components of a major trauma team kit, and supplier information. We will also cover theory and practice of treatment of major trauma in the "hot zone", extrication techniques, and will round out the day with "Mega-Code" exercises utilizing simulated battle wounds under live-fire conditions. All medical equipment and materials will be supplied. Students will need to bring a serviceable handgun and/or rifle with 100 rounds of ammunition per firearm, as well as standard eye and ear protection. Cost for this course is $150 per person.
Attendance at either of the above classes requires advance registration and payment through the website. Online registration should be up and running by 8/25, or I'll be hunting down my webmaster with my 338 Lapua... But seriously, it will be in place shortly. All registrants MUST provide a copy of their bona fides (a valid CCW license, LE ID card, or letter from an Officer of the Court attesting to one's good character and lack of criminal convictions) prior to class. No one will be permitted to attend these classes without documentation proving you're a genuine Good Guy/Good Girl.
Students enrolling in both classes will get a $50 break on the total price ($250/person for both days).
See y'all in Live Oak.
My friends, 2010 has been a hectic Charlie Foxtrot so far, but things have started to settle down. I sold my house (unbelievable in this current real estate market!) which necessitated A Move. It's been 14 years since my last Move, so I had forgotten what a purgatorial experience it is. The house deal closed Feb. 12, which basically meant I spent most of January sorting, packing, and throwing away stuff, and most of February moving, unpacking, sorting, and throwing away stuff.
The good news is that all of my major rooms are unpacked and, and thanks to my loving and ever-protective daughters, arranged and set up in a manner that could pass for "decorated". My son, who moved back from the West Coast just before Christmas and has been living with me temporarily, was also instrumental in The Move, i.e., he did all the heavy lifting that the movers wouldn't do. I am blessed to be in my new home, out from under a cripplingly expensive mortgage and second mortgage, and able to start putting money toward my dream of a log house in the woods. (With pre-established fields of observation and fire and fixed emplacements for crew-served weapons, of course...)
So despite the fact that my reloading room is still unpacked, I am able to once again resume my Tactical Anatomy duties. Those of you who have ordered items in the past couple of weeks, please accept my apologies for being tardy, but your orders will be shipped this week... and new memberships on this site will be vetted and processed.
I am pleased to announce that Tactical Anatomy Systems has taken another step forward in the training world. We have purchased a MILO computer simulator system, and are now offering training using this incredible modality. I have had opportunities to train on most of the computer simulator systems out there including the industry originator FATS system, but in my considered opinion no system is competitive with MILO. Which is why I bought it and am offering it for training.
My lead firearms instructor, David K. Maglio, and I held our first pilot project MILO class on Feb. 20, 2010. We have dubbed it Deadly Force Decisions, and modelled it on the excellent training with this system we have both received from various agencies in Wisconsin, including our close training compadres at Milwaukee PD. Suffice to say that the pilot project was an overwhelming success.
As a result, we are making plans to incorporate Deadly Force Decisions with our already popular Shooting with Xray Vision class, and our recently introduced SIMUNITION-based Tactical Anatomy Force-on-Force program. We are offering all three classes in a single weekend, with options to all attendees to take any or all of the 3 classes. David, who is a Certified SIMUNITION instructor as well as a Wisconsin DOJ-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, has run several Force-on-Force classes for non-sworn personnel under the Tactical Anatomy umbrella now, and we are confident that this is as cutting-edge hands-on deadly force training as you can get anywhere, taught by guys who are experienced and fully qualified instructors first and foremost.
Our first offering of the Deadly Force Workshop will be in the Twin Cities March 6-7. We are looking forward to holding more of these Workshops throughout the upper midwest this spring and summer, for both LE and non-sworn personnel. Contact us through this website if you are interested in attending or hosting a Workshop, or any one component of our deadly force training triad.
Now that we've moved into 2010, I am pleased to announce that Tactical Anatomy Systems is opening several new Courses of training. These include the following:
Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds
I realize there are hundreds of tac-medic classes out there. Most of them are taught by ex-military medics who have a ton of practical experience gained in the Sandbox, but little or no formal teaching training and--I'm told--highly variable levels of teaching skill. The level of training is really variable as well... one friend came back from a class and told me that the instructor talked over their heads, and most of the subject matter was about the heroic things he had done in Iraq.
TAS's TTGSW class is different for several reasons. First, it is an operator-level class. It's meant for the average cop who may or may not have taken high school biology, has his BLS/first-responder credential, and that's it. Because I have over two decades of teaching experience at the high school and collegiate level, you can be confident that I will not be talking over your head.
TTGSW's objectives are simple and straightforward: to place in the hands of every patrolman/operator the half-dozen basic techniques he needs to save his life or that of his brother officer in the event of a catastrophic wound in the tactical hot zone. We piloted the new curriculum in Nashville in November of 2009, and the results were overwhelmingly positive. Metro Nashville PD instructor staff will begin training their entire police force in these methods this year, and other agencies are looking hard at getting their people trained as well.
Please let me know if you're interested in hosting this class, as the 2010 training calendar is filling up fast.
Tactical Anatomy for Civilians
We have had several highly successful TAS classes for non-LE personnel and are expanding this program in 2010. This is a somewhat simpler form of the 8-hour Shooting With Xray Vision class I've been doing for LE groups since 2004. It contains all the same information on where ethics, terminal ballistics and terminal effects, GSWs and incapacitation, and human anatomy and physiology as it relates to effective stopping power. It also includes a module on the judicious use of deadly force, which LEOs all learn in the academy training, but most civilians have no knowledge of. Watch this website's calendar for upcoming classes.
Force-on-Force Classes for LE and Civilians
Partnering with my long-time friend and training partner, David Maglio, Tactical Anatomy Systems will be offering innovative force-on-force training for both LE and civilians in 2010. Dep. Maglio is certified by the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice as a LE firearms instructor and is certified as a SIMUNITION instructor as well. We have both done extensive force-on-force training. We have purchased a full set of SIMUNITION equipment and have a secure training facility in the Milwaukee area, and we have piloted the classes we intend to offer with unexpectedly good outcomes.
In addition, we have also purchased an IES Corporation MILO computer simulator. This incredible technology allows the student to interact with a full-size simulated human adversary in highly realistic scenarios. I have been using a set of MILO scenarios that I co-developed with IES for the past 3 years in our 8-hour and 16-hour LE classes, and the results have been spectacular. People love shooting these scenarios.
Now that TAS has both of these force-on-force training systems, we can offer a blended FoF curriculum that will blow your doors off, whether LEO or civilian. Classes will begin no later than March, 2010, and class size is necessarily VERY limited. Watch this website for class announcements.
Speedgoat Hunting In Wyoming
Nah, I'm not really taking on pronghorn guiding as a sideline. I just wanted to put up a pic of the dandy speedgoat I shot out near Lusk, WY, in September 2009.
Christmas is almost here, and soon we will be bidding goodbye to 2009. Good riddance, I might say, given the events that have transpired in the past year. I am reminded of the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times".
For we are, indeed, living in interesting times. In 2009 we've seen the United States federal deficit increase exponentially as a runaway tax-and-spend Congress has plunged us into unprecedented debt. We have seen our economy teeter on the brink of collapse (and some say we're still teetering...). We have watched as Korea and Iran race to develop nuclear weapons and delivery systems while our do-nothing President apologizes to the World for the "bad behavior" of the United States. And that same President somehow managed to nearly-simultanously escalate the war in Afghanistan and collect a Nobel Peace Prize.
Pandemic H1N1 Influenza ran amok in 2009, causing more panic than anything else, although the death toll was not insignificant. The federal government is about to take over the health care system in the United States; given the government's record of creating runaway bureaucracies such as the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration (either of which could be the poster child for poor service and rampant inefficiency) I am gravely pessimistic about the future of health care in America.
But amid all this gloom and doom, I have to admit there have been some great moments for me in 2009. Despite tight training budgets, we were able to conduct almost as many Tactical Anatomy classes in 2009 as we did in 2008. More cops attended TAS courses in 2009 on their own dime than in any previous year, which tells me two things: first, that this training is needed in the law enforcement community, and second, that there are a lot of dedicated trainers out there who will stop at nothing to make sure their people get the best training they can find. To all those dedicated instructors, I want to say thank you, and don't give up doing what you do. Officers' lives depend on you.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and safe New Year. Here's hoping 2010 turns out to be a great year.
Several people have contacted me to let me know that they are having problems registering for the November "Shooting With Xray Vision" class and/or the "Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds" class to be held in the first week of November at Nashville.
I am at a loss to explain these problems, as some folks have registered with no difficulty at all. It may be a server-to-server communication problem, and my webmaster is looking into it.
If anyone is having difficulty using the website registration, you can mail your information (name, email address, snailmail address, telephone number, and agency, along with a check or money order for your tuition to: Tactical Anatomy Systems LLC, P.O. Box 183, Ripon, WI, 54971. I will email confirmation of receipt of your registration when I get it.
I recently conducted a TAS "Shooting With Xray Vision for Civilians" class in Saukville, WI. Attendance was sparse (something a lot of independent instructors have been noting during the current economic downturn) but a surprisingly large number of cops were in attendance. Because of the small class size, we had a very interactive time together, with plenty of Q&A and discussion around the room. We'll be holding another one of these classes in the New Year, again in Saukville.
I am in discussions with a top-drawer trainer who works for a federal agency and is a first-rate instructor at one of our nation's finest independent training facilities... regarding the possibility of conducting a 2-day Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds class in the Milwaukee area. If it comes together, we will be opening the class up to local LE personnel to fill a maximum class size of 25. This class is designed primarily for tactical team/SWAT operators who want to know more about how to effectively treat trauma in the tactical (hot zone) environment.
Communications: we've added a lot of new members to this site in the past few weeks, which is great. Unfortunately, I have not been able to notify several of you that your membership/login has been activated because your agency email addresses are spam-blocking my emails. I suggest that anyone registering with tacticalanatomy.com use a non-agency email address when they register.