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.





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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). 

We also have plans in place to conduct a Law Enforcement-only Shooting With Xray Vision class on Friday, Oct. 22. If you're LE or active military and want to access that class, contact myself through this website or Steve Denney (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 386-364-4867)  in Live Oak and let us know. We'll give you the goods once we establish comms. 

See y'all in Live Oak. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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Again, too much time has passed since my last blog entry. The past 6 weeks has been a blur of conferences, training, and work. Not to mention the fact that when I'm home I'm burning the candle at both ends trying to get my house in shape to sell (a real challenge in our current soft economy, stimulus packages or not!).

You know how things seem to cluster together? In the ER, that's just a given... some days are "suture/laceration" day, or "chest pain" day, or "gunshot wound" day. But I experienced an unusual "topic cluster" over the past 6 weeks that has really got me wondering.

The topic that's clustering for me is this: how should we be training and implementing SWAT/tactical medics in America?

Example:  the active-killer situation that took place at the Van Maur department store in Omaha in December of 2007. At least one GSW victim was still alive when police officers deployed inside the "kill zone" (the active killer has already taken his own life, but LEOs could not possibly know that, of course). Emergency Medical Services personnel were forbidden by their protocols to enter the perimeter until the scene was declared "secure", however, so these victims were not extricated in anything resembling a timely fashion. This wasn't the fault of the EMS protocols, nor of the officers on the scene. But the situation highlighted the nature of the problem, and the terrible cost of our failure to address the issue.

I am aware of many other less-publicized situations where patrol officers, SWAT officers, or civilians were trapped in the "kill zone" with life-threatening injuries but were not extricated. SWAT officers are at the scene to fight, not render medical aid. Paramedics are at the scene to render aid, not to fight. If either fails to execute their primary mission responsibility, a greater disaster could result. It's crystal clear to me that what we need in every situation of this type is a third group of people: tactical medics.

The problem I'm finding is that there is no real consensus on what a tactical medic is, or what he should be able to do. And the more I dig into the issue, the more disturbed I become. But I probably need to backtrack to explain why I'm so disturbed.

As an ER physician, I am required to maintain my certification in various lifesaving protocols such as ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), ATLS (trauma), and so forth. This involves re-taking the standardized class and passing both written and practical examinations.  It wasn't always this way, but over the past 50 years or so the medical profession has policed itself into adopting and regularly updating these standards of care. The benefit is manifest: anyone who needs ER care for their heart attack or traumatic injuries anywhere in America can be assured that the doc taking care of them has met a national standard. Because of these proven standards of care, your chances of dying from a heart attack or injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision are a fraction of what they were in the 1960's.

As the medical director of my county's ambulance services, I am aware of similar national certification standards for EMT's. Furthermore, we have national standards for fire & rescue, disaster preparedness, and so forth.

But when it comes to tactical medicine, things are a mess. And good people are dying because of it. So how do we clean this mess up? Well, I've got some ideas.

First thing: define the job/role of the tactical medic.  As far as I am concerned, the tac-medics' role is a blend of basic EMT and basic LEO jobs. It should be to enter the perimeter of an unsecured zone, pick up the injured person, and scoot out of there. "Scoop and run", a time-honored term in EMS circles. They aren't gonna start IV's, do CPR, apply splints & bandages, although they might apply a tourniquet or clear a blocked airway... something that can be accomplished in seconds, not minutes. The tac-medic's role is to get in and out of the hot zone with the patient and deliver him to fully-equipped paramedics outside the perimeter, who can then perform the critical life-saving maneuvers without being in danger of coming under fire. On the other hand, tac-medics shouldn't be expected to take a place in the entry stack or to try to extricate personnel under direct fire. The tac-medic's role is somewhere in the middle.

Second thing: define the skillsets needed by a tac-medic. A tac-medic doesn't need to have advanced paramedic skills, nor does he need to have the tactical mindset and weapons skills of a SWAT operator. But he needs to have a little bit from both sides of the fence. A tac-medic needs to be tactically aware enough to enter a danger zone without needlessly endangering his life or that of others. Because tactical situations are incredibly fluid, the tac-medic needs to be armed and trained enough to deploy his armament in defense of his own life and that of his patient if circumstances dictate. And the tac-medic needs sufficient medical skills to perform rapid life-saving maneuvers as needed. That's it.

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that this does not require the creation of a new profession. We cross-train our SWAT team members in basic lifesaving first aid--what I call "battle-aid"--and I know many jurisdictions cross-train paramedics in tactis and firearms. What we need, then, is to agree upon a standard of training and performance that can be met by both LEOs and EMTs who have the motivation to take on this unique role.

In my admittedly biased view, a reputable national organization needs to pick this problem up and run with it. For example, the highly successful Advanced Trauma Life Support program  for doctors was developed and promoted by the American College of Surgeons. Perhaps a body such as the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) should consider taking on the tactical medicine problem in a similar fashion.  

The problem is complex due to the mult-jurisdictional nature of law enforcement, but if EMS and Fire & Rescue have managed to come up with national standardization for their professions, why can't law enforcement do the same for tactical medics?


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I must apologize to Members and other readers of this site for my inattention to the site of late. June has been a heavy month, with two major conferences to attend/speak at, as well as a lot of demands on my time at work. How is it that when the economy goes sour, people start doing more things that land them in my Emergency Department? Is it something akin to the full moon?

Inquiring minds want to know!!!

Anyways, enough whining... Today I was notified by my great friend Dr. Gary Roberts that I had been referenced on an internet gun forum. The writer, who has apparently taken one of my classes or heard one of my lectures, ascribed to me certain expertise in "terminal ballistics" that he felt superseded the ballistics testing done by the FBI.  I hastened to set the record straight... I have never claimed to know more than those jello junkies at the FBI ballistics labs!!! They do good work down there in Quantico, and better yet, they freely share it with the rest of us. 

But I must state explicitly here (as I do in all my classes) that I am NOT a terminal ballistics expert, nor do I do much terminal ballistics testing myself. I rely heavily on the bench testing done by people like Dr. Gary Roberts in this area. My expertise is much more in the area of terminal effects, i.e., showing people what the anticipated effects of their well-targeted rounds might be. As such I train people where to shoot the bad guys, and via my trauma medicine background, what kinds of effects one can expect when a person is shot in one of the major zones of incapacitation.

The problem, as you may be aware if you've attended one of my classes, is that in gunfights our opponents rarely stand up to us foursquare with their guns at the hip and let us shoot them in the high mediastinum. In many, many gunfights I have in my files, the offender presented LEOs with a bladed or crouching or some other contorted stance which bears no resemblance to qualification and training targets. Shot placement suffered accordingly as the LEOs in question had no training on these "non-traditional" presentations. As Dr. Roberts has so ably pointed out on many occasions, the problem your bullets have to solve may require much, much more than 12 inches of penetration.

Example: in the 1986 FBI Miami gunfight, bank robber and murderer Michael Platt shot Agent Ed Mireles in the right (dominant) forearm with a round of 5.56. This round shredded Mireles' forearm and permanently disabled him. However, the bullet failed to penetrate through the arm and into Mireles' torso. As such, Mireles was able to continue, using his nondominant hand with both his Remington 870 and his S&W revolver, and ultimately put the final bullets into Platt that finished the fight.

If Platt's rifle had been loaded with a bonded-core or partition-style bullet designed for deep penetration even through intermediate barriers, Mireles likely would have been much more seriously injured, if not killed.

In my medical experience and in my big game hunting experience, penetration is a good thing. I have not been greatly impressed with the terminal effects (not to be confused with terminal ballistics, BTW) of most frangible rounds on human/live animal targets. Tthis does not include, of course, small varmint game such as prairie dogs and woodchucks. I have little faith in the incapacitating effect of any round's temporary cavitation effect, whether it be a handgun or rifle--50 BMG being a possible exception. What counts in gunshot wounds is, quite simply, what vital organs has the bullet penetrated/perforated, and how catastrophically. On the other hand, I've not been impressed with the terminal effectiveness of the deep penetration afforded by our military 62 gr steel-tipped armor-penetrating ammo, which is too often a remote-control cordless drill.

The clear answer is that for general patrol/defensive rifle duty, we want a round that both expands well and penetrates deeply, while maintaining reliable functionality and accuracy. This is the ideal.

That being said, and no disrespect intended to any of the runners-up, my personal and professional 5.56 ammunition choices based on the recommendations of true experts like Dr. Roberts--and my own experience on live animals and tissue simulants--tend to run along the lines of Federal TRU 55/62gr bonded, Black Hills/Nosler Partition 65 gr, and Winchester JSP 64 gr. These rounds will defeat intermediate barriers and will penetrate deeply through tissue, and will work accurately in barrels from 1:7 through 1:10. All of these rounds have an excellent record in OIS's over many, many years, and as such I have no reservation in recommending them.

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I recently attended the annual conference of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) in Wheeling, IL. As it has been since I first attended in 2005, it was an outstanding meeting.

I had the privilege of sitting on the "Panel of Experts on Use of Deadly Force", moderated by Massad Ayoob. As usual, this was a lively discussion forum with a lot of good input from the panel and from the floor. One of the most interesting topics brought up was and update from Ron Borsch on his research into the features of "active killers".  Ron manages the South East Area Law Enforcement (SEALE) Regional Training Academy in Bedford, OH, and has been researching features of active killer incidents for a number of years.

Ron believes the "active shooter" term commonly used by the media and by law enforcement is inaccurate, pejorative and prejudicial against law-abiding firearms users, and potentially dangerous to law enforcement personnel. As he correctly points out, a law-abiding citizen shooting trap or punching holes in targets on his back 40 is an "active shooter": he is actively shooting, and doing so completely within the limits of the law! Ron quite reasonably argues that  the term "active shooter" needs to be replaced by "active killer", because the latter term conveys the essence of the deranged murderer and his actions in two succinct words. I agree. We need to get the message out to fellow LEOs and to the media that this terminology needs to change.

Borsch defines an active killer as a mass murderer (4 or more victims are intentionally murdered in the same episode and location) whose acts take place in no more than 20 minutes. This definition encompasses every active killer event since Charles Whitman's rifle rampage at the University of Texas in 1966, and including the Columbine High School horror, among others. Borsch has analyzed almost 100 incidents. Borsch's research shows that the modus operandi of active killers has remained consistent through time, and this knowledge has shaped his training for LEOs.

Borsch's research reveals a number of critical features of active killers. First, they almost always act alone (98% of cases). Second, their primary objective is to produce as high a body count as possible in a short period of time; they commit as many as 8 murders/attempted murders per minute during their rampages. Borsch relates this high rate of killing in his metaphoric "stopwatch of death": the active killer knows that police will respond, and he has only minutes to cause as many deaths as possible. The active killer fears police, or in fact any form of armed resistance. When police or armed citizens show up, the active killer takes his own life in 90% of incidents. Active killers are "dynamic and quick" (average duration of attacks post-Columbine is less than 8 minutes), almost never take hostages, and they do not negotiate. In 80% of cases active killers have used long guns (rifles or shotguns), and 75% of active killers bring multiple firearms to the scene. 

Borsch has used his data to formulate a training program and policy template that encourages the first responding officers to an active killer call to make immediate entry to the location. As Borsch states, "The incident may well be over by the time police arrive. But with some of these subjects attempting as many as 8 murders a minute, we don't have the luxury of waiting for backup before entering. These are extraordinary events that warrant an extraordinary response."

Borsch's training emphasizes the first responding officer making rapid entry into the location, with weapon(s) out and ready for immediate deployment. The active killer is unlikely to return fire on police officers, but also is highly unlikely to respond positively to verbal warnings or to negotiate. Officers need to be prepared to shoot immediately when the subject is encountered. Since active killers are increasingly resorting to wearing body armor, responding officers should be aware that multiple upper torso/head shots may be required to stop the carnage. A patrol rifle/carbine or shotgun is the preferred LEO entry weapon.

Borsch cites the recent actions of officer Justin Garner, who earlier this year responded to an active killer call at a nursing home in North Carolina, as an exemplar. By the time Garner entered the building, the subject had murdered 7 elderly residents and a nurse in a matter of only a few minutes. Garner encountered the subject as he was reloading his shotgun. Garner terminated the encounter with one shot to the subject's upper chest with his service sidearm.

Of significant note, Borsch's study reveals that only 6 active killer incidents have been successfully terminated in progress by LEOs. Most successful terminations were the product of courageous action on the part of private citizens, most often unarmed. However, it should be noted that nearly every active killer incident on record in the USA has occurred in so-called "gun-free" or "zero weapons tolerance" zones such as shopping malls, office buildings, and schools. It should come as no surprise to most of us that these zones are highly attractive to the active killer, as he is more likely to be able to execute his high body count plan than he would be in, say, a police station or gunshop!

More on the absurdity of "gun-free" zones, particularly schools, to follow in my next blog article.


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