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Tom Givens
12-26-2004, 02:47 PM
Carry Your Gun

I have been teaching firearms use for 29 years now, the last eight years full time. I have trained around 1,000 military personnel, a few hundred police officers, and thousands of private citizens. In 2005, Rangemaster will graduate the 20,000th basic course student, plus I have taught another 1,000 students in road classes all over the United States.
A lot of my military and police students have been involved in shootings over the years, as that is in the nature of their jobs. When considering only the private citizen students, however, I know of almost forty who have been involved in shoot-outs with criminals. The students have won in every single case I am aware of. I may not know about every instance when a student defends himself, but Iím sure I know about most of them. Usually, one of the first things a student does after a confrontation is report back to the school that trained him.
To the best of my knowledge, I have had two private citizen students who were killed by armed criminals after their training, in separate incidents. Both had one thing in common- they were not armed when they were killed. For whatever reason, both decided NOT to carry a gun on the fateful day, and both paid with their lives. I donít care how highly trained you are, a one-sided gunfight is a good way to lose if the other side is the one thatís armed. One thing you will NEVER get to decide is which days you will need your gun. Someone else makes that decision, and you will only be informed at the last minute. Thatís OK, as long as you have your gear.

georgel
12-26-2004, 03:21 PM
Good advice.
It's easy for all of us to get lulled into complacency and we start thinking, "I'm just running down to the gas station." or "I'm going some place secure." or "I'll just carry the little sub-caliber pocket gun."
I often remind myself how stupid I would feel if I should end up in the middle of a firefight without a gun. It's just bad form. Especially now, post 9/11, the potential for a serious engagement may be increased. And with the increase in home invasions in the area, I carry at home. Is it excessive? For me its just part of my daily clothing, along with my light and my folder. I've answered the door a few too many times without gun in hand and felt foolish every time.
When others ask why I carry all the time, I tell them that if I knew exactly when it was I need one then I would just not go there. But I don't know when, so I carry whenever I can.
It's like a parachute. You don't know when you're going to need it, but when you do, you're going to need it real bad and you're going to want the biggest and best you can have. And you'll feel like an idiot if you left it at home.

michael
12-26-2004, 03:48 PM
Wise words, Tom. I wish that everyone who is trained and has a CCW permit would heed them. It must be immensely satisfying to know that your training ensured the survival of so many people, and that is a testament to the quality of instruction you provide. I always carry, and sometimes my wife will chide me for it. However, my responsibility is to protect myself, her and the kids, and I will not depend upon anyone else or the mercy of a criminal for that charge. I was a cop long enough to know that the one time you are not ready, Murphy will show up. We must ALWAYS be ready to fight the battle for life and death, and it may come when we are not expecting it. As George said, if I knew when that would occur, I would alter the circumstances and not be there. Unfortunately, we do not have that luxury, and it is incumbent upon us to always be ready. The criminals and terrorists are ready, so must we be.

Lou Costello
12-26-2004, 04:18 PM
Good writeup, Tom.

Deaf Smith
12-26-2004, 05:26 PM
Sad thing is so many people would not forget their purse or watch, but they forget their cell phone and if they have a CCW, forget their gun!

I look at this like a fire extinguisher. If you don't have one handy you sure can't put out the fire and I once put another motorist engine fire out with mine (fire that is, and with my fire extinguisher.) My car is equipped with first aid kit and fire extinuisher just as I carry a gun.

The whole reason I took up H2H long time ago was because I could not guarantee I would have a gun (no CHL in Texas back then.) Well I still do the H2H, but I carry the gun if can legally do so. For all I like the martial arts, a gun goes much farther!

Tom, any way you could post, without names, situations some of your students encountered. Sort of like the 'Ayoob Files'. Maybe you could call them the "Given's Files".

Mike45ACP
12-26-2004, 06:24 PM
Living in Ohio I am new to legally carrying a firearm and it is good to read threads like this one on being prepared. I have been guilty of thinking "I am just going to the corner store I don't really need to take a gun".

Then I think about a recent story [in another city] where a young mother was gunned down while stopping to get diapers for her new baby while dad drove the baby around the block [to try and get him/her to sleep] and circled around to find his wife dead on the pavement in front of the store - she was shot in the back trying to get away from an armed robber. I'm sure niether her or her husband thought they would have needed to protect themselves that night either.

I am still working the bugs out my carry methods, but agree that I will get over the feeling of complacency and make it habit to grab my wallet, watch, cell phone, CRKT folder and my Glock 23.

Thanks for the good information and advice.

Joe Average
12-26-2004, 07:37 PM
To me, not carrying is not an option. My gun is my Siamese twin. Literally 24/7.
I'm sure that when I get to Heaven, I'll check for it once or twice.

Geezer
12-27-2004, 12:38 AM
Tom, et al, thanks for a much-needed kick in the pants reminder.

Goid bless and y'all be mindful out there.

safestop
12-27-2004, 04:14 AM
Tom,
Thanks for the reminder. While we all strive for more training and to learn new things, a refreasher on the basics is always important.
The #1 basic. You got to have a gun.
Regards,
Fuzzy

combat effective
12-27-2004, 08:01 AM
Good points. I have officer friends that do not carry off duty. It took just once looking over at the next table in a restaurant and seeing a guy that I had arrested to convince me that I would never leave home without being well armed.

ISRAELI EXTREMIST
12-27-2004, 09:31 AM
I have a friend thats an Assistant Chief of police that I know for at least 27 years that never carries when he is of duty, but has his gun at his car. Well I told him many times that thats not good enough and we had various discussions but he still does not carry and he came from the ranks and he is a dedicated shooter but still will not carry. Also another friend thats a Chief of Police also does not carry when he is off duty. I do not know what to say about it :confused: to each his own, their joke is that when they are with me they feel safe and do not carry :) but what happens when they are not with me which is 99.9% of the time? :eek: I carry since I was 20 years old 24/7/365 and even when I go to the bathroom. I can not think of a scenario that When I am in the bathroom the door bell rings and my wife by mistake opens the door to some BG's :eek: how would you like to get caught with your pants down and your gun in another room? not me.

Geezer
12-27-2004, 09:41 AM
"It's like the war on terror, you have to be perfect all of the time, they just have to get lucky once."

Well, not exactly. What you describe is not "war" but politically correct reactions.

If we were really making war on terror, we would be tracking them down all over the world and killing them and everything and everybody in their general vicinity, without warning, and without the assistance of the ACLU, the UN and International Courts.

This is not a football game, and we must remind ourselves over and over again that it is absolutely impossible to win through defense.


God bless and y'all be mindful out there.

Kobra
12-27-2004, 11:15 AM
Unfortunately in this coming week I will be in The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia where it is illegal to defend yourself. I will be armed with a folding knife and a flashlight--yippee!

Kobra

John Chambers
12-27-2004, 12:07 PM
Unfortunately in this coming week I will be in The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia where it is illegal to defend yourself. I will be armed with a folding knife and a flashlight--yippee!

Kobra

Kobra,

Not trying to be trite, but you REALLY need to move... I don't think a popular uprising will take place at the polls any time soon. :(

Stay safe!

JC

Kobra
12-27-2004, 12:24 PM
Kobra,

Not trying to be trite, but you REALLY need to move... I don't think a popular uprising will take place at the polls any time soon. :(

Stay safe!

JC

Oh, I live in AZ, but will be visiting friends in CA.

:-D Kobra

John Chambers
12-27-2004, 02:19 PM
Oh, I live in AZ, but will be visiting friends in CA.

:-D Kobra

Good for you!!! I have had too many friends move to CA from TX and it takes them years to recover! From CA experience that is...

ISRAELI EXTREMIST
12-27-2004, 03:19 PM
I had to be really coerced to go to my nieces wedding in San Francisco a year ago and thats the only time I have been there in the last 29 years. If any body wants to get together with me let them come here to visit. Unless there is a wedding
or a funeral I am not going to the peoples Republic of California ever again. Even then when I went I took my gun with me packed properly in the suit case and in the hotel it still was under my pillow which is completly legal. The other time I had my other weapon with me my Ford Expedition that can be deadlier then a gun while driving, and pocket knifes my Spyderco Native folders in each pocket. It was not too bad.

Steve Camp
12-27-2004, 03:24 PM
Oh, I live in AZ, but will be visiting friends in CA.


Your friends should move to a free state... or you should get new friends. :D :D :D

mk86fcc
12-27-2004, 03:39 PM
I remember some different pieces of advice I was given when I first got my CCW...

1) Carry always, or don't bother. Your gun should be like your wallet - you know it's there, but you're not constantly "checking" it. Continuous carry builds into your subconcious and keeps you from "checking."

2) If you think you're only going to carry when you go someplace you might need it - perhaps you should rethink going there. In fact, shortly after getting my CCW we were getting ready to go to Sam's Club - the wife asks, as I'm tucking the IWB in, "Do you really think we're going to need that at Sam's Club?" My reply - "If I thought we were going to need it at Sam's, we wouldn't go."

3) You may go through your entire life without ever needing a gun - but if you do, you'll need it very badly and very quickly.

TravisABQ
12-28-2004, 02:02 AM
My friends know that I carry, and although they
seem to accept that fact, I don't think ANY of
them have the slightest understanding of WHY...
not really.

I have disposed of former friends who were
intolerant of that fact, who called me paranoid....
or perhaps I should say they disposed of me.

If you make the decision that you must carry,
be prepared to find out who your real friends are.

--Travis--

BILLYBOB
12-28-2004, 07:08 AM
Great thread.


I've had my ccw permit for 2 years and I carry all of the time. If you just look at all of the evil in the world, how could you not be prepared to defend yourself by any means necessary. I do not feel bad for BG's who got what they deserved. I'm so tired of hearing the stories of people being killed even after they've given up the goods. I rather go down fighting then to go down empty handed.

Also, and handgun will do you no good locked in a drawer, or with a safety lock on it when a BG enters. Be prepared at all times.

Young9mmGunner
12-29-2004, 07:27 AM
My wife has chided me in the past, but now she is getting her ccw permit. The video of that 15yr old girl that was mugged and beaten that was posted on this site really scared the s--t out of her. She also didnt like that video posting of the african american with the bat hitting the car. SHE HAS SEEN THE LIGHT :D

InTheBlack
12-29-2004, 09:19 AM
>>>
I have to admit, when I first started training, there were time that I still went out unarmed.
>>>

That's not only OK, its wise. Just because you have some training and even official sanction in the form of a permit doesn't mean that you are psychologically ready & able to carry in all circumstances. There are processes you go through-- confidence in your ability, resolve, familiarity with carrying (like socks- always there but never distracting and always discreet). Even having the proper equipment for all manner of dress, and being proficient in another mode of carry.

7677
12-29-2004, 12:09 PM
Tom,
I agree the first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun.

Student
12-30-2004, 03:33 PM
And never forget to always keep your wits about you, especially when you have to go somewhere where you can't carry :)

bluesman
01-17-2005, 08:41 PM
This is really a great thread, not to mention the premise of Mr. Givens.
I have been carrying full time for just over a year now. A number of months back I had an experience that really changed my perspective on things.
I was coming home from work at the end of the day and stopped by a small store to pick up a pack of smokes like I do just about everyday. I know the store owners really well. They are a very nice older Korean couple who work hard for the American dream. When I had left the office I took my 1911 off of my belt and put it in my briefcase before I left. I can't even remember why. At any rate, my pistol wasn't on my hip but in my briefcase on the passenger seat of my truck. I remember feeling a bit awkward about leaving it in my truck even for the 60 seconds it was going to take to go into the store, get my smokes and leave. I was parked right at the front door. My truck was 20 from the cash register. I locked my door and went into the store. As I walked up to the cash register I sensed something wrong. The Korean woman who is one of the owners looked very uneasy. She was sweating badly and acting very confused. I asked her for my smokes that I get every day and she seemed very distracted. At this point I asked her if she was OK and she said " he rob me". This woman cannot speak very good english but that was enough to convince me that something was very wrong. This is a very awkward and embarrasing situation to be in. I have all this training but did not have my pistol. I did not know if the BG was still in the store or not. She couldn't speak english well enough to tell me. I remember nervously slicing the pie the best I could standing where I was. Needless to say, I had to call the police for her as she didn't even know how to do that. I waited for the officer to get there and told him what I knew. Later her husband thanked me for helping his wife. This store had been robbed before and I felt really stupid. It is indeed a very bad feeling standing in that situation and looking out through the windows at my truck wondering why the heck I took my pistol off. You never know when something bad is going to happen. All you can do is be prepared. Every day since that my 1911 is cocked and locked on my hip. I never thought that something like that would happen to me.

HeadHunter
01-18-2005, 04:15 AM
Unfortunately in this coming week I will be in The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia where it is illegal to defend yourself. I will be armed with a folding knife and a flashlight--yippee!

KobraYour thinking is based on a false premise; that carrying a gun is only for the times when you are sanctioned by the government. The only time I accept being unarmed is when I am forced by circumstance to go through a metal detector surrounded by armed government agents.

Unfortunately, this premise arises from the training community's philosophy "don't carry mouseguns." Inevitably, people who live normal lifestyles are faced with one of two options, carry a mousegun or be unarmed.

I can assure you that a typical economic predator will come around to your point of view more often from having a chrome Jennings J-22 pointed at his face than from a dirty look. The studies of Lott, Kleck, and my own research on "The Armed Citizen" make this quite clear.

Even if one confronts a psychopath, a mousegun is better than no gun. He might kill you, but with seven .22s in him, I bet he will lose interest in your family a lot faster than from hand to gland combat.

A Kel-Tec weighs less than a cellphone and is smaller. There is no reason to not be armed ALL THE TIME. Remember the title of Tom's thread.

Joe Average
01-18-2005, 05:21 AM
I would like to add what would seem obvious.
Give all your gear, especially new gear, rigorous live action
practice regularly.

This weekend after CRG-1 I put a nice jacket in the Salvation Army trailer. No way I'd want to draw from it.

I also ran an Uncle Mike's IWB holster over with my truck, backed up, ran it over again, backed up, and did a burn-out on it. Useless and dangerous piece of crap.

AuKnight
01-24-2005, 01:44 AM
I'm in an unfortunate predicament where I do not live where my guns are located, although I do have a CCW. My current quarters does not allow firearms on the premises, with the exception of security. Even though my weapons are 20 mi away, I drive the distance and pick up my handgun every day, go do what I want, drive back to drop them off, then go home. There is a huge gap of time where I am pretty vulnerable (only having my knife an all) but I carry my gun at every possible opportunity. I keep it on my hip even when I'm indoors at my friends apartment (where I keep ALL my weapons). There have been so many instances where I needed things that I usually had on me but just didn't at the time. I do not want to be caught without my gun when I need it.

mlhoward
01-24-2005, 05:18 AM
Your thinking is based on a false premise; that carrying a gun is only for the times when you are sanctioned by the government. The only time I accept being unarmed is when I am forced by circumstance to go through a metal detector surrounded by armed government agents.
Please review young9mmgunner's "fun times when caught" experience. If you're gonna do it, be prepared to take your lumps without crying if you get caught with that unsanctioned gun. People who don't interpret the 2nd Amendment the same way you do have the force of law behind them.

Wallew
01-24-2005, 12:02 PM
I agree, but must give a proviso.

IF YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND YOU, BEING ARMED MEANS DO-DAH.

Yes, if you put yourself in situations where a firearm will become useful, then you should carry.

A (female) riding buddy of mine was killed in Kileen, Texas at the Luby cafeteria incident several years ago. The guy who killed her walked up from behind and shot her and her companion at close range. HER firearm was in her truck. Why, I will never know. But she normally operated in condition yellow (always aware of surroundings). She let her guard down and it cost her and her friend (plus lots of other people) their lives.

I've personally been in two 'gun fights' where the other party DID NOT bring the correct weapon. Fight was over by just showing hard steel to the moron carrying a blade. The other two punks were both 'pretending' they had a gun when they tried to rob me. How stupid is that? In neither instance was a shot fired, though if necessary, I was willing AND ABLE to do so.

I saw both instances COMING and was cool, calm and collected when it was necessary. Unlike my friend who had dropped her guard because she apparently felt she was in a 'safe' environment (extremely crowded resturant) and felt no danger. HAD she carried her firearm into the resturant, perhaps she would have remained alert. I cannot say. I was not there.

It just proves there are NO SAFE PLACES. Life is dangerous and deadly, even when firearms ARE NOT INVOLVED.

Young9mmGunner
01-25-2005, 05:21 AM
Yes it sucks not being able to carry all the time. I was arrested for it.(all charges were dropped though and lost my XD-9). I was sh-tting my pants when the LE officers pulled their guns out and put the cuffs on me. That was the 1st time I was on the wrong side of the law(and the LAST). Dont carry where youre not allowed to. I now have my FLA. non-resident permit so I can carry now in DE and a lot of other states. :D Oh by the way Gabe I just bought on SAT. a NEW XD-9. LOL

AuKnight
01-28-2005, 05:15 PM
Yes it sucks not being able to carry all the time. I was arrested for it.(all charges were dropped though and lost my XD-9). I was sh-tting my pants when the LE officers pulled their guns out and put the cuffs on me. That was the 1st time I was on the wrong side of the law(and the LAST). Dont carry where youre not allowed to. I now have my FLA. non-resident permit so I can carry now in DE and a lot of other states. :D Oh by the way Gabe I just bought on SAT. a NEW XD-9. LOL

What were you doing to get caught? I have a VA CCL but I carried illegally in Ohio when I went back to visit my parents (Although NOW it is legal!!). However, I kept myself in situations where my getting caught with a concealed weapon was minimal. I know I was breaking the law, and that I was taking a huge risk with losing my weapons priveledges and all, but I believe the ability to defend yourself and your loved ones is more important than worrying about going to jail, but that is a personal choice. Now, on that same note, I wouldn't push my luck like go into a police station or a military base or anything like that with a gun. That's just plain stupid, and asking for trouble. I think that as long as you are smart about it, you can't get caught unless you did something like get drunk and start shooting in the air, or got a speeding ticket in Texas and got searched, or you were playing Dance Dance Revolution while you carried Mexican style. I'm in no way promoting illegal carry, especially if you have the chance to obtain a permit. Just figured I give the other side of the spectrum is all.

Young9mmGunner
01-28-2005, 07:33 PM
Sleeping on a pullover on the side of a road. :eek:

AuKnight
01-29-2005, 05:57 AM
Sleeping on a pullover on the side of a road. :eek:

HAHAHA!! I did that on the highway once, wouldn't recommend it. Just as I was about to go, a cop came up behind me and did the whole document routine, then gave me the speech about not pulling over on the highway. Well, I wasn't carrying at the time, but I didn't get searched so it made no difference.

DaveH
01-30-2005, 04:18 PM
A friend of mine many years ago ran down to the corner market and was not carrying as his department required whenever off duty. As he pulled into the market, a man was standing inside with a gun pointed at the clerk. Being smart enough to not enter and to avoid a week suspension, he called the robbery in anonymously from a pay phone next door. That was the last time he went without. Periodically I will do the same thing, I'll think "I'm just going to ........" Many times afterwards I will feel a little guilty for not carrying, especially if my family was with me. The worst thing that could happen would be for something to go down, and you weren't carrying but could have been. Something going bad when you are by yourself is bad enough, but it would be a worst case scenario if you have loved ones with you. Reading these type of posts should reaffirm in everyone's mind the importance of carrying. I make sure to pack it up if I am leaving the house, period. One thing we all must also keep in mind is the importance of the individual armed citizen in not only being a deterrence to crime but also, you are the first line of defense along with local law enforcement in homeland security. Many, many cases of terrorist activity being thwarted by armed civilians in Israel have been documented. These weren't soldiers or cops, just your average Israeli citizen who was carrying. We may face those same type of scenarios here at home, if so, the importance is multiplied greatly. Take care, keep your head down and your powder dry, be safe.

dogngun
02-04-2005, 04:09 PM
About a year ago, I was recovering from quad bypass heart surgery. I drove downtown to pick up my wife and was nearly carjacked. I let my dog( Great Dane/ Dobie mix) out of the back seat, and had my .357 Smith in my right hand, and my attacker changed his mind. I have either a .357 or a .45 acp nearby (within reach) at all times at home, and a 12ga next to the bed.
I feel like more of a target as I get older, and I feel secure with my familiar standby weapons.

Mark :)

glock19lifer
12-10-2005, 02:15 AM
the only time i dont carry is when im drinking which i suspect most ccw'ers & anyone with common sense will agree, guns and alcohol dont mix!

ccwinmemphis
12-10-2005, 06:50 AM
One point issue to consider is dealing with non-permissive environments for guns. One reasonable approach is simply to avoid these, or to take your chances and wear a gun despite the law. The latter requires "work around strategies". One that I use is a computer briefcase with an internal holster that can quickly be accessed by flipping up a velcroed flap.

There is another option for non-permissive environments that I am using more and more. Leave the gun at home, and carry another more appropriate lethal weapon (ie a blade). A knife combined with pepper spray gives allows you to operate on all levels of the force continuum, and is compatible with "no gun" zones. While I do feel underarmed without a gun, this does offer an acceptable alternative in certain circumstances.

CAPTAIN MIKE
12-12-2005, 03:56 AM
Like many, putting on my sidearm is part of getting dressed. My only "decision" is "which one?". I always consider where I'm going, who I'll be around, the environment, the potential of danger, etc.

Michael Biggs
12-12-2005, 11:04 AM
You can not make an appointment for an emergency, so we need always be prepared. Yes it takes time, effort and money but the life I'm attempting to save is mine.

Rex G
12-12-2005, 01:41 PM
the only time i dont carry is when im drinking which i suspect most ccw'ers & anyone with common sense will agree, guns and alcohol dont mix! One of the many advantages of my never having developed a taste for fermented beverages.....

Dr_Dave
12-12-2005, 03:46 PM
One of the many advantages of my never having developed a taste for fermented beverages.....
Rex, I don't drink either, but Ohio prevents me from having a pistol when booze is served. This time of the year, is very hard with all the parties.
thank goodness for folders.

Kobra
12-13-2005, 08:04 PM
I've thought about this, and I suppose that there may be only one way to respond to where this thread has gone:

1. Be glad that there are others out there willing to be martyrs for the cause of unconstitutional gun laws by not carrying in NPE's.

Good job, fellas.

Kobra

ccwinmemphis
12-14-2005, 05:04 AM
I've thought about this, and I suppose that there may be only one way to respond to where this thread has gone:

1. Be glad that there are others out there willing to be martyrs for the cause of unconstitutional gun laws by not carrying in NPE's.

Good job, fellas.

Kobra

Its not that simple. If you get caught breaking the law, you can loose your right to be armed in public, or worse. If you get emotion out of it, and think coldly and clearly, carrying in NPEs is an assessment of risk versus benefit. And of course, guns are not the only means of delivering lethal force. I don't like the unconstitutional gun laws either, but there are effective means to fight them without breaking the law.

Gabe, I'm interested in your opinion on this. I've heard you say that a Bic pen to the eye is sometimes the best option.

Michael Biggs
12-14-2005, 05:59 PM
[quote=ccwinmemphis]Its not that simple. If you get caught breaking the law, you can loose your right to be armed in public, or worse. If you get emotion out of it, and think coldly and clearly, carrying in NPEs is an assessment of risk versus benefit. And of course, guns are not the only means of delivering lethal force. I don't like the unconstitutional gun laws either, but there are effective means to fight them without breaking the law.

I agree here. We need to develop more martial skills that provides us with other options when guns or knifes are not availabe for carry or use...

Just my thoughts

ccwinmemphis
12-14-2005, 06:25 PM
I agree here. We need to develop more martial skills that provides us with other options when guns or knifes are not availabe for carry or use...

Just my thoughts

Under certain circumstances, you have no option. About a year ago, I had to do jury duty in a terrible part of town. Even though I was in a high risk environment, forget about even thinking about getting a weapon into the courtroom ! Another more common example is flying on a commercial airline, concealed weapons are just out of the question.

michael
12-14-2005, 06:56 PM
I know what you mean about Memphis. Last year, I spent a lot of time there, and made many trips into the courthouse. The courthouse itself is bad enough with all the gang-bangers inside, but getting to it after parking several blocks away is an adventure in itself.:eek:

ccwinmemphis
12-15-2005, 05:16 AM
I know what you mean about Memphis. Last year, I spent a lot of time there, and made many trips into the courthouse. The courthouse itself is bad enough with all the gang-bangers inside, but getting to it after parking several blocks away is an adventure in itself.:eek:

It's like a third world down there. Tom Givens sometimes takes his advanced classes to dinner in a nearby downtown area, and is known to say that if you live to go home, you have passed the course. :D

michael
12-15-2005, 10:33 AM
That's funny, but sadly it's true. Apparently there was a quadruple shooting there last night. When the news makes it as far away as I am, it must be getting worse. It's rare to here much from Memphis here. Of course, it is the Christmas season, and robberies and other crimes always go up.

ccwinmemphis
12-15-2005, 05:35 PM
The FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2004 is now

available, and once again it lists Memphis as the
most dangerous metropolitan area in the US.
Among cities with a population over 250,000 Memphis
was #1 for violent crime, with
a rate of 1,009.1 per 100,000 residents.
That means you had a better
than 1 in 100 chance of being
the victim of a murder, aggravated
assault, rape, or robbery in
2004.

Memphis came in at #2 for
property crimes, with a rate of 5,952 per 100,000
residents. Please note that this applies to the entire

metro area, not just to the City of Memphis.
(from newsletter on www.rangemaster.com (http://www.rangemaster.com))

BB82
12-17-2005, 06:08 AM
Here in Memphis it IS rough, but surviving day-to-day in the bad parts of town requires much more than carrying a weapon. Everyone always says awareness is their number one weapon. In this city, being street-smart is your best weapon. The problem with awarness when you're in downtown Memphis is that you simply can't be aware of everything at all times. There's too much hustle and flow (lil' pun there for Memphians), and your circumstances can change in an eyeblink. You have to deal with thugs on their level, and I don't mean thugging them back. You have to not appear like a victim, but more like another predator. Wolves don't like fighting other wolves unless it's absolutely neccessary. They'd much rather be dining on sheep.
Quick example: I play in a rock band. This past Thursday night (12/15) we played at the Flying Saucer nightclub (across the street from Texas DeBrazil) downtown. We finished about 2:45 a.m. Friday morning and are loading out. We had to park the van around the corner next to the alley because it was the only space available. I was out on the street alone for a few minutes while the other guys were in club rolling up cables, and packing up. Two crackheads come up and start with their "whatcha got that we need?" rap. Getting down on their level made them quickly change their minds about being right there at that particular moment in time. No weapons were needed. No violence needed. Knowing HOW to talk to people in their own language, so that they understand clearly that their idea is bad ju-ju for them is the best defense when dealing with thug/street trash. And if the escalation of force need climbs, then so be it.
I think that we spend a lot of time talking weapons, when we should be spending some time talking street smarts.
BlackBelt

ccwinmemphis
12-17-2005, 06:57 AM
You make a good point!

Verbal challenge is an important option on the force scale, and should be practiced like any other application of force. I like John Farnam's emphasis on the verbal tactics for confronting criminals. He recommends practiced "tape loops" that should be can executed without thought and with authority from an interview/ready stance. In his course, these verbal challenges are incorporated into all the drills. When effectively executed, they will cause deselection and disengagement in most cases.

His advanced pistol course is "highly recommended" for this and other reasons. Plus, it is pretty funny to hear some of his bad guy lines, "hey you, can I have a ride to the welfare office"

michael
12-18-2005, 01:47 AM
It is a very good point, and often things can be ended then and there with proper body language and verbage. SouthNarc covers this extensively in his courses, as does Richard Dimitri from Senshido. It is both art and science, and a very necessary skill.

BB82
12-18-2005, 07:01 AM
Just another thought on the verbal de-escalation idea...a couple of weeks ago I was at the local shooting range and I heard shouting coming from one of the classrooms. The class instructor was teaching the people in the class to say, "STOP! I DON'T WANT TROUBLE!" and some kind of "blah, blah, blah...". I was just shaking my head when I heard that, because here in Memphis, that kind of verbage would be and IS considered a challenge on the street. And do you think that a predator is going to back down when you are eyeballing him and shouting in your best white cracker voice, "I'm NOT falling for a banana in the tailpipe!" No, he's taking that as a challenge and you are pretty much guaranteeing that you are going to have to deal with him. Had that instructor been teaching the class to say, "Yo dawg, you gotta a dolla for me?" or even "What up Player? You know where I can hooked up wit some grip? I'm going crazy cause I ain't got my shiznit!" when approached he would have been doing them a lot more good than his threat/challenge. A street language response when approached generally tells the predator: a) you've been around and know the score. b) you don't have any money. c) you have nothing to lose and you have everything to gain if he interacts with you. d) you are firm and confident in your interaction with him, which means he doesn't have any 'power' over you in the balance of power equation.
Then, no matter what the approaching predator says in response, you control the flow of the interaction. You come back with something non-threatening like, "Sh*t, man, I'm just chillin' here waiting on my ride. But, yo, you ain't got no dolla you can give?" or if he's more aggressive, "You, you ain't got to be thuggin' on me, I ain't got nothing for you dawg." or "Yo man, I ain't buggin' or thuggin'. Just relaxin' and retaxin'. Did j'all see that crazy brother over there all amp'd up flashing his grip? (point to a distant building). You mane, ya'll gotta check him out. he's crazier than a m*F*ker! Seriously, go check that m*F*ker out, dawg! he got dem crazy bugs up in his head!" At this point, you should have drawn their attention elsewhere, and be moving on your way in a direction opposite of the direction that they are going in. It helps to keep laughing all the way as you move on.
If they are bent on putting the screws to you, you need to be prepared to deal with that. Personally, I like my enemies close. That way I can reach their trachea to crush it or foul their draw if they reach for something. That class instructor at the range was teaching them to have make space between themselves and their adversary, but that's just not a likely possibility in a downtown setting. Everything is close, and you will not be able to keep people outside of 21 feet when you deal with them. And I promise that if you reach behind your back like you're reaching for a gun while issuing your 'gun-range challenge', and the predator has a gun, you'll be in a gunfight in the blink of an eye.
I just realized that I'm probably ranting here, so I'll sign off. But just wanted to make the point that the verbal interaction is the best place to change the course of direction of the interaction between you and the other actor WITHOUT going to guns or hand to hand violence, and we really should put more time into learning it.

Wondah Woman
12-18-2005, 09:30 AM
I wouldn't even begin to know how to speak like that to a would-be mugger. I don't speak gangsta. I'm about as white-bread, suburbia mom as you can get. I better keep out of TN then, humm ? Fo-shizzle ? LOL ! Maybe the rules are different for a woman ?

ccwinmemphis
12-18-2005, 10:43 AM
BB82, that's pretty complicated stuff, I don't think I could pull it off, especially in a dire situation.

I like Farnam's approach.

1) Sorry sir, I cant help you.
if that doesn't work
2) Get away from me ! (while moving)
if that doesn't work
3) Police, drop the weapon (while moving and drawing).
if that doesn't work
4) Bang, bang, bang.

The first response is polite but firm. It does not challenge or provoke.

The second response is simple but authorative. Witnesses will remember hearing this reasonable warning.

The third response is something that most criminals have already heard, and many will give up the fight when they hear this and see a gun. In terms of witnesses, "police" and "please" sound the same.

BB82
12-18-2005, 04:30 PM
I actually hang out in downtown Memphis a lot and have interaction with what I call street people (thugs, junkies, pimps, hookers, homeless, etc.). You just can't be downtown and not run into them face-to-face. The overwhelmingly vast majority of the time, they don't start any crap. But once in awhile you run into 'that' guy that is looking for an easy score/mark.
My issue with the Farnham approach is that you actually give your hand away in your first sentence to the predator.
1. "Sorry Sir, I can't help you."
You see, with street folks, they aren't even going to hear this sentence, no matter how loudly you say it. You may as well be speaking Cantonese. They will just keep on their agenda and closing the gap. Remember you are in an downtown area where people are close by, and you just can't keep a gap between you and everybody. A street guy will just keep his rap up until he's right there in front of you, and now you've got to deal with him. You haven't spoken to him in his own language, and you've identified yourself as an outsider to his world by your verbal language and possibly by your body language. That makes you his target. He knows he's not getting any money from other street folks. But you obviously are uncomfortable with his presence, and he believes that if he persists you will give him money just to make him go away. Or perhaps the 'give me a dollar' routine is a ruse to get him closer to you in an innocent way in order to rob you of your belongings with a weapon (usually a knife or shank). If you pull out your gun and shoot him and he hasn't pulled a weapon, you've used deadly force against a guy that was just asking you for some pocket change. You better believe that the 'witnesses' will remember that.
A better approach, in my opinion, would be to talk to him so that he understands it...not gangsta talk, but street talk. Just say, "Yo dawg, I ain't got nothing for you, man." Repeat if neccessary. You've now told him that you don't have anything to give, and you can rest assured he knows you've been around enough to speak his language, and that you possibly know how to handle yourself on the street (unless you are wearing an Armani suit and a Rolex--but if you are doing that, you need some other instruction). When you talk to these people, use your hands in front of your body to accent what you are saying. This is an innocent way to keep your hands in front of you so you can strike if neccessary. Talk and move away.
2. "Get away from me!"
I can guarantee you that no 'witnesses' will be present if you issue this warning. Plus, you've just done what's called 'punking' (disrespecting) the actor. A predator will usually NOT 'get away from you' when you command him to do so. You've just shot his awareness level of your actions up about a hundred notches. Try reaching for something now if you need it. Everything went to pucker factor 10 when you just ordered a thug to do something. Usually he was probably 'probing' you to see your reaction. Now what are you going to do when he, empty handed continues his approach? Shoot him? If you do, you KNOW that he won't have a weapon on him, and you just used deadly force. Here's where those little cans of pepper spray might be handy. But maybe a better response would be, in my opinion, once again, "Yo, Playa, I ain't got nothin' for ya man"...hands in front. Talk and move away.
3. "Police! Drop the weapon."
If it gets this far, you've already lost. First, he's got a weapon out and you are not shooting him. Second, don't waste time on talking when he's presented a weapon. Your hand should be on your weapon squeezing the trigger, or fouling his draw, or crushing his throat while kneeing his testicles. You shouting "Police" means nothing to a thug, other than a notch in his belt if he kills a Five-0. This is a serious FUBAR situation.
This is why I tell my karate students to carry a little money in their wallet, when they go downtown, and the rest of their money/cards/licenses elsewhere on their body. If he's got the drop on you with his weapon, give him your wallet, keys, whatever, and get away by running at full speed putting obstacles (cars, garbage cans, etc.) between you and the thug. If you can't run, you've got to 'gun'. Good luck. Maybe his Lorcin will jam, and your Glock will ring true.
4. "Bang, bang, bang."
Maybe unquestioningly for a home invasion, but not so much for a street confrontation. See number 3 above. Remember, you will be blessed if someone steps forward and says that you were the good guy. NEVER count on that from anyone. The witness might have seen it differently than you did, Mr. Rolex, or Mr. Porsche, or Mr. Armani...get the idea? What if the 'witness' is actually one of the newly deceased homeboys? What if the weapon that the deceased pointed at you is now gone? Did you secure the scene? The shooting that happened on 2nd street in Memphis last year in front of Jillians nightclub was in a crowd of people. One person shot and the gun was recovered. There were approximately 200 people in the street, but no one saw a thing, although several 'heard' gunshots.

In my opinion, being able to 'talk the talk' is almost more important than being able to 'walk the walk', because the response you give verbally to the initial probe will usually determine the direction of the encounter.
Once again I'm rambling here, so please forgive me for that. I just see this as an extremely important issue for all of us.

ccwinmemphis
12-18-2005, 06:43 PM
You make some very good points to think about.. However, I do want to respond to several items:

1. "Sorry Sir, I can't help you" has worked for me many times. The key is to keep moving. Never stop walking or engage in conversation. If the persons continued to close the gap, I consider that a significant escalation of force.

2. "Get away from me". At this point, I don't care whether the person thinks I've disrespected him, I'm on orange going to red. Now I'm watching the hands. If no weapon is produced, my left hand is in my pocket with a firing grip on Fox pepper spray. If he keeps coming, he's gonna get blasted in the face, and will probably not be able to continue his agenda. My rules of engagement for pepper spray are "reasonable fear of a pending assualt". Ignoring the "get away" command meets this criteria.

3. If he produces a weapon, I will use lethal force immediately. I agree with you that a verbal warning at this point would be pointless. However, if he is greater than 25 feet away and has his hands hidden, or produces a blade and stands there, I'd probably draw to the ready and give the "drop the weapon" command, but I woudn't hesistate to fire if the situation warranted it.

For me, I don't think I could credibly "talk the street talk", I'm a middle aged grey beard, and it just woudn't fly. I also think that engaging in an extended conversation with a bad guy is usually a bad idea, based on my training.

Thanks for your input on this, it clealy has worked for you, and that is what really matters. I'm happy to hear if you have any other comments about the approach I'm arguing.

Kobun
12-19-2005, 12:19 AM
My full-time job sometimes will put me in some places that normally I would stay clear of. I'm 6', 200lbs., well-built and athletic, and hold myself confidently. I also have a somewhat rough appearance. Criminals would not think of me as an easy target, so street thugs rarely aproach me. Nevertheless, on a couple of occassions I have had suspicious persons come up to me, asking for a smoke, or using some other excuse to try to distract me, when I could clearly see that they were mostly interested in my service vehicle, tools, or equipment. Of course I saw them approaching well in advance and I made sure that I had a nice big prybar in my hands. My verbal response was a loud, firm NO I DO NOT WANT ANY DRUGS, AND I'M WORKING RIGHT NOW. On both occassions they left quite quickly, and never returned. I'm educated and articulate, so there is no way thay I could pull off an attempt at street lingo. Was my response the correct one? Being that it worked twice I would think so, although I know for a fact that the prybar factored quite high in the situation as well, even though I was just casually holding it the same as my other tools.

BB82
12-19-2005, 06:13 AM
I guess it boils down to each of us having different life experiences and we base our version of reality on what we have dealt with and see on a daily basis.
The approach that works for me in downtown Memphis would probably not be the approach that I'd take in a suburban strip shopping mall in some small city in Iowa with different demographics.
The end result that we are all looking for is that we go home to our families at night and sleep tight in our beds. Whatever it takes to achieve that is what we need to do.
Education isn't only taught in classrooms. Street savvy education comes from being there and dealing with it face-to-face. I'd like to think that I am educated and articulate (at least to a point). But my 'street education' tells me that saying "Why, I shall give you a sound thrashing if you don't cease and desist your seemingly aggressive actions towards me! And I shant stop pummeling you until I taste victory in the altercation!" will generally not bode well for me if I'm confronting street thugs in my city. (Of course I'm joking about using that line, but the point is made.)
If nothing else, maybe this thread will spark some of us to think 'outside the box' of what is taught in gun range instruction. Sometimes a "one-size-fits-all" blanket statement may not be the best approach to use in a situation, and then again, sometimes it might.

VaughnT
12-26-2005, 05:20 PM
I'm generally armed with two folding knives. While I carry a gun on the job (a wonderful CZ75B), it's via a very visible duty belt. Off the job, finding a way to sport a rod has proven more tiresome than I care to admit. I'm fat. Finding a holster/gun combo that works for the fat man just hasn't happened, yet.

I am looking into one of those lockless S&W Mod37's, though. If I can get one from RSR, I might just be sporting a j-frame in the very near future.

Kobun
12-26-2005, 07:59 PM
I'm generally armed with two folding knives. While I carry a gun on the job (a wonderful CZ75B), it's via a very visible duty belt. Off the job, finding a way to sport a rod has proven more tiresome than I care to admit. I'm fat. Finding a holster/gun combo that works for the fat man just hasn't happened, yet.

One of my freinds is a very big guy, and used to complain about having the same problem. He has found 3 modes that are comfortable for him to carry his CZ P-01. The first is in a Ken Null USH shoulder holster, the second in a Kramer MSP paddle holster, and the third in a waist/fanny pack that is designed with an internal holster for his gun. You might want to try these if you have not already.

CAPTAIN MIKE
12-30-2005, 09:20 PM
I have been surprised by the number of folks who, after completing CCW certification for a given state, then go about their business and take the attitude that "I don't want to carry a firearm every day, but with a CCW I can take it or leave, depending on what I am doing that day".

Over the years, putting on my firearm has become part of getting dressed every day. More often than not, I am considering my clothing around how it will 'work' with my need for concealed carry, afford me quick access, etc.

The idea of NOT carrying is what seem odd. Especially if one has gone to the time and trouble of acquiring a CCW permit. I do think one 'crosses over' however once you have taken the initiative to get "further training" (i.e. Suarez International, Front Sight, Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, Progressive Force Concepts, etc.). Especially where the training is built around developing skills that are several steps beyond the mere basics needed to qualify for the CCW.

I believe we should encourage our friends and neighbors who carry to seek out further training. After all, skill development and retention is what that is all about. I for one only wish I had more time and dollars available to do more than I do. None the less, we should all strive for improvement in our skill at arms.

93VR4nPHILLY
01-04-2006, 04:49 PM
I agree with HeadHunter...I'd much rather have an "ear gun" then no gun at all. (An ear gun, is how I refer to those handguns that are so small, it seems you have to stick it in a BG's ear, to hit him)
I too, am guilty of leaving my dwelling without my sidearm. Most of the time, I am forced to do so because I work in NJ. Jersey is not a "handgun friendly" state, and they do not have any type of Recip. agreement with Pennsylvania. :rolleyes: What's worse, is I work in Camden, NJ! :eek:

While I have no formal combat or defensive firearms training, I have been around firearms since I was born. I have been shooting and handling guns since I was 12, when I learned to hunt and shoot with my dad. I grew up in a Philadelphia ghetto, and I possess a "street degree." While I know I should always carry my legal sidearm, I generally rely on my instincts to avoid trouble. Through years of repossessing vehicles, and doing lock out work during all hours of the day and night, I have traversed every Philly neighborhood without any extreme incident's. Granted, I am a bit physically imposing, but still...Predator's tend to be very adept at spotting "easy prey," no matter what your physical appearance. I would always prefer to be armed, as one never knows when they may become "prey." I also happen to feel that some common sense and street smarts, go a long way in helping to preserve ones' life. A legally armed, street wise citizen, is a very formidable foe...even for the most vicious of BG's. JMO