Becoming a Superior Gunman


Once again the news provides us an extremely tragic cautionary tale for those of us that choose to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense. On January 13th at a Theater in Wesley Chapel, Florida during a screening of Lone Survivor, 71 year old Retired Tampa Florida Police Captain, Curtis Reeves, shot and killed 43 year old husband and father, Chad Oulson, over a verbal dispute about Oulson texting on his cell phone during the movie. Oulson’s wife, Nicole, was also injured in the exchange, while trying to defend her husband. Reeves was arrested without incident and has initially been charged with Second Degree Murder. Read the entire story HERE.

As we have discussed time and time again here at HCS, when a person decides to carry a firearm concealed for self-defense, that person takes upon themselves a large amount of responsibility.

If you were to breakdown (percentage wise) how that responsibility would shake out, I would divvy it up like this:

  • 25% of that responsibility lies in knowing the current law(s) as they relate to self-defense and CCL in the state in which they live and/or are visiting

  • 25% rest in seeking advanced training after you have received your CCL

  • 50% is exercising self-control and good judgement in self-defense matters

Note the bolded and underlined statement in point #1. I did that to help you understand that although self-defense laws are based on legally held universal concepts, the specifics of those statutes vary GREATLY from state to state.

This qualifies the 10th amendment to the Constitution whereby a Supreme Court Justice once said that “States are the Laboratories for Democracy”.

In this specific case we see the differences in Florida and Texas Law as it relates to Self-Defense,namely the issue of Verbal Provocation, which is not mentioned anywhere in the Florida Penal Code in relation to Self-Defense but is a fundamental element in Texas Self-Defense Law:

TX Penal Code Sec 9.31:

“The use of force against another is not justified in response to verbal provocation alone”.

Going back to several eye-witness accounts (including Oulsons Wife who was sitting beside her husband) the night of the incident, it is said that Reeves and Oulson argued loudly and yelled at each other for some time before the shooting. The witnesses also states that Oulson threw “a bag of popcorn” at Reeves out of frustration, no doubt, right before the fatal shots were fired. This brings us to another legal quandary: Reasonable Fear of Harm and Proportional Response.

Looking at the Universal Legal Concepts relating to Self-Defense once again, we see that several “burdens” must be met in order for The Use of Force and/or the Lethal Use of Force to be used. The first is Reasonable Fear of Harm. Here the law uses the term “Reasonable Man (or Person)” as a measuring stick to determine whether the action that was took would be considered a “reasonable” response. Was Reeves response of Lethal Force reasonable to Oulson’s verbal provocation and the throwing of a bag of popcorn at Reeves? The second is Proportional Response. Simply put, the Level of Force used must match the level of the threat in question. This is also called the Force Continuum by Law Enforcement. Was Oulson’s Bag of Pocorn thrown at Reeves a legitimate enough threat to warrant force, let alone lethal force?

There is also the issue of Florida’s (now notorious) “Stand your Ground Law” which the lib-tard media seems to love to bash over and over again, no doubt because of the  Zimmerman/Martin Case two years prior.

As much as I hate to burst the anti-gun agendas bubble to cast yet even more dispersion on that law in hopes that it may be repealed some day so that Florida can join the pitiful ranks of other northern “Retreat” states; it plays no role in this case.

For Reeves to use that as a defense, he has to first prove there was indeed a legitimate threat to his life in order for him to stand his ground and not retreat. Yes, Reeves may have “felt” his life was in danger, but as we have already seen, no ‘Reasonable Man” could claim some nasty language back and forth and a bag of popcorn as a projectile was a legitimate threat to life and limb.



Lastly, let’s dispel the last-ditch effort for Reeves to claim Disparity of Force.

Yes, Reeves was a 71 year old man and Oulson 43 years old. Unfortunately, for the defense, that is where the disparity ends.

Reeves, despite his age and being retired, was in reasonably good shape for a man his age, that is to say, he was not infirmed or had to use a wheelchair or other mobility device. Not to mention the huge Elephant in the Room, Reeves was a retired Cop!

This is a man who had spent a good portion of his life dealing with stressful life and death situations every day. A man whose JOB it was to exercise SELF-CONTROL and GOOD JUDGEMENT everyday during heated verbal exchanges. Hmmm, I seem to remember this being a bullet point for Concealed Carry Licensees?

As if this was all not enough, it has now been brought to light in this CNN STORY that Reeves had previously reported a woman for texting during the movie 2 weeks earlier at the same movie theater. According to the woman, Jamira Dixon, Reeves was “bothered by everything”.

So, in closing guys, yeah, legally, this is an open and shut case, and I expect a jury and the judge to see it the same way soon. Simply put, for justice to be served, Reeves needs to spend the rest of his life in Prison and die there. The actions he exhibited that night were reprehensible by any standards, whether a Concealed Carry Civilian or a Law Enforcement Officer.

But I did not write this article to prove that point, I mean, any idiot could have drawn the same conclusion. I wrote it because as warrior students, we always need to be learning; drawing wisdom from life’s experiences, whether they be ours or somebody elses. I wrote this to show you, that you may someday find yourself in a similar situation, where tempers are flaring and ego’s are being tested, for whatever reason. Where, because you have that firearm tucked away in your pants or jacket, you think you are the person who is going to win this confrontation. Believe me when I say this, having been there several times, that despite knowing what the law states and what you know the right thing to do is, you will be tempted to give in to your anger, to show this asshole who the real boss is. At that moment, I want you to think back to when you studied this tragic incident. I want to you to remember that the real man in this encounter is not the man who “wins” but the man that avoids, deters and de-escalates violence to the degree that he cannot avoid it anymore and violence is the only way to save lives…not ego’s or pride.

I would leave you with this quote from John Farnam of DTI:

“A superior Gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgement in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

5 thoughts on “Becoming a Superior Gunman

  1. I hate to say this, but: TX Penal Code Sec 9.31:

    “The use of force against another is not justified in response to verbal provocation alone”.

    IS SIMPLE COMMON SENSE whether or not it is a law. If you’re easily pissed off by some smart assed punk (who has no inkling you’re armed, and isn’t going to actually assault you) then leave your gun at home.

    And – as the Libtards say, “Only cops should have guns” – the man in the picture above is a walking poster child AGAINST that statement.

    • Thanks Patriot, and you are right, Sec 9.31 is common sense, but unfortunately, and as Mr. Reeves has proven..common sense is not all that common, so it has to be written into Law. Yes, I agree with you on your last point also..Mr. Reeves is a disgrace to the Law Enforcement Profession.

  2. I’ve been in situations like this and every time I’ve found upon looking back the best way to deal is to just say forget it. Its hard to do but its worth your freedom your life to just relax your life is more important than winning a meaningless argument. What do you have to prove honestly there’s billions of people on this planet the honor game has changed to being an honorable man not being honored by others. I’m sorry for the deceased he didn’t deserve death I’m sorry for everyone affected.

  3. Well said! I think your “responsibility percentages” are a good measure to go by. And that Farnum quote is gold… pure gold.

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