The CO must constantly re-evaluate his training to see that it is RELEVANT and REALISTIC to the current threat. Right now, the most pressing CURRENT threat to the Civilian Operator is without a doubt, MULTIPLE ACTIVE SHOOTERS as was seen in Garland, TX this past Sunday.
First of all, before I get too deep into this subject, let me be clear: Kudos to the LE officer who was working security for the event who put these two POS down. Awesome job. Also to the other man working security who was wounded in the ankle; our prayers go out to you and your family at this time, hoping you make a full and speedy recovery.
Please understand, What I am about to say has nothing to do with the job these brave men did in any way, it is simply about CIVILIANS being realistically prepared for the next attack.
The Attack that Happened this past Sunday in Garland, TX has to be seen simply as a fluke. Now I am not saying that to demean anything related to how the LE reacted and performed, that was flawless. No, what I am talking about is if we look at the Modus Operandi of ISIS and study the Paris Hebdo Massacre from January of this year, we can quickly deduce that these two shooters that were killed were in no way “trained” like the Paris shooters were. Even though they were outfitted in much the same manner: Body Armour and AK-47’s; what they were lacking was everything else necessary to be successful, such as tactical training, prior planning and battlefield no-how. Simply put: it was amateur hour in Dallas that day for these so-called “terrorist.” They were stupid, and that brave LEO took advantage of it. We cannot count on that scenario happening again, in fact, I can almost guarantee it won’t because ISIS has shown it does learn from its failures quickly.
“If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.” -(Sun Tzu, The Art of War)
In a prior post, I wrote about something called Guerilla Terrorism. Simply put, and without going into all the lengthy history, Guerilla Terrorism uses the same principles of Guerilla Warfare: Just like any insurgency, the first and foremost battle ISIS wants to win is the “Hearts and minds” publicity war. In the age of 24 hours news services and “instant information” the rule of thumb is to Get Headlines; Make News; irregardless if the operation was successful, just get some type of world news headline out there to keep ISIS and TERRORISM at the forefront of Americans minds. (Plus give ISIS something to put on continuous loop on their websites and to celebrate back home) That is why I feel these small operations like the one in Garland are but sideshows meant not to really be successful as much as they are to be a distraction and a feint maneuver to get U.S. Law Enforcement Authorities off the real objective. This mirrors another tactic used extensively by insurgents for centuries in the annals of Guerilla Warfare: when your foe is a big, powerful nation with millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of soldiers or officers; make them STRETCH and WASTE their resources. Make them frivolously pursue useless investigations, spend money and man hours finding out WHO this person was and who he knew, what training he had, etc. All the while another cell, totally off anybody’s radar, is setting up for the next attack, the REAL attack without any LE being the wiser.
Training Broad Strokes
For the CO to train realistically for this type of Active Shooter scenario, he is going to have to realize that most likely, a handgun will be woefully inadequate for the task. As I said before, in using prior attacks like Paris and Garland as a blueprint, most likely the terrorist will be:
- Multiple in Number (Paris Hebdo Attack had 3, Garland had 2)
- Armed with high power Assault Rifles
- Wearing Body Armour
- Using Small Unit Tactics
That being said however, we cannot discount the handgun, since it will be the FIRST and most ACCESSIBLE TOOL the CO can get to in a pinch once the shooting starts. At present, there are over 11 Million Americans with Concealed Carry Permits in the United States according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. That at first glance may seem like an impressive number, but since the majority of license holders DO NOT seek any more advanced training beyond the 8 hour state mandated course, Yeah, you may have an armed civilian present but you may not have a skilled one. Simply HAVING a gun in this situation will not cut it.
There is also the issue of ammo. The average CCL carries only (1) spare magazine with them. Even with a high capacity magazine such as the G19 (17+1) rounds, 35 rounds of 9mm versus just 1 magazine of 30 rounds of 7.62×39 AK-47 Ammo is piss poor odds.Up your odds and carry more mags, up to (3) if possible.
PROPOSED ADVANCED HANDGUN SKILLS
- Headshots at distances over 25 yds to defeat body armor
- Firing while moving to cover
- Shooting one-handed
- Pick Your Shots, NO Fire Superiority with a Pistol vs Rifle!
VARIOUS COMBAT TACTICS/OTHER SKILLS
- Using LUP’s (Lay Up Positions)
- Using Cover
- Fighting around vehicles
- Exploiting lulls in the fight, such as the enemies mag changes
- Ability to Self-Treat and Apply First Aid to Gunshot Wounds
What about a Long Gun?
The primary challenge with the CO having a long gun (maybe some type of rifle caliber AK or AR pistol) available is (1) Keeping it somewhere accessible, such as a vehicle, which is legal in Texas, but the CO may run into some bullshit safety issues with their employer, depending. Of course the issue of theft prevention would have to be addressed by some type of bio metric or key lock box welded to the vehicle’s frame. Beyond that, let’s say you do have some type of long arm in your vehicle and a situation like the one in Garland happens. Now What? Now you have to go retrieve the weapon with shooters firing at anything that moves. Not a realistic or a GOOD scenario. Bottom line guys: Whatever you have ON YOUR PERSON (Concealed Carry Permit Holders) is what you are MOST LIKELY going to fight with.
Civilians being armed with either handguns or long arms during an Active Shooter event also present another potentially deadly problem: Law Enforcement mistaking you for one of the bad guy’s and opening fire on you when they get on scene. This is a tricky issue to navigate because on one hand you don’t want to be shot by the cops, but on the other hand you don’t want to be shot by the terrorist either. Most all of us train to NEVER HOLSTER or DROP our weapon until we are CERTAIN no more THREATS EXIST, so what is the sensible solution? The only wise thing to do when you know SWAT or HRE are making entry is drop your weapon and get on the floor with your hands behind your head. IMMEDIATELY identify yourself and the shooters location if possible. Another option is if 911 is on the line, is be sure and tell them to pass on to SWAT that there are LEGALLY ARMED CITIZENS engaged with the TERRORIST and IDENTIFY the CITIZENS and the TERRORIST by Shirt Color, build, race, etc., if possible. Of course all this advice is precipitated on the fact no POS terrorist is trying to kill you at the same time all this is happening!
In closing, ISIS has boasted online they have 71 trained soldiers in 15 States. Now whether this is hubris or the truth, who knows, but to err on the side of caution, I urge all CO’s to “batten down the hatches”; keep your loved ones close and choose your trips and destinations with care. We can never let FEAR rule our lives, but we can have discretion and common sense in ALL that we do.
Continue to train, focus on the things we have discussed, and always Keep your Powder Dry!
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!