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  • Monday, February 23, 2015 16:53 | Anonymous


    want to introduce you to a young man named Scott.

    Scott first came to us about a year ago. 

    He had an interest in weapons training, but it was for him at the time somewhat of a vague concept.

    He wanted to learn how to shoot a gun but two things were holding him back:

    He was nervous about going to the range and shooting without instruction, and his budget limited him to the amount of ammunition he could afford.

    He came into Artemis hoping to learn how to shoot, unaware just how deep of a journey he was about to undertake.

    I was the first instructor to work with him.

    We started on the VirTra 100 and realized early on that this was probably going to be his home for a while. 

    (If you arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here:)

    To put it bluntly... Scott could barely get the firearm pointed in the general direction of the screen... let alone hit a target.

    Scenarios would have to wait. 

    Scott needed to focus on learning fundamentals.

    Each week Scott has become a fixture. 

    Every Saturday we can expect Scott to come in for his half hour training session. 

    He has a standing appointment with us.

    Over the months he has been with us he has worked with just about every instructor we have in the shop. Shane, Kavon, Madison, Katie, Kyle... and yes even Sandy, Chaney and myself from time to time take turns focusing and modifying Scotts shooting style and skill at arms. 

    Some of our instruction has had to be a little unorthodox at times. From making Scott do push ups or burpies, to having him listen to metal rock and Mozart while shooting, we have all worked hard to help Scott.

    None has worked as hard as Scott himself though.

    Scott will wear his GoPro camera during his sessions so he can review what we have done during the week and dry fire practice at home.

    Some sessions are better than others.

    Sometimes he hits the steel target like a master....Other days... well not so much.

    Each session ends with him asking the same question, “What should I work on... what can I do better?”

    The journey is about process though, not product... at least not until today.

    Today Scott shined.

    Scott decided to forgo his regular session and instead joined our monthly defensive tactics class.

    This class is made up of some fairly experienced shooters, many of them current CCW holders.

    We end the class with our traditional shoot off. Each student getting the opportunity to draw from the holster and fire one round against another student at a digital steel target. The student that strikes steel first moves into the winners circle and fights off against all the winners.

    Ultimately a single student is left standing. 

    That day’s “top shot”.

    Scott... this student, that a number of months ago could barely hit the screen let alone a target... flat out smoked it.... he earned his position as todays “top shot”.

    In the lobby he beamed with pride and before he left he wanted to show me pictures of his targets from a recent trip to the range.

    He is a proud of his accomplishments... as well as he should be... and as he left our building he wanted me to confirm that he his standing appointment is still set for next week. 

    Scotts journey is far from over... it never really is... but along the way we need to stop and look back at how far we have come. 

    Scott... you have without a doubt come a very very long way.

    All of us at Artemis are extremely proud of you!

    See you next week!

  • Monday, February 16, 2015 21:58 | Anonymous

    How to Win Friends and Influence People.

    I expect to see bad behavior from anti-gunners. 

    I expect to see arrogance and hyperbole from those that “know what is best for us”. 

    I expect to see elitism on display amongst the ranks of our self appointed betters.

    What I am really upset by is bad behavior from our own ranks.

    We are each ambassadors as well as advocates. We represent not only ourselves but our community as a whole. We need to be aware of the ripple effect our actions can have.

    (If you arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

    Today I had a private client who that needed to get his CCW training completed.

    Normally our classes are run on Saturday and Sunday, but this guy is a pastor, and he sort of has a standing conflict on Sundays. 

    To qualify on his pistols we went to one of our local indoor ranges. 

    The place was fairly busy, but we were quickly able to get a lane. 

    We found ourselves sandwiched between a Range Safety Officer / Instructor that works for this range teaching a student on our lane to our left, and a family shooting on the lane to our right.

    The “Dad” of this family looked to be in his mid forties, and I would guess his daughter was somewhere in the fourteen to fifteen year range, with a son that was around ten or so.

    I could hear the directions that the instructor was giving to his student, and they seemed sound enough... sound enough that frankly I stopped paying attention to him.

    While my student was loading his magazines the father and daughter left their bay and walked over to the back bench where their range bag was sitting. 

    The father reached into the range bag and picked up a handgun, (it looked like a beretta, but I’m not 100%... what I could see was that it had its slide locked to the rear and a safety cable was still locked in it). 

    He reached deeper in the bag and picked up what I think was a box of ammo. 

    While placing the gun back into the bag the RSO/Instructor pushed past me and went up to the father:


    The dad was frozen in fear and left humiliated in front of his two children as the “Instructor” turned and went back to his student.

    As soon as he had returned to his student he began speaking to her again in a normal, even tempered voice.

    This guy was not really angry at the father... he was “acting”.

    He was going to be the Alpha, and bark at the beta... he was going to let the dad know who the boss was.

    I could feel my blood beginning to boil. 

    I turned and looked at the father and he and his kids were no longer smiling. They were packing up their gear and leaving.

    Did the dad do something wrong?


    Handling the gun at the benches is a flat out breech of safety. 

    Could the RSO have come up to him and said, “Hey... please remember you can’t handle your firearms back here even in a limited capacity”. ?

    Yes.... and that would have been far more effective. 

    I don’t know the dad. I don’t know how he might have reacted to that more professional approach. I would like to think he would have acknowledged his error, thanked the RSO for pointing it out, and had an opportunity to instruct his own children on etiquette and safety.

    Instead that moment was lost.

    I have no idea how his children will ultimately be effected.

    Will this event become a distant memory? 

    I hope.

    Did one moronic RSO just snuff out the passion for shooting in two members of the next generation? 

    I hope not... but it is entirely possible.

    The anti’s like to parade around a notion that since we own guns we are somehow insecure broken creatures that use a firearm as a crutch for our own inadequacies. 

    We should not tolerate behavior among our own that feeds into this caricature.

  • Tuesday, February 10, 2015 10:16 | Anonymous

    “When you’ve been in the jungle as long as I have you begin to smell...... danger!... you, uh,... begin to smell danger!”

    Years ago... (well actually, it feels like a lifetime ago), I was a Jungle Cruise skipper at Disneyland. 

    Yep... those were the days.Taking tourists through an artificial jungle and when necessary defending my defenseless crew from marauding fiberglass hippos.... with a .38 Smith and Wesson K frame revolver.

    Yeah... two imaginary tons of water born death, advancing with steely glass eyes... the number one killer in Africa... and I have a .38 revolver.

    Not good odds... but miraculously each time the “hippos” would submerge “terrified” from my clearly missed shots... (We were instructed to “scare” the plastic hippos... not aim and try to kill them).

    (If you have arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

    What I found so interesting was our instructions regarding the next part of our eight minute journey.

    As we would leave the hippo pool, we would pass by a canoe filled with human skulls.

    Clearly a foreboding sight... and meant as an obvious warning to those who traveled down the river.

    Soon the sounds of celebration could be heard and my crew were treated to the visual spectacle of natives dancing around a dead lion hung upside down. 

    We had been instructed to let our guests know that this evil lion had been terrorizing this village and now the villagers were safe.

    (I guess this means they could now go back to filling the canoe with new skulls,.. but I digress...)

    Then as we basked in the glow of these now “peaceful” natives, we were ambushed from a group of not so peaceful natives from our port side.

    Even though we had a perfectly good revolver with us our choice form of defense was to “duck” and power down the river.


    Ok... Disneyland is a fairly sterile environment and in fairness not one that should scare the little ones... at least not too much.

    Still... messages can have far deeper implications. Especially when they are subtle.

    Disneyland... hell, the whole Disney empire is replete with violence. 

    From the purely biological of animals wanting to feed on one another to the vilification of the noble hunter. 

    Yeah... Bambi’s mother was killed by someone... and that someone was a big bad dude who hunted for sport.

    So children grow up with an anti-hunting agenda floating around their media worlds, and when they see guns in real life... (if a day at Disneyland could be considered “real life”), they see those guns being shot into the air rather than at advancing hippos... and never never never at headhunters that are threatening to throw spears at you and add another layer to their trophy canoe. 

    Interestingly, it was not always like this.

    Disney used to have a real air powered pellet gun shooting arcade, and the stores in Frontierland used to sell firearm replicas that looked like actual flintlocks... and even the plastic Lone Ranger plastic six shooter cap guns were available for young “Frontiersmen”.

    During this time, there were no school shootings... the concept of the “Active Shooter” was someone who went to the range regularly, and the most likely interaction someone growing up had with violence was mixing it up with a neighborhood bully who in the end could wind up being a close friend.

    Now, we have a neutered saccharine playground. 

    There are no replica guns for sale in Frontierland. 

    The pellet guns have been replaced with “laser” guns... and we have been introduced to a new version of the “Active Shooter” ... a monster that preys on the innocent...... 

    and we shoot in the sky when plastic hippos charge our boats.

  • Monday, February 02, 2015 14:20 | Anonymous

    Gear Review - The Spitfire

    Ok... I don’t normally do gear reviews... but this one is worth writing about.

    A few weeks back I decided to build out a new AR-15 platform. 

    When it came time to choosing an optic I had some decisions to make.

    All of the scopes I have on my bolt action rifles are by Leopold and I have had tremendous luck with their product when shooting out at long distances.

    On AR platforms though my experience is significantly limited.

    The optic we have on one of our Artemis Rifle is an older edition Vortex Surfire. I have to say I am somewhat enamored of this company.

    Their red-dot scope (which on the Artemis AR is non magnified) has been through a beating at our shop. 

    (If you arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

    In fact the abuse it has taken is so bad that at one point the circuitry failed. 

    We contacted Vortex to try and trouble shoot the problem. Without hesitation they sent out a new red-dot scope and a return box so they could do quality control on their damaged product.

    Full warranty... no questions asked.

    I respect that a great deal.

    So... I was predisposed to going with Vortex for an optic on this rifle.

    Their new product was the Spitfire.

    This baby is magnified 3x which has some interesting advantages, and one potential draw back.

    I new that I would be shooting a course that would reach out to 300 meters so I wanted some type of magnification, but I also knew that I would be doing CQB (close quarters battle) which meant that If I had a really strong scope it would be worthless if the target was up close.

    3x magnification seemed to fit the bill.

    The Vortex arrived and easily mounted on my rig. 

    Unfortunately, because of the magnification and the limited eye relief, my back up iron sights are completely worthless. If the scope goes down I need to keep a wrench on me to remove it before I switch to my iron sights.

    In fact... because of the limited eye relief I need to have the scope back so far it actually interferes with the flip up rear sight.

    When I was at the SHOT show I wandered over to the Vortex booth to find out if they have a quick detach mount for the Spitfire...

    They don’t.

    Oh well.

    The really cool thing about the scope though is the reticle which is built for 100 to 300 yard point of aim control marks.

    It also has a green and red illumination feature which is kinda neat too.

    Most interesting though is the way the brain perceives things under 3x power.

    Shooting with both eyes open my vision focuses on the reticle when looking at targets at distance.

    When I moved the rifle in for CQB work though... (with both eyes open)... the target was not magnified. Instead a glowing reticle floated in space right on the target.

    I will tell you that at 100 yards slow fire with the firearm on a sand bag I was able to consistently shoot 1 inch groups. Under fast target acquisition at 100 yards shooting 10 round “bursts” I was able to get a nice 5 inch grouping.

    The speed of acquisition with this reticle is amazing!

    All in all this is an amazing tool! 

    At roughly 300 bucks it is also a great value. 

    All that being said... in the end it was the warranty that really sold me initially... but my impression of the actual product is a favorable as it gets!

  • Sunday, January 25, 2015 14:04 | Anonymous

    Insights From SHOT SHOW 2015

    Each year we head off to Vegas in January for the SHOT SHOW. 

    For those of you who do not know, the SHOT SHOW is to the gun industry as the Detroit Auto show is to the car business. 

    All of the manufacturers are there showing their latest and greatest, and new releases are timed to allow reviewers to see, touch, and blast away with this years “must have” firepower.

    There are also the same guns that have made many companies famous, on display as well as all of the other more pedestrian companies that sell accessories, business components, and swag that go along with the firearms business.

    Nothing really gets sold at the show per se.

    (If you arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here:)

    The audience for the show are primarily buyers for gun business that are looking to see what they will stock their shelves and walls with. 

    Industry insiders also use the venue as a centralized meeting place to discuss business and nurture relationships.

    We had an opportunity to participate in some training hosted by our friends at 5.11 Tactical Gear that,... while it took up a good chunk of our Wednesday... was extraordinarily valuable. 

    Thank you Steve Terani, (steveterani.com) Patrick Henry of Aegis Academy (Aegisacademy.com) and Greg Thompson (http://www.ussocp.com) for an awesome training experience!

    Now for the larger picture:

    When we first started attending SHOT we saw that the weapons typically displayed... specifically the long rifles... all had a decidedly “militant” look to them.

    Sure, there were the wooden smoke poles, and the pearl handled revolvers and such, but the AR’s were serious guns, for serious people, that trained for serious missions.

    Over the last couple of years,... most pronounced this year... that militant seriousness seems to be a little crowded out by some down right whimsical AR platforms.

    Lower receivers that are multi-colored, handrails that look as though they were hand crafted by renaissance sculpting masters, and magazine wraps that evoke the slightly... no strike that... MASSIVELY EROTIC, images of modern day 1940‘s pinup girls were on display everywhere.

    This was not exclusively relegated to the AR platforms. 

    Handguns that had a decidedly “designer” look to them were in abundance.

    Along with these were the numerous vendors that were marketing products with one specific market in mind:


    Yep... the single fastest growing segment of the gun industry are females, and manufacturers are starting to recognize that. 

    In the past a “women’s” gun was simply a smaller firearm that may or may not have some decorations on it. 

    If the female consumer wanted accessories to go along with her gun she bought the men’s stuff and got them on the small side.

    Not the best way for manufacturers to endear themselves to this market.

    Now, women are being courted by a growing number of manufacturers that are specializing in female oriented shooting accessories, clothing, and yep... (sorry Mr. Vice President)... AR-15 platforms as well.

    All the toys not-with-standing... a firearm, a baton, or a can of OC Spray is only as effective as the person wielding it. 

    An individual with limited interest in training with their weapon is at a serious disadvantage to his opponent that has a dedicated interest in maximizing their “Skill at Arms”.

    That is what made the training experience hosted by 5.11 so invaluable. 

    In the midst of of these shiny exciting new products was a reminder that nothing beats training. 

    Amateurs talk hardware... professionals talk software.

  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015 13:03 | Anonymous

    From the Mouths of Babes

    If you are reading this, you probably are familiar with Steven Lieberman’s stories usually having to do with Sheep, Sheepdogs, Samurais, and ironically enough sometimes unicorns and The Golden Girls… today, I wanted to write about jumping in with both feet!

    My name is Chaney Lieberman, (yes, I am Steven and Sandy ‘s daughter) and I asked my father if I could write this week’s newsletter.

    I am 13 years old. I work at Artemis as an operator, and have recently started participating in competition shooting. However, I have been shooting recreationally for more than half of my entire life.

    (If you arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

    I go to the Orange County School of the Arts as a classical voice student. I obtained my first degree black belt under the guidance of Olympian Dr. Jimmy Kim in taekwondo, I play the guitar, I am working on mastering my drawing skills and I am a police explorer. Whether I am working on an algebra problem, sight reading a new opera piece or memorizing another set of police codes…… one thing is certain… I need to jump in with both feet and commit to doing what I can to learn and train to reach certain milestones in my skill sets. I need to read about the industry, I need to watch videos about the industry, I need to understand the rules and regulations pertaining to whatever it is that I am seeking to do… practice the skill at hand, otherwise, I never get better and move towards mastery of the skill. This is what my parents, teachers and coaches have all told me… and having reached certain aspects of accomplishments… I have come to recognize the validity of their mantra.

    Let’s think about this… if you have a child in soccer or one who takes piano or dance lessons… what is the point in sending them to class, if they do not practice and improve their skill sets? And yet, when it comes to firearms… I have met more adults who own firearms and yet know very little about this life saving tool and their own guns as well.

    The other day, I was helping out my parents on the range at one of our CCW qualification range days.

    It had been a long time since I had last come to one of these days, and I didn't know a single person taking the class.

    After our first relay had finished, I walked back with the a group to go reload mags, but I wanted to speak with some of the trainees just to get to know them better.

    I started asking about what type of holsters they were thinking about, what type of firearms they were shooting, if they wanted to add a gun onto their license, and if so which one,

    Once I started talking to them, it suddenly hit me that these students did not have a full understanding of what a big deal it was to be getting a CCW permit.

    I realized this when most of their answers to my questions were “I don’t know,” or “ Well I don’t have to think about that yet,... right?”

    I explained to them that this permit isn’t something that you can just have without putting work into it.

    On a daily basis, this burden of carrying a firearm should become one of your top priorities. Nothing about it should be a surprise….

    For instance when deciding on which firearm you are going to carry… shouldn’t it be important to understand and consider how you will carry it and what type of clothing you will need to wear? So you bought a full size 1911…

    You understand that you have 3 choices here:

    Either dress the part so you can conceal…
    Find a way to conceal a handgun with what you normally wear, (if that means a different gun, holster, etc.... you make the alterations)
    or Don’t carry at all.

    If you got your CCW to protect your and your families’ life… then is not carrying even an option? Let me ask it another way… If you are allergic to a common substance, and for some reason you couldn't fit your EpiPen into whatever you are carrying with you, does that mean you should just not carry the EpiPen?

    Of course not!

    That just means you have to find solution. The only way you will find a solution is by jumping in with both feet and embracing your new lifestyle…. take the time to immerse yourself!

  • Monday, January 12, 2015 19:22 | Anonymous

    Defensive v. Competitive Shooting.

    A few months back I was having dinner with Lt. Col. Dave Grossman in Scottsdale Az. 

    (Yeah.... I’m name dropping, but go with me for a second.)

    Grossman in his seminars talks about developing hobbies that reinforce the skill sets that are necessary to prevail in a defensive shooting. 

    Such hobbies include hunting and competitive shooting.

    (Golf... according to Grossman is a completely worthless endeavor and a golf course by definition is a willful misuse of a perfectly good rifle range.)

    We were talking about my daughters deer hunt in October of last year and Grossman lit up.

    He argues that hunting creates an automatic inoculation against some of the negative stresses of combat. 

    Since the hunter is being exposed to the “realities of life” in a positive environment, seeing those same “realities” in a post combat environment does not seem to create the same psychic scars many non-hunters experience.

    While I’m not sure there is any empirical data to necessarily support this conclusion there does definitely appear to be a ton of anecdotal stories.

    What about the other hobby: competitive shooting?

    (If you have arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

    At first blush this would seem like an obvious thing. 

    If you want to be a better shooter.... do activities that require you to... well... be a better shooter.

    I am a huge fan of competitive shooting... especially long distance shooting, but we need to be aware of the types of training scars that can come of it.

    If the only shooting you do involves standing static and facing down range, your default under stress is going to be to stand static and face “downrange”.

    If you practice at a range with house rules that don’t allow Hammer Drills, or Combat Loads, guess what:You’re not training for muscle memory responses in Hammer Drills, or Combat loads.

    If you are a dedicated competitive shooter that MUST follow very specific range rules and reload rules that mandate a methodology that scarifies efficiency for safety.  

    You need to be aware that you are developing training scars, and must take proactive steps to neutralize or minimize those scars.

    Am I suggesting giving up on competitive shooting?

    Of course not! 

    You just need to be aware of what is happening.

    The advantages, both physical and psychological that comes from high intensity competitive shooting in my opinion far out weigh the negative training scars.

    That does not mean that they don’t exist, and as such must be dealt with.

    We had a competitive shooter in one of our recent CCW classes. 

    This guy was good. 

    His ability to put lead on target was consistent, and his fundamentals when it came to presentation, sight picture and trigger press were all top notch.

    But his reloads needed work.

    Since he cannot bring his gun into his workspace to effectuate a reload during a competitive match, he would not bring his gun into his workspace to do a tac load during our training.

    Here is the thing:This was not a competitive pistol type class.

    This was a : “Holy Crap! That dude is trying to kill me and I need to use this gun to stop him RIGHT NOW, and now I think I may have gotten him because he is not shooting back, but I better reload just in case he is still in the fight or he has friends and I’m not sure how many rounds I have left so I better keep this partially used magazine in case I need it later.” Type class.

    He would try, to follow along but would constantly revert to his competitive shooting protocols. 

    The pressure of knowing that there were “eyes” on him forced him to revert back to the lowest level of training. 

    Read that as: the most used repetitive exercises.

    If you are going to go to a range with specific non combative range rules, or become an active participant in competitive or recreational shooting, you must acknowledge what is happening to you, and take proactive steps to minimize those negative training scars.

  • Monday, January 05, 2015 16:30 | Anonymous

    Striker Fire

    Slowly each student took out their firearms from their locked cases. 

    This is always an interesting part of the class. 

    Each CCW trainee lays out their weapon, or weapons on the table with the actions open as our instructors and range personnel examine each firearm to ensure that it is cleared, and help the students fill out the paper work for their certificates.

    It never ceases to amaze me the types of weapons that make their way into our classroom.

    People begin the journey towards their CCW’s from differing starting points. 

    Many have been gun enthusiasts for many years, and as such have determined that one or two of their favorite pistols would be the best to carry around with them.

    I get it. 

    They enjoy shooting them, and they feel that as target shooters they have developed a proficiency with their weapons. 

    Thing is.... this is not target shooting.... the purpose of carrying a firearm is for defensive shooting, and that is a whole lot different from target shooting. 

    (If you have arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

    Speed of reloading, conceal-ability, accuracy... and speed of reacquiring the target all must be factored into the equation. 

    That revolver that you just love that you’ve been plinking with since 1972 may not be the best fit for this application.

    Others enter the world of firearms ownership with the intent on getting a CCW.

    Often they come to us first to ask for suggestions on what their first gun should be.

    Our response is usually a striker fire handgun. 

    Glock, Smith and Wesson, and Springfield all make high quality, and fairly available striker fire handguns. There is a reason we strongly recommend them as a “first” handgun:They work well, and are far easier to master then other firearms.

    We’ve learned this from experience. 

    We always have a few students who have brought in their recently acquired Beretta's or Sigs.

    Make no mistake, I enjoy both.... and when I’m not carrying my 1911, I carry a Sig 239, still... becoming a master at these guns requires a heck of a lot more work, and if practice is done incorrectly you can develop negative training scars that are hard to break.

    Striker fire guns allow for a greater degree of focus on fundamentals.. proper trigger press, sight alignment and trigger resets, all while allowing for a building of muscle memory around sound safety protocols.

    Throw in a de-cocker, or a safety and for some reason the wheels come off.

    When we chose a firearm for our Artemis guns we chose the Glock 22. 

    This was not a cavalier decision. 

    We wanted a fairly ubiquitous firearm, and one that would allow the trainees a base uniform level of training.

    You see,... if you have the fundamentals honed in on a gun like a Glock, those skill sets will translate across the spectrum of firearms. With the focus on the four rules of firearm safety, proper presentation, and a development of good marksmanship the trainee develops a skill set that is transferable to other... more complicated guns like the 1911 or the Beretta. 

    This does not mean that one gun is “superior” to another. (Though many will be shocked that I’m not claiming the 1911 is a “better” gun than anything else... for the time being I’m trying to keep this academic). Each firearm has it’s unique characteristics as well as strengths and weaknesses. 

    Furthermore, the individual wielding the gun has certain biological limitations that make one firearm a better choice that another. 

    Still, for a basic self defense handgun. One that you can learn and master, I strongly recommend a simple striker fire. 

    Once a mastery of Skill at Arms has been achieved on that platform, then it is time to consider expanding your CCW armory to include more exotic guns.  

    That being said... my first handgun was a Sig Sauer. De-cocker and all. 

    I got it because that was what was available to me at the time, and frankly I didn't know any better.  

    I made a conscience decision to become a master of that platform and spent an inordinate amount of time doing dry fire and range work. 

    I took that gun with me to numerous tactical training courses and worked both it, and me hard. 

    To say that you MUST start with a striker fire would be a miss statement. 

    If you are dedicated to the proposition of becoming a master of that DA/SA Sig, Beretta, or similar handgun,... good for you.... rock on!

    But if you are reviewing your options, and are looking for what I consider the most efficient pathway, I would highly recommend staying with the striker fire family. 

    Don’t worry though... your first gun will definitely not be your last... you will have ample opportunity to add a few exotics to your safe as well!

  • Monday, December 29, 2014 16:28 | Anonymous

    Imminent likelihood of death or great bodily injury.

    On Christmas day an event took place in the town I grew up in.

    A burglar, or a vandal, or a murderer, or mentally unstable individual... You take your pick... decided to alter the lives of a family forever.

    Fortunately, no one died during this event, but the legal ramifications could be devastating.

    The story has been reported as follows:

    Bad guy targets a home for invasion, but is unsuccessful in entering.

    Bad guy returns later, and through an open door, (the owner had left it open while he went to his car) bad guy makes entry.

    Bad guy attacks homeowner with a wrench.

    Homeowner retreats deeper into home and retrieves a shotgun.

    Bad guy chases homeowner until he sees the shotgun and immediately makes a 180 degree turn and tries to flee.

    Homeowner shoots at bad guy and wounds him.

    Bad guy escapes from the house and is eventually apprehended. 


    (If you have arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

    Let us take the facts as they have been presented. 

    Most people know that if someone who is unauthorized gains entry to your home there is a presumption that they are there to use deadly force against you. Therefore the use of deadly force against them is justified.

    Folks... that is not a license... it is only a presumption. 

    Presumptions can also be rebutted with empirical evidence.

    You are NEVER NEVER NEVER allowed to use deadly force for the protection of property. 

    Armored car employees don’t carry guns to protect the money they are transporting. 

    They are carrying guns to protect themselves against people that would try to kill them in order to take that money.

    If someone is in your house and making their way towards you and you use deadly force against them the presumption will probably hold and not be rebutted.

    However.... if you shoot them while they are making their way to your front door, carrying your big screen TV the evidence of their movement, the broken TV, and the shots in their back will be enough evidence to rebut the presumption that you were in imminent fear for your life.

    In our case at hand.... again, as the facts have been presented... it would seem to suggest that the homeowner was not in fear for his life: he shot the suspect as he was fleeing. 

    With the suspect in full retreat, the “imminence” element to the law does not exist and we have an unjustified use of deadly force.

    Now... there could easily be reasons not articulated why the homeowner still felt threatened: The suspect was not leaving, he was merely heading towards cover, he was moving towards rooms where other family members were hiding, and the homeowner felt the suspect would put those loved ones in danger.... or the biggie: Situational Amnesia... the homeowner simply has gotten the facts wrong. Not that he remembers them incorrectly, rather the stress of the event has altered his perception of them.

    Could the statements that he made to the newspaper be used against him in court? 

    You betcha.

    Should he have refrained from making those statements?


    Will those statements damn him to an indictment and a conviction?

    Not necessarily, but it does potentially complicate matters.

    It will be interesting to see how this case plays out. The homeowner is clearly a sympathetic character, and the suspect is,... well... kinda the reason people own guns for self defense in the fist place. 

    Will public opinion effect a decision to prosecute? 

    Again,.... we shall see.

  • Monday, December 15, 2014 20:06 | Anonymous

    A couple of weeks ago one of our Sheriffs lieutenants was instructing a handful of deputies on our VirTra 100. 

    He was “knocking the rust” off of their weapons manipulations skills. 

    To demonstrate a proper tac load he removed his Glock from his holster, (don’t worry folks it was unloaded and verified through a secondary safety check) and began to explain the various aspects of the reloading procedure. 

    I was leaning against the wall watching him and sipping on my coffee. 

    Something looked a little strange to me so I peered closer.

    The gun looked... well... “small”.

    “Lt. is that a .380?” 

    He looked over at me and had a sheepish look. “Yeah... but it is a real tac driver.”

    “Yeah” I chuckled... “it is adorable”.

    He grimaced... “Thanks”

    (If you arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)

    Those of you have have taken classes with me know that I give a lot of grief to .380 carriers. 

    Last weekend we had a CCW class and I know one of our students, Allen is still probably annoyed with me for all of the jibing I sent his way regarding his little .380.

    Folks... I want you to know something and I want to make it absolutely clear: I would rather have a .380 on me than nothing at all.

    (But for what it is worth I’ll stick with my .45 thank you very much)

    Caliber discussions and debates have been going on since we first started making defined cartridges.

    Smaller caliber carriers boast about ammo capacity and the ability to conceal their firearms. 

    Large caliber carriers talk about the mythical “one stop shot” with the howitzers they carry on their hips.

    Each of these users are passionate about their weapons... and make amazing counter arguments to the perceived deficiencies:

    .380 : “It is all about shot placement” 

    “I can carry more ammo on my body and deliver more fire power with less weight on my hips” 

    “If a single shot from a .380 doesn’t stop the threat the 20 more I am able to carry with me certainly will”

     “I can tuck in my shirt, carry a gun and not look like I have a tumor on my hip”

    .45 : “It is the only round powerful enough to stop a threat”

     “One .45 drops even the most seriously narced threat in their tracks.” 

    “It is what the most elite spec opps teams use”

     “Even though you end up carrying less ammo.. it is ok... with a .45 you need less ammo”


    The fact of the matter is.... all joking aside... your choice of weapon is dependent on a variety of factors. What you wear... how you shoot... how you grip your gun..., are but a few.

    Jack O’Conner was famous for only hunting with a .270. 

    He used that round on literally everything, from goats to dangerous game. He was a master of that rifle round and knew the limitations and made sure that his engagements were within the parameters of those limitations.

    The same is true for the smaller caliber rounds. 

    Would I grab that .380 first if there was someone breaking into my home? 

    Probably not.

    Would I grab that .380 first if I was going for a jog?


    We make decisions each day about how we choose to dress and where where we choose to visit. 

    Both decisions dictate the type of weapon we will carry with us. 

    There are times when a .380 may very well be the best decision.

    There is another value in the .380... like inter service rivalry, it makes for some good natured ribbing. 

    That lieutenant that I mentioned earlier... he is an absolute master of defensive tactics and weapons craft. Would I want him on my side if things went south?

    You betcha..... even if he were only carrying that ”adorable” .380

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