Active shooter incidents and police response

Greg Ellifritz has noted a change in active shooter tactics, including setting up ambushes to catch responding officers.  Most of us aren’t police, but we can learn useful lessons from the history of active shooter incidents and how they’re likely to play out.  We can adapt our response accordingly, and hopefully keep ourselves and our loved ones from harm in the process. I was reviewing some of the recent articles about the Borderland Bar shooting in California.  During that shooting, the killer purposely stopped firing on the victims to set up an ambush to attack the police officers he knew were coming.  That’s

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New toy

Following Mike’s recommendation concerning larger-caliber firearms, I’ve been trying to upgrade my defensive battery.  Ideally, I’d like to replace my .38 Specialsnubnose revolvers with .44 Special equivalents, accepting the slightly larger size and greater weight of the latter in return for greater power and (hopefully) better performance. In the process, I happened to run across this beauty.  (Click the image for a larger view.) It’s a Taurus Model 431, a fixed-sight 5-shot .44 Special revolver.  This example is one of the relatively rare 4″ barrel models (most were made with 3″ or shorter barrels).  It was made during the 1980’s, but is in near-mint condition,

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Practical measurements of defensive ammo effectiveness

A police officer’s recommendation for self-defense against an attacker hopped-up on the latest generation of synthetic marijuana generated some discussion.  I was struck by how many of the comments ignored the point of the police officer’s advice, which was: … typical deep-concealment (i.e. small, lightweight) pocket revolvers and pistols are simply not adequate to deal with people under the influence of this stuff.  His personal opinion was that .32 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 Special, and even 9mm. Luger or .357 Magnum rounds,if fired from smaller weapons whose barrels aren’t sufficiently long to give high velocity and promote bullet expansion, are not going to get

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Sobering thoughts on self-defense firearms from a Minnesota cop

I have a friend who’s a police officer in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.  He’s got more than twenty years service, and is looking forward to retiring soon.  He’s had a lot of “street” and “hands-on” experience, and knows whereof he speaks.  I’ll call him Mike for the purposes of this discussion (not his real name). Mike got in touch a few days ago.  After the usual pleasantries between friends, he got down to business.  He said that the current crop of synthetic marijuana, sometimes known as “spice” (and by up to 700 other street names), is producing some truly

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Practical measurements of defensive ammo effectiveness

A police officer’s recommendation for self-defense against an attacker hopped-up on the latest generation of synthetic marijuana generated some discussion.  I was struck by how many of the comments ignored the point of the police officer’s advice, which was: … typical deep-concealment (i.e. small, lightweight) pocket revolvers and pistols are simply not adequate to deal with people under the influence of this stuff.  His personal opinion was that .32 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 Special, and even 9mm. Luger or .357 Magnum rounds,if fired from smaller weapons whose barrels aren’t sufficiently long to give high velocity and promote bullet expansion, are not going to get

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Sobering thoughts on self-defense firearms from a Minnesota cop

I have a friend who’s a police officer in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.  He’s got more than twenty years service, and is looking forward to retiring soon.  He’s had a lot of “street” and “hands-on” experience, and knows whereof he speaks.  I’ll call him Mike for the purposes of this discussion (not his real name). Mike got in touch a few days ago.  After the usual pleasantries between friends, he got down to business.  He said that the current crop of synthetic marijuana, sometimes known as “spice” (and by up to 700 other street names), is producing some truly

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Useful post-election security advice from Greg Ellifritz

We’ve mentioned Greg Ellifritz several times in these pages.  He’s produced a couple of very useful articles about how to prepare for and/or react to possible violence following the imminent mid-term elections.  Given the social turmoil in these dis-United States right now, this may be prescient. He has two articles focusing specifically on that issue, and a third on a possible rioter’s weapon. Post Election Riots? Post Election Violence Part II – Surviving the Flash Mob Dealing with Molotov Cocktails and Fire Bombs They’re very informative and practical.  I learned and re-learned several important lessons while reading them.  For example:  “Tear gas will

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Time to upgrade my Glocks

Glock pistols have been on the market since 1982, and have come to dominate the civilian and law enforcement handgun market in the USA.  They’ve been through several models as improvements were made, and in response to new technologies and techniques. I standardized on third-generation Glocks in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  The image below (and the subsequent two pictures) show the mid-size Glock 19 model.  All images courtesy of Glock USA. They worked very well for me, and their simplicity (with far fewer parts than competing pistols – simple is good!) appealed to me.  When the fourth-generation Glock (Gen4) pistols (shown below)

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Firearms, lethality, and politically correct surveys

I’m annoyed by the silliness of a recent JAMA article titled “The Association of Firearm Caliber With Likelihood of Death From Gunshot Injury in Criminal Assaults“.  Its statement of “meaning” reads: The findings are foundational to the debate over whether deadly weapons should be better regulated and provide evidence againstthe common view that whether the victim lives or dies is determined largely by the assailant’s intent and not the type of weapon. Words in italics are my emphasis. Frankly, I’d never heard of the “common view” that the article reports.  As far as I’m concerned, the “assailant’s intent” is demonstrated

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