Basic Carbine Operator Report
Twenty students took part in the Basic Carbine Operator class last month. As the name suggests, it’s not a defensive or ‘tactical’ carbine class; it’s a shooting class. The lesson plan is designed to develop both the admin skills necessary to keep the gun running and the marksmanship skills you need to exploit the inherent accuracy of the AR platform.
The class included four females. What a joy it was to see them on the firing line! They did everything the guys did, no matter how far outside their comfort zone it might have taken them. In the spirit of not giving special treatment, I hate to single them out, but I need to make this point:
Husbands, boyfriends, fathers — If you imagine a future where your survival may depend on your skill with a rifle, unfortunately that future will also demand that your spouse and children have the same skills. BCO can lay the right foundation.
Because it is vital to develop marksmanship skills prior to fighting skills, BCO is a prerequisite for all other carbine fighting classes. Good tactics are built on the ability to get hits. Really, nothing else matters.
CHECK THIS OUT
Good friend Jim Higginbotham of The American Institute of Marksmanship (AIM) in Kentucky has started a new online magazine devoted to furthering the art of armed self defense. Jim is a long-time student of the gun and a thinking man. To paraphrase an old E. F. Hutton commercial, when Jim talks, people listen.
Warning: Shameless self-promotion alert
Well, the first issue is now out and, as you can see, I’ve got an article in it. Other contributors include Tom Givens, Eric Dean and Evan Marshall, among others. What I’m doing in the midst of these guys is a mystery. Thank you, Jim, for the opportunity.
Learn more about the magazine and writers here: Weaponcraft
If you decide to purchase, subscribers to this newsletter qualify for a 50% discount off the regular price of $10. Use this code at checkout: Q3APQNI
A few weeks back a local CWP student emailed me that he had been the intended victim of an armed robbery.
While standing in line to pay for his purchases at a convenience store on Pine Needles Road in Florence County, our student (‘GG’) noticed a young black male loitering just outside the entrance to the store. The two made eye contact and GG said the fellow began staring intently at him and in such way that the hair on the back of his neck stood up. GG went, in his words, to ‘full alert’.
After paying for his stuff, but before exiting the store, GG slipped his hand into the pocket where his pistol slept inside a pocket holster. With his hand still in his pocket but now gripping the pistol, GG exited the store. The young man he had seen earlier (now, ‘BG’) approached him and, acting like he had a weapon, announced, ‘This is a robbery.’
GG presented his pistol and BG’s empty hands immediately flew into the air to the surrender position.
GG held BG at gunpoint and called 911. Two deputies arrived, drew their weapons and told GG to put his gun on the ground. He complied, of course. Once the deputies had control of the they asked GG what had happened. He told them and the deputies placed the BG under arrest. BG turned out to be 15 years old and unarmed. The deputies told him he was lucky to be alive.
They also told GG they probably would have shot BG had they been in his shoes. End of story.
I could tell from the tone of his e-mail that GG was engaging in some second-guessing, maybe wondering, in light of the deputy’s comments, if he’d taken an unnecessary risk in NOT shooting BG. He also expressed concern regarding how it might have played in the media had yet another white CWP holder shot yet another ‘unarmed’ young black man.
The above scenario provides a textbook case for a discussion of an essential self-defense tool, Jeff Cooper’s color code of Awareness. For the most concise explanation of the Gunsite Color Code that I’m aware of, visit friend John Schaeffer’s site here: Jeff Cooper
The following is taken from John’s website:
The Color Code as taught by Jeff Cooper
– Relaxed, unaware, and unprepared. If attacked in this state the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy and ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, “This can’t be happening to me.”
– Relaxed alertness. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that “today could be the day I may have to defend myself.” There is no specific threat but you are aware that the world is an unfriendly place and that you are prepared to do something if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and your carriage says “I am alert.” You don’t have to be armed in this state but if you are armed you must be in Yellow. When confronted by something nasty your reaction will probably be, “I thought this might happen some day.” You can live in this state indefinitely.
– Specific alert. Something not quite right has gotten your attention and you shift your primary focus to that thing. Something is “wrong” with a person or object. Something may happen. Your mindset is that “I may have to shoot
that person.” Your pistol is usually holstered in this state. You can maintain this state for several hours with ease, or a day or so with effort.
– Fight trigger. This is your mental trigger. “If that person does “x” I will shoot them.” Your pistol may, but not necessarily, be in your hand [end].
Back to the details of the fight, it’s easy to see the stages of mental readiness that GG went thru. First, he was observing his surroundings for anything ‘wrong’ (Yellow). He saw somebody that, for whatever reason, fit that description and so qualified for a little more study (Orange). The subject of his study then acted in such as way as to make GG identify him as someone that might need shooting (Red). I think GG’s use of the term ‘full alert’ to describe his status at that instant perfectly meshes with Red.
It’s tempting to tie a particular condition of awareness to a particular physical response or behavior, but the important thing to remember about using the Color Code as a tool is that it’s about MENTAL READINESS.
Because he was in the right state of mind, GG won that fight before he walked thru the door. Good job! No criticism from me.
Does it make a difference legally or practically that the BG turned out to be 15 years old? No. A 15 year old can press a trigger and kill you as easily as a 50 year old. In many instances, younger criminals are more dangerous. Will it look bad in the news? Of course. The age or race of the BG should be the last thing on your mind when confronting the Threat. You’ve got a problem and you need to solve it. Focus on that. Right now, your problem is NOT what people are going to say or think about what you do in the next few seconds.
Did GG take an unnecessary risk in not shooting BG? I don’t think so. My understanding is that BG surrendered immediately upon the presentation of the pistol. What I hear in the details is that GG drew his pistol to shoot the armed robber but, before he could line up the sights and press the trigger, it became unnecessary to use deadly force. The situation changed.
Please note, there’s been no mention of gun make, caliber or brand of ammunition, no discussion of holster material, etc. Obviously having a gun made all the difference, but the fight starts and ends in the mind.
Lastly: The Fundamentals of Situational Awareness
- Know who is around you and what they’re doing.
- Maintain your ability to see and maneuver.
- Know where you would go and what you would do.
- Honor your instincts!
Basic Defensive Handgun class scheduled for 22 & 23 March. In light of the recent home invasions, we’ll be adding a block of instruction on defense of the home. Last BDH we added a car scenario to the curriculum. The car scenario will be even better this time with the new ‘ATTACK! Target’ from MGM in use.
We have room in the class!
Leupold VX-6 rifle scope, matte black finish w/ lighted ‘FireDot’ reticle.
- 1 – 6 x 24mm / 30mm tube
- PN 112319
- Very slightly used, appears and functions ANIB: $750
If you’re interested, contact me.