FLYING SAUCERS, SIGHT SHOOTING, AND SELF DEFENSE.
This article was written in 2000. What was true then, is still true in 2012.
If you have a handgun at home, you probably bought it with the thought in mind that you could use it for self defense. And, you probably have been trained to use one or both sights for aiming and shooting it.
Well, if you think you will be able to use your handgun and training in a real self defense situation, you could be dead wrong.
Darrell Mulroy, a trainer and one of the owners of Plus P Technologies in Minneapolis, MN, [Darrell died in 2003] made a review of 900+ videos of real shootings. He found that Sight Shooting was not used in any of them.
Here is what he said about Sight Shooting: "You still ASSUME you will look at the gun in a real shooting. Wish we could find it on REAL videos of such things. We are still looking 900+ videos later."
Believing that Sight Shooting can be used in real close quarters shootings, is like believing in flying saucers.
There are a lot of good and honest folks who believe in flying saucers, and some have even said they have taken rides in them. Now, I don't doubt their honesty and sincerity a bit, but it would be nice to see a video or two of some flying saucers coming over low and slow.
There also are a lot of good and honest folks who believe that Sight Shooting can be used in real close quarters shootings. Some say they have used it themselves, or they say that they have seen it used. I don't doubt their honesty and sincerity either, but it would be nice to see a few videos of Sight Shooting being used.
I have seen many shooting videos. In them, the shooters do not aim. They just point their guns towards a target and blast away. Sight Shooting training, if they had any, goes out the window, and what you end up with is Point and Blast shooting with terrible accuracy. According to the FBI, the police miss rate is 83 percent.
In reviewing 900+ shooting videos, you could expect to find a few cases of gun operator error in that Sight Shooting was not used. But when there are 900+ cases of gun operator error in 900+ videos, something is amiss, and seriously so.
There is a growing body of scientific knowledge that deals with fight/flight situations and what happens in them. It provides scientific reasons why Sight Shooting is just not practical for use in close quarters shootings. But, even if you knew all the whys and wherefores, it would not change the fact that it is not used.
This information is not met with open arms by Police Agencies, trainers, and others in the gun community. It usually causes a general uprising among sight shooters, many of whom would like nothing better than to use the messenger for target practice. But no matter how much consternation it causes, it is irrefutable.
You can hoot and holler about it, or discuss and argue about who did this, that, or whatever. The exchanges, usually end up being futile exercises in trying to assign or shift blame, or save face. Nothing really gets resolved, changed, or improved.
Much of the new information on close quarters shootings comes from in-car video cameras. They are silent observers with perfect recall of what they hear and see. They don't care if or why something happens, or who or what caused it. They don't think, get confused, take sides, or have agendas. They just show what happens, and they do it frame by frame.
The negative reception the information gets, and the turmoil it causes, is understandable. It never was available before, and it brings into question long and strongly held beliefs and traditional ways.
The information poses the question of whether or not trainers are teaching an impractical method of applying deadly force in close quarters life and death situations. It also brings into question, statements made by those involved in shootings. This is not a happy situation, but hard facts, are hard facts, and they raise hard questions.
There are alternative shooting methods that are immediately available for use. And they require very little or no training for effective use. They deal only with the very narrow and vital area of aiming and shooting in close quarters. Nothing else is changed. They are simple and practical, and they can be used with current guns as is.
This is a link to information on a few changes that are being implemented in the area of Police CQB training.
Alternative shooting methods are not new, but they are not widely accepted by the powers that be.
One method that I support, is AIMED Point Shooting, or P&S. It was most recently and successfully tested a few years ago, at the Vermont Police Academy.
[The method was not part of the official training, it was presented to new VSP members by Walter Dorfner, the long time lead firearms instructor for the VSP. Walter died in 2001.]
P&S is fast, instinctive, automatic, and accurate. It can be used at day or night, in good light or bad, and under a wide variety of conditions. It is a no-brainer which according to the scientific literature, is just what is needed for effective use. Here is what a State Legislator, said about it.
"I was taught the P&S method by my father 36 years ago and taught it to both my daughters when they started shooting. Until today, I never even knew it had a name. It was just the way I was taught to shoot. It works!"
Here's a link to another alternative shooting method. It is Point Shooting as taught by Fairbairn, Sykes and Applegate.
It would be nice to know which method/s is/are practical for use in real shootings. That information could be a real life saver for Police, and for the millions of civilians who have a handgun at home for self defense.
Since the Police have the in-car cameras, that information can only come from them.
To get it, one or more Police Agencies will have to step forward and test it or another alternate method of shooting.
The watchful eyes of in-car cameras, will quickly tell which is practical for use in real shootings. There are hundreds of thousands of Police, and millions of civilians who should be interested in the information.
Per FBI Uniform Crime Reports, during the last ten years, [prior to 2000] Police Officers have been shot and killed at the rate of one every seven days, and thousands upon thousands have been wounded during that time. In addition to the human costs of those tragedies, millions and million of our tax dollars have been lost to them and the legal actions that flow from them. And unless changes are made, you can expect more of the same for the next ten years.
As far as I know there is no government agency that is responsible for providing "consumer user" type information to the millions of gun owning citizens, nor is there a private agency that has taken on that responsibility and which also has the ability to obtain it.
The ATF and the Federal Trade Commission do not deal with the issue of consumer safety and guns. The Consumer Products Safety Commission, by its charter, is exempted from dealing with firearms. And, the Occupational Safety And Health Administration does not deal with consumer issues, only worker concerns.
In short, no one is "in charge" in this area.
The recent  extensive newspaper coverage and attention paid to Firestone tire blowouts, where Firestone tires MAY be linked to 46 deaths over a ten year period, is laudable from a consumer protection standpoint.
But it is perplexing when it is compared to 500 Police Officers deaths in the same ten year period that are directly linked to training to use an obviously impractical method of shooting in life or death Close Quarters situations, and about which little has been done to resolve this long standing and continuing tragedy.
It is now 2012, and 600 more Police Officers have been shot and killed at the rate of one every seven days, and thousands upon thousands have been wounded in the past 12 years.
In Afghanistan, 1,700+ US troops have been killed in the in the past ten years, and thousands have been injured. And billions and billions of dollars have been spent on the war.
In the US, 1,100+ Police Officers have been shot and killed in the past 22 years, and thousands are injured each year. To me that means there's a real war going on in the United States, and nobody seems to care.
Change in the world of the gun, with its strongly held traditions and institutionalized dogma, does not come easily or quickly.
At the 2010 ILEETA conference (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers), a use-of force panel discussed Point Shooting vs. Aimed Fire.
There is an article by David Griffith about the panel discussion. It is in POLICE Magazine. This is a link to it.
"The panel, which consisted of firearms trainers, law enforcement officers, a physician, an attorney, a physician, and a psychologist, discussed the issue in terms of training and officer-involved shootings. And it concluded that point shooting may be what happens in a gunfight but to point shoot well under stress officers need to aim when they train."
"Point shooting well under stress is all about muscle memory," said one panel member. "And the way you achieve that muscle memory is by learning to align your sights."
He said that training officers to point shoot without training them to aim was a "shortcut." "There is no instinctive ability to shoot. So we need to teach our people to use the sights under realistic conditions. That's the answer, not point shooting."
However, the sad fact of the matter is that there are no pics or videos of Sight Shooting being used effectively in a CQB situation, and it's been taught for over 100 years.
Continuing to train Police in an obviously impractical method of shooting for use in life or death close quarters situations that results a miss rate of over 80%, sets them up to be shot and/or killed.
That hit rate is just unacceptable when more effective shooting methods are available.
Further, a less than 20% effectiveness rate for anything, much less a shooting method to use in a life threat situation where there is the greatest chance of your being shot and killed, would result in legal action against those who perpetrate and teach such fraudulent nonsense in any other consumer related product area. It is akin to knowingly installing faulty air bags in cars that will work in only one out of every five crashes.
Also, the US Army disagrees with the discussion panel member as to instictive aiming.
Here's what the US Army says about our instinctive ability to aim. It's found in the US Army Field Manual 3-23.35: Combat Training With Pistols M9 AND M11 (June, 2003).
"Everyone has the ability to point at an object....
"When a soldier points, he instinctively points at the feature on the object on which his eyes are focused. An impulse from the brain causes the arm and hand to stop when the finger reaches the proper position.
"When the eyes are shifted to a new object or feature, the finger, hand, and arm also shift to this point.
"It is this inherent trait that can be used by a soldier to rapidly and accurately engage targets."
Why Gun Makers, The FBI, Police certifying bodies, and Trainers continue to encourage traditional training that has been proven not to be used in Close Quarters Combat; and as such, sets Police and others up to be shot and/or killed, is beyond me.
Also, it was not so long ago that those who were shot or killed were blamed for being shot or killed due to the bizarre notion that they did not train enough in traditional shooting.
More is called for than just wringing hands, and attending processionals and services in honor of the fallen, and then going on about business as usual.
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