27 October 2011

Gun Fighting Rules (yes, we do have rules for this sort of thing)

From the Cop side:  Since I retired from the Police Department a few months ago, I got a job teaching citizens and cops to shoot or shoot better.  My old department hired me back part time (so it won't stop my pension) and I help with training there.  I end up practing with firearms about 3 days  a week now...life is good.  With new cops who ask about packing a gun off duty...I tell them about the First Rule of a Gun Fight....here's all the rules: 
CI Roller Dude in Baghdad, circa 2005, this would be a good gun to bring

1. First Rule of a Gun Fight- Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap - life is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap - funerals are expensive

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend. (Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running. Yell "Fire!" Why "Fire"? Cops will come with the Fire Department, sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause then to lose concentration and will.... and who is going to summon help if you yell "Intruder," "Glock" or "Winchester?"

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Stretch the rules. Always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work. "No battle plan ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy."

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading one-handed and off-hand shooting. That's how you live if hit in your "good" side.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don't (In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.)

19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.

22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.

23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than "4".  But missing with a .40 or .45 is still not as good as hits with a .22!

25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. "All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket." At a practice session, throw you gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.

26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc.

27. Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.

28. The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, "He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I'm sorry, Officer, but I'm very upset now. I can't say anything more. Please speak with my attorney."


20 October 2011

Leadership....something you have to work at to be good.

From the Cop and the Soldier side:  Many years ago when I was a Private in the Regular Army, I never considered that someday I’d be a leader of men and women.  Later, when I became a civilian cop, I again never thought of someday becoming a Sergeant. 

But…it happened.  In many cases, I was thrown into a leadership job because there was nobody else competent….or in some cases the supervisor was “relieved of command” and they put me in charge.  I never turned down a leadership job, but I never cut somebody’s throat to get a leadership job either. 

Some people have said: “he or she was born a leader.” 
Can you figure out what gun this is?

Not true.  You have to have some experiences in life to be a leader.  A leadership school can give you some ideas and tools, but it really can’t make you a leader.   Yelling and acting like an asshole may work for a short time, but sooner or later, somebody will frag you. 

Here’s a short, cheap book that might help some.  This book will NEVER be used in any military or police leadership schools.  But it’s got some rough basic concepts. 

It' s in the Kindle format, and if you don't have a Kindle, it can be down loaded on any computer or Ipad. 

16 October 2011

Hire a Vet...yeah, right....

From the sort of retired Soldier and Cop side:  This post will be a little different than usual.  This is about searching for a job.  For my regular readers you recall I retired last year with over 20 years in the California Army National Guard (I don’t get a pension from them until I hit 60).  This year I retired from 32 years of police work—that I do get a good pension for.  You see I have worked since I was 16...and many times I had a full time job and a part time job...to make sure my family had what they needed.

I decided that after I retired, that I could still do some things that I enjoyed and had some training for in my past jobs.  (police training, Mess Kit Repair for the Army and anything to do with guns.)  I was totally shocked at a few things in regards to finding a job these days.  The last time I had to apply for a job, it was paper forms, now everybody wants stuff done on line.  I’m good with that, but I don’t think it should be an excuse for poor manners.  Recruiters working for some employers will totally bullshit you and then lie about it.  (you can’t lie and bullshit a person who’s been a cop for 32 years and did “mess kit repair” on 2 deployments.)

The first thing I discovered is most civilian employers don’t even tell you how much they are going to pay for the job…and some don’t tell you up front whether or not it’s full time or part time.  In many cases, I’d spend hours filling out a form online and answering questions designed for an 18 year old….like: “did you get along with your teachers in high school?’ 

What kind of retarded shit is that for an adult? 

In several cases, I’d get called up and asked: “You sound perfect, can you come in tomorrow for an interview?”   Well, sure, I guess so, but that’s kind of short notice.  But I’d go….to be interviewed usually by somebody younger that my sons.  Most of the time they had no idea what or how to ask questions….in a few cases I had to explain that a question they asked was illegal….like what church I went to.  Then, after they said: “well, I have to have my boss interview you…” I’d asked: “by the way, how many hours a week and how much does this job pay?”

When they told me, I told them: “It’s not even worth me starting my truck to come here for 5 hours a day at that kind of pay…..I’ll just sit home and watch TV.” 

One job I applied for working as a contractor for a military branch---this was with a nationally known big company that makes all kinds of cool shit and stuff.  I went in for an interview one day on very short notice.  As I walked in, they said: “Oh, we made a mistake, the job we want to interview you for is not that…( a job I was totally qualified for) but for this other job…(that when they explained it to me, I had no idea what they were talking about.) 

The guys who were going to interview me, were not prepared but said it would only take about 30 minutes.  It took over 2 hours…because neither one of them knew what they were asking…they were not prepared.  We wasted their time and mine….and the assholes were not even polite enough to get back and tell me I didn’t get the job.  If they had offered me the job, I would have turned it down because I couldn’t work with people that dis-organized. 

Another thing is since I am a “triple Vet” I am supposed to get job preference in any government job I apply for.  Now, I won’t take a job from a young vet who really needs the job, but when they totally ignore that rule and hire some person who’s never served, then what good is that rule? 

The most dysfunctional place to find a job is with the US Federal Government.   They have tried to combine all federal jobs at www.usajobs.com  but this has so many problems, I’d need another post just to describe them. 

I know jobs are hard to come by these days, but that doesn’t make it right for Human Resources and employers to be rude, lie, not post the pay and hours and in general just be assholes. 

Anyway, I’m happy now working part time and 2 jobs I really enjoy.  You see, it’s not so much the money as I wanted to do something I enjoy doing and work with good people….who know what the hell they are doing.   

15 October 2011

It runs in the Family.....

From the Soldier Side: One of the absolute most outstanding, best, awesome guys I ever knew in my entire Army & National Guard career was a guy I served with in Iraq.  He was my boss for the first 4 months and he is one of the most calm people I have ever known.  I could write an entire blog about him, but this post is for his son. 

His son was wounded in Afghanistan.  Here’s the news video (sorry about any commercials)
Click   HERE!

A HERO!!! 

10 October 2011

Great moments in Traffic Court

From the Cop side:   Over the 32 years of cop work (I retired, but the new chief asked me to come back part time and help with some stuff) I have been asked many times: “What was the scariest thing you did?”  or “What was the most exciting thing you did?”  or “how many people did you shoot?”  but my favorite was “what was the dumbest person you had to deal with?” 
In order: “I was scared so many time, I lost track”  “I loved getting in vehicle pursuits or going after armed bad guys”  “I don’t answer that question”  and last “some of the traffic tickets I wrote brought out the really dumbass in some people….I mean who wants to get a ticket for shitty driving?” 
Kind of like this:  How to do police work clicky here
 What makes some traffic tickets truly great memories is when the offender request to go to traffic court to contest the ticket.  Let me make this clear, I believe it is a great right we have in this country to be able to go to court…in traffic court like any other court; the burden of proof is with the prosecution---which in most traffic cases is the police officer who wrote the ticket.  I wasn’t even bothered when some of the drivers I cited stood up in court and flat out lied under oath. 

One of my favorites was this overly self important dipshit who was driving a little Porsche one afternoon.  In California they have a Vehicle Code section for blocking intersections during heavy traffic.  You know when the light is about to change and people keep driving into the intersection when traffic is not moving---they just cause it to jam up more because they are in a hurry. 

When I did traffic enforcement, I always tried to be very fair…I would think “what would the average person do in this situation?”  If the average person followed the rules, then so should everybody else.  I was the most generous when doing speed enforcement with radar--- and I still wrote more tickets in those days. 

So, back to the guy in the Porsche.  It was late in the afternoon, traffic was pretty heavy on a Friday and everybody just wanted to get home from work.  (in those day s more folks were working)….and there I was sitting at a red traffic signal waiting for my turn to go through a busy intersection.  If somebody blocked the intersection and it delayed the cross traffic when their signal changed for more than 20 seconds, I’d cite the offender…  well that day I had 3 drivers go ahead into the intersection and block it after their light turned yellow…then the asshole in the Porsche pulled in to.  The cross traffic had to wait for over 40 seconds, so I moved around cars and pulled the Porsche over.

I did the normal “safe” approach, asked for his driver’s license, and stuff.  He responded with: “why do you need that?”  I don’t like to argue, so I just said: “once you provide your license etc, I’ll explain the minor infraction I pulled you over for.” 

Nope…he wanted to know why I pulled him over before he’d provide me with what I asked for.  I told him it didn’t work that way, and if you would please hand me his license etc.  The little turd had to argue with everything I said…but I didn’t engage. 

I finally got his stuff, explained that he had blocked the intersection for cross traffic for over 40 seconds..and of course he asked: “Don’t you have anything better to do?”  (no we had just chased a truck full of burglars an hour before and arrested them at gun point, so we were just relaxing) 

Once I had the dumbass’s license and stuff, I went back to my patrol car and wrote the ticket…when I returned to dumbass, he was indignant that I wrote him a ticket.  He told me: “I’m not signing that ticket.” 

Which I explained was his right, but I would have to call my supervisor over and “she” would explain the same thing I was going to explain about him having to spend the weekend in jail etc.  When dumbass heard the supervisor was a “she”, he said: “the supervisor is a woman?”  He didn’t seem to like that at all. 

He finally signed he ticket…and of course told me he’d take me to court…which he did.  He even brought an attorney!  (for a $75 ticket)

When I was called up in traffic court, I explained the entire incident in great detail….I looked at my notes a few times.  All the attorney could say was: “Officer, I see you looked at your notes, but do you have any recollection of this case without looking at your notes?”
I said: “Why yes I do.”

Attorney: “Officer, how many tickets do your right each month?”

Me: “Oh anywhere from 20 to 40 depending on how much real police work we have to do.” 

Attorney: “well, if you write that many, and it’s been a few months since you wrote my client, how do you recall this incident so well?”

Me (looking at the traffic judge): “your honor, should I answer that?”  Judge dude: “Yes.”

Me: “Because your client was so obnoxious.” 

All the cops, deputies and highway patrol sitting in the back of the court room were laughing their asses off.  it was a good day in traffic court. 

04 October 2011

One time at….(Sung to the tune of “One time at Band Camp”)

From the Soldier side:  One thing I have found that has been consistent throughout military history has been many troops have a good sense of humor.  In many cases, this is an essential quality to survive.  Many of these “funny times” in war may only be funny for those who were there at that time.  Years later when you try to explain it to somebody, it just ain’t so funny. 
But, if you run across an old buddy you’d de-ployed with, and remind them of that funny moment, you’ll start laugh so hard, people will call the police.  

One of the “you had to be there funny things” we did was use the line from the movie “American Pie” this one time at band camp… we changed it to this one time in Bosnia and later, this one time in Iraq. 

Click here to see what the hell I’m talking about:   This one time at band camp...

I often used humor in both my police and Army duties over the years---right when the shit was about to hit the fan…or, at least we thought it might. 

This one time in Fallujah, Iraq, my team and I were about to go out with the Marines  we were attached to.  This was at the end of 2004, so there was still some stuff going on, but it was pretty safe…sort of.  We got up early that morning to make sure our gear and weapons were ready.  I looked at my guys and could see that they were pretty worried…(they had forgotten to breath).  I had to think of something to get them calmed down, or we’d never make it out. 

One of my guys was going to drive the M1114 Turbo Charged 12,500 pound Up Armored Humvee, one was going to be on the gun, an M-249, and the fourth was the “terp.”  I got them gathered and said: “we need to get to the mess hall and make sure we eat.  I want everybody to have a full breakfast, eggs, bacon, ham, oatmeal, coffee, milk, juice, toast, apples, etc.”

They looked at me in disbelief….and I added: “WE can’t shit our pants in fear on an empty stomach!” 

Then there was this one time in Bosnia….we ran out cappuccino in the mess hall.  That was rough.