Rules of Gun fighting
A friend of mine and I have these talks that pertain to the public perception of martial arts, and combat in general pretty frequently. We discuss the foolishness of martial arts as well as its brilliance, and we also discuss Iraq, terrorism and law enforcement. He is a former Navy S.E.A.L. so I always take notice and pay attention to what he has to say. I have similar conversations with my law enforcement friends and acquaintances (if you practice martial arts you will have these).
He and I have most recently been discussing-among other things- the tendency of there to be an immediate and thoughtless backlash on police shootings, specifically we recently spoke about the New York shooting and the infamous 50 bullets. My own take is that so far there is no evidence for police brutality or racism and that the suspects used their car as a weapon and struck one of the officers that was trying to stop them (there was a stakeout going on as the club the suspects were patronizing was , in fact, a popular place to deal drugs. One of the undercover officers thought they were armed. It later turned out they weren't and that the whole thing may have been a horrible mis-understanding. That by the way is quite a tragedy.) For what ever reason they used their car as a weapon, which left the police with little option. Five officers opened fire on the car. 50 bullets flew threw the air, and a man died, and two others were injured. There are allegations that the officers were hot headed, and being excessive. When faced with subjects using a car as a weapon, I don't think they had much choice. Nor do I think they were excessive. An average police side arm carries 15 to 16 rounds in a clip. 50 bullets 5 officers fired, giving an average of 10 shots per officer. The total number of rounds that could have been expended by these officers was 75 or 85 respectively. A .45 caliber pistol (any pistol), can be emptied by anyone in seconds. In addition to that, these officers had a huge history arrests, many dangerous, many involving the drawing of firearms with out having ever fired a shot. Not one shot in over 600 arrests. These guys were picked for that particular assignment particularly because of their restraint, and level headedness. Don't take my word for it of course, the New York times has some pretty sober coverage of the sad affair that you should go read. It may turn out that there was excessive action but lets not rush to judge.
One more caveat, I am not, myself, a knee-jerk defender of the police. Its true that one of my best friends is a SWAT officer, and that both my uncles were cops. As well many of my training partners are cops of one stripe or another. However the police do all too often step over the line. The recent beating of a suspect during arrest on a sidewalk by L.A.P.D. officers is a case in point. I have a few hypotheses on why this happens, but it isn't anything I want to go into today.
Okay that is all an aside. Garon sent me this list of rules for a gun fight. They are the Marine Corp rules and while funny carry a lot strategic weight. Enjoy.
Marine Corp Rules for gun-fighting.
1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your
friends who have guns.
2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is
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
nor using cover correctly.
5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and
diagonal movement are preferred.)
6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a 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
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. Always cheat; 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.
14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
16. Don't drop your guard.
17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.
18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your
hands where I can see them.
19. Decide to 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.
22. Be courteous to everyone, 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 a "4."