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An Off-Duty Kentucky Officer accidentally shoots himself fumbling with his pistol.

For one reason or another, the officer is seen removing his pistol from his holster and attempting to put it in his pocket.  Why you would take your gun out, a) in public – although he was alone with his spouse; you never draw your weapon anywhere but a designated area, or in a safe place and b) attempt to store it in a pocket is completely beyond me.

As the Officer attempts to place the gun into his pocket, he discharges the weapon and ends up shooting himself.  This Officer unfortunately used up his two strikes, and the third pitch put a round into his side.

“He was transitioning the holster and transitioning the gun out of his holster. He was going to carry it in his hand as they walked to the car,” Cincinnati Capt. Michael John told WLWT. “As he was pulling the gun from the holster, a round discharged, ricocheted in the elevator, struck him in the stomach.”[From The Huffington Post]

The above quote, referenced from an article on the incident by the Huffington Post has me completely baffled.  Firstly, there was no ricochet, at least that I could see, it looked like he point blank shot himself.  Secondly, I have seen some terrible transitions on the range, but this by far must be the worst.  If he had intended to transition to his pocket, and again why do this when you have a holster designed to house the gun, after struggling so much, put the cake down and do it properly.

This incident leaves me scratching my head truly, and thankfully the Officer will recover, his pride, probably long after his physical wounds have healed though.

This may be an example of how complacency or over-comfortability can lead to serious injury.

Train well, train often
Adam

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While Firearms may be a great force equalizer, they may not always be the best tools to de-escalate a crisis.  And like Pandora’s Box, once it’s opened, it may be too late to close the lid.  With power comes great responsibility. 

As the video reveals, a man disguises himself as a woman in order to shoplift less conspicuously.  Unfortunately, they are about to have their crime spree come to a crashing halt.  The video clearly shows the man stealing goods from the store, and in the moment, with one clerk on duty in the store, it appears to be your average example of shoplifting. That is until the Owner comes out of the back and retrieves a .38 revolver from under one of the registers.shoot99

The presence of a firearm in the altercation instantly changes the dynamic, and an Officer  narrating the incident brings up some very relevant points when it comes to wielding, or utilizing a firearm in an altercation.  When an individual enters any sort of conflict, if it is stress/fear inducing, they will experience such things as the ‘Adrenaline Dump’ whereby the body’s Fight-or-Flight Mechanism is activated and a rush of adrenaline fills the blood-stream.  Scientific study has clearly demonstrated the effects of the adrenaline dump on the body and reaction times, and highlights the seriousness of issues such as tunnel vision, a decrease in fine motor control, and an elevation in heart rate and blood pressure.  These do not combine to create the best frame of reference to make critical decisions .  Understanding these effects, and training with them, which is truly a difficult thing to achieve, is necessary if you intend to be able to respond properly in highly stressful and dynamic situations.

You can see the Owner attempting to subdue and give directions to the suspect but the presence of the firearm is doing little to motivate.  The Owner is holding the pistol one handed, and his body language is not confident or does not demand compliance.  The suspect is able to close the distance with the Owner, an in fact, is able to attempt to strike the Owner while being underarmed in comparison. The Owner clearly does not have control of the situation while still being the only armed participant.  shoot2

I think this video highlights the need for proper training, not only when dealing with firearms, but any type of conflict.  Had the Owner had more training, or perhaps had policy in place to deal with such things, the event may not have cost one individual their life and left a terrible memory on another’s.

Personally, having the suspect drop the stolen goods, and exit the store would have been satisfactory to me.  Even more so, having the suspect keep the goods and leave the store with the knowledge the it was protected by a firearm, awareness, and a willingness to use it, would have been a better end to this altercation.

My teacher used to tell us just because you can do something, does not mean you should do something.  Because you have a firearm, does not mean you should rush to display or wield it, it may in turn prove to further aggravate a situation and with firearms, there can be lethal consequences.

Had the Owner adopted a more effective two-handed grip, a squared stance, and issued orders in a more commanding voice, the altercation may have had a different conclusion.  Perhaps if a gun had not been drawn and rather the Owner made it known to the thief that he was aware of what was taking place, the conflict may have ended more peacefully.  shoot

I do not suggest we make victims of ourselves, or allow others to perpetrate crimes against us, I rather question the value of some commercial goods, and an individuals life.  This suspect may have been a “POS”, but even so, I would not want their death on my conscience just because he decided to steal a few cartons of cigarettes from my establishment.

If you use a firearm defensively, either concealed or open, I suggest you learn how to use it, and ever more so, when to use it.  While some may fantasize about being the hero and stopping a crime in progress, the reality of those actions rarely fit the fantasy.

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Train Well, Train Consistently.

– Adam

 

 

 

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Dr. Andreas Grabinsky, an Anesthesiologist, takes us through the reality of gun shot wounds from his own medical perspective and experiences.  Some images are graphic, and discretion should be used when viewing.  

This is an excellent presentation for anyone who does not fully understand the effects of high speed projectiles on the human body or anyone interested in utilizing a firearm defensively.  Dr. Grabinsky reveals some startling facts and may present a few that might actually surprise you.  From his experience handguns have proved far less lethal than rifles and Dr. Grabinsky goes into great detail about the effects of different calibers on the anatomy in order to justify his observations.

This presentation does include actual images of gunshot victims as well as medical imagery that may not be suitable for all people.  Pay special attention to Dr. Grabinksy’s slides on the differences in force and speed produced by each caliber.  It may settle the 9mm. vs. .45 ACP debate for you, or open it up for even more contemplation.

 

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The above individual was fortunate to survive such a devastating injury.

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This x-ray showcases the destructive energy of the 5.56 Nato round behaving as it was specifically designed to. The injury was the result of a negligent discharge by an officer who was carrying his rifle in the patrol carry or sling ready position. The projectile entered on the medial side of the knee and exited just above the ankle. 

If we aim to properly train for a violent encounter in which we are moved to use force, whether it is performed with the body, or any type of weapon, we must understand the minimum and maximum effects of our actions.  For example, a straight punch delivered to the nose of an assailant, on the low end is going to cause the eyes to water, pain, and bruising.  On the maximum end, a broken nose, fractured orbital bone, blood loss, and potentially death may result.  Similarly with a firearm, certain ammunition and calibers are going to have different minimum and maximum effects on the body.  It is vital that we fully understand the ramifications of our actions in order to gain a deeper understanding of what it is we are actually training to do, and the effects it has on others.  This will aid in our selection of the techniques that we choose to employ in a given situation or choose to train in order to manage certain situations.  Many victims have survived the initial confrontation, but were not so fortunate with the legal consequences of their actions.

Train Well, Train Consistently.

 – Adam

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