Today Parker & I had a close CCW call. We spent the past couple of hours at the range we use for classes, shooting our rifles & conducting stress drills. Running with sandbags, doing squats, burpees and sprints then shooting our rifles with malfunctions set in them from varying stances.
Good stressful training. I thought the stress would end there. In fact as we left I had let the thoughts of future courses & the day ahead fill my mind.
We pack our gear up and as we are leaving I ask Parker to lock up the gate & return the key to the security office so I can get home to the family a little sooner.
We exit the cave and I hang a right to head towards 23rd street & home. Where I observe a white male in his 40’s hanging out in the bushes next to the entrance to the cave.
He is trying to sneak peeks into the cave, trying to peer into the 'windows' of the walls of the cave. I initially brush it off but instead go with my gut that he is up to no good and immediately throw the car into reverse to watch Parker's back.
Parker at this time is facing the gate with his back to the guy totally unaware of his presence.
I’m sitting in my trailblazer keeping an eye on him while Parker finishes securing the gate.
RED FLAG SIGNS:
This guy had no vehicle anywhere to be found around there. He clearly walked a long distance to get there. He was shuffling back and forth in erratic, nonsensical fashion. He was also sweating profusely.
Parker tries to holler at me to say good bye or something, when I notice this guy pick up a rock.
I immediately step out and in a firm tone ask him what he is doing there.
From there it is off to the circus.
Guy- “YES I’M SUPPOSED TO BE HERE”
Guy- “THERE’S NO FUCKING LIGHTS IN THERE!!! NO FUCKING LIGHTS IN THERE!!!!”
I say internally to myself “Oh boy another drugged out psycho”
Me- “You need to back away and leave the area.”
He starts to back track toward the intersection of Television Place & 23rd st and yells more gibberish:
Guy- “ THERE’S GRAVESTONES THERE WITH SKULLS PAINTED ON THEM!!!”
Guy- “THE GRAVESTONES!!!”
He finally makes it to the intersection as Parker and I retreat in our vehicles, myself on the phone with 911.
That call went out at 11:46 am per my phone record.
This guy, mind you is standing at the only exit in the area. We can’t leave. He will definitely start a fight if we drive down next to him to leave.
He yells to other drivers and makes gestures towards us pumping an imaginary shotgun and holding an imaginary pistol to his head, squeezing an imaginary trigger.
I instruct Parker to begin to film in case he makes a charge towards us or fights the officers.
At 11:54 am is when we notice him throwing the rocks at cars and I call 911 again hoping to expedite their arrival.
He picks up another rock and gestures that he is going to throw it in our direction, 150 meters away.
At 11:56 am KCMO PD finally arrives and talks to the guy. They set him down and a 3rd officer makes contact with us.
We declare our conceal carry permit status and talk with the officer. The officer from KCMO was very polite and professional and said the guy was clearly on something and said we were good to leave the area. (I also notified dispatch of our CCP status while making the calls.)
In my rush to get to the range this morning I left my wallet at home with my driver’s license & CCP, luckily the officers knew immediately we were not the threat and asked for neither. (I will be making a concerted effort to make sure that doesn't happen again.)
We leave without major incident with hopefully another drugged out pyscho off the street.
Parker just on this past Saturday saw another man in this crazed state at the McDonalds on 24 hwy and Forest in Sugar Creek. The guy was raging out in the street, yelling at traffic trying to pick a fight.
The problem is real people!
We waited 10 minutes for the police to arrive. 10 MINUTES!!
You cannot rely on others for your personal safety. Luckily in this case we had each other to watch each others 6.
If he charged at us we would have had no choice but to defend ourselves. He was blocking the only exit from the area.
Why don’t you have your CCP yet? Why aren't you carrying everywhere!?!
I’m convinced he wanted inside that cave for some crazy reason. What if he had wandered up to us while we were shooting and attacked us? Or waited to ambush us as we packed up our equipment?
I’m convinced if I’d left Parker there he would have ambushed Parker with that rock he held in his hand.
Stop being complacent! Stop being naive.
One day, one of these drugged out demons will try to hurt you or your family.
I’m at a loss that this is the new normal for our city.
S&S Training Solutions
While visiting a local Wal-Mart today to pick up just a few items I find myself in the electronics isle securing printer ink for my printer, I notice a African-American male, early to mid 30's with a gold tooth take a decided interest in me. I recognizing it as being weird back out of the isle and move towards the pet section.
He decides to follow.
He approaches with his hands by his side in an aggressive stance. His eye'e are extremely bloodshot and he mumbles:
"I know you , I was a Marine." (Referring to himself being a Marine & inferring I was)
He moves in close to my comfort line of stranger proximity.
I say to him:
"Excuse me?" he then replies:
"I know you, your a DICK & I am a Marine".
To which I reply:
" I don't know who the fuck you are and you need to back the fuck away."
He moves in closer & I raise my left arm and point into the direct he should be fucking off in and move my right hand close to my side to prepare to draw. I simultaneously begin to back pedal out of the isle trying to get distance.
He then retorts:
"See I told you, you were a dick." "Don't play you were following me." He says.
I retreat further, and I command even louder:
"GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME." "I haven't been following you, I've been shopping, you followed me here."
Working as an EMT sometimes put's me in the position of treating criminals while they are in jail. They constantly try to keep your attention with nonsensical ramblings & questions. Me knowing this & recognizing this same behavior in this guy I decide that I have to deny him of that and get away as quick as possible because he clearly wants this to escalate.
Thoughts are rushing through my head at this time, back out, retreat, don't draw if you don't have to, I'm not here to kill someone today. At the same time I am noticing that despite my loud tone & large hand gestures all the other shoppers in the area were totally oblivious to the incident happening.
Feeling alone- When I was in firefights in Baghdad, Iraq. I knew I had back up. I knew I had my brothers I could rely on to help.
Here in the sheeples company store you have no one. Police are 3-5 minutes away and this guy is here now causing problems.
He begins to back away after my latest command and I make a B line for the other end of the store.
I track down a employee on the other side of the store and alert them to the problem. They notify security and I wait in line waiting to check out.
I constantly scan for this paranoid, probably drug induced haze, mad man. The employee I alerted about the issue returns and said that their security was handling the issue.
I notice all the other shoppers are still milling around like zombies oblivious this event has even occurred & the possible danger this guy was.
As I am leaving the parking lot I observe 3 police cruisers approaching the area with lights & sirens on. Guessing security had some kind of trouble with this guy.
Moments like this make me relieved I carry. Even more relieved I train often.
This guy was nuts. Paranoid and most likely on some kind of mind altering substance judging by the extremely bloodshot eyes. He may have been a Marine and maybe some Marine dickhead who looked like me had him confused with me. He seemed ready to get vengeance on who ever he had mistaken identity with me.
Carry everywhere! Even if you are just popping in to a store to grab a couple of items. Threats can come at anytime, even around noon on a Friday.
Look for tell tell signs of a threat: This guy took an immediate extra interest in me & followed me. He had no shopping cart and no merchandise in his hands. He was clearly mind altered and not there to shop.
Retreat & disengage: Just because you are carrying doesn't mean you have to present & shoot when you first feel threatened. However, this is the closest I have came to drawing.
It was the nat's ass razor edge away from me having to defend myself, I truly believe this.
By retreating, disengaging & reporting the threat I avoided being personally involved with what transpired after my departure.
I am not a cop. It is not my job to personally stop and detain this guy.
However if he had made direct verbal threats to myself, attacked myself or any other person, then it would be a citizens responsibility to intervene to protect life and prevent bodily harm.
Since I've began carrying this is the 3rd random encounter I've considered to be a threat to myself. It was certainly the most threatened I've felt & the closest I've came to clearing holster.
Hope this provides some lessons for you other concealed carriers & hopefully gets some non-carriers off the fence about carrying everyday, everywhere.
Because only you can defend yourself at all times.
S&S Training Solutions, LLC
I signed up for S & S Training Solutions Care Under Fire Course because I teach a lot of firearms classes to some very novice students and I wanted to be better prepared in case I should ever have to deal with a gunshot wound. I had taken training with the Red Cross and my local ambulance district, but I was looking for something more in-depth, dealing specifically with trauma.
The class was primarily taught by Cole Sammons a combat infantryman and Kyle Wright a combat medic. While both of these men knew their material and had plenty of battlefield experience to back to boot, what I appreciated most was their gift as teachers. Although the students came from a variety of back grounds ranging from EMTs to guys with no experience, no matter what level of skill or knowledge a particular student had they were always seeking to bring him up to the next level.
As the Course name "Care Under-Fire" would indicate this class focused on the kind of care an infantryman might need to administer on the actual battlefield. That being said I should point out what this class is not. You won't be learning to set up a MASH unit and do direct blood transfusions, suture wounds or re-inflate collapsed lungs. This class focused on stabilizing the casualty and getting him either back into the fight or to a place where he could be safely evacuated. If you are interested in the higher level grid down "ditch medicine", I recommend you take this class first, once you see the level of manpower required in just the initial treatment and evacuation of a critically wounded person, you may rethink your grid down hospital fantasy.
The class was mostly hands on and used the crawl, walk, run teaching method. First we had a brief classroom session followed by hands on practice of the various techniques and procedures. Then we quickly moved to the obstacle course. A common fault of firearms/survival instructors is that they often water down the physical aspect of their subject matter. I am happy to say that is not the case at S&S we had to sprint in full kit 100 yards carrying two 5 gallon jugs of water, then low crawl 20 yards to our first casualty, while the op-for fired blanks and threw smoke grenades at us. There we had to assess the situation, rally any comrades who could still fight and neutralize the op-for, only after we had stopped the incoming fire and established security could we begin moving and treating the wounded.
So why the blanks, obstacles and pyro? Simple, it all creates stress, it is relatively easy to sit in a class room and apply a tourniquet without all the smoke, noise and confusion. Remember a human being can bleed to death in as little as 3 minutes; you want to be able to do this under any circumstances without fumbling. Which brings to mind another point, these guys are combat experienced, and some of what they teach is the exact opposite of what you will learn in the world of civilian first aid. Not saying one is right and the other wrong, it all depends on the situation.
After the obstacle course we moved on to fire team and squad sized operations. If you come to an S&S class be prepared to do infantry stuff. The emphasis of this class was medical, but we still got in some patrolling and reaction to ambush. Again this may seem out of place until you think about it, no one schedules an emergency, they happen when you are trying to get other things done, again more stress.
This doesn't even begin to cover the things we learned in this class, but I hope to give an idea what it was like to anyone who might be interested, be warned it's all about problem solving. Cole likes to throw you surprises and see how you deal with it. He even tossed in a couple moral and ethical dilemmas.
If you spend time around firearms and knives, or just like infantry stuff, I highly recommend this class. You will learn how to treat trauma wounds and what supplies you need to do it.
People often wonder why S & S incorporates a mix of live fire, blank fire & airsoft into our training curriculum. Our training triad if you will.
The answer is simple. We are working to build well rounded warriors. We don’t want to pump out just gunfighters. We don’t want to just run tactical battle drills. We don’t want to build airsoft CQB teams or pretend medical heroes. We acknowledge that no training medium is perfect. One by itself will not yield the most prepared individual for an armed encounter.
To build & train warriors we incorporate training with these 3 mediums to help paint a fuller picture of a person’s tactical training needs and through that, foster confidence through personal competence in individual skills & small team leadership abilities.
Let’s break down the pros & cons of the training tools we use to help tie together the reality of armed engagements.
Live fire training is great. Students get to put real rounds down range with real manipulation of their own weapon. But you’re limited to square ranges where the enemy is normally static and offers no resistance. This is great if that is how the enemy reacts in the real world but more often than not that just isn't the case.
I can assure you from my time deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in 2007 at the height of the surge that the battlefield is a fluid and fast paced environment where the enemy doesn't stay in one place long nor stand out in the open waiting for you to pump round after round into him. After all they usually want to go home at the end of the day as well & not get laid to waste by superior fire power & tactics.
So we have to incorporate not only moving targets but an opposing force that can think & react to your movements & actions!
It is also important to note that S & S utilizes primitive ranges for most of our live fire training. It is important to get out of our comfort zones and into the dirt & elements. It is a reality check for some who may be getting dirt on their rifle and gear for the first time. This is important. Because if and when you find yourself in a firefight your gear, rifle and you will get dirty. If you're not having to clean your gear somewhat regularly you aren't training enough or hard enough.
Blank fire training allows us to safely patrol against a human Opfor that attempts to flank, sneak, ambush & generally wreak havoc to patrol leaders well thought out battle plans. It also allows for battle field noise & manipulation of your real steel weapon & ammunition supply management skills.
However without the use of expensive MILES gear there is no penalty for being exposed too long or being 'hit' by well-placed blank fire rounds.
Granted if your team is initiated on by the Opfor it is usually safe to say you lost the engagement and took casualties. But the rounds on target feedback is lacking. People will take chances they simply couldn’t take on the two way range but will do when using blank fire as a training tool.
So we generally use this for basic skills lanes training with individual/team battle drills & 24 hour FTXs to work in the feel of being in a hostile environment. It is something that can't be replicated safely with live fire & for which the scale is simply too large for the range of airsoft platforms. Plus who wants to wear an airsoft mask for 24hrs!
Aside from the military only One Shepherd currently fields the MILES system & a fine job they do of it. However their training cycles are a week long (they can be split into to 2 or 3 day commitments) and offered just twice a year. Only one of which new comers can attend the entry point of the program.
The cost of 1 Shepherd, time off away from work needed for many to attend prohibits some from training routinely on such battle drills & skills. Even though the cost is extremely fair when considering the outstanding content and amenities provided, some simply cannot afford it routinely enough to maintain and grow such skills. With that being said, go train with them at some point! You won’t regret it & neither do we!
Lastly we use airsoft. We have built two courses with airsoft as our training tool. One of our most popular being a Post-CCW course that thrusts you into robberies, car jacking’s & active shooter scenarios.
This allows for great feedback of the plastic rounds on target with using airsoft weapons. However the equipment is somewhat unreliable & not usually realistic in regards to sounds, weight & feel. You will however catch yourself jumping off line of an attack & seeking cover so you don’t get the ‘pain penalty’ of the airsoft rounds.
We also use airsoft as our medium to train in our CQB 1 course. We found it as a good start for someone just learning how to enter & clear rooms for the first time before proceeding onto more stressful blank or live fire training in the CQB environment. It’s a building block, a means to an end.
A lot of companies simply train only live fire or only sprinkle in force on force activities. We want to tie in the best of all the different available training mediums to create a more prepared warrior.
If someone is too heavily into live fire training they will neglect their tactical skills. Too much blank fire & they will neglect basic marksmanship skills. Too much airsoft & the lack of battle field noise and you may not train your senses properly to react to those extra sensory stresses if and when you are in a gun fight.
Training regimens should be like a healthy diet. Well balanced & should include a physical training program. Whatever your training regimen is, make sure you approach it with a open mind & based in reality. Don't base it on a perfect world with every aspect of the critical incident stacked in your favor. More often than not you will find yourself out numbered & possibly out gunned. Have more than one tool in your tool box for problems. Including more than one style of training.
"Stay Alert, Stay Ready"
S&S Training Solutions, LLC
The holster market today is absolutely flooded with options for your carry weapon. Leather, nylon, kydex, IWB, OWB, Bellyband and too many more to name.
It can quickly become dizzying for the new CCW holder shopping for a holster to find one that works for you.
So far I have found that 'one holster' usually isn't the answer. Several holsters for you carry weapon may be needed to fit your specific carry mission for the day. Should that be to simply conceal your carry weapon comfortably and inconspicuously or to secure your pistol on a belt for outside wear at the range. Whatever your purpose may be we have found a great kydex holster provider with On Your 6 Designs out of San Antonio, Texas.
Although being many states away, the staff at On Your 6 bent over backwards to outfit the S & S Training Solutions staff with pistol and magazine holsters for IWB and OWB applications. This included making two custom OWB with TLR-3 Streamlight compatibility holsters while they were moving into to a new facility.
The holsters are not only topnotch but are incredibly affordable compared to other 'big name' kydex providers on the market.
When I holster my Glock the locking tension is smooth until it is fully engaged and secure.
The only comparison and can make is that the retention on these holsters is as secure as a boot in mud until you draw. Once you draw the weapon it is equally as smooth on the exit getting you up in your work space and on target quickly without having to 'rip' the pistol out of the holster.
The double magazine pouches fit so snugly to my waistline that I not only wear them on the range but I also run them under a garment for when I carry concealed.
Having the confidence of two extra magazines concealed on my waistline for the day if something happens that requires more than 1 magazine is a giant plus.
Other magazine holsters stick out too far and running extra magazines in the rear pocket snarls reload times, prints heavily and flat out sucks to sit on while driving
or working for extended periods of time.
These magazine holsters too, have just the right amount of retention.
In short, the product and customer service quality of On Your 6 Designs is top notch.
The affordability, ruggedness, retention and quality of the holsters are all reason enough for a CCW holder or range rat on the holster fence to get into a holster set-up with On Your 6 Designs.
So far they are the Kydex Holster of choice of S & S Training Solutions.
You won't regret the decision and let them know S & S Training Solutions sent you!
Blogs and Product reviews from the staff of S & S Training Solutions!