"Do Something"

The tragic murders and assaults at Parkland High School in Florida certainly shake our confidence in humanity in many ways. Although those of us who are advocates of what the Second Amendment stands for are often criticized for expressing condolences to the family and friends of the victims, we do, nonetheless, want to send our condolences. I can't imagine what they are going through.

Unfortunately, the emotional reaction many have to these events, are simply that - emotional responses. While I can understand the emotion, we must focus on rational thought. You can see the emotion in responses such as we have to do "something." That emotional plea for "something" is what can cause further harm.

Let's look at a few issues regarding these so called "school shootings." First, I noticed reporting that have exaggerated the number of "school shootings" this year. Any murder in a school is horrible, but let's not equate school shootings with murders in school or even mass murders in schools. I believe Everytown for Gun Safety, supported by Michael Bloomberg with its decidedly anti-freedom and anti-gun stances, is the source for this misinformation. That group defines a school shooting as "any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds." This definition includes a 31-year-old man that killed himself in a school parking lot. At the time of suicide, there were no teachers or students at the school as the school had been closed for 7 months. This also includes a situation that occurred in Indiana in which a school employee arrived at work in the morning, and while attempting to lock his handgun in his car's glove compartment, he unintentionally discharged his gun. It also included another incident in which a 24-year-old entered a beauty college and shot a 29-year-old and 20-year-old, before shooting and killing himself. The perpetrator was reportedly upset after one of the victims refused to date him. For more information see school-shootings.

What does all this mean? Please be skeptical about becoming so frightened that you cave to the emotional plea to do "something." The chances of any particular child being a victim of a "mass murder" in a school are probably less likely than they are to die from a lightning strike. Our children are certainly more likely to die in an auto or bus crash going to or from school. If you want to "do something" - buy and learn to use a tourniquet for that much more real possibility. While any incident involving the death or serious injury to a child is very unfortunate and tragic, we must keep a proper perspective grounded in fact and not react with bad policy and in ways that traumatize our children with fear of a mass casualty event. We do not generally have data at our fingertips to help us make accurate estimates about the likelihood of certain events like mass murders at school. However, we have our memory. Although, I'm certainly no psychologist, I understand that the more often we hear about certain events, the more likely our mind is to conclude that the particular event is likely to occur. I understand psychologists refer to this as availability heuristic. I would encourage you to "Google" this for more information. What is my point? Be on guard to the barrage of news coverage regarding "school shootings" that relentlessly reinforces your memory about the event so you will succumb to the drumbeat of "do something." Essentially, the media is trying to take advantage of the availability heuristic to make an unlikely event seem likely. An article from Psychology Today by Joshua D Foster indicated:

"As this relates to the recent mass murders, it is likely that people will become, at least for a time, more fearful that they or someone they know will be the victims of the next shooting incident. Politicians, whose jobs depend upon being in tune with the concerns of their constituents, and who are likely themselves to overestimate the likelihood of the next mass murderer coming to their towns, will probably introduce heavy-handed policies, . . . While these interventions will likely have little to no effect on future occurrences of mass murder, they will make people feel like something is being done to protect them from the boogeyman that now seems certain to live in their neighborhood." See Mass Murder is Nothing to Fear.

So, take a deep breath, and really reflect before you support the "we have to do something" mantra. If we have to do something, we should probably focus on what we can do to reverse the effects associated with broken families, violence in video games, social media, and the media. But, if you really want to do something that might help, listen to plans like the one advocated by Polk County Florida Sheriff Grady Judd. His official Facebook page indicates he was interviewed by several local media outlets about active assailant threats on a school campus. Sheriff Judd provided information about the Sheriff's Sentinel Program already established at Southeastern University since 2017. The Sentinel program creates special deputies who are selected by the University and screened by PCSO staff, including criminal background checks, drug testing, and a psychological evaluation. The Sentinels are appointed by the Sheriff as volunteer "Special Deputies" for the limited purpose of providing security on Southeastern University's campus during an active assailant incident. Special Deputy Sheriffs in the Sentinel Program are required to successfully complete training with the Polk County Sheriff's Office Training Section prior to his or her appointment, which will consist of 132 hours of comprehensive active assailant, firearm safety, and proficiency training. They are authorized to carry approved firearms concealed on campus. The firearms are specifically purchased and issued for the sole purpose of the Sentinel Program.

I'm not sure I would support all the details of Sheriff Judd's program, but it is certainly a good start. When an active murder situation begins to unfold in a school, we call 911 to get someone who we hope is competent with a gun to the school to stop the threat. Why do we have to wait several extra minutes for someone in an official polyester uniform to arrive with the gun while children are killed. I have never understood why it matters who responds with the gun - as long as the response with the firearm is a highly trained response. I can only imagine how the Parkland incident may have turned out differently if one of the brave coaches that purportedly shielded the students had a gun and was trained. I would also suggest these cowards that go into these "gun free zones" to murder children would pick another venue if they realized there were trained teachers, staff, or administrators prepared to protect the students. It seems obvious these mass murderers cease their attack when confronted with armed opposition. So - if you believe "we must do something"- at least make it rational and avoid the self-deception that purported gun-free zones or an "assault weapons" ban will serve as a solution. Almost all mass killings occur in gun-free zones, and the "assault weapons" ban has already been tried by President Clinton. The ban was entirely ineffective and expired in 2004:

"Since the federal ban expired in September 2004, murder and overall violent-crime rates have actually fallen. In 2003, the last full year before the law expired, the U.S. murder rate was 5.7 per 100,000 people. By 2014, the murder rate had fallen to 4.5 per 100,000 people. In none of the years since the ban ended has the murder rate been higher than it was in 2003. The average murder rate during the 10 years of the ban was 6.7 per 100,000 people and in the 10 years after it was 5.1."

More gun-free zones or "assault weapons" bans might make some people feel better, and the politicians will capitalize on the vulnerability that many people feel to convince voters to vote for them to "do something" at the next election. Acting on this emotion will be for naught. It will result in failed policies, many of which have already been tried, and it will certainly result in a loss of freedom – the freedom that many innocent people exercise to protect themselves and their loved ones. So, once again, let's not act on emotion. Let's act in accordance with reason and take steps similar to those offered by Sheriff Judd. 

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Can You Carry at Church, or Is Your Church Considered a School for the Purpose of Concealed Carry?

Most of us who possess a license to carry a handgun in the State of Indiana understand that, to a very large extent, we are prohibited from having a firearm in or on school property. This includes, but is not limited to, school buildings, school buses and school parking lots. We do have a statute that allows the carrying of firearms by persons permitted to possess firearms who are transporting a person to or from school or to a school function as long as the possession is limited to possessing the firearm in a motor vehicle, and/ or storing the firearm on school property if locked securely and out of sight. There are exceptions for law enforcement officers, school resource officers, and for situations in which the school board has authorized individuals to posses a firearm on school property. It is safe to say that possession of a firearm, even by someone licensed to carry a handgun, is extremely restrictive on school property. 

With particular interest is what the meaning of "school property" is when examining various institutions and organizations. Under Indiana statute (I.C. 35-31.5-2-285) school property means the following:

(1) A building or other structure owned or rented by:
(A) a school corporation;
(B) an entity that is required to be licensed under IC 12-17.2or IC 31-27;
(C) a private school that is not supported and maintained by funds realized from the imposition of a tax on property, income, or sales; or
(D) a federal, state, local, or nonprofit program or service operated to serve, assist, or otherwise benefit children who are at least three (3) years of age and not yet enrolled in kindergarten, including the following:
(i) A Head Start program under 42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.
(ii) A special education preschool program.
(iii) A developmental child care program for preschool children.
(2) The grounds adjacent to and owned or rented in common with a building or other structure described in subdivision (1). As added by P.L.114-2012, SEC.67.

Why is this definition of interest for the person that has a license to carry a handgun if he or she seldom travels to what is conventional known as a "school?" The answer to that is you may be going to a "school" and you don't realize it when you go to church on Sunday morning - or at any other time. Although there are generally no restrictions regarding carrying a firearm to church in Indiana, unless the particular church prohibits the carrying of a firearm, the church where you attend worship services could be considered "school property." It is certainly possible that a church could be classified as a school under the preceding statute, and you are committing a class 6 felony. This can be the case if a school is being operated on church property and the operation of the school is one that has to be licensed under Indiana statute. The bottom line - you have to be very careful when attending church services as you could, in fact, be violating our statutes and committing a class 6 felony if your church could be classified as "school property." 

There is good news with regard to this issue. We understand that Jack E. Sandlin, who is a Senator in the Indiana legislator, has filed or intends to file a bill that clarifies our statute regarding firearms on church property. A press release issued by Senator Sandlin provides as follows:

PRESS RELEASE: Sen. Sandlin Files Church Protection Bill
STATEHOUSE (Dec. 13, 2017) – State Sen. Jack E. Sandlin (R-Indianapolis) recently filed a bill that would clarify the state code regarding firearms on church property.
Senate Bill 33 would exempt a person from prosecution if, while attending a worship service, they are legally possessing a firearm on church property that also has a school on the property. The bill would also exempt employees or volunteers at the house of worship if they are carrying out their official duties.
Under current law, unauthorized possession of a firearm on school property is a Level 6 felony. This bill would clarify when a person may carry a firearm to a house of worship where a school is part of the church.
"Many law-abiding gun owners drive to church with their firearm in their car or on their person, never intending to commit a felony," Sandlin said. "Under current law, it's a felony to do that if there's also a school on the property. This bill would exempt those people from prosecution and clarify our state code for church properties."
The Department of Homeland Security has increasingly issued notices to houses of worship that they may be targets. This bill will provide houses of worship additional options that may help secure their facilities.
The legislative session begins Wednesday, Jan. 3.

Matt Werner, Press Secretary
Senate Majority Communications Office
200 W. Washington Street|Room 126, Statehouse
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-9539
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jack E. Sandlin MBA CFE CFS CLEO
Sandlin Private Investigators
Indianapolis, Indiana

We encourage you to contact your State Senator or Representative by telephone and/or by email to encourage passage of the legislation proposed by State Senator Sandlin. You can find contact information for your state senator or representative at the following link: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

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Tiger McKee Discusses Administrative Manipulations

It is important to have simple and consistent techniques for manipulating your firearm. Tiger McKee provides some useful tips to keep in mind for “administrative manipulations.”


Skill Set: Administrative Manipulations for the Semi-Auto : The Tactical Wire

Last week we discussed the basics of manipulating the semi-auto pistol. Now, we're going to launch into the details, starting with the Administrative manipulations. This category includes loading, unloading or verifying the status of the pistol - is it loaded or unloaded.

The Admin manipulations are performed in a "Low-Ready" position. The hands, arms and pistol are extended out in front of the body with the muzzle pointing in a downward position. This keeps the pistol pointing in a safe direction. The Admin actions always start with the magazine and end by checking the chamber.

With these actions, and almost everything else, it's the small details that make a big difference. Consistency is the key; all your manipulations are done the same way every time, which ensures efficiency and safety.

For example, every time you pick up a magazine it should be positioned in your hand with the first finger running up the front of the mag and actually touching the top round. This tells you the mag is loaded, and the top round isn't sticking partially out of the mag, which prevents it from being inserted into the pistol. The thumb and fingers are down low on the mag with the base-pad or bottom of the magazine in contact with the heel of the hand.

Loading starts by "indexing" the mag. You bring the mag up at an angle – top of the mag tilting forward - and index the back of the magazine with the back of the magwell. This is a positive index that's easy to feel, as opposed to trying to stick it straight in. After hitting this index you align the mag with the magwell and start pushing it in. At this point you open up the thumb and fingers, seating the mag aggressively using the heel of the hand.

When you're manipulating the firearm use aggressive actions, applying more force than should be necessary to ensure positive results. Then if you're a little distracted by the guy that's trying to kill you and you use less force than you normally do it, will still be enough to get the job done.

Perform these actions with head and eyes up, learning how to manipulate the pistol without having to see it. This is especially important when involved in a confrontation. There are more important things to look at than your weapon. If it's dark you won't be able to see it anyway. The only time you should need to look at it is when visually checking the chamber.

Next, chamber a round by cycling the slide. We teach using a "C" clamp grip on the slide, clamping it between the heel of the hand and the fingers. (This is where all your gripping strength is.) Make sure your fingers or hand are not blocking or covering the ejection port, which obviously will cause problems. Cycle the slide one time, again aggressively.

You've gone through all the actions to load, but the last step of all Admin actions is checking the chamber. This can be a visual check – pulling the slide slightly back to see the round – or a physical check – pull the slide rearward and use a finger to physically feel for the round. Checking the chamber is cheap insurance. Now you know when you press the trigger it will go "bang."

Unloading starts with the magazine. Remove it and place it in the pinky finger of the firing hand, clamping it against the bottom of the pistol grip for more retention. (You keep the mag at hand for reasons that will be clear when we discuss Functional manipulations.) Cycle the slide three times. Three is the magic number, for anything except loading. Sometimes once won't get it done, and again you'll see these same actions for malfunctions.

Unloading ends by checking the chamber. Visually check it. You cycled the slide three times, but if your extractor is having a problem there could still be a round in the chamber.

Verifying the status of the pistol – is it loaded or unloaded – starts with the mag and ends by checking the chamber. To confirm the pistol is unloaded stick your fingers of the support hand into the magwell. This gives you a physical confirmation that regardless of what type pistol it is there's no mag in it. Cycle the slide three times. You end by visually checking the chamber for clear.

To confirm the weapon is loaded remove the magazine. Make sure it's loaded, then insert and seat it in the pistol. Check the chamber to confirm it's loaded.

Knowing how to manipulate your pistol starts with learning how to load and unload. The key is consistency, manipulating the weapon the same way every time regardless of the circumstances. This ensures safety and efficiency. At the same time you're developing one set of skills that will apply to all your manipulations, which we'll be discussing next. In the mean time practice the loading and unloading skills. You'll be surprised at how much you can learn by spending quality time with your firearm.

Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns" - http://shootrite.org/book/book.html writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk's DVD, "Fighting With The 1911 - http://shootrite.org/dvd/dvd.html McKee's new book, AR-15 Skills and Drills, is available off Shootrite's website: http://shootrite.org/AR15SkillsBook/AR15SkillsBook.html


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Blogging for O2 Gun Group

Check out what is new with O2 Gun Training!

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