- February 17, 2020
Written by Darren L. Epstein, all rights reserved. Copyright © 2020 / (DO NOT COPY)
As a United States Air Force Security Specialist and Gulf War Veteran, I was trained in ABGD (Airbase Ground Defense), Priority-A Resource Security, Anti-terrorism, EST (Emergency Service Team) procedures, as well as conducting clandestine operations overseas for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI). During this time, I’ve fired and qualified with many weapons… (M16 expert Marksman, M60 Gunner School, M203 Grenade Launcher, Grenades, and even the iconic M72 Law-Rocket and the M18 Claymore). FACT: The Claymore shakes the earth, and the Law-Rocket… it’s just pure awesome!
30 rules to live by…
- A weapon is a tool. A weapon does not kill, people do. Good people protect others!
- Your weapon may save your life, protect a child, or save someone in need of help.
- Always shoot center mass, never attempt to hit an arm or leg.
- Always focus on your front sight and slow your breathing… or your shot will be off.
- If you see the bullet hit the target when firing, you weren’t concentrating on your front site.
- If firing a rifle, the butt of the weapon should be pulled tightly into the shoulder with your cheek draped snugly against the buttstock.
- Your index finger ONLY enters the trigger guard when ready to fire your weapon; use the tip of your finger only.
- Your weapon should scare you as it discharges, proving you weren’t anticipating the fire.
- Don’t use your weapon to stop a theft. Deadly force is used to protect lives.
- Respect the weapon… and it will always respect you.
- Never accept a gun cocked; confirm unloaded by looking up through the chamber/barrel for brass. Never down the barrel the wrong way.
- Never use your weapon to scare or shoot in the air.
- Before using deadly force, make sure you can weigh Capability, Opportunity, and Intent. Explained in more detail below…
- Only remove your weapon to use it.
- You are responsible for every bullet, know what’s behind the target you’re engaging.
- Weapons knowledge and range training is essential; don’t carry if you don’t practice.
- Never think, if you think you’re dead. Always react to dangerous situations. Why training is so important.
- If looking for an enemy in the woods or jungle, always look for straight edges…nothing in nature has a straight edge. A straight edge could be a shoe, a weapon, clothing…etc.
- If searching woods or an urban environment for an adversary, be thorough and never let them get behind you.
- If injured, NEVER give up, mindset is everything.
- Keep the weapon clean, loaded, on safety, and ready to use at all times.
- Clean the weapon after firing and once again within 72-hours. The pores of the metal breathe, so after firing the pores will excrete additional debris. KEEP GUN OILED!
- Weapon parts are known as the nomenclature of a weapon.
- A bullet spins down the barrel due to grooves within the barrel known as riflings, and the casing (gun powder) is ejected.
- Full-Metal-Jacket refers to the tip of the bullet, whereas a Hollow-Point bullet has a hole at the tip. This hole allows the bullet to fold in on itself, making a larger hole on impact.
- Full-Metal-Jacket rounds will go through metal, whereas Hollow-Points are softer. In my magazines, I like to alternate rounds… Full-Metal-Jacket then Hollow-Point and so on.
- Your weapon is an extension of your hand, it’s part of you once picked up. Drawing your weapon should be done in one fluid movement. Practice in the mirror.
- Never carry your weapon concealed in the center of your back, if you fall you can cripple yourself. Have the concealed weapon towards the backside of your hip.
- When transporting weapons, always have a loaded gun to protect the theft of the other weapons.
- When carrying a firearm, point the barrel towards the ground. In the military we sling our rifles over our shoulders, but frequently we turn the weapon upside down pointing the barrel towards the ground. We do this to protect the barrel from debris (rain, sand, dust, etc.). A clean weapon is an accurate non-jamming weapon.
Capability, Opportunity, and Intent
If you have all of the capabilities above, then you can… and should use deadly force.
- If a person comes up to you and tells you they want to kill you, yet has no weapon, they only have Intent, for they said it. There is no Capability or Opportunity. You could argue “Opportunity”, and even Capability pending certain circumstances, BUT…in normal situations you do not have authority to use Deadly-Force.
- If a person has a gun in his paints and shows it to you, stands next to you, and is telling you he wants to kill you… he may appear to have Capability, Opportunity and Intent. However, the Capability and Opportunity is now present… but the actual Intent has changed, it can easily be considered “just words”. If the adversary isn’t pointing the weapon at you or making jesters of reaching for his/her weapon the intent isn’t there. Tricky, however if the gun is holstered or within his pants, the true intent isn’t present.
- If a weapon is pointed at you, or starting to be pointed, or a person is clearly showing a jester giving you full blown… Capability, Opportunity, and Intent… (or if harming another person)… you have the right to use deadly force and should.
It’s a fine line, however that is why you are taught to use these abilities to make sound judgment calls. It will help you making life weighing decisions within split seconds. If you do not have all three, DO NOT USE DEADLY FORCE! It’s always best trying to talk the person down or removing yourself from the situation.