“You’re a police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call. Go!” Oh great. I’m a cop. I am so not a cop. I don’t think like a cop. I don’t know cop rules. And yet there I was in my noggin’, neck and nuts protective gear, pretending to be an LEO in the most dangerous situation that the Boys in Blue face on a regular basis. Simunition training. What are you gonna do? I’ll tell you what I did: knocked on the door. After a “What the f do you want?” reply, I asked permission to enter, opened the door (from a squatting position) and shot the dog. JK. I entered the room and saw a man standing at the far end with a gun to his head . . .
I went to total cover, OK concealment, behind a counter. I tried to reason with the loon. “You have other options,” I shouted. He sure did. The bastard shot my arm and torso. With a revolver. Three times. And holy s did it hurt. I still have the welts.
Sometimes the more painful the lesson the more important it is.
In this case, I learned two extremely important lessons. First, don’t EVER lose sight of the threat. That was really dumb. Second, don’t enter a room unless you have to. I could have—should have—used the doorway for concealment. I would have maintained distance and had a much better chance of not getting shot.
“Our natural instinct is to move towards the target,” Jeff Peltier said, not even slightly soothing my wounded ego or bleeding appendage. “Don’t over-penetrate a room. You eliminate options and put yourself in harm’s way.”
The video above illustrates the point—only not really. As Jeff pointed out, all bets are off in a hostage situation . You may have to go in all guns blazing. Setting aside the shooter’s violation of boarding house rules—everyone gets firsts before anyone gets seconds—the competitor was doing what a competitor’s gotta do.
Otherwise, you don’t have to go in hot and deep (so to speak) into a danger zone. I sure as hell wouldn’t have gone into that mock house in my Simunition drill if I hadn’t been deputized. Enter a room with a suicidal maniac? Are you kidding? Enter three rooms with shooters and hostages (as above)? That’s meshugah.
Still, point taken: don’t rush in where angels (and SWAT teams) fear to tread. When my turn came to design a scenario, I created a confrontation to reality check the anti-penetration warning for armed civilians.
I had the bad guy lie down in the floor of the mock house. I told him to say nothing and remain motionless. After about twenty seconds, he was to sit up and shoot the good guy. I told the good guy that his daughter was in the back bedroom. Go.
The good guy went into the room and tried to figure out what was going on. The bad guy sat still for a bit, sat up and shot him. The good guy should have “pied” the room from the doorway for multiple threats (if nothing else), maintained concealment and dealt with it from there. If he needed to go in, he should have done so quickly and moved strategically.
I’m setting up a Simuntions training date at American Firearms School for mid-July. If you’d like to participate, ping firstname.lastname@example.org with the word SIMUNITION in the subject bar. There are only twenty places; five are gone. Meanwhile, remember that distance equals time; time is your friend. Over-penetrate a room and you could be out of time before you know it.