by Steve Davis, President
Guns Save Life
I had a thrilling time at the 2017 Rangemaster Tactical Conference and learning from the top trainers and instructors from all over the country. Hearing presentations from Massad Ayoob, Tom Givens, John Farnham, Andrew Branca, Marty Hayes, and Chuck Haggard yields a gold mine of information which proves useful to both instructors and the everyday person. I highly recommend this training for all good guys and gals.
However, there is a down side to learning the facts from these highly placed sources. When they tell you that things are much worse out in the streets and neighborhoods of this country than the political authorities want you to know, and they give you the figures to back it up, it causes a chill to go down your spine.
We have heard for some time from sources like Second City Cop, Hey Jackass and Chicago Magazine (part 1, part 2, New Tricks) just how the City of Chicago has played fast and loose with crime statistics. The end result makes crime rates, particularly violent crime rates, appear lower than they actually are. The information from the Tactical Conference shows this trend holds in urban centers nationwide.
So, how bad is it? Tom Givens cited Bureau of Justice Statistics because he felt it was the most accurate figure. Over the last few years the BJS reports 5 to 6 million violent crimes per year in the U.S. This includes usually a million or more aggravated assaults per year and close to 250,000 to 300,000 forcible rapes. How many of you have been told that your chance of being the victim of a violent crime is one in a million? Well, according to Givens, on an annual basis, it’s closer to 1 in 50 or 60. You can do the math on a lifetime risk.
Want to hear another statistic that you are not hearing from the government and media? Kevin Davis, one of the top law enforcement trainers in Ohio, reports that ambushes of law enforcement officers are up 167 percent over the last year. Police have generally stopped proactive policing in large urban areas. This “Ferguson Effect” has left criminals to ply their trade, leading to this increase in urban violence. The bad guys have been emboldened while law enforcement activity has been suppressed. Meanwhile, more people fall into the victim category.
What advice do the top instructors and trainers offer in response to these statistics? First, recognize that violent crime can happen to you. It is not a one in a million chance. Second, get your concealed carry permit and good training to go with it. Don’t become a victim. The experts recommend training that pressure tests you and your decision-making under stress.
Good live-action, reality-based force-on-force training tops their recommendations for training. Cops and the military have used this proven training system for years. Today, civilian force-on-force course offerings have become more common, offering the same highly-effective training for everyday Americans.
Finally, carry all the time. Bad guys do not let you choose the time or locations where they attack. You must maintain awareness of your surroundings. The first rule to winning a gun fight is having a gun.
Steve Davis works as a semi-retired attorney and president of Guns Save Life, Inc. He holds Instructor certifications from NRA, USRA and Project Appleseed. Steve loves all things guns and teaches with GSL Defense Training.