Previous Post
Next Post

Yesterday Nick was interviewed by The Texas Standard about TTAG’s Charlie Hebdo simulation and some of the responses that it has generated. For those concerned about the impetus behind the simulation, the results, or the reaction from the gun control crowd, its worth a listen. [via The Texas Standard]

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. T-TAG? Ive been saying T T A G


    Good interview. Its interesting to see a lot of pro gunners assume this scenario and its results were cooked up by anti gunners.

  2. I don’t think your readers wanted it to be a propaganda piece but I know, I for one would have liked to to see you guys add more defenders both trained and untrained to see what the tipping point would have been. Would my family/work be safer from an attack like this with 2 guns, 3 guns, or would it change little? I am not wanting it for propaganda I am wanting the data. Just like with practicing medicine you don’t give a medication and say good luck. You give it and sees how it does and if more is needed you do that to see if that hurts or helps.

    Overall I think that the test was good. The interview was good. The reporting of it was good but to reach great then pushing the minimum is required.

    • I’m on the same page, it would have been awesome to see at what point would it have been a fair fight. Or if it ever could have been a fair fight.

      • I would have liked to learn that also. As with all scenarios, re-enactments, that is a piece of information that can inform us all how to better prepare.

        Good interview Nick! One life, one life saved, one life, is worth it. I believe the data will come back that at least one life would be saved. If one lady who is shooting defensively, is able to “buy” enough time to allow all those in the office to escape from harm, that is an extraordinary and unexpected result. And that is much more than one life.

      • The Islamists had full auto weapons. Most civilians can’t carry that way. Still, as the man said, if one life was saved ( and maybe a hatemonger Jihadist taken down) the world would be a bit better. But all this is hard to say the Monday after. The broader issue is that unfortunately armed Jihadists with the will to murder innocents have the upper hand, as Ft Hood, Orlando, France and elsewhere show. The problem of how to stop the lone wolf Jihadist is question none of us can answer. I suspect we’d all best be vigilant for the long haul.

    • Nick indicated that they were intending to hold more simulation similar in nature to this when he had to let the half dozen plus volunteers go for the night who hadn’t had a chance to participate. This scenario was very telling, but limited in time. The owners at Patriot Protection were very supportive of further testing as well.

      There’ll be more simulations, and they’ll have a chance to expand the parameters to test other theories.

  3. Great interview but, I do have a quibble with the content. It is one thing to know you are under threat and it is another to be ready to meet it 100% of the time. Stuff happens and you get surprised. I am a little less optimistic about the probability of even the minimal criteria for success being met very often in this kind of scenario. Trained terrorists are a lot closer to being Rambo than a crazy school shooter.

  4. Congrats on your promotion to editor, Nick..

    Did RF abdicate peacefully or do have him pumped full of drugs in a motel somewhere?


      • Ah! OK…

        But that kills the mental image I had of RF in a motel room with drool running down his chin…


        Yeah, I have a twisted sense of humor…

        Edit: If there’s an open bar at the SHOT Show it could happen…

  5. “We’ve even had some criticism from our own readership…” – Nick

    Guilty as charged! Sorry about that. Now I have an understanding about the “even an untrained shooter” meme. I would assume the idea being that any responsible good guy with a gun would be a potential benefit in such a scenario as CH, Sandy Hook, Aurora, etc. Therefore, our restrictive gun laws put good guys at a disadvantage in Gun Free Zones, offices, and countries.

    However, I would have been totally happy with 2-3 armed defenders, even if Nick would have considered that “propaganda.”

    My favorite part: an armed defender is worth it “even if it only saves one life.”

    • I haven’t been bitching for us to make our own propaganda but that rather that we don’t hand over a bunch of material that can be used in propaganda against us.

      Regardless, I think he did a good in containing the hemorrhage.

  6. Nice job on the interview Nick. You positioned your results and didnt try to deflect on criticism, implied or otherwise, and admitted to the limitations of the test, as the first of more to come, for data.

    One thing that distinguishes TTAG, IMHO, is that you don’t pull punches or spin your original work, product reviews, commentary, and news. And if you get criticism you meet it up front, and if a revision to a fact is needed, you do so fast.

    Thats pretty rare in the blogosphere, and even more rare in the mainstream media.

    Note that reaching the middle, curious, and open-minded readers is where TTAG makes money, vs more traditional, narrowly focused gun sites. I like how Texas Standard introduced TTAG as “the influential gun blog”.

    If a side objective of TTAG is to educate, non-POTG on the culture, including 2A rights, then you have to attract eyeballs from that diverse middle ground who are becoming gun-interested and looking, and also, to reach out to the open minded in the ‘progressive’ segment, who may never be gun-interested but are willing to consider culture, law, and issues that are beyond just the weapon itself, to break thru their misconceptions.

    I was curious about the “NPR accent” of the interviewer. Given Texas Standard’s NPR-roots, I was very surprised to get an actual interview, not a slime job, like Frontlines most recent effort.
    There may be hope for Austin, after all.

    PS: yet another proof of RFs belief it needed to get into the news cycle earlier than later.

  7. Very good interview performance, Mr. Leghorn. You come off as very forthcoming, legitimate, sane, practiced, thoughtful. (not that I had any reason to believe otherwise)

  8. Nice Job. I think the test proved decisively that a firearm has the potential to significantly change the dynamic. Without one, you’re nearly guaranteed to die. With one, there is a chance to save lives…and that’s what people should have..a fighting chance. It would have been nice though, to run the test a few more times with two armed defenders to see how that would have changed the dynamic. In many instances, there could be more than one armed defender (e.g. Similar threat at a publication in Texas for instance) but, all around good test, and very well done interview Nick. You are just as well spoken as you are a good writer.

    • I think that running the test with multiple armed defenders is fine in order to improve the data. For example, the more people who are armed is directly related to the number of people saved, but I’m not sure that I would make the argument that “in Texas(for example) more people would be armed so this is more representative.” Maybe that’s true, but it really only measures the effects of X number of people with a gun, and we have no idea how many that may be as it isn’t necessarily uniform across a geographic area.

  9. One of those killed in the initial attack at the office was a police officer, working personal protection for Charb. This is in addition to the other police officer who was later executed on camera on the street. I can’t find any details of his performance but it seems that this should be taking into account of Leghorn’s data. Unless of course he was unarmed, which with the French is possible.

  10. I hope to see further runs, with the variables tuned to see what makes a difference and what doesn’t. I think it’s possible that even one more armed defender could make a big difference in the odds.

      • Exactly. Also, running the simulation with no armed defenders would provide a baseline. At the end, it might be possible to identify a tipping point,something like “in a Charlie Hebdo scenario, three armed defenders evens the odds and four makes casualties much less likely.” It would be very interesting to see.

  11. There is one other important point to make about the simulation. Unless a new set of participants were used in each trial it was not a true Monte Carlo simulation. It was the use of simulation to do TAC D&E because if you use the same people over and over again they learn from each trial. There is nothing wrong with that and you do learn about the effectiveness of a single shooter against to heavily armed attackers, however, the output of the simulations is something akin to best practices. Like all simulations where the players can be resurrected the simulation gives the best case. I may be willing to stand and die for my fellow man when I know that there is a reset button but I may be less than eager when I know “I woen’t beee Baaack!”

  12. Good interview.

    This test is valuable for highlighting the importance of a rear exit. So many could have escaped/lived had there been one.

  13. Daily News is already putting out a ‘spun’ piece using this training. They claim the experiment ‘backfired’ like anyone in the fucking gun community thinks there’s more than a 1% chance that one handgun wielding CCW would be able to take down two, somewhat-coordinated terrorist with overpowering rifles in a CQB situation. I got exactly what I wanted to know: That an active retreat is possible, even with multiple assailants using overpowering firearms, as long as one has at least a handgun to stall and put pressure on the assailants.

  14. Great job, Nick. You really know how to handle yourself with the media.

    I’m sure these scenarios are hard to set up and that would make it hard to choose what scenarios to run. The first thing that came to my mind was “Given the outcome with one civilian defender, how would it have gone if there were two? It seems that might have made a big difference. Three could have actually been decisive. Also, obviously, what if the four cops in the vicinity (the one who was killed and the three who ran away) and the two security guards in the building were armed? The possibilities are endless, but each of these kinds of experiments tells us a lot.

  15. The NRA would do well to pay attention to Nick’s tact and communication style, and maybe get him to replace LaPierre.

Comments are closed.