Note to the Assault Media: This is How You Shoot a Terrorist: Draw, Aim and Pull the Trigger

Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch (courtesy

What is it with the media and armed self-defense? The suggestion that Americans shouldn’t be armed because they can’t handle combat is ridiculous. What’s the alternative (aside from less effective unarmed resistance)? Get slaughtered like sheep while waiting for the police to arrive…that’s the alternative. Here’s the thing: shooting someone is a relatively simple affair: draw, aim and shoot. What are the odds of being able to do so during the chaos and carnage of a terrorist attack? Again, who cares? Returning fire is never a bad idea in that situation – even if the innocent accidentally shoots an innocent or two. Did I just say that? Yes I did. But here’s what a combat vet has to say about the “myth” of “the good guy with a gun” . . .

There are groups of individuals, like me and my fellow Special Operators, both military and law enforcement, who train for years to be good at close quarters shooting: shooting with discernment, keeping your head clear and making snap decisions before you pull the trigger — all while being shot at by the enemy.

And after dedicating their lives to being good operators in those extreme circumstances, even those professionals make mistakes.

Then consider that people like us trained for firefights for years, and that in many states there is virtually no training required for someone to legally carry a loaded, hidden gun.

So think about 10 or 15 people, who are weekend shooters with limited tactical training, deciding to shoot it out with a criminal in a crowded office holiday party, a medical clinic or a darkened theater, while people are screaming and running, and no one knows who or how many of the people shooting are the “good guys” and how many of them are the “bad guys.”

In some cases, can a “good guy” with a gun neutralize the threat and help save lives? Absolutely. But it doesn’t happen very often. It is, for the most part, a myth perpetuated by people who’ve never been shot at.

For the most part, Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch (USN, Ret.) [above, left] is providing aid and comfort to the enemies of Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. The member of Gabby Giffords’ and Mark Kelley’s Americans for Final Responsible Solutions knows full well his comments at promote gun control. This makes my stomach turn:

I am a proud Navy combat veteran. I risked and nearly gave my life in dozens of combat situations in defense of our Constitution. I value the Second Amendment and the right of responsible Americans to own guns for self-defense.

But people need to know that it is a fallacy to believe that the everyday gun owner can be expected to make all the right choices in a dangerous, fast-moving situation like a mass shooting with high-powered weapons.

When the bullets are flying, determining “who’s who in the zoo” is hard.

If the scenario that Sen. Cruz envisions were to ever unfold, we’d have a lot more dead innocents. And it would probably include some of the “good guys.”

One more time: so what?


  1. avatar Adub says:

    Well, all we need is a super-duper operating operator to proclaim that good guys with a gun and minimal training can kill a bad guy with a gun and we have successfully rebutted his claim.

    Who volunteers for the job?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I’m your huckleberry. I was a USAF pilot, which takes brains as well as the courage which is the requirement for a SEAL. Thank this man for his service and remind him he’s not a rocket scientist, maybe he should leave the thinking to others more able, because in this he’s full of it. There are many examples of good guys with guns stopping mass shooters, and there are no SEALS to save us within the US. Maybe he’d like to offer an example of a bunch of good guys accidentally shooting each other?! Or propose that cops also back away, since their training does not approach that which he describes, any more than mine does. Just let the bad guys rule, you remember, those guys who are stoned out of their minds, with magazines half empty on stolen guns they know nothing about, who have never had 5 minutes of training from anyone, but they can kill anybody on the planet if we just stand back and let them shoot. They are not bulletproof. His whole attitude is downright stupid, but I respect his service and thank him for it.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Come to think of it–how many of those cops he’s telling us to depend on have actually been shot at themselves? I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess, not many.

        1. avatar Blaine Cooper says:

          This is true. Cops prefer to go after unarmed victims. Hence their preference for dawn raids.

      2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

        You do know that the Air Force Security Forces who guard the nukies usually defeat the SEALs in mock battles for the nukie bunkers.?

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          ‘Scuse me? No, I never heard that one, is that true?

        2. avatar James says:

          They say the best SWAT team in the country, and maybe in civilian law enforcement, is not with the DEA, the FBI, the DOD, not the State Department, not the forest service, or the IRS, or the Marshals, or the Secret service. Not attached to an embassy or some sort of office building. They don’t work for a city government, or a state government. They are not part of the military (as far as I have been told, at least.)

          Nope, they work for the Department of energy. Because the department of energy has to guard nuclear reactors and the power grid.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Makes sense, I guess. I bet they also are short on rules, other than “don’t lose, the costs are too great.”

        4. avatar Weisbrot says:

          I can confirm that about the DOE security units being the best. Relatives in Oak Ridge that were involved with plant/lab security have made that point emphatically clear.

        5. avatar Kirk says:

          Of course, it helps that they are defending a WELL fortified position.

      3. avatar TxDuallyDog says:

        because in this he’s full of shit . There , said it for you

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Well yeah, but we’re supposed to be nice!

      4. avatar 2maik7 says:

        I absolutely love that you used that phrase, “I’m your huckleberry”. Not just because of Tombstone and Val Kilmer’s excellent role playing Doc Holliday(which is why a lot of people know the phrase), but because myself and some of my older southern family members still use it regularly. Just got into a disagreement with a guy online about what Kilmer says in the movie. He claimed he said, “I’m your huckle bearer”, which to a southerner who grew up with very old great grandparents that still used turn of the century (19th) slang – was ridiculous.

        Off topic but hey, I thought it was cool that you used the phrase.

    2. avatar Rad Man says:

      I’ll never believe that rather than be a good guy with a gun, I and those around me would be safer if I were disarmed.

    3. avatar Mark N. says:

      It’s already been done. The citizens of Northfield, Minnesota successfully repelled the highly experienced and trained (mostly ex-military) James-Younger Gang, as I recall.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        With a pretty motley collection of firearms, as I recall, including shotguns loaded with birdshot.

      2. avatar Howdy says:

        Aren’t the overwhelming percentage of defensive gun uses by citizens with no or little training?

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:

          Yes. Click here.

        2. avatar Howdy says:

          Thank you.

    4. avatar Al says:

      He isn’t a “volunteer”, he is the head of a anti gun veteran’s group, Veterans for Responsible Solutions. Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords front for this gun control PAC.

      The words and image they push are paid for and manufactured by the same PR firms whose clients include virulent anti gun Sen Chris Murphy from CT and the legendary Harry Reid.

      This is likely not a letter casually written by Hatch but a PR news insertion with Hatches name put on it. Perhaps he did write it “all by himself” but if you look at the way it is written with the “my fellow Special Operators” and the “I am a proud..” it should become clear this is a PR construct, bought, paid for and inserted into the media by professionals, PR professionals, not “Veteran Special Operators”.

      We as true civil rights supporters are at a huge disadvantage as we cannot pay PR firms hundreds of thousands of dollars to craft a campaign for our rights. We do have an advantage in that their message is a manufactured lie designed to prey on the public. That gives us an edge, no matter how slim.

      Follow the money trail, it starts with the and shows where the money is being spent.

  2. avatar Blaine Cooper says:

    American terrorists usually attack their victims’ homes before dawn, in large packs, and throw flashbangs to disorient their victims. They also wear body armor. Aim for the head.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      Gangbangers wear body armor and helmets? I would’ve figured belts to be the first clothing item that they should’ve invested in.

      1. avatar Blaine Cooper says:

        Ditto for the terrorist cops, their pants cannot hang off their fat donut-engorged guts.

  3. avatar AhClem says:

    This guy sounds just like Space Cadet Kelly.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      Because the same PR flack writes his material.

  4. avatar MyPrettyAr15 says:

    Based on what this guy is saying no cop should ever carry a gun because they also lack the training as well. It will be an epic moment in life when one of these ‘special operators’ joins the fail army with a negligent discharge, accidental shooting or something stupid that they cannot cover up.

  5. avatar Julio says:

    This guy makes me want to puke. Sorry everyone, you ‘might’ make a mistake. So don’t even try…saying or writing anything, learning, voting, driving, working out, eating, using power tools, getting married, raising children, or living. Thanks for your service, D-bag.

    1. avatar Mike R says:

      Just be a good victim.

  6. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    Why do they feel criminals are invincible and we’re clumsy idiots at the first sign of trouble?

  7. avatar tmm says:

    How much training does a mass shooter have? Will he make all the right choices?

    It’s amazing how quickly he goes from saying a good guy can “absolutely” save lives to calling it a myth.

    1. avatar tmm says:

      He is in essence telling Suzanna Hupp to hide and wait.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      Just another damn elitist saying how much he respects the Second Amendment out of one side of his mouth while saying the hoi polloi really shouldn’t try to avail themselves of it out of the other. Odd–and annoying, in a way–thing, he stops short of explicitly saying that such rights should be restricted for such people in such-and-such a way. Leaving that for someone else in the organization to say, I guess, to protect his “I support the 2A” creds.

  8. avatar Another Robert says:

    So is this guy really saying, “I risked my life to protect your right to have and use guns for self-defense. And I’m telling you not to avail yourself of that right that I risked my life to make available to you, because you might make a mistake, just like I and my Special Operator comrades do” ?

  9. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch (USN, Ret.) is the founder of Spikes K9 Fund and a member of Veterans for Responsible Solutions.
    Ah, now all is clear. Just because somebody may have been a high speed low drag operator in a military firefight does not mean that they know whistle dick about civilian situations. At least most of the time the military can sort of identify the enemy at some distance, and they are usually well armed with all sorts of neat toys unavailable to the serfs.
    Yes, freindly fire might occur with the serfs doing the shooting, but it sure as heck happens with the military and police, with just about total legal immunity.
    I would also point out that someone’s proficiency with firearms does not necessarily have dick to do if they are wearing a uniform.
    The other alternative to having the serfs unarmed and the ability of the bad guys to slaughter the sheep with impunity for probably about a half hour to an hour and a half.

  10. avatar Timmy! says:

    Fork that But* head.

    *As in, “I support the second amendment, BUT…”

  11. avatar John Fritz, HMFIC says:

    My brain already fills in the ‘But…’ before I even read it.

    Jerkoff. I’d like to see CPO Hatch stop in at our club’s monthly skeet shoot and talk down to all of us present. We’d love that. And probably have some follow-up questions.

  12. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    This clown is the same ilk as Brandon Webb.
    I do respect Tim Harmsen of MAC, who was a Marine and lives in Northern Indiana. The guy is down to earth and not full of BS.
    I do respect Tim calling out Brandon on his false gun stance before being appointed to an NRA position.

    1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

      Your comment raises an important point. Just what the fvck is it with the Navy being the armed forces’ magnet for antis and democrats? The eyes of literally every Army and Marine veteran I’ve spoken with lit up like a Christmas tree when the conversation turned to guns and/or the Bill of Rights in general. Then again, they were all proud Republican/Libertarian voters so I guess I answered my own question xD. Also, MAC is an awesome youtube channel, no bs there.

      1. avatar Mitch says:

        “Just what the fvck is it with the Navy being the armed forces’ magnet for antis and democrats?”

        The sodomy?

        1. avatar Jack says:

          Too much or not enough?

        2. avatar CarlosT says:

          What is the Goldilocks zone for that, in your opinion?

      2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        I’ve mentioned this before, but a time ago when I was manning a pro-2A organization booth in a military town during the fourth of July, a very-irate heavy set man approached us and screamed that we were endangering the children because we had open holstered handguns. I had to assume he used to be Navy because he had a Navy shirt on.

        I think it has something to do with Sailor’s mindset, particularly officers in charge of a boat. Since something small can catastrophically impact the operations of their ship, it breeds a mindset that everyone has to toe to the line operationally, which unfortunately, is a mindset that bleeds into everything else that shouldn’t or doesn’t apply.

  13. avatar Bob says:

    So mr hatch, I’m planning a trip to the mall tomorrow to do some shopping. Think about going around 10am till some time after noon. Can you meet me there so you can protect me?

    To win, one must first try. At least give me the opportunity to try.

  14. avatar Cliff H says:

    As I have commented in the past; An active shooter is well armed (generally) and intent on killing/shooting as many people as he/she possibly can until they are stopped. You have to weigh how many people will be shot under those circumstances against how many people you might shoot accidentally in stopping the assault. Yeah, it would suck to shoot a friendly, but how much more would it suck to do nothing and watch the active shooter gun down as many as he/she wants on purpose before the troops show up and decide to enter the fray?

    In both Mumbai and Nairobi it was HOURS before police and military entered the killing fields and in Nairobi the military managed to shoot 6 police officers and no terrorists!

    Point two – statistically there is a much greater chance of surviving a wound from a pistol, given prompt and efficient medical care, than there is from a rifle. Even if your rounds accidentally hit an innocent if you stop the attack and officials enter the scene there is a greater likelihood that more victims will receive the medical attention they need before they bleed out.

    Point three – what are the odds that there will be an innocent in close enough proximity to the active shooter that you will hit them accidentally? Its not like it would be difficult to identify your target, regardless of the stress of the moment.

  15. avatar jwm says:

    TTAG has highlighted a number of accounts of untrained, and at least one case I can think of where the good guy fired his first shot in a dgu, people that prevailed in their moment of trial.

    But to be fair to the Chief. We have regular contributors and even RF himself on this site banging the training gong constantly. And to be honest they frequently make it sound as if you miss those week end training sessions with folks like the Chief and you’re doomed.

    Have a gun. Be able to carry it and handle it without shooting yourself or anyone else accidentally. Once you have that, you’re miles ahead of the unarmed victims the bad guys expect.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      And train up to the level that your physical capabilities and budget can tolerate. Minimal training and being armed is better than no training and being a victim.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Training is good. Being armed is critical. The only time I will shoot someone accidentally is called a miss.

  16. avatar Forrest says:

    I have an honest question.

    How come the only military veterans who ever deny American’s second amendment are navy and air force guys?

    Seriously! Marines and SF guys NEVER say shit like this. They generally have a “the more the merrier” attitude towards civilians with firearms. It’s the SEALs who constantly think only they have the ability to defend themselves, and as such, the right to do so.

    Is there some elitest mentality pounded into them during training?

    And as far as this perkerwood is concerned, specifically…

    I have 22 years of martial arts training, 18 years as a self defense instructor, a deployment with the Army, and a really bad attitude. Does this douchecanoe really think he has a better understanding of civilian self defense than me because he trained and spent a few years as a SEAL? WTF is he gonna do that I can’t? Pull out a claymore or SAW? Call in an airstrike? His training is literally worthless as a civilian in many cases because of the things he was taught that couldn’t be brought to bare in the fight

    Screw that guy.

    1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

      I asked the exact same question upstream. Every Army and Marine vet I’ve met was very enthusiastic about the 2nd Amendment and the rest of the BoR. However, none of those guys were comissioned officers and maybe one or two nco’s in the whole bunch. Go fuggin figure.

    2. avatar old air force says:

      Being former Air Force I will speak up. All of my fellow veterans that I know from my branch, with one exception, agree with the 2A and civilian armed defense. I know many veterans and active members from other branches that feel as we do. Seals do a thankless job in places we do not want to go. So do Delta, Force Recon, Rangers, PJs and others. The only reason we hear about the “qualified” ones is that they seem to agree with the current political stance and have consumed the kool-aid so to speak. They are a rarity compared to the masses. The press won’t give any of the rest of us the courtesy of a rebuttal because we do not agree with them. BTW, Charlie Daniels was Air Force and go read his blog sometime. He makes some of us here seem almost middle of the road.

      1. avatar ChiDog says:

        Thank you, sir.
        I am to a similar belief. It seems as though age and political agenda (alliance?) drive comments from PO Hatch and his ilk.
        I know, and have known, older servicemen/women across all branches that are heartily BoR supporters. Most would grab a gun and sacrific themselves in a moment in active shooter situation. Several CC even now in their 80’s.

        Very simple Boy Scout credo: Be Prepared.

    3. avatar CZ Guy says:

      Forrest, great post. Makes sense. I’ve beaten a few SF / Operator type guys at our local pistol matches many times. Most are just a hair faster, but i clean their clocks on accuracy. I’m 50, so they should be faster with better eyesight also. Oh, I’m an air force vet also from the 80’s. Any veteran who opposes the 2nd amendment is an asshole and didn’t take their oath seriously.

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Poop on that. In the Navy and AF it is difficult to get into actual combat, the Navy it’s long distance artillery, pilots, and SEALs. AF, it’s pilots, the only enlisted are Forward Air Controllers (FACs), and part of their job is to stay out of combat! In theory at least, the main job of all officers and enlisted in the Army and Marines is combat. When I say combat, I mean having had the experience of people actively shooting at you, trying to kill you, and continuing to function. Chief Hatch has his war stories and I have mine. My example is Vietnamese DMZ in 1971, diving an O-2 at a NVA position to mark the target with around 20 people shooting at me, tracers flying past my windows while I aimed. I can freaking GUARANTEE that the Chief would have pissed his pants, shit himself and fainted just before he died, but I do not think that precludes him from defending himself and others in a terrorist attack in America. (BTW, I killed them all.)

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “AF, it’s pilots, the only enlisted are Forward Air Controllers (FACs), and part of their job is to stay out of combat! ”

        The AC-130 gunships most certainly are in combat and have enlisted aircrew tending the 105’s ammo needs, if memory serves…

        The 130 tankers have boom operators as well…

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          130 tankers? I’m not sure what you refer to, there are 135 series tankers and KC-10 tankers which have boom operators, but that is not a combat job, as a -135 pilot for 10 years I can assure you of that, I was not in combat (again, I define as being shot at) even flying in Desert Storm every day-I did a bunch of stuff I am extremely proud of in that war, but being involved in combat was not amongst them. I knew the difference because I had been in combat 20 years earlier. Insofar as AC-130s are concerned, the exception makes the rule, Whatever the equivalent of a loadmaster is on an AC, they certainly are in combat, whatever the particular plane’s loadout is (some have or had 3x20mm cannons, some had 40mm twin cannons, some have 105 howitzers). They try to stay out of range, but it isn’t really possible if they’re to do the job. I could argue about the loadmaster on a regular cargo C-130, also, there have been a hell of a lot of them shot at through the 50-odd years that airplane has been flying. Comes from going where somebody needs to, and nobody else can.

      2. avatar CZ Guy says:

        LarryinTx, That’s awesome…thanks for your service…

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          You’re very welcome, and I would not have missed it for the world.

    5. avatar Gary says:

      Well, I’m a retired SF guy, so I think I can speak up a bit. Most of the SEALs I’ve worked and trained with are pretty much like the rest of us on this site. A few exceptions, usually young ones, think that they were reborn as gods when they finished BUDs and that no one else will ever measure up to them. This guy is an ass clown, and probably didn’t mesh well with his team.

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch, you utterly stink of hubris.

  18. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    If put in the situation where there is an active shooter. I wouldn’d nor couldn’t just run, hide or worse do nothing.
    If I was able to take a shot, and missed. Killing an innocent but got the shooter on say a 2nd shot.
    I believe I could live with what I had done, I might not feel great. But Id like to think, I know Id eventually be ok with it.
    Regardless of my personal situation after the fact.
    This guys an idiot if he thinks Im waiting for the cops to show up after the fact.

  19. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Based on his assumptions, I shouldn’t try walking near people. I was never trained to walk, so I might bump into someone and injure them.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      You never took the extra special Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time or the Difference between Shit and Shinola course? Fucking slacker.

    2. avatar tmm says:

      Right. Also, based on his assumptions, your typical bad guy (armed thief, murderer, mass killer) is as trained as an enemy militant. And who would he have defend the innocent? Himself? He admittedly make mistakes. That must leave him out. What we need to ask is which option is preferable…a defenseless populace, or a populace with the option of defense? One is imperfect, the other is perfectly defenseless.

      Concerning San Bernadino, the defenseless were left to run or wait for police. I understand that the response was four minutes. Commendable, but the perpetrators finished the deed and calmly drove away before that four minutes was up. Armed defense is not for everyone. But neither is it for no one.

    3. avatar Accur81 says:

      We out in a fair amount of man hours teaching our toddler to walk and not crap in his pants.

  20. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    The opinions of law enforcement are often neither based on reality, or law.

    I’ll save my own life thank you very much, While engaged in that task, I suggest for your safety and mine that you do not send any ordnance in my direction, because we will have a serious problem.

    Oh, and if you don’t know “who’s who in the zoo” you better not be pulling the fvcking trigger dip shit!

  21. avatar Right to arm Bears says:

    My response, respectfully sir, is that the second amendment has no qualifiers when it comes to “training.” Thank goodness. So your argument is moot. That said, more good guys with guns have far more training that bad guys with guns. I’ll take my chances with the good guys, thank you very much.

  22. avatar LJohn says:

    So, a citizen is in a fire fight with criminals, crazies, terrorists or some combination of the three and accidentally shoots a good guy while saving twenty seven others including him/her self and better to leave the gun at home. Right. And there are never, ever any friendly fire casualties among regular grunts or our special ops folks when things are tight. Somebody finish my thought because I’m at a loss for words.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You said it just fine.

  23. avatar Second Amendment says:

    All he’s really trying to do is make his abilities seem more magical than they are.

    If instead he were to say, yeah, a good guy with a gun CAN practically do as well as we tacticool operators operating operationally can, well then he doesn’t seem so “special” a force now, does he? Just pure arrogance.

    His bloviating aside, there are nearly DAILY occurrences of average Joes and Janes using their gun to repel bad guys. His argument is invalid.

  24. avatar I'mRonBurgundy? says:

    Folks, Senior Chief Hatch isn’t/wasn’t a SEAL. If he was, he would have said so. He uses the term “Navy combat veteran” because he wants less aware people to think he was actually a SEAL. It’s the same reason the media uses words like “lawmaker” whenever some bureaucrat screws up. They want the less aware consumers of their product to think they’re talking about someone who matters.

    As to what the man wrote, all I see is an argument for training harder.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I assumed SEAL. If he’s not a SEAL, then he is simply full of shit. Enlisted Navy do not see CQB style combat.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Well, rarely. I think there is still such a thing as “landing parties”, but I may be mistaken. And BTW, nomenclature-wise, I believe a lot of SEALS would qualify as “enlisted Navy”, you might want to re-phrase.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Escuse me, I thought I was clear with that, of course the majority of SEALs are enlisted, and I certainly did not mean that they did not see combat. But the subject was that this particular enlisted man (NCO actually) turned out to NOT be a SEAL, which left him zero capacity (to my knowledge) to have any knowledge of combat, since that is pilots (who are officers) and SEALs, other than ship-to-ship combat, which bears no resemblance to anything you’d experience after separating from the service. In the AF, it is almost exclusively pilots, who are officers. Army and Marines, officers and enlisted share combat duties, pretty much equal opportunity. And what do you think a “landing party” might be? Maybe a boarding party, but I think the last time one of those saw combat was 100 years ago. Maybe 200. “Landings” are what the Marines are for.

        2. avatar Another Robert says:

          “Landing parties” would be sailors from a smaller combat type ship or boat, like a destroyer escort or patrol frigate or some such, who would land on a potentially hostile coast for one reason or another–maybe to pick up a downed airman who had made it to some island or contact a coastwatcher to pick up some intelligence or scout out an islet in an atoll to see if it was occupied. Like I said, dunno if they still do such things, but the Navy has all kinds of smaller combat craft that don’t necessarily transport a contingent of Marines.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Generally speaking, if they don’t carry any Marines then they don’t have any capacity for armed assault against land targets, a different ship would be sent to accomplish that. Men on ships have assigned duties. If the assigned duties include amphibious assault, those men would be referred to as “Marines”. No such thing as simply sending the cook. Somebody from the Navy correct me if I’m wrong, I am not speaking from experience other than USAF.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      You have it backwards. Jimmy Hatch is a DevGru SEAL, and an absolute legend in the special operations community. He is just quite humble about it and generally doesn’t flaunt the whole SEAL Team 6 thing. But he is the real deal and very well respected, especially for the work he has done with dogs in combat. He is an exceptional professional.
      And he is absolutely, completely out of his depth here. While I can not disagree with the statements in his letter; combat is in fact confusing, people do get things wrong, people with very little training get things wrong more often than people with lots of training. But the original post’s point remains; “SO WHAT?” Hatch doesn’t say in his letter that people shouldn’t carry and use guns, but he certainly implies that, and that’s just asinine. Wait to die isn’t a strategy and Hatch damn well knows it.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Well, hell, JWT, thanks for clearing that up, anyhow!

  25. avatar Steve in N CA says:

    I think this copsucker misses the whole point of why guys like me go armed. What I am about to say may ruffle some feathers and fly in the face of the guys who see themselves as “white hats” but here goes.

    You can game out, role play, theorize, etc. until you have a headache. But you can never predict what is going to happen and when. Every situation will be different. The only constant is there will be a bad guy or guys with guns. So my plan is simple. I will take cover and hide until the storm is over. I will do my best not to be a target. I will have my weapon ready to protect ME. If the a**hole comes around the desk or wall or wherever I am hiding and targets me then I will empty my weapon at them. I don’t see myself getting into a long distance firefight with my compact .45 against a long gun. Does this make me a chickens**t? Maybe.

    As far as SEALS and weapons, wasn’t it last year that a young SEAL in San Diego tried to impress a chick he had in his apartment by showing off his gun collection? To prove the pistol wasn’t loaded he held it up to his head with terrible but predictable results. None of my sons are SEALS but they damn sure know better than that.

    Just sayin’.

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      Well, you offered your perspective on how to deal with a mass shooter.

      I’ll give you mine. As a citizen, I take my cue from our Founding Fathers perspective on such things. That as a citizen, I am the first line of defense against enemies, foreign and domestic, whether a common mass murderer or common criminal. That if I don’t run to the sound og guns, then I am derelict in my duty to my fellow ctizens, and I would consider myself to be a coward.

    2. avatar Gary says:

      You’re gonna get a lot of hate from people that can tell you without a doubt that they’d run right in and save everyone. I’m betting that if they don’t lead off with “The time I heard shots fired, I did this…..”, they they are just guessing about what they’d do. The stereotype in the movies of the big talker being the first one to wet himself has some merit to it.

      I applaud your plan. If you can expand it and help guard other people around you, then I think you have a moral obligation to protect those that are in your immediate vicinity.

      I am a retired SF guy (Operator is what the video gamers and airsofters like to call it). I’ve heard the sound of the guns, and I’ve run to them. I knew I had a team with me, body armor, superior weapons and optics, and at least 200 rounds of ammo for my rifle and 45 for my pistol. I knew if i was hit as the #1 man going into a room, my team would quickly eliminate the threats and then treat me.

      Now, I carry 15, sometimes 30 rounds. I don’t have any backup. If I fall going through the fatal funnel, I’m stuck there until the police can organize and secure the area, probably 20-30 minutes at the earliest. And I’ve probably left my wife and others unguarded because I had some overblown idea of bravery and cowardice.

      Thanks for having a plan and thinking it out.

      1. avatar ThomasR says:

        Umm, Gary, you sound no different than most elitists that say “I’m so special, unless you have “operator” training, you’ll just wet yourself if you face a life threatening situation”.

        When those founding father’s stood on the Lexington and Concord Greens, many of them probably had never heard the sound of guns, yet they had the determination to face down the world’s best soldiers of the day. Many found the courage, after the shot heard round the world, to stand and fight to the death and enough continued the fight from cover and concealment to defeat those world class soldiers. They did this because to do otherwise, in their own eyes and eyes of their comrades, they would be ashamed as being a coward.

        Many regular people with no “operator” training. with no cool full auto rifle, without body armor, or back up, did not hide in a secure position and at the moment of truth, sought out and engaged and successfully stopped mass shooters. They did probably for the same reasons, they had made the personal committment, and at the moment of truth, they lived up to their own expectations.

        Have I had to run to the sound of guns ? No. But I also know that if that moment of truth ever came, that if I did not fulfill my duty as I saw it, I would be a coward in my own eyes.

        I guess we will see if I have the courage to fulfill my duty as I see it. As for you, as some supposed former “operator”, you have made it clear you will just hide in a secure position and let the cops arrive at some future time to draw chalk outlines around the bloody bodies after those more worthy than yourself showed up with guns to stop the mass murderer.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I did not hear Gary say anything like that. Just sayin’.

  26. avatar racer88 says:

    Anti-liberty folks often use the fallacy known as “Appeal to Authority.” This is a perfect example.

    BTW… Navy veteran here who is 100% committed to the true intent of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. If you don’t like it or any part of it… go ****ing AMEND IT. Otherwise, do not tread on my Rights!

  27. avatar MojoRonin says:

    So if you’re not a highly trained expert in a particular field, you’re not qualified to do it at all? You can’t cook unless you’re Andrew Zimmern. You can’t use tools unless you’re Jesse James. Don’t bother running unless you’re Usain Bolt. You can’t have sex unless you’re Sasha Grey. As a professional trucker, I deem you unworthy of operating a motor vehicle.

  28. avatar Mk10108 says:

    As one vet to another (subject of the article)…go circle jerk yourself with your special ops team members. Here the fuuk do you get off telling another they cannot lawfully protect themselves in a crowded room? Are you in the the column that citizens are sheep and only can defend under special civilian ROI? If so then muster to collect your coin from Bloomberg and crew.

  29. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

    A Arkansas grandma could give superior return fire, this gentlemen is quite confused and unfortunately coming from an elitist mentality.
    He could get a job in Jersey.
    More equipment to level the field…I’m thinking it’s not too difficult to id the bad guy shooting?
    I cant stand the argument that all the good guys will just start shooting at anyone…..what bunk.
    People have a natural tendency to team up……not saying everything will be perfect , that’s life in the shit.
    If anything it will send a message that a freaking grandma is gonna smoke you stone cold.
    Now i do agree to respect this mans service just not his inability to have faith in humanity.
    We all have seen strangers come together in a pinch to accomplish a common goal in an emergency, armed Americans will prove themselves a difficult force to overcome to be sure.
    I’ll take my chances with strangers in the moment than be at a disadvantage unarmed.

  30. avatar Ben says:

    The more liberal media has been combating the ” good guy with a gun” with the most unlikely of all scenerios; lamenting that an average armed Joe would only be a burden during a terrorist attack. Concealed and open carriers will likely never need to defend themselves against multiple armed threats. Defending yourself against a car jacker, mugger or home invader is far more likely, and would likely require less training and expertise. Perpetuating the notion that second amendment supporters want to be heros is laughable. I wonder if it`s more of a projection of their own desire to be on the nightly news, clad in white armour.

  31. avatar David N says:

    I have never been in the service, a police officer or ever had a job such as these in my life. But I am a citizen of the United States of America, and as such I have God given rights as an a human being on this planet that are not up for debate. Of these is the Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch (USN, Ret.) right to free speech. Also, everyone has the God given right to defend themselves and specifically “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” No ifs ands or buts, “shall not be infringed.”

    To Senior Chief Petty Officer James Hatch (USN, Ret.) thank you for your service. But, if I recall, you took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America when you joined the armed service. I do not believe that there was any “except …” clauses in there. So though I thank you for your service I Damn you for your treason.

    The concept that a citizen is untrained, incapable, potentially a hazard and may create collateral damage is absurd. In fact, it doesn’t even play into the conversation. As a free citizen I have the RIGHT (given by God) to defend myself, regardless of my training. The level of training, competence, perceived or fancied, doesn’t play into this. A responsible gun owner could train up to a level of ability of a professional, maybe higher considering conversations I have had with some professionals of my acquaintance. Some spend less range time than I, some more. Most have never been shot at, I have. Many have never been in a situation where they have had to upholster their firearm in their defense, I have.

    The Senior Chief Petty Officer’s comments speak of a liberal snobbery I have observed in some military, both active and ex. It is interesting that I have not observed much of this in civil law enforcement. I believe that in some military personal they acquire a false feeling of superiority over us common folk. This is likely not caused by military training or service but a defective liberal, socialist, communistic, fascistic mind. Once the owner of such a defect is put in a position of authority they get large opinions of themselves. They also cannot be trusted with an oath and thus commit treasons some large or some small justified by the defect. This is what we are looking at here.

    So let us call this what it is, a betrayal of trust, treason. Strong words, but true words. The Senior Chief Petty Officer took an oath something along the lines of “I, James Hatch , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; …”. You, sir, have betrayed you oath, you should be ashamed of yourself as a retired member of the armed services and as a human being. You need to start upholding your oath and rights as a human being and dedicate the rest of your life to making up the damage.

  32. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    Let suppose he’said more or less right and that if there were armed citizens in Paris who shot 50 people before hey terrorists went down. That would mean that 50+ people who are now dead would still be alive. That is a better outcome then what happened

  33. avatar adverse says:

    There is quite a difference between a military team in action, and a civilian fighting for his/her life, or for their families lives.

  34. avatar Nigil says:

    My father is also a Navy combat veteran (Lt. Commander, retired), who risked his life and nearly gave it on multiple occasions.
    He was also a jet pilot who had basically no experience whatsoever on small arms or ground combat, and I could out shoot him any day of the week (and I’m not a great shot).
    So I really don’t care what kind of veteran this guy is; even if he were the most badass of badasses, an active shooter situation is not combat. There are not large numbers of combatants, all moving in different directions, all dressed the same or similar to your own troops. There’s going to be 1-3 people, probably dressed in knock-off tactical gear, shooting indiscriminately. So, aim for that guy, not the guy in jeans and a t-shirt ducking behind cover with a pocket gun who looks scared as hell.

    1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

      When there one guy you are right but Paris was more like a combat action then an active shooter situation. But so what. Even if you die as you take out one of the shooters people who otherwise would die will walk away. That is a positive outcome.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Another way to say the same thing is they are all only one at a time. People like these seek to have control over others, do not plan on armed resistance, and often fold up and commit suicide if confronted. Confronted by anyone with a gun. Anyone. With a gun.

  35. avatar barnbwt says:

    Why should I/we thank this ass for his service to the nation? Sounds like he’d be perfectly willing to kick our teeth in with a jack boot in the service of his real master –the State– if you ask me.

    1. avatar David N says:

      @barnbwt – I was being polite. Manners, deserved or not, go a long way to to making society work. Lack of manners is present day society’s short coming. But I agree with your premise.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      He is demonstrating that he is not real bright, but that is no reason to disrespect the contribution he made to our nation. Lots of people just ran away, joined the homeless and did drugs, he at least joined the military in some capacity, was not simply a drain on the country. Credit where credit is due. Does not make him an authority on anything whatsoever, that would take education along with experience. Insofar as I know, he has neither.

  36. avatar ST-5 says:

    This from the Volokh Conspiracy column in the Washington Post. The author noted ten recent examples.

  37. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    ‘So think about 10 or 15 people, who are weekend shooters with limited tactical training, deciding to shoot it out with a criminal in a crowded office holiday party,’

    Ok, let’s do just that. Really, all it comes down to is a fighting chance—there’s not much more than that to consider in this discussion. The 2nd amendment is predicated on the idea that self-defense is a natural right, not something granted by the state, not something Ok’d by special military training or some other special status. That’s all very nice training and experience to have and I applaud those who have it. But in terms of a citizen’s right to defend himself with a firearm, our constitutional rights—based on natural rights—are extended to all citizens and not only to those with government granted licenses. The simple fact is this: when the bad guys come for you, you have a right to fight back. And those who are armed can do a better job, have a better fighting chance, than those who aren’t.

    This is something we don’t some self-important gatekeeper to tell us about. Further, I seriously doubt that the good chief would be willing to come on this forum and discuss this matter with us.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Given the time involved in reading this thread, I have come to another possible response, for which I have no evidence. I *suspect* that 10 or 15 armed civilians with varying amounts of training, confronted with a mass killer, would have absolute tunnel vision, and not even notice that others were also shooting at the killer. When the killer went down, all would be helpless against another attacker, at least momentarily. The idea that all of them would be in a killing froth, just shooting everyone around, seems implausible. And I firmly believe that my assumptions are at LEAST as valid as the Chief’s, since I have a college degree and some Psych courses behind me. Which, BTW, is total nonsense, has no bearing on anything, as his training does not as well, which *I* realize and apparently he does not.

  38. avatar Ralph says:

    So the good people are safe around the well-trained professionals? Good to know.

  39. avatar JW says:

    As a surgeon, if we had a disaster (or contemplated one), and I said – you non-medical folk need to stay put – you might hurt someone you’re trying to help – leave these people to professionals – WHEN we can get there,

    I would expect ridicule.

  40. avatar stokeslawyer says:

    I am not a highly trained military fighter pilot. However, if I was in a small plane about to land and the pilot had a heart attack I would have two choices: 1) Grab the stick and hope those PC flight simulators from high school paid off, or 2) Hide under the seat and hope the ground goes away. This guy would tell me to choose 2) since I am not a professional. I guess if I grab the stick, I could somehow make it worse.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Very good!

  41. avatar JC says:

    “I am a United States Sailor,
    I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America…”
    Huh, looks like he can’t even remember the first lines of his own branches creed. Seriously, guys like this and Space Cadet Kelly make ALL vets, not just Navy, look bad.

  42. avatar aussieshooter says:

    Here’s a great example of ‘trained professionals’ : The inquest of the Martin Place Siege in Sydney determined that one of the two hostages who was hit and killed by 6 rounds fired by the ‘highly trained’ counter-terrorism cops which were intended for the terrorist. If CCW were legal and one person had been carrying the situation would have been over in minutes not 16 hours and there wouldn’t have been any casualties.

  43. avatar Gary says:

    I finally clicked on the picture of Mr Hatch and it explained a few things to me. It appears that Mr Hatch was a dog handler. When we first started using dogs and had them assigned to special ops, it wasn’t real popular. But SOF always makes the best of a bad situation. Lets just say we didn’t lose many guys that we wanted to keep around when we sent them over to the dog teams.

    Don’t mistake me, I have nothing but the utmost respect for dog handlers (that aren’t SEAL or SF qualified). Those guys are great. But on the teams we sent our biggest FUps or guys with little personality off to handle the dogs. As you can imagine, that included guys with a shaky understanding of the constitution, or guys who were so full of themselves that they couldn’t see that they were part of a team.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Gary, in this instance, Jimmy Hatch is the exception. An SEAL who became a dog handler, and very well respected by his peers.

  44. avatar Anon says:

    I can’t thank him for his service, who knows, he may have been a paper pusher like me.

    But . . . .

    Ruby Ridge . . . good shooting by a highly trained FBI shooter, killed a woman (unarmed) holding a baby.

    Waco. . . . . . highly trained ATF/FBI/WTFK’s killed innocent men, women and children. .and got their asses shot off by a bunch of untrained civilians.

    Columbine. . . the trained Resource Officer encountered the two shooters and “disengaged”. Parts of the report on Columbine are sealed until 2025 or 2027, I guess because the trained heroes who waited to tool up while kids got shot were heroic.

    Then there is Justin Garner, Deputy Sheriff who responded to a shooting at a nursing home in Carthage, NC (2009) 8 people died. The bad guy had several guns including a shotgun, which he used to shoot Garner with. Garner, DID NOT WAIT for SWAT. He went in and challenged the bad guy. He was shot but shot the guy in the shoulder, incapacitating him,. . . .now there is a real LEO.

  45. avatar Blaine Cooper says:

    How much training does it take to toss a flashbang grenade into a crib?

      1. avatar Blaine Cooper says:

        Well well

        Summary: let’s ignore the crimes of multiple hyperviolent untrained pigs and only focus on a single scapegoat, then acquit her because it is unfair to have a scapegoat!

  46. avatar Missouri Mule says:

    I study selfdefense almost daily. I have a growing 25 year list of deaths in “gun free zones.” There are far too many incidents of law enforcement shooting innocent bystanders. Could someone please direct me to the list of incidents where concealed carry permittees shot innocent bystanders while defending themselves or others. Thanks!

  47. avatar Bob says:

    “But people need to know that it is a fallacy to believe that the everyday gun owner can be expected to make all the right choices in a dangerous, fast-moving situation like a mass shooting with high-powered weapons.”

    So remember America, better to grab your ass cheeks and spread them in stead of fighting back..

    Thanks for your service, CPO, now drop dead.

  48. avatar AaronW says:

    Google “Kaplan Blue Flame Robbery” and you’ll see how an “undertrained, underpracticed” armed citizen took down a bunch of thugs who were about to execute everyone in the store.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Thanks for the link. Wonder why I had never heard of that?! Curious, huh? You have to wonder if the shotgun shells he fired were also 30 years old.

  49. avatar PeterK says:

    There is a fundamental difference between a man who trains to kill others and a man who merely seeks to defend himself from attack.

    Heck, there’s a fundamental difference between the operations he’d have been running and the sort of stuff that happens in armed self-defense. He’s trying to maintain control of a complicated operation. You’re just trying to stay alive. You’re just shooting to stop a threat. I guess part of this is all about expectation. He brings up this number of 10 to 15, which is unrealistic in any case I can dream up. Unless this is an absolutely huge party. I don’t think any of us who advocate for armed defense plan on being able to clear out a mall building to make it safe or coordinating a surgical strike together. All we really hope for is a chance to fight back. A chance to save our own skins. The hope of saving others.

    “In some cases, can a “good guy” with a gun neutralize the threat and help save lives? Absolutely.” This is all we really want. All the bad stuff and negatives that go with it are better than the alternative. I don’t believe for a second that he would just sit around and wait to die. “Operator” training or not.

    Thanks for the service, but I don’t buy what this guy’s selling. At all.

  50. avatar George says:

    Untrained terrorists with junk guns are invincible.


    The media

  51. avatar Paul says:

    He reflects the arrogance of the SOCOM community. Everyone Operates, Operationally all the time. And this involves massive amounts of training dollars and pandering to egos. Interestingly, shows a complete ignorance of what his role in the military is about: Special Operations. I guess this means straight-leg infantry sucks? Probably means the entire National Guard is useless? I’d really like to see how well he does against an Armor battalion….Or maybe Artillery doesn’t touch him.

    Fortunately, the framers of the Constitution were very wary of a standing Army and a professional military. They’d seen what professional soldiers had done to Europe and wanted no part of it. That’s part of the reason why we have the Second Amendment. You’re supposed to be proficient with your own weapon. And you get to define how proficient you are. You have a right to Self Defense.

  52. avatar Anonymous says:

    Yeah… Americans shouldn’t have guns because they “can’t handle combat” but they should throw cans at terrorists who’re trying to shoot them with AK-47s instead. Sure, that makes sense. Not. (Liberals just want to take everyone’s guns. Period.)

  53. avatar Will says:

    “I’m the only one in this room professional enough to have this gun.” *Shoots himself in the leg

  54. avatar BDub says:

    Every time somebody brings up the “good guy not being used to being shot at” meme, I like to point out that in almost all cases the shooter isn’t used to being shot at either.

  55. avatar Ironbear says:

    There are groups of individuals, calling themselves “the Oathkeepers”, both military and law enforcement, who not only support the 2nd Amendment – they don’t have any issue with individual citizens being armed. And they don’t put a “but” at the end of their sentences.

    “In some cases, can a ‘good guy’ with a gun neutralize the threat and help save lives? Absolutely. But it doesn’t happen very often. It is, for the most part, a myth – ”

    Stop right there, pal. Here’s some mythical incidents for you:

    My God! It’s just like the Wild West! Gun fights on every corner, blood in the streets, dogs and cats living together! An apocalypse of Biblical proportions!

    Or not.

  56. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    “Note to the Assault Media: This is How You Shoot a Terrorist: Draw, Aim and Pull the Trigger”

    So, guns are so dangerous and easy to use that toddlers(*) who grab a gizmo they don’t understand will head-shot everybody they’re currently mad at, from across the room, house, or street, while adults who thoughtfully choose to acquire an expensive, complicated device based on their understanding of it won’t be able to hit a bad guy, at all, ever, to any good effect.

    There’s well-known Latin for the classic fallacies in that “analysis.” These include claiming one is owed deference in argument for other actions or gifts, and using expertise in one endeavor to profess expertise in another.

    Put plainly, I do not claim that any given tacti-cool mall-ninja, operating operationally with delusions of grandeur is likely to perform anywhere near like any given US Navy Seal in “tactical” situations Seals and similar train for, for years.

    The first question is: what might some sober non-Seal do, if armed in a mass shooting situation or similar?

    The second question is,: what benefits or risks might accrue to individual citizens carrying guns, outside of “tactical” situations?

    Related: Who is to decide? (… how to weigh these effects?)

    Critical: Is this properly a general or individual decision, whoever makes it?

    Required: How to determine the results which drive these decisions?

    In case it is unclear, I claim that non-Seals sometimes do some good in shootings that become less mass than they otherwise would have, citizens carrying guns accrue benefits outside of the relatively rare “bullet-hosing whack-job” encounter, individuals are to decide, on an individual basis, based on empirical results (vs. intuitions, speculations, anecdotes, or preferences.)

    (*) or Gun-In-Hand from the NYT piece. Consider his difficulty operating one of these, at a range, with advice available, while of grown-up stature and some education.)

  57. avatar Williams says:

    I’m a Marine Combat veteran, and this squid can kiss my ass. Maybe they should keep in mind that among the people they would have disarmed are millions of combat veterans like themselves who practice on a weekly basis and know how to keep their heads on straight when SHTF. I don’t give a damn about all of your specialized training, and given your current anti-constitutional stance, I don’t give a damn about who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done. As far as I’m concerned you’ve betrayed your fellow brothers in arms and your fellow countrymen by working to degrade their natural, civil, and constitutionally protected right to bear arms. You’ve broken your oath of enlistment to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America by aiding and abetting one of it’s domestic enemies, those who would restrict the second amendment. Every American has the right to preserve their own life through armed self defense, not just “high speed operators” like yourselves. In addition to being a Marine combat vet I am also a law enforcement officer. I know from experience that even with emergency equipment on full blast doing 117mph down a four lane highway, it can take us up to 20 minutes to respond to an incident. I would rather arrive on a scene where one or two concealed carriers have neutralized or at least wounded the aggressor than to an active shooting still in progress and the body count rising. Add to that the fact that most civilian shooters I know are as good or better shots than most cops I know, the best shooters in our academy were civilian competition shooters before becoming cops. It really only takes a little common sense to figure out that return fire will reduce the bastard’s ability to slaughter the unarmed. Upon receiving return fire they will either die or have to deal with the unexpected threat which will take their attention off of those who aren’t fighting back and give them a chance to escape. Yes, there is a respectable chance that blue on blue will occur, but that chance doesn’t diminish when handled by law enforcement, and it’s better than letting the bad guys shoot fish in a barrel for 20 minutes until we get there.

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