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“It’s impossible to know whether anybody at Charlie Hebdo or at the market could have successfully taken advantage of an opportunity to defend against murderers who didn’t care about statutes and penalties,” J.D. Tuccille at reasons. Au contraire, mon frère! The Truth About Guns has teamed-up with Plano, Texas’ Patriot Protection to see whether an armed Charlie Hebdo employee could have defended his compatriots against two terrorist gunmen. Here’s how we’re going to do it . . .

[Disclaimer: Nick Leghorn’s in charge of the sim. TTAG’s former DHS risk analyst, has designed the sim to meet scientific criteria. The following protocol is my understanding of his methodology, which no doubt misses crucial variables and misrepresents stuff. We’ll update for accuracy as and when.]

We will be running the simulation a minimum of 20 times, with one armed self-defender. The armed defender will be different each time. He or she will not have participated in the sim before they enter.

We will simulate Hebdo’s offices: a narrow corridor with offices on either side leading to a main conference room. We will position five people in outer offices and 12 individuals in the conference room. The armed defender will be in the conference room, pretending to be in an editorial meeting.

The attackers will have simple instructions: enter and shoot as many people as possible. Keep doing so unless and until one of the monitors declares that the attacker has suffered a debilitating wound or their 30-round magazines are empty.

After cease-fire, we will record the hits and make a rough determination if they were mortal wounds or not. The marks will be removed and the sim run again. We will run at least one sim without any armed self-defender.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

The Dallas CBS affiliate will be filming and we expect other media coverage. Watch this space.

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  1. Run at least one simulation where everyone in the office is armed. In other words, run one like things ought to be.

      • Ever notice that in most TV cop dramas they show the cops taking off their guns and putting or locking them in a desk drawer? How dumb is that? How real life is that?

        • There are places that police can not have guns. If you are going into a detention area (jail) to talk to a suspect, you cannot have a gun with you. Given how much they do that on those shows, it doesn’t seem unreasonable

        • Well, the complacent office-type cops have guns in their lockers and desk drawers. Police policy typically requires at least one armed officer at the front desk. After that, it’s literally a crapshoot. And I’ve been behind the front desk in multiple police offices and can tell you from first hand experience that not every cop is armed. Non-LEOs witchin the building are rarely armed as well.

    • “Run at least one simulation where everyone in the office is armed. In other words, run one like things ought to be.”


      Or, if not everyone int he office, “some number greater than one.” That should be more realistic for most public place shootings here – the attacker does not know how many are armed.

      An interesting meta-study: run more sims with 1, 2, 3, etc armed defenders and see if there is a ‘break’ in the results – that is, “under this number, it doesn’t help all that much, but here it does.”

      But, my hypothesis is that even one will make a difference most of the time (unless the one happens to be one to catch one of the first attacker bullets).

      Very much looking forward to the result. The hand twisting in the MSM afterward should be interesting, too.

    • Agree. Run one where at least more than one person is armed.

      Also, Run one where no one is armed but don’t tell the participants which run that will be.


    • I think that would do little more than give catharsis to the sim participants. But it’d be amusing to watch.

  2. It is my understanding that the hebdo attacks were carried out with the gunman calling the people out by name and executing them. You could try to work that into the scenario.

  3. I would run the Sim with 1,2, and 3 armed defenders. Maybe call it Orange County, Milwaukee, and Texas variants. Heck, our church (which I consider to be a potential target) can usually bring more than a half dozen armed defenders.

    Also don’t have the attackers be Jerry M types. Have their skill and lack of mercy be roughly the same as the shooters in the video.

    Also, if possible, have armed vs. disarmed police arrive 4-5 minutes later or whatever the approximate French response time was. Even if police didn’t stop the murders, perhaps they could have avenged them and prevented the subsequent loss of lives from additional shootings.

    Nick, RF, and Co:
    Good luck, Godspeed, and thanks for giving a little more volume to the voice of reason.

      • Taylor TX,

        Just make sure you are NOT the guy wearing the red shirt and you will be fine.

        (For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, the person wearing the red shirt in the original Star Trek television series always died.)

  4. Unless this simulation covers weeks or months where nothing happens until the day it does, you haven’t simulated anything. Sorry to be the buzzkill, but that’s the reality of complacency.

      • Some carriers are complacent (pretty much) all the time, all are complacent sometimes. It’s just human nature. There are police officers who had plenty of training and knew the risks dead because they still weren’t expecting it to materialize that moment.

        Anyone who needs a gun to be more observant couldn’t have been all that observant to begin with.

    • True that there are a lot of things it does not cover/address, but that does not detract from what it DOES address.

      For example, there are those that say “a CC-er on the scene could not have changed the outcome.” Such a test can show if that statement is true or if it is at least possible for a lone CC-er (or more than one, if they do that test) to partly neutralize such an attack. That’s a VERY important distinction.

      What you brought up is the bane of every single ‘equal initiative’ training exercise on the planet. So, is your solution to stop training because of some “loophole?”

        • Oh, come on. Split all the hairs you want to split – or try to – but the fact remains that you made a fair point, but took it to excess.

          Doing this exercise has value. You not seeing it (or not acknowledging it) does not mean said value does not exist.

          Saying it has value as an exercise does not mean it is transcendentally magical, either. But to ignore what value it does contain is akin to saying, “well, you can’t win EVERY time you play, so you should never play.”

    • Even just ONE person standing up to an aggressor can bolster confidence in others – think flight 93.
      Preferably the resisting individual will have a firearm, but if not, even the right attitude can encourage others to resist. Will the resistance be successful? Maybe not, but this would be the difference between being helpless and having a fighting chance.

      • Not to speak ill of the dead, but it would certainly appear that warning did not prompt them to take sufficient action to prevent another attack.

        • No, but his point nuked to ashes your assertion that they should wait for months and become totally complacent. Evidence exists that their complacency did not have to be all that high…they had warning.

          So, this exercise can explore THAT difference as well…ignore the warning signs and stay complacent vs have SOME idea an attack might be coming.

    • Let me be clear… I know damn well that someone with a gun could have possibly stopped that attack. But there is no way this sort of game is going to “simulate” that situation any more than those silly simulations ABC did you can find online. It will show whatever the people running it want to show.

      And that’s the thing… anyone who would need to see a dog and pony show like this to realize a gun could have made a difference is the kind of person who will see that video and immediately dismiss it as propaganda.

      • ” It will show whatever the people running it want to show. “

        That depends entirely on the design of the Ex. Aren’t you a fan of FoF? It’s the same kind of deal. Poorly designed FoF (like that ABC thing) is not good training and not a good “what if” exercise. Properly designed exercise have value.

    • Hannibal,

      It takes an unsuspecting keen person on the order of 5 to 10 seconds to process vague commotion in the background and transition to full-on fight mode. That same person transitions to full-on fight mode in about 1 second when an armed attacker suddenly appears and starts firing.

      It is true that the participants in this simulation know that an attack is coming and would not require that 5 to 10 seconds to process a vague disturbance before drawing. Nevertheless, in a real attack, that 5 to 10 second reaction time would not hamper many armed defenders because they would have 5 to 10 seconds to prepare as long as they were not the very first target of the attacker/s.

      While this simulation is not perfect, I believe it is quite good and represents the potential benefits of armed defenders in MOST situations.

  5. I’d let the armed defender randomly be in any room (Roll the dice) Why leave the office occupants sitting ducks if the aggressors know they wont meet contact until they hit the conference room. Can the office occupants barricade or otherwise impede progress of the aggressors?

    WiIl staplers be provided or will they provide their own?

    Be safe folks

  6. I would love to see some variety in the method of carrying: Pocket carry, IWB, OWB, ankle, appendix.

    I wish there was some way to evaluate effectiveness of different calibers too…although there isn’t 🙁

  7. When I first saw the video of the two mooks in front of CH, my thought was I would retrieve my K31 from the closet and when they returned to the car and entered it, put one round through the windshield for the driver, and then follow that with one round through the windshield for the passenger. A little 60 year old Swiss engineering applied to the problem. Nothing so hi-tech that the French would ban it, but powerful enough to kick their dumb asses.

  8. I hope you have some control over what the media will show on the air. Otherwise, they can edit it and create their own narrative.

  9. It would also be good to include in the scenario what impact the employee who let the shooters in made.

    Meaning run the sim with the gunmen entering the office in relative quiet vs. kicking or shooting their way into the office as if the employee didn’t badge them in. We all know the more time to react means a better chance for a positive outcome.

    Very interested to see the results. Good luck to all participating. If the sim is good this should be an eye opener for a lot of people on both sides of the fence.

  10. Apples to Apples is my favorite game….but man, the guys in the picture are taking it WAY too serious.
    Good Luck! Have Fun! Be Safe! Thank you for doing this!
    Contact TheBlaze after your experiment. This seems likely to find space on their website.

  11. Probably too late to get this included this go-round, but how about a run where you “lie” to the attackers about what they can/should expect inside. Perhaps make them think it is a GFZ but it really isn’t…kind of like the Pennsylvania doctor that carried anyway (and saved lives in the process).

  12. I was one of the participants.
    Incredible experience, amazing how fast things can happen. I had an otb auto, we were not told anything in the way of preparation. But we were prepared physically, head and face protector, crotch protector, special ammunitions. My respect for anyone who actually has to go thru or into an enclosed armed confrontation is off the chart. The facility is first class and completely realistic. I applaud Nick, TTAG and the Patriot staff. Thanks Robert for pulling it off. Yes, I was killed. Did empty mag, and think I did get one before I was killed. Pistol against an AK… no real comparison. Now I need to make sure my Will is in order!

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