Can Airsoft People Survive in a .50 Caliber World?

AMERICA’S GUN CULTURE

On January 28, 2009, in a Federal Way Mirror article about the 1994 assault weapons ban, we reviewed some important issues raised when the men that drafted the U.S. Constitution disagreed about the question of whether to authorize “standing” armies. There were those on one side that felt national security might be neglected without a Constitutional provision mandating a full time, professional army. On the other side were men like Thomas Jefferson that saw the potential for the proposed federal government and full-time standing armies (like we have today) to become a new form of tyranny.Continue reading “Can Airsoft People Survive in a .50 Caliber World?”

Should You Bring Your Gun to a South King County Crime Scene?

NEVER AGAIN: REMEMBERING THE KATRINA GUN-GRAB

Some Federal Way, Washington residents have devoted many evenings and weekends preparing for earthquakes, fire, WMD attacks or other disasters. One of the primary ways to get ready is to attend CERT training. Community Emergency Response Teams obtain first aid skills, learn how to use fire extinguishers and practice other skills like prioritizing assistance to victims and communicating with professionals. The professionals that normally respond to criminal activity, fires or other hazards may become totally overwhelmed by the damage that occurs to people, structures and communication networks when disaster strikes.Continue reading “Should You Bring Your Gun to a South King County Crime Scene?”

Roundheads, Firearms, and the American Rifleman

Shooting Clubs.There are dozens of shooting ranges and clubs in Western Washington and all over the United States. As early as 1466, firearms culture and shooting clubs developed in Switzerland and, by the 15th Century, Schutzenfahnlein companies in Germany and the Swiss cantons boasted flags depicting crossbows and target rifles. Before long, many armies were combining pikemen with units of smoothbore musketeers. The muskets could be almost accurate at 200 hundred yards.

The combined units could break up squares of massed troops.

Advent of the Rifle. By the 1600s, weapons with grooved rifling began to show up on European battlefields.Continue reading “Roundheads, Firearms, and the American Rifleman”

Churches Developing Tactical Response Capability

Churches have been coming under attack for many years from many quarters. Now well armed individuals, often with a grievance or just hatred for Christianity have been literally invading churches to kill the worshippers within:

Killer’s rant filled with profanity, hate
By The Denver Post

Article Last Updated: 12/11/2007 09:24:12 AM MST

A message posted between the Youth With a Mission shooting in Arvada on Sunday, Dec. 9 and the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs is believed to be Matthew Murray’s last posting. It contains language which many may find objectionable:

“You christians brought this on yourselves!”

—————————————————————————–

“I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. ….God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you … as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.

Well all you people out there can just kiss my ass and die. From now on I don’t give a @#%$ about what all you muthaf#*kers have to say, unless I respect you which is highly unlikely, but for those of you who do happen to know me and know that I respect you, may peace be with you and don’t be in my line of fire, for the rest of you, you all better @#%$ hide in your houses because I’m coming for EVERYONE soon, and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth, and I WILL shoot to kill and I WILL @#%$ KILL EVERYTHING! No I am not crazy, crazy is just a word, to me it has no meaning, everyone is different, but most of you @#%$ heads out there in society, going to your everyday @#%$ jobs and doing your everyday routine shitty things, I say @#%$ you and die, if you got a problem with my thoughts, come to me and I’ll kill you, because……..God damnit, DEAD PEOPLE DON’T ARGUE! My belief is that if I say something, it goes. I am the law. If you don’t like it, you die. If I don’t like you or I don’t like what you want me to do, then you die. If I do something incorrect, oh @#%$ well, you die. Dead people can’t do many things, like argue, whine, @#%$, complain, name, rat out, criticize, or even @#%$ talk. So that’s the only way to solve arguments with all you fuckheads out there, I just kill. God I can’t wait till I can kill you people, I’ll just go to some downtown area in some big city and blow up and shoot everything I can.

You break my back but you won’t break me…..all is black but I still see…shut me down, knock me to the floor…..shoot me up, @#%$ me like a whore….trapped under ice, comfortably cold, I’ve gone as low as you can go….. feel no remorse, no sorrow or shame……time’s gonna wash away all pain I made a God out of blood not superiority I killed the king of deceit and now I sleep in anarchy…”

We pieced together the following account of what happened next from various websites:

In Denver, a woman, fresh from a three day fast, in which she prayed to God for guidance in choosing a career path, was thrown right into the path of this mad-dog killer:

Amid deafening cracks of gunfire, smoke-spewing canisters and the flight of thousands of New Life Church members, Jeanne Assam said she suddenly saw the hallways clear and a gunman come through the door.

“I took cover. I identified myself. I engaged him. I took him down,” the 42-year-old former law officer and volunteer church security guard said Monday at a news conference in the Colorado Springs police station.
Murray was carrying two handguns, an assault rifle and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, said Sgt. Jeff Johnson of the Colorado Springs Police Department.

“It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God,” she said.

Assam worked as a police officer in downtown Minneapolis during the 1990s and is licensed to carry a weapon. She attends one of the morning services and then volunteers as a guard during another service.

New Life’s Senior Pastor Brady Boyd called Assam “a real hero” because Murray “had enough ammunition on him to cause a lot of damage.”

Boyd said Assam was the one who suggested the church beef up its security Sunday following the Arvada shooting, which it did. The pastor credited the security plan and the extra security for preventing further bloodshed.

Boyd said there are 15 to 20 security people at the church. All are volunteers but the only ones armed are those who are licensed to carry weapons.

The security guards are members of the church who are screened and not “mercenaries that we hire to walk around our campus to provide security,” Boyd said.

About 7,000 people were on the church campus at the time of the shooting, said Boyd….

“I just said, ‘Holy Spirit, be with me.’ I wasn’t even shaking,” Assam said. “I give the credit to God. I say this very humbly. God was with me.”

The female security guard who shot and stopped a gunman at a Colorado Springs church yesterday is crediting God for helping her to resolve the threat by killing the assailant…

“This has got to be God, because of the firepower that [the gunman] had vs. what I had was God. I did not run away and I didn’t think for a minute to run away, I just knew that I was given the assignment to end this before it got too much worse. I just prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me.” …
“I heard shots fired. It was chaos. There were a lot of people in the church,” she described.

“The halls cleared out and I saw him coming through the doors. I took cover, waited for him to get closer, came out of cover and identified myself, engaged him, took him down,” she said.

Church officials said they have a contingent of volunteer security officers because of the high profile of the church.

“Obviously if we had not had an armed person on our campus, 50 or 100 people could have lost their lives,” the pastor said. …

…victims Stephanie Works, 18, and her sister Rachael, 16, adorned the program for services Sunday.

The two were killed when gunman Matthew Murray, armed with an assault rifle, a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun and a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, opened fire in the parking lot as a service was letting out. The girls’ father and two other people were wounded.

A volunteer security guard shot and wounded Murray, 24, before he turned the gun on himself. Twelve hours earlier and about 65 miles away, police said, Murray killed two staff members of the Youth With a Mission missionary training center in Arvada and wounded two others….

A Vietnam vet’s eyewitness account:

Larry Bourbonnais, a combat-tested Vietnam veteran, said it was the bravest thing he’s ever seen.

Bourbonnais, who was among those shot by a gunman Sunday at New Life Church, watched as a security guard, a woman later identified as Jeanne Assam, calmly returned fire and killed the shooter.

“She just started walking toward the gunman firing the whole way,” said Bourbonnais, who was shot in the arm. “She was just yelling ‘Surrender,’ walking and shooting the whole time.”

Bourbonnais, 59, was chowing down in the chuch cafeteria when he heard the shots. He headed in the direction of the gunfire, asking “where’s the shooter?”, as people ran past him.

Near an entryway in the church, Bourbonnais came upon the gunman and an armed male church security guard who was there with his gun drawn but not firing, he said.

“Give me your handgun. I’ve been in combat, and I’m going to take this guy out,” Bourbonnais recalled telling the guard. “He kept yelling, ‘Get behind me! Get behind me!’ He wouldn’t hand me his weapon, but he wouldn’t do anything.”

There was an additional armed security guard there, another man, who also didn’t fire, Bourbonnais said.

…Bourbonnais yelled at the gunman to draw his attention, he said.

“First, I called him ‘Coward’ then I called him ‘S—head’ ” Bourbonnais said. “I probably shouldn’t have been saying that in church.”

No, indeed, it only attracted the shooter’s attention:

That’s when the shooter pointed one of his guns at Bourbonnais and fired, he said.

Bourbonnais ducked behind a hollow, decorative pillar and was hit in the arm by a bullet and fragments of the pillar.

Enter our heroine:

Assam turned a corner with a drawn handgun, walked toward the gunman and yelled “Surrender!” Bourbonnais said.

The gunman pointed a handgun at Assam and fired three shots, Bourbonnais said. She returned fire and just kept walking toward the gunman pressing off round after round.

After the gunman went down, Bourbonnais asked Assam, a volunteer security guard with the church, how she remained so calm and focused.

Bourbonnais said she replied:

“I was asking the Holy Spirit to guide me the entire time.”

JAG Warriors: Seattle On-Site Update

The fact that detainees are often subjected to a judicial process under the UCMJ or similar procedures administered by military tribunals has caused a great deal of heartburn in some quarters. The fact is that every military lawyer has a professional code of ethics that constrains him or her to represent clients zealously and that requires remaining free from any command influences. Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift probably sacrificed his military career in order to comply with the professional code of zealous, ethical conduct- i.e., the same code under which private civilian lawyers work.Continue reading “JAG Warriors: Seattle On-Site Update”

JAG Lawyers and the Rule of Law

Every year I attend a seminar presented by the 6th JAG LSO in Seattle, Washington. In years past, the Army lawyers have discussed the procedures for dealing with WMD incidents on U.S. home soil and the chain of command during national emergencies. One component of the legal instruction is pure gold. The subject matter is broadly classified as Rule of Law– a big concept for JAG Corps lawyers, as it should be for all of us.

It may not be immediately obvious but the commitment to rule of law is what stabilizes a nation. The ability to honor contracts, respect minorities and manage conflict is what makes the difference between prosperous and peaceful societies and societies that descend into chaos. It just seems like prosperity, technological achievement and military might is the source of American power.Continue reading “JAG Lawyers and the Rule of Law”

Does Your Business Have a Threat Response Plan?

THREAT RESPONSE PLANS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

The following threat response strategies are focused on preventing violence in workplace settings, especially in areas open to the public and when it may be cost prohibitive for your business to retain professional security officers.

The first consideration is to identify any members of your organization that have experience as police officers. The rules of engagement are quite different for law enforcement than for military but those with tactical military training should also be identified.

Training can be acquired fairly quickly but a lack of good judgment about armed self-defense can create legal liability and a bad image for your church or business. Good judgment usually involves experience but the Lethal Force Institute and Firearms Academy of Seattle are both good places for your personnel to gain some training regardless of previous levels of experience.

The owner(s) of a business and those authorized by the owners can carry in a church or business without a CPL. Keep in mind, however, that if you are in a vehicle or away from your premises you need a CPL unless you carry openly which we are only recommending for uniformed Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs).

You do not want to deter visitors from coming onto your premises while appropriately armed. That visitor may save someone’s life. Predatory visitors will not leave their weapons at home just because they see a sign that bans weapons on your premises.

You are expected to take reasonable precautions to protect employees and invitees that enter your premises from foreseeable threats. Workplace violence has become more foreseeable and there is already some precedent for law suits proceeding against institutions like Virginia Tech.

In Washington, police officers are permitted to work as armed security when they are not on regular duty. Keep in mind that in many of the mass shootings that have occurred, uniformed police officers have been targeted first. The presence of a uniformed officer is a good thing but there needs to be one or more armed volunteers in plain clothes backing up the officer(s).

Security guards need to be licensed and properly supervised so do not take any steps indicating that any of your volunteers are security guards without undergoing the appropriate legal procedures. Nevertheless, management should discuss appropriate threat responses and to create threat response plans involving key employees. You may want to identify some armed volunteers that will be going about their normal activities but in such a way that they are prepared to implement a Threat Response Plan (TRP) if a threat materializes.

Designate areas of responsibility for various volunteers. Working in pairs makes sense. If members are identified as security personal and/or wear clothing that indicates certain members are official security personnel, you may be in violation of the law. Additionally, this creates more potential for liability if an incident occurs in which someone is injured by the commission of a negligent act or the failure to take appropriate action.

Once we undertake a special responsibility for others; e.g., by posting security guards or inducing members of the public safe to believe they are being protected, the person protected begins to rely on the perceived “promise” that he or she will be safe. Such reliance raises the potential for legal liabilities.

Take the time to study surveillance detection. Many times the mere fact that terrorists that are observing your building(s) realize that their surveillance teams are being observed will prevent an attack from developing.

You should have some key personnel at every door and in the parking lot that know what to look for. Be observant of people using cell phones to photograph your premises. Make sure that key personnel know about Domestic Violence Protection Orders that have been obtained by employees, stalking situations and provide enough information about any other threats that your key personnel know what to look for and how and to whom unusual observations should be reported.

1. Have an individual with a cell phone prepared to get out of the immediate area and call the police immediately. Only one person should talk to the police. Conflicting information is not helpful for 911 dispatchers.

2. Give the location in the building where the disturbance is occurring. Do not tell law enforcement that there are armed volunteers present if the disturbance is not one that presents the threat of deadly force. If the first responders think that you have armed civilians involved the police may not come in until SWAT teams arrive which takes a great deal of time in many instances.

3. You need an exit plan for your employees. They need to know they are to follow instructions from leaders. Visitors will follow the leaders and employees. These leaders may be women or men. They need to know a place to go outside the building where the threat is developing. In the case of a larger organization, it may be another building that can be locked. Start walking people out- do not run. Tell them, “follow the leader, walk don’t run.”

If dealing with an armed troublemaker, armed volunteers should be using cover but also moving quickly to the active shooter. Stay in control and walk purposefully. Keep the possibility of “outriders” in mind and protect your weapon from well meaning bystanders that may try to grab the weapon from you!

Give commands forcefully but calmly. If you are armed, you should avoid any physical contact that may lead to losing control of your weapon. If you are confronted with disparity of force (more than one assailant or a deadly weapon) do what is appropriate.

Remember the 21 ft rule. Stay at safe distance and wait for law enforcement. If your gun is out (which it normally would be if you are confronted with a contact weapon) holster your weapon before the police arrive- but stay prepared. You should have a good distance between yourself (the armed volunteer) and the perpetrator. Do not attempt to handcuff or make any physical contact with an aggressor. You are not trained to do that. If there is even a possibility that the troublemaker is armed then stay behind cover at all times if possible.

1. Holler give commands, to those around you, “Get on the floor. Do not run, get down.”

2. Remember that bullets do not stop when they hit a perpetrator (or a wall). By kneeling or shooting from close to the floor your rounds travel upward, thus minimizing the chance of stray rounds hitting innocent bystanders.

3. Those willing to take the shooter down should rush the shooter and keep coming until he is down. Push people down or out of the way, even run over children while shouting commands, “Get down, do not run, get on the floor!”

4. Those who choose to fight should focus on the weapon not the person. Control the weapon. After the active shooter has been subdued, march everyone out to a safe place in the manner described above. Someone needs to call for medical assistance at this point.

5. When LEOs arrive all weapons should already be put away if possible. Make sure not to pick up the shooter’s weapon but keep your foot on it or secure it if there is a chance someone may pick it up. Do what the police tell you to do. Identify the wrongdoer to the police and make sure the police know that he had to be stopped in order to prevent innocent people from becoming victims. Point out evidence such as spent casings, weapons, etc. but do not provide details without a lawyer present.

Note well: You will be experiencing an enormous rush of adrenaline but resist the urge to talk too much and make sure that you are not holding a weapon or doing anything when the police arrive that might cause them to regard you as a threat. That means to drop your gun on the floor without hesitation when commanded to do so.

Please do not rely on this short set of suggestions as legal advice. Every situation is governed upon very specific facts. Get training in the laws of self-defense and know the laws of your jurisdiction. Talk to local police authorities and ask them to discuss your threat response plan with you. You alone are responsible for your actions, especially if you are ever faced with protecting innocent members of the public from the threat of deadly force.

If anything herein is helpful, individuals, churches and businesses are encouraged to reproduce this article without permission. We encourage you to submit your ideas to knapp.m@comcast.net so that we can augment or correct what we have provided so far. This article is a work in progress.

Reality-Based Training is Practical for Police and Armed Citizens

Law enforcement agencies require “qualification” tests at least one time each year.

Firearms qualification ensures that officers can make a certain number of holes in a paper target within a given amount of time. Almost every department requires additional tests of proficiency for its officers.

At the Federal Way Police Department, four training sessions occur each year. This Federal Way requirement is now becoming the regional standard. Almost every agency in our region meets the regional standard and some agencies may exceed this standard by shooting six times a year.Continue reading “Reality-Based Training is Practical for Police and Armed Citizens”

Nationwide Concealed Carry for Retired Law Enforcement in Washington State

I. PURPOSE

The following opinion answers questions related to questions raised by the WASPC as to whether a municipal law enforcement agency exposes itself to additional liability by certifying retired law enforcement officers as having met Criminal Justice Training Commission standards for firearms qualification. Continue reading “Nationwide Concealed Carry for Retired Law Enforcement in Washington State”

Seattle a Sanctuary for Undocumented Criminals

Seattle is not exactly a cowboy town but a little like a rodeo.

Whether its marching in a “PRIDE” parade with your weapon in plain view or riding your Harley to Sturgis with the rest of the Iron Pigs, we all have our point of view.

Rebecca Griego also had a point of view. She wanted to be safe from a man that was stalking her. She obtained a Domestic Violence Protection Order. Nevertheless, she was murdered by a man that was known to be stalking her for a long time in Seattle:Continue reading “Seattle a Sanctuary for Undocumented Criminals”