Thousand Oaks Shooting

Since the 72 hour time frame has passed, by a good bit, and we now have a great deal more information than right after the shooting, I decided it is time to post this and provide some of this information and some of my thoughts.

Firearm: Glock 21, .45 Caliber, imagestandard magazine holds 13 rounds. CA compliant magazine holds 10 rounds. It has been stated that an “extended” magazine was used, but it is not clear whether that means a 13 round standard capacity magazine or some other capacity was used.

Shooter: Former Marine. It is unclear whether he still suffered from PTSD or not, even though he had treatment in the past. He was not a known Jihadist or anything like that.

Summary of Action: The shooter shot the outside security guard, then entered and fired on the crowd using at least two magazines.

California Laws

Just a quick summary of some of the laws of California, where legislators believe that gun control laws work, and continue to push for more and more laws.

Firearm Safety Certificate – All purchasers are required to pass a written test that is proctored by a DOJ approved instructor before purchasing or receiving a handgun. This law did not prevent the shooting.

Universal Background Checks – California has implemented universal background checks that cover all transfers, including loans, of firearms. All sales and transfers are recorded by the state of California. The Glock 21 was legally acquired. The law did not prevent the shooting.


Handgun Roster
– Only certain guns, meeting requirements as specified by the state, are allowed. All manufacturers have to pay for the testing to be allowed on the roster. Also, it might be noted that this law is being challenged as a de factor ban as any new firearms are required to meet standards that can’t be met with today’s technology. The Glock 21 is on the roster. The law did not prevent the shooting.


10 Day Waiting Period
– California requires a 10 day waiting period for the purchase of firearms. Supposedly, this cooling off period will prevent killings, even though there is no proof of this being a deterrent or helping to reduce violence. The law did not prevent the shooting.

New Resident Report of Firearm Ownership – All people moving to California, that have firearms, are required to file a report within 60 days of moving to California. This law did not apply. However, the law did not prevent the shooting.


Ammunition Purchases
– A new laws allows ammunition to only be purchased from  federally licensed dealers. All ammunition was legally purchased. The law did not prevent the shooting.


Red Flag Law
– California is one of the first states to implement a red flag law that allows friends and family to apply to the court to have a person’s firearms taken away from them without due process. However, in the case of this person, he was evaluated by a mental health specialist who cleared him of needing to be committed to a mental facility for treatment. There are no known applications that were submitted to the court, in this case. The law did not prevent the shooting.

CCW Permits – It is well known that California severely restricts conceal carry weapon permits. California is a “May-Issue” state and has no reciprocity with other states. Very few counties will issue permits to the standard citizen, despite training. Political or celebrity influence is a requirement to get a permit in most counties. This law did not prevent the shooting. However, the law prevented a trained and capable private citizen from being armed and able to stop the threat.

Magazine Capacity Limit – Laws exist to prevent the purchase or import of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. A newer law, Proposition 63, was put in place to apply this same limit to all previously grandfathered magazines. Proposition 63 currently is suspended pending further legal action. Despite claims that an “extended” magazine was used, this has not been made clear. To help understand this, please note the the standard magazine that comes with the Glock 21 when purchased in other states, holds 13 rounds. It is possible that 13 round magazines were used. It is possible that 10 round magazines were used. In either case, it is clear that the shooter changed the magazine. The answer as to what capacity magazine was used is not answered, yet. Even if an “extended” magazine were used, it would not have been a significant factor as it has been shown that changing a magazine takes less than second for a trained person. The law did not prevent the shooting.

“Assault Weapon” Ban – This is another of the many laws put in place that did not impact this incident. I can go on and on about the many issues with this law, but that is for another day. The law did not prevent the shooting.

Other Notes

Police Off-Duty Policy – This is not a law, but it is important to note that all six off-duty law enforcement officers at the shooting were unarmed. I have heard that it is a policy that prevents them from carrying when off duty, but i have not confirmed this. Not a law, but it appears to have prevented a trained and capable law enforcement officer from stopping the threat.

Time – The reports say that the initial shooting took about 2.5 minutes. I hope to see a better timeline, soon.

Firearm – The Glock 21 used is not a firearm that would be banned or subject to any special legislation. It is a widely available handgun that is often used for home defense. This was not an evil looking “Assault Weapon.”

Summary

Shootings like this can happen anywhere, even in towns considered to be extremely safe. The inability for potential victims to respond leads to more victims. In this case, there were several unarmed law enforcement officers at the incident.

I feel that it is horrible that the state of California has disarmed its citizens and made them more susceptible to these kind of shootings. It is even worse if the officers were unarmed because of some short-sighted policy.

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Proper Training

I have used chainsaws as analogy when discussing firearms, and now seems like a good time to use this analogy, again.

I got my first chainsaw just a couple of years ago, so it is still semi-fresh in my mind.

  1. I opened up the box and took out the chainsaw and the owners manual. Yep, I did this with the last gun that I bought.
  2. I checked to make sure the chain was tensioned properly, and that it moved freely after disengaging the chain lock. I engaged the chain lock, again, and verified that the chain would not move freely. I then added the chain oil. When it comes to my last gun, I did a basic cleaning like the manual suggested after field stripping the gun, then a oiled it as suggested in the owner’s manual.
  3. I took the chainsaw outside, added some gas, put a log on my sawbuck, started the chainsaw, and made a couple of cuts. I put some more logs on the sawbuck and cut them up, too. For my gun, I took it outside, set up a target, loaded it, and then put a couple of magazines of ammo through it.

This is where too many chainsaw and gun owners stop.

Until you properly train with your chainsaw, you won’t understand how a tree will bind up on the chainsaw if you don’t learn how to use it and practice it. Cutting logs on the sawbuck really isn’t enough training. When it comes to cutting up a tree that has blocked your road, unless you have used that chainsaw in the field, you will have issues. You need to practice using your chainsaw under multiple conditions, including in the cold and the rain, and on different kinds of wood, dead-fall and live, Aspen, Pine, and Oak. You don’t know what kind of tree will be in the way and what the conditions will be like when you need to use that chainsaw.

You need to train with your gun, and not just standing still on a range. You need to shoot from multiple positions. You need to learn how to use cover and concealment. You need to train in all weather conditions at all days of the day and the night. You need to train so that you are prepared for that time when your life depends on being able to:

Move

Draw

Move

Shoot

Move

Clear malfunctions

Reload

Move

Notice a theme? You will not just be standing there if that time arrives, at least I hope you won’t just be standing there.

Parking Lot Shooting in Florida

The Short Version of the Story

In case you had not seen this when it hit the news, a man was attacked, then shot and killed his attacker. Well, there is more to it, so here is the summary.

It all started when Britany Jacobs was parked in a handicap spot, without the proper plate or permit. Michael Drejka,47, approached her and started yelling at her and berating her for the violation. Jacob’s boyfriend of many years, Markeis McGlockton, 28, was in the store and heard the commotion. McGlockton came out of the store and attacked Drejka. McGlockton threw Drejka to the ground. Drejka drew his gun and shot and killed McGlockton.

The Long Version of the Story

It doesn’t really matter that Drejka has a history of provoking trouble or that he had been charged with felonies in the past. Supposedly, Drejka had started a fight with another person, in the past, for parking in the same handicap parking spot.

The long version of the story doesn’t really matter, at all. So, we will not discuss it, in any sort of depth, here.

The Video

In the video, Drejka approaches the car in the handicap spot at about 1:18 andimage you can see him looking at the front of the car, possibly checking the plates. He proceeds to point at Jacobs and talk to her, possibly yelling at her. At about 2:43, McGlockton comes out of the store and strides towards Drejka then shoves him to the ground, hard at about 2:49. Drejka gets up into a sitting position, with McGlocton standing and facing him, then Drejka begins to draw his gun at about 2:51 and aims it at McGlockton. McGlockton takes a couple of steps back at 2:52 and starts to turn towards the door of the store where he left one of his children. It appears that McGlockton yells something at Drejka. At 2:54, Drejka fires and hits McGlockton. McGlockton then runs back to the store’s door and enters the store where he dies.

Quick Analysis

I look at these shooting using an AOJ analysis.

A – Ability. In this case McGlockton has the clear ability to harm Drejka. He was bigger, stronger, faster, etc, than Drejka and threw Drejka to the ground.

O – Opportunity. Does the attacker, McGlockton, have the opportunity to use his ability against the defender, Drejka? The answer is pretty clear because he attacked Drejka.

J – Jeopardy. Jeopardy means that the defender is under imminent threat of being killed or suffering serious bodily harm. The standard, in most cases, is that a reasonable person would feel in jeopardy in the same or in a similar situation. Having just been attacked, and his attacker within feet of him, it seems reasonable that Drejka felt the threat was imminent.

It is pretty likely that Drejka will not be convicted of the manslaughter charge he currently faces. Opinions might be split on this case, only because some people feel that when McGlockton stepped back, that jeopardy was no longer in effect.

There are many facts that we just do not know. For example, what did McGlockton say/yell when he stepped back and turned, slightly, towards the door of the store? For example, was he yelling at his child to stay in the store? Too much is unknown, but I think a reasonable person would act in a similar manner.

Don’t Get Shot by the Police

Summary of the Incident

The day before yesterday, about two miles from my home, there was a home invasion. A resident shot and killed the intruder. The resident was later shot and killed by a responding police officer.

Tragic.

More Detail – Not all of the Details

The details haven’t been released, but so far we know that a naked man broke into the imagehome, attacked the 11 year old boy that lives there and tried to drown the child in a bath tub. The child’s father and his grandfather fought the intruder. The grandfather, a decorated veteran and former IRS agent, shot and killed the intruder, saving his grandson, and possibly his other family members, too. The mother of the child called 911 and gave them a description of her husband. There is no mention whether she also described the grandfather.

In the end, the defender won. He killed the intruder.

The responding police officer arrived on the scene of a reported invasion and a report of gunfire. As the officer approached the home, he saw a man inside with a gun. He fired. He killed the man, who happened to be the good guy that just defended his family.

What Went Wrong?

Like I stated, we don’t have all of the details. I will update this post as more information is made available.

What could have been done to help prevent this tragedy would include:

  • The caller to 911 could have stayed on the line. She was not directly engaging the intruder. The child’s father and grandfather were fighting him off.
  • The caller to 911 could have fully described the grandfather as well as the father.
  • The grandfather could have placed his gun down once the intruder was stopped.
  • The officer could have drawn and aimed, without firing, as he assessed the situation.

What We Don’t Know

We have to understand, that at this point, we don’t know:

  • What the officer saw at the scene. Was the grandfather pointing the gun at the intruder? Was he, somehow, pointing in the direction of the officer? Was the officer wearing a body cam?
  • Whether there were multiple intruders. The mother stated that more intruders came into the home during the confrontation.
  • The timing. Were shots fired as the officer approached the house? That will change many of the circumstances and the need for immediate action.
  • The information provided by the mother, the caller. She may have given great descriptions of everyone in the home. She might not have done that.
  • Whether the mother stayed on the line with 911 while the responding officer arrived.
  • Whether the mother met the responding officer out in front of the home or not.
  • The information provided by the 911 operator to the officer. If good descriptions were given, were they shared with the officer on the scene as he approached?

Conclusion

We need to have an open mind about what happened, and we need to keep an open mind until all of the details are in.

Instead, I am seeing the typical statements being made about how horribly trained the police are and how the officer didn’t evaluate the situation before firing. I am hearing that the police are conspiring to change the reality of the situation to protect the officer that was involved. Of course, those making these statements don’t have a clue, and have anti-police biases, but that doesn’t matter when they are poisoning the minds of others.

We, as defenders, need to understand how to respond after a shooting. What is most important is that we make sure the police have a good description of us, so we are not mistaken as the bad guy. If possible, we should disarm ourselves before the police arrive so we do not appear to be a threat. We also need to treat the responding officer with respect and follow all instructions.

Basically, don’t be a threat to the police and make it clear that you are the good guy.

Not Everyone Gets Bananas

Yeah, it doesn’t sound like this has to do with self-defense, but hang in there with me for a bit.

I was watching the movie, Gringos, and one of the main characters, Ricard, the CEO, tries to put the other main character, Harold, his friend and employee, in his place by providing an analogy/story. Bananas

“Have I told you about the two gorillas?” Richard asks. “I read it in this book. Two gorillas, right? And every day they get fed carrots and every day they eat the carrots, no problem. Chomp, chomp, chomp–so delicious! Except one day, the handler, he gives one of the gorillas a banana and the other guy still gets his carrots. He doesn’t want to eat the carrots, because he sees the other guy eat the banana. You know what I’m saying? Harold, eat your fucking carrots.”

I hope you are still with me. I still have a bit to go before I actually get to a point.

Motivations

Many of us eat carrots and bananas. We like the occasional banana, and we love eating our bananas. Those that eat nothing but carrots would be happy with their carrots, in most cases, until they see our bananas. How do some people get bananas and others don’t? Well, that doesn’t really matter to the ones that want bananas and instead have to eat carrots. They want those fucking bananas.

Actions

There are a few ways to get bananas:

  1. Work hard, save, budget, and then purchase bananas every now and then
  2. Forget about the above and spend whatever you have on carrots and ignore your other responsibilities in life
  3. Take bananas from others

Obviously, those that are not willing or capable of option 1, and have found that option 2 is not sustainable, may choose option number 3.

Results

So, let’s take this to self defense.

Some gorillas will jump the gorillas that have bananas and take them. Aggressive and anti-social gorillas use violence to get what they want.

The question that we have to ask ourselves is whether our bananas are worth defending with deadly force. Of course, remember, it is an analogy and I would never advocate using deadly force to protect bananas.

What Defense Round Should I Carry?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but hollow points expand on impact.” I teach this saying to every student.

There is a ton of stuff written about the testing of defense ammo and what works best. Many of the different studies try to compare the different rounds to identify the best defense rounds. Of course, some of them say to use X and some of them say to use Y. On a side note, NONE of the credible articles recommend using the stupid and worthless G2 Research RIP round.

I will take a shot (pun intended) to answer this question. The answer is, “It depends!”

The Goal

If, hopefully it does not happen, you must shoot to defend yourself or your loved ones, there are a few very important goals:

  • Achieving a Good Hit – You must hit a vital area that will result in the attacker(s) stopping the attack.
  • Deep Penetration – The bullet must penetrate any barriers between you and the target, and go deep enough into the attacker’s body to do the damage required to stop the attack.
  • Not Over Penetration – Yeah, I could have combined it with the one, above, but sometimes, it is important reinforce the concept of penetration. Over penetration is a huge concern. If the bullet passes through the attacker, and hits an innocent person, that is, potentially, worse that missing the attacker.

The Factors

I have given it a great deal of thought, and what I believe are the most important factors when it comes to the choice of defense rounds. I believe the following are the most important factors to consider:

Comfortable to Shoot – It is important that the round be something that you can shoot, comfortably, and accurately. Many people choose +P rounds to get the extra velocity, and the extra energy. However, with the extra energy comes the extra recoil and extra snappiness. Obviously, if you are under stress, it is not exactly in your best interest to use a round that does not react the same way as the rounds used when practicing.

Energy – The amount of energy is the one measurement that is easy to compare from one round to another, despite the caliber. 

Penetration – The FBI protocol calls for between 12-18” of penetration in 10% ballistics gel. The idea is that there is sufficient penetration to reach vital organs or the central nervous system, without over penetrating. Many of the different tests used try to measure common barriers like heavy clothing and glass. Some bullets can become clogged with heavy clothing which can prevent their expansion.

Stopping Power – There really isn’t any such thing as stopping power, however, it is a common term. What is really measured is the transfer of energy from the bullet to the target, which is often achieved through expansion of the bullet once it hits the target’s flesh. The material of the bullet is a significant factor in the expansion of the bullet, and the transfer of energy. For example, an all lead bullet will expand, quickly, and may not achieve the necessary penetration, while a full metal jacket (FMJ) will not expand and not transfer energy. The FMJ will most likely over penetrate the target. The preferred bullet is a jacketed hollow point (JHP).

Weight Retention – The bullet must retain its weight, and not shed the jacket which will result in poor penetration.

Wound Cavity – The energy, the expansion, penetration, and weight retention of the bullet all contribute to the size of the wound cavity. A larger wound cavity will cause more damage to vital organs and the central nervous system. The greater the wound, the more likely the attacker will be stopped.

Barrel– The type and length of the barrel of the gun that you have chosen will also have an impact on the type of ammo that works best. The FBI tests were performed using full sized service guns, not subcompact and compact guns.

Recommendations

I highly recommend that everyone visits the Lucky Gunner Labs site. It is an excellent source for researching the different rounds available.

Personally, I have found that the go-to defense ammo choices for 9mm include the following, but you may find different top contenders for .40 and .45 caliber:

  • Federal HST 147 or 150 grain – These are generally acknowledged as the top choice.

image


  • Banes TAC-XPD 115 grain
  • Corbon 115 grain
  • Magtech Guardian Gold 115 grain
  • Remington Golden Saber 124 or 147 grain
  • Sig Sauer V-Crown 124 grain
  • Speer Gold Dot 124 and 147 grain
  • Winchester Ranger T-Series 147 grain

Honor Guard–A Review

I haven’t done a review on a product in ages. It just isn’t something that I do very often.

About two months ago, I bought an Honor Guard model HG9SCMS. Why? HG Left (2)_LIWhy not? I own several small, single stack, concealed carry firearms, so adding one more from a different vendor just made sense to me.

Note: I just put 200 rounds through this gun, today, and it hasn’t been cleaned, so forgive any carbon or other dirt that shows in the pics. I wanted to get this blog out, tonight.

Currently, I also have the following carry guns, just for comparison:

  • Glock 19
  • Glock 26
  • Glock 43
  • Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm
  • Sig P238

I have several full sized service handguns, too.

Long story, somewhat short, I bought the Honor Guard as a demo gun, to show the features that people should consider when buying a concealed handgun. The features, include:

  • Ambidextrous Controls – Not just the slideHG Right stop lever, but also the manual safety, and the magazine release are available on both sides of the gun. It is so much easier to demonstrate the firing grip, magazine changes, and malfunctions for both righties and lefties using the same gun. Notice the controls as shown on the right side of the gun.
  • Grip Stippling – The OEM stippling is perfect. I am not a fan of stipple jobs, but this stippling is just aggressive enough to ensure a good grip while not chewing up your hands. HG Crown
  • Crowned Muzzle – I don’t think I have seen this, before, on a factory gun that isn’t on an upgraded model that costs more than the stock version. I may be wrong, but it jumped out at me. It is a nice feature that you won’t find on most carry guns. A good crowned muzzle will improve accuracy, but, let’s face it, most of us won’t notice the difference. I don’t, at least I am pretty sure I don’t.
  • Manual Safety – Yes, it is for demo, so I bought it with the safety. However, thinking about it, I probably would have purchased the model with the safety because I don’t like the way the blanks look on the gun where the safety would go, if it were not installed. Having the safety will help it appeal to more people, especially for those using purse carry, as the extra layer of safety. If I get to the point where I carry the gun, I probably won’t engage the safety.
  • Great Sights – I might be exaggerating a bit here, but I have several HG SightsGlocks, and I haHG Sights2te having to install better sights as I hate the stock sights on Glocks. Something that makes the sights even better is that they use the exact same sights as a Glock 43, so you will have lots of options if you want to upgrade the sights, further. I will probably add the Glock OEM night sights to this, later. Another note on the sights, the rear sight has a nice ledge, making it easier to do one handed reloads and malfunction manipulations.
  • Nice Grip Length – My main complaint with smaller concealed carry guns is that I can’t get my big manly hands fully on the grip. The extended 8 round mag is perfect for me.
  • Serial Number on Action, not Frame – I have to admit that this is one feature that I love on the Sig P320. The chassis can be removed and put into different frames since the serial number is on the chassis. Honor Defense sells different frames, including the FIST (it has a front end muzzle stand off), for a very reasonable fee.
  • Trigger – No odd safety blade. It is a nice smooth trigger that reminds me HG Triggerof the Sig P365. However, the trigger is not as nice as the P365. It is still a damned good trigger.
  • Slide Serrations – I know many people don’t like doing press checks using the front of the slide. I do. I teach it, as well as the rear grip method. You can see, in the front sight picture, that the serrations go clear across the top of the slide, too.

Most Important Features

Reliable – Yep, damned right it is reliable. So far, no malfunctions! I have used several types and weights of ammo, without any issues. Lots of defense ammo, and lots of jacketed practice ammo, as well as Syntech have gone through this gun. 

Accurate – While I say that I really don’t notice the impact of the crowned muzzle, I have to say that I have, absolutely, noticed the accuracy of this gun. It is amazing! I was ringing steel all day, earlier today, from over 40 yards. While I don’t recommend practicing at that distance, I kept stretch it out further and further both left handed and right handed.

Concealable – Being a single stack, this gun conceals nicely. I would like to see more holsters available, but I have found a couple of nice IWB kydex holsters for it, and they are working fine for training. Once I get a few more hundred rounds on this gun, it may become my go-to every day carry.

Safe???? I bring this up because there has been a great deal made of the drop safety failing, like the Sig P320. It appears that there is a fix available, though, that improves the drop safety well above and beyond industry requirements. Of course, if you slam your gun down so hard that it can be simulated with a hammer, then I guess it is something to consider.

Warranty – Honor Defense recently announced that they now have a limited lifetime warranty. The warranty applies to everything they have made, including guns made before the announcement.

Summary

Yes. I love it.