Monday, May 6, 2013

250 Rounds of Aguila .45 Ammo Left On My Doorstep

I must be getting old and forgetful because today I received an order of 250 rounds of Aguila, 230 grain, FMJ, .45 Auto ammo, that I kind of, sort of, somehow forgot that I had ordered. That also could be because I recently made a couple of orders of 9mm Ammo or just because it was no big deal for me to order ammo. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I love finding ammo at my front door, I just wish someone else was paying for it.

All the best,

The Liberator - They Actually Printed A Working Plastic Pistol...

...and I have to admit I was dead wrong because I thought it possible, when I first heard of this project, that it was all a hoax for them, Defense Distributors (aka: to get donations and maybe pocket them instead of really figuring out how to "print" a working gun. What can I say but I am a cynic. I owe them an apology for my having thought that and I think maybe a small donation too, especially in light of the fact they have made the plans freely available to anyone.

Edited to add: Donation sent.

All the best,
Glenn B

Intense Shootout Footage - Police Versus Bad Guy In Middlefield, Ohio

The video, at the following link, is intense or in other words very graphic and extremely violent in nature. If you do not want to see someone die, don't watch. It is the complete start to finish dash cam video of a police cruiser showing a subject being stopped by police for running a stop sign and then getting out and opening fire on the officers with an AK-47 and the officers taking down the bad guy. It took place in March 2013, in Middlefield, Ohio.,AAAAQBxUNqE~,xKBGzTdiYSTvTgY_KEDQxGs6uqT6UiMm

This video and the accompanying and very informative linked article tell a story about how shit can hit the fan very badly and very quickly. There are many things you can learn from it, both what to do and what not to do if you are ever involved in a shooting. One of the most important things to do would be to keep your cool. I think you will realize, after watching the video and listening to the audio (there is audio once they make the vehicle stop, it does not come on until then), that the officers stayed pretty cool under fire. Yes, the female officer is heard screaming once, or at least I think it was her BUT she was pretty calm under fire, AND remained so after being hit twice by gunfire. Her voice is steely.

The male officer must have stayed calm enough because he hit the bad guy with 9 shots. He fired a total of  29 rounds and the female officer fired 17 rounds. Yes, that means that it seems that a total of 46 rounds were fired by the officers (other reports say 50 but so far all agree that the bad guy had 19 injuries. Only  bullets were recovered from his body. Either 10 bullets passed through him or some passed through and others caused multiple wounds (only guy I ever shot had 5 bullet holes from a single bullet) or only 9 hit him and they caused all 19 wounds. In the best case scenario, the bad guy was hit 19 times. The officers reportedly fired a total of 47 - 50 rounds depending on which report you read. Officer Savage (the male officer) reportedly fired 29 - 33 rounds (again depending on the report you read) and Officer Thomas (female officer) 17 rounds. With 19 hits at best, that leaves 28 - 31 shots out in the ozone, so to speak. That may not seem like great shooting on the part of the officers but let me say, it just isn't the same as shooting at paper at the range - NOT AT ALL because paper does not shoot at or in any other way threaten you.

I know what it feels like to be confronted by an armed pair of thugs and shoot at them. I can say without a doubt that it is nowhere near the same as anything I have ever encountered at the range as far as my reaction and actions went. Luckily for me, my first and second shots were well enough aimed to end the confrontation. There is nothing to prepare you for it though, nothing in your law enforcement training, nothing you see in a movie, nothing you read in a book or online. Not even this video can prepare you for how you will react and act at a moment when your life is on the line. I cannot fault the officers too much for missing with that many shots, I am sure that the pucker factor was in full force when this got underway. My guess would be though that, if they remain on the job, they will practice shooting more than before.

Luckily for them, the bad guy was an even worse shot. He shot 33 rounds at the cops. He apparently missed with all of his shots except possibly for one or two, the shot that took off Officer Thomas' finger and the one that hit her in her thigh. While every report I have read says that the bad guy shot off Officer Thomas' index finger on her left hand, I wonder about that a bit. I know for a fact that some police officials also have to be wondering if that is really what happened to her finger. Chances are she is right handed, as are most of us, and if she is I am wondering if it actually was a shot from the bad guy's gun or one from her own pistol that shot off her index finger. It happens. If she is lucky, no one will ever question it that all that much or the doctors were able to determine without a doubt that the was from one of the bad guy's shots. Yet, for now, it is something to consider if you are a shooter regardless of who shot her finger. A self-inflicted gunshot to the off hand, as you bring it up to get a two hand hold on the gun, is not that uncommon an injury as all too often the shooter places that hand in front of the muzzle as the shooter brings up the gun with the other. The cause, in this case, had she actually shot herself in that finger, probably would have been that she was on an adrenalin overdrive. Note, I am not saying she did shoot herself or even that it is likely but that such things do happen and you should be aware of it if you are a pistol shooter.

Note again, Officer Thomas was cool under fire. She had the wits about her to calmly communicate with her partner right from the get go. She tells officer Savage that "he is hiding something" referring to the bad guy. She got out of the patrol car, walked around to the other side behind it (using what cover she had) and then starts to approach the bad guys vehicle. She warns officer Savage as the dirt bag gets out of his car with the gun. She returns fire as does Savage (who fired from inside the car through the cruiser's windshield). She is hit. A break in the action takes place with the bad guy on his knees and Savage, also calmly, asks Thomas if she is hit. Listen to her reply  she is one cool person even after having been hit. She calmly and with determined steeliness communicates with her partner, telling him to cover them and she will call dispatch. She calls it in and her partner starts to fire at the scumbag who is again seemingly preparing to engage officer once again - watch closely in case you did not notice but as the officer starts shooting at the subject, who is on his knees, it appears he is trying to change magazines or to somehow manipulate the action on the rifle.

It is only once the piece of shit has been riddled with bullets and is lying on the ground, not moving, that the officers both loose some of that calmness. Officer Savage can be heard screaming: "send back-up now" as Officer Thomas gives out their location and other info.

To me, it sounds as if a passerby approaches the police officers and asks if they are okay. I do not think that is their dispatcher, even though that is when officer Savage calls for back-up, because the voice then says "I have a pis..." but immediately shuts up when he is cut off by Savage again as Savage again calls for back up as Officer Thomas calls in that she is hit, needs and ambulance and gives their location. The fear and shock in both of the officers' voices is readily apparent but note again - only after the bad guy is already down. Then, that same unknown voice says:  "How bad you hit?" to which Officer Savage starts to reply, in a low calm voice again "probably..." followed by something I could not understand.  It sounds like he is talking to someone right there with them. Then that same unknown voice says: "Hold on, hold on, is he dead?"

I think it was a passerby who was offering to render assistance and that he initially had been about to say 'I have a pistol, I can help' or something like that. I could be interpreting it all wrong, it could be the dispatcher's voice, but I have explained why I think not. Folks, I bring this up because if you ever approach police to render assistance, do not tell them, as one of the first things you say:  "I have a pistol" especially only a moment after they were just engaged in a fatal shootout - unless you are absolutely sure they realize you are one of the good guys and I really do mean that you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN they know you are one of the good guys. Mistakes happen and people get shot because of mistaken intentions and mistaken identity during heated moments such as these. Let them know you are there to help by saying something like: "Officers can I help, are you wounded, I know first aid" or ask "should I call 911 for assistance" or tell them "I just called 911 and told them what happened, help is on the way, what can I do to help you" (*which might be the thing to do before you go to help the officers). Do not interrupt them during a radio call for assistance. Hold your tongue until that call is over. It would be a terrible fate to be wounded or killed by the officers when you were trying to help but they, in their shocked states of mind, mistook you for an accomplice of the bad guy.

Speaking about shock and mental state, did you notice that even after the bad guy went down onto the ground in the prone position, and was apparently stopped from being a further threat, and taking no more hostile actions, the officer(s) kept firing. Is that the way it should happen? Probably not under the law the way it is written. Is that the way it happens? Yes, quite often. Was whoever was still firing wrong and doing something illegal and unforgivable? You can bet that someone who does not understand what is taking place would quite likely say that was totally wrong and unforgivable. My reply is: NO, they probably were not wrong! While it may readily appear that the bad guy was probably no longer a threat, we are watching a video of the event and not involved in it. We are not on an adrenalin overload. We are not operating with a mental processing overload. We are home, on our computers, probably relaxed and enjoying a cold one; the officers had just a moment before been under fire and both were injured and that changes things. It is a known fact, that in such situations, the innocent party involved often keeps shooting until the gun goes dry due to physical and mental state in such a situation. Another thing is that the officer had to convince him or herself that the guy was no longer a threat. They shot a lot of shots before he went down and even after he was obviously hit, he kept firing at the officers. So, the officer likely still thought he was a threat. In addition, you can bet that not only are the officers on adrenalin overload, they are suffering from a mental processing overload and are also in shock while at the same time having a super elevated heart rate and blood pressure, they are under extreme stress. Things seem to take place in slow motion, sounds are not as loud as usual, you scream to be heard because you think you are not speaking loud enough. You have tunnel vision. It is even possible that they perceived him as still moving, all that stress can and does sometimes make you hallucinate during a gun battle. You are super stressed. They were scared for their lives and remained so, even after the sack of shit hit the ground, up until the second or two later that they were able to process he was down and not moving and then stopped shooting.

Back to the guy with the mystery voice, for a moment. I have to hand it to that guy, he asked the all-important question when he said: "Hold on, hold on, is he dead". Once the bad guy was down, and the shooting was over, neither officer apparently thought of immediately approaching an handcuffing and disarming him - not necessarily in that order. Now, there is a good chance they did think of it only moments after the video cut off and did so. There is also the better chance that they were waiting for back-up. Me, I am not sure what I would have done even though trained to check the guy out and handcuff him whether or not I thought him dead. Why? Because had the guy still be alive, even though he looked dead to me, he was laying atop a potentially loaded AK-47. I addition, the officers had no idea what or who else was in the car. You cannot assume it was only him. To approach or wait for back-up is a judgment call that you hope you get right. Waiting for back up could mean, if he were still alive, that he could attack again and you would be in another gun fight and be pretty low on ammo, same if an accomplice had been hiding in the car. But at least you could get behind better cover in the meantime, again something the officers seemingly did not do, it seems as if they stayed with the cruiser. Of course, had they approached and the guy was still alive, or had he an armed accomplice hiding in the car, all the same stuff could have happened. The point is though, don't ever think, that just because someone went down it is over. Make sure it is over, and if you can safely do so, secure the subject (even if you think him dead) and then secure the area (like his vehicle to make sure there was not another bad guy hiding in it). If you think it is not safe to do so, then get behind cover, do a tactical reload, check for injuries to self and partner, stop any bleeding, and wait for the back-up to arrive as you continuously observe the downed bad guy, his car and the area in general.

One other note about being a person who inadvertently winds up in the middle of such a situation or even just on the edge of it. Did you pay any attention to the white car that drove up in the oncoming traffic lane while the shootout was going hot and heavy? The driver stopped the car, maybe because he saw the police cruiser's light flashing and wanted to do the right thing, maybe because he saw the gunfight, then sat there for a moment and I am guessing suddenly realized what was happening and what he or she should do pronto. The driver's next actions were the correct ones if safely possible, get the heck out of Dodge by getting away from the danger (don't drive by it or through it if possible).

All in all, I think those two officers did a fantastic job. While I would like to have seen more of their shots hit the bad guy, I must again point out it is not like shooting at paper targets; bad guys are shooting at you in situations like these and that is a major game changer. They handled themselves pretty darned well and rid the earth of a piece of crap. 

What we likely are all left wondering now, is where was the guy going and what was he about to do with the guns, ammo, gunpowder, explosives handbooks and the like that were in his car. He was evidently ready to do something as opposed to just transporting it all otherwise why the AK-47 in the passenger compartment either ready to go or ready to load and go. Maybe we should consider ourselves very lucky that it was those two police officers who were not sitting around eating donuts, not sleeping on the job, who decided to do their jobs and go after a guy who ran a stop sign and then were on the ball enough to take out a seeming psycho who pretty much outgunned them. For all we know he could have run that light because he was in a hurry to get to the library to get a book about gardening but somehow I highly doubt that.

A hat tip to Kerry F for sending me the link to the video that got me looking into all of this.


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Stay safe,
Glenn B