A shopping trip to the mall is just another shopping trip....until it's not. Everywhere we go, we carry with us the danger of being attacked. It can be hard to imagine, but yes, one moment you are happy, enjoying life and the next you are being attacked by someone or something. It can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone.
Such was the case involving four young victims who were gunned down in an ambush-style attack after returning from a shopping tip.
The investigation is on-going and the details sparse, but here's what we know according to the reports:
It all began as four young men were walking back to their neighborhood in Philadelphia, after returning from a shopping trip from a nearby mall. Surveillance video showed at least two suspects getting out of a parked minivan with guns drawn. The attackers advanced quickly and aggressively - opening upon the the victims.
According to reports, as many as 50 shots were fired at the scene. The attackers ran back to their vehicle and ran over some of the victims as they fled made their getaway. Investigators say that two victims, aged 18 and 19-years-old, died at the scene.
The attack has all the hallmarks of an ambush: concealment, surprise, lack of provocation, and violence of action. I've talked about this extensively at our training events and on the Pearl Snap Tactical Podcast.
The motive for the attack is unknown at this time, but drugs are suspected. Regardless of the motive, there are some lessons we can all take away.
1. It happens fast. Ambushes are quick, brutal, and lethal. Even if you're paying attention to your surroundings, they can be difficult to detect before it's too late. That's why they're so effective. With any ambush, the attacker chooses the location and the timing of the attack. This suddenness of the collapses your reactionary gap, putting you at a severe disadvantage because you're behind time. Let me explain what I mean by that.
There are three "timings" to any attack:
- Behind time,
We're wrapping up our 3-part series on CQB Essentials.
I've gotten some great responses from you guys during this series, so let's jump in and finish strong!
Recall, the 3 principles of Close Quarter Battle (CQB) are:
Today, we're taking on the third principle, Violence of Action. If you need to get spun up on the first two installments of the series, I've posted them on the website. You can access parts 1 and 2, by clicking these links: How to Dominate in Close Quarters and CQB Essentials Part 2: The Element of Surprise, respectively.
Now, let's go!
Violence of action is the principle by which we neutralize the threat as soon as possible. If I were sum up the concept in one word, it would be dominance. We must dominate the enemy both
We're continuing our series on how to hone your skills in Close Quarter Battle (CQB). If you missed the first installment, it's posted on our our website. Click here first if you need to get caught up.
Recall, that we define CQB as a kinetic fight - typically involving the use of firearms - at close range. While many equate CQB with room clearing, that is not always the case. We also discussed that there are three principles of CQB, which are speed, surprise, and violence of action.
As we mentioned previously, speed is a form of security. Speed makes you a harder target acquire and it helps you set and control the tempo of the battle. That said, it comes with a caveat. There is such a thing as moving too fast.
Remember, you can only move as fast as your eyes can process the room. You need visual acuity to identify threats, make shots with precision, and other tasks to prevail. You can't do that if everything is a blur. So, you have to find the balance between moving fast enough, but not too fast. In short, you need to move in a controlled hurry.
Now that we have reviewed the salient concepts from before, let's move on to the next principle: SURPRISE.
Today, we're going to start our series off on the fundamentals of Close Quarter Battle (CQB).
CQB is the physical confrontation between two or more combatants. As the name implies, these fights take place in close proximity - typically at ranges of 100 meters or less (yes, you read that right) - involving the use of firearms; edged and impact weapons; improvised weapons; or even hand-to-hand combat.
While most discussions surrounding the topic of CQB centers on room clearing, which is the systematic method of neutralizing a threat or group of threats room by room to secure a structure, the subject is much broader than that.
Rooms in a structure can open up into long hallways, corridors, even streets or alley ways ranging out to 100 meters or more. The potential for distances to open up from immediate to longer ranges can impact our load-out choices, so it's important not to pigeon hole ourselves into thinking that CQB is just "room clearing."
Have you met old man Murphy before? He's the guy that makes sure that "if something can go wrong, it will." We have a related saying in the military that goes: no plan survives first contact.
That's because there's a wide range of factors and variables that come into play, many of which we have little control over, that can influence our desired outcome.
In the civilian realm, we also recognize that things don’t always go as planned. That’s where the concept of a Plan B or not to putting all your eggs in one basket comes from.
But sometimes, even that's not is enough.
When you think of danger zones, what comes to mind? A war-torn country with a volatile government? A high-crime city with a dangerous gang presence? While these are all valid danger zones, there are other, less obvious places that can be just as hazardous.
For instance, people have been attacked while attending a funerals, in church, picking their kids up from school, eating in restaurants, and other places that seem to be unlikely epicenters for violence.
The fact is, we live in a world where these attacks are occurring in a-typical settings with increasing frequency and lethality - like the one that happened here at this hospital.
While most of us will never be personally targeted in venues like this, that doesn’t mean you can’t be collateral damage. Once you step out into the public square, there are no real safe zones.
So, here's few tips in general to increase survivability:
“Better to fight and fall, than to live without hope.” Volsunga Saga, c. 12
Have you ever heard that phrase, "failure is not an option"? I understand the sentiment, but I've never been a fan. That's because fear of failure is what stops people from pursuing their dreams in the first place.
Let's face it, failure disappoints. It stings. It hurts. And most of us naturally gravitate away from the things that cause us pain.
But I want to share a personal story about how failure can actually be good for you. In fact, it might just be the key to the success you're looking for.
The greatest lessons you learn in life tend to be the most painful ones. They stick with you.
That's why 2020 should've been your best year yet. 2020 was like a course accelerator with twenty years of life's lessons crammed into a 12 month span!
Just think of it: pandemic; shortages and disruption to the supply chain; riots and security threats; financial hardships, systematic breakdown of political and civic institutions - and that's just off the top of my head!
So, what did you learn about yourself?
1. How prepared were you?
2. How did you adapt to these unprecedented changes?
3. Did you innovate and solve your problems?
4. Did you overcome and thrive or are you still waiting for someone to wake you up from the new normal?
What would happen if you could get accurate hits on target in less than 2 seconds? What about 1 second?
It could help you…
Better prepare yourself to survive a life or death situation.
Become a better protector.
Develop more confidence.
And that’s just what it did for Adam.
When Adam came to us, he was a decent shooter with his handgun, but had never practiced much working from the holster.
When presenting from the high ready, he could drill a nice shot group in the paper, but when we had him shoot from the draw, his speed and accuracy suffered.
I ran Adam through some reps and began observing him. It wasn’t long before I had him down to almost a 1.5 second draw. Not bad!
Adam didn’t need to burn through thousands of rounds to improve and neither do you. I'm going to share the same program with used with him and countless others. Are you ready to level up?
Have you looked at ammo prices lately? Dang, son!
If something doesn't happen soon, we're all gonna be in the poor house. Never fear, I've got a plan I'm going to share with you to help you keep your skills sharp during this ammo pandemic. But first, let's look at how we got into this mess.
There are several reasons that account for the higher prices and ammo shortages:
1. Record numbers of new gun owners. Guess what, they also bought ammo.
2. As more people work from home, the flexibility in their schedules are allowing more time for the range. Guess what, that means they buying more ammo too.
3. It’s an election year, so guns and ammo prices go up anyway. Why? Because guess what…...[you can finish the sentence.]
Shooting is a perishable skill. With civil unrest and security concerns mounting, you need to be training now more than ever. But how do you do that without going broke? Well, let me tell you what I'm doing.