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Buddy Checks, Why They Aren’t

Buffy Checks, Why They Aren'tThe video is now legendary, gaining millions of hits and becoming viral almost as soon as it hit the Internet.

The unfortunate actor in this almost tragic comedy is a federal DEA agent in a classroom full of parents, teachers, and children.

 Uttering the now infamous words “… I’m the only one in this room professional enough that I know of to carry the Glock 40, I’m the only…” (gunshot rings out), the agent has secured his place in history.

Why am I beating this dead horse? Well, because the darned thing isn’t dead, and it should be – and let me be perfectly clear on this point, I am not talking about the agent who should be dead, I am talking about the misnamed “buddy check”1 that should be dead.

Case in point: I was recently at a federal range helping with some qualification shoots. While I hadn’t been around this particular facility before, I knew some of the instructors and I was familiar with the course of fire. At the end of the rifle course of fire, I heard the command from the center line “…once you have ejected that empty magazine ensure that the bolt is to the rear, visually and physically inspect the chamber to make sure that you are clear and then get a buddy check.”

Really? To what end?

Do buddy checks help? Decide for yourself. Rewind that YouTube video of the DEA agent and watch closely.

Approximately 24 seconds before the shot heard around YouTube, the agent says “…and see this is an unloaded gun (unintelligible words)” as he walks toward his “buddy” clearing his handgun.

What exactly was the agent doing? Well, he was conducting a “buddy check” exactly as he had been trained to.

I know that some people will now say “Hold on there Ron, he didn’t conduct the buddy check ‘exactly’ the way he had been trained.” And while you would be right technically, you would be wrong in the long run.

Why?

Because a buddy check introduces what is called a “moral hazard” into the situation.

A moral hazard is an economic term, which applies across a broad spectrum of human behavior, and is simply defined as: a lack of incentive to guard against risk where one is protected from its consequences.

The firearms handling field is no exception, because moral hazards apply equally well to firearms related endeavors, here is why:

What are we as instructors teaching the shooter when we tell him that he must conduct a buddy check?

Well, we are teaching him several things:

  1. We are teaching the shooter that he (apparently) isn’t capable of checking his own firearm. (It’s either that or we are teaching him that a bullet can somehow magically manifest itself into the chamber area after being cleared.)
  2. We are teaching the shooter that the instructors don’t trust him.
  3. We are teaching the rest of the world that we operate with low standards because we are incapable of teaching correctly and we need to fall back on such ineffectual techniques.
  4. We are teaching the shooter that his buddy is too stupid to clear his own firearm properly and that his buddy needs his help to verify the firearms condition.
  5. We are teaching the shooter that he doesn’t have to be 100% attentive… because if he isn’t it’s okay because his buddy will catch what he doesn’t, so he is thinking “I don’t need to be 100% here, because whatever I miss my buddy will catch.”
  6. We are injecting a moral hazard into the buddy’s procedure as well, because he is thinking “I don’t have to be 100% on the ball with this, because it is the primary shooter/owners responsibility to unload and clear the gun.”

I could go on, but you get the idea here.

So the question naturally arises: In the DEA shot in the foot/foot in mouth video – who was responsible for the agents Negligent Discharge (ND)? Was it:

  1. The agent who didn’t clear the handgun to start with
  2. The “buddy” who didn’t do his job after the original owner didn’t do his job first
  3. The training officer/agency who injected the moral hazard of the buddy check, or
  4. The society that allows this type of foolish group think and mass punishment to take hold

If it’s the agent’s fault, why even go through the motions of a buddy check? Why not put full responsibility on the owner/shooter and leave the buddy out of it?

If it’s the buddy’s fault, why not cut out the other “untrained” middleman and only allow the student to show clear to an instructor? Or even better, with the states’ logic, perhaps we should add one more step on top of the buddy check, and add the third step of a “buddy and instructor check”?

The truth behind the matter is that with this “buddy check” you are both deluding the key ingredient needed for individual liberty (personal responsibility) while at the same time you are making the statist attempt to spread the liability to everyone and yet no-one specifically in order to avoid individual responsibility while spreading liability away from the training section and administration.

Therefore the trainers and administration are transferring the potential incident from the relative safety of the range (where all of our watchful eyes and safety equipment are) to the real world where the operator is expected to act on his own.

I am obviously opposed to this sort of silliness, yet I still see it all the time, and nothing seems to be able to kill this collectivist, group think stupidity.

Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We KNOW for a FACT that buddy checks don’t work, we have video proof. Furthermore, buddy checks can’t work, because they run contrary to human nature. So why on earth is this stuff still taught and used?

Because the courts allow it, and because people in training who should know better, allow it.

I understand that the agent sued his department over the release of the video, a bad call in my opinion, because if I knew his lawyer I would recommend that they look into how many civilian schools teach this backwards technique and then look into the terms “deliberate indifference” and “vicarious liability” and run the facts by a modern jury.

While his client may never work in law enforcement again, he could deal with such a minor inconvenience while sipping mixed drinks in the Bahamas collecting DBA as spending his settlement on cheap hookers, booze, and whatever else helps ease the pain of national embarrassment.

For those readers who are fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with a buddy check, it is a process where the owner/shooter of the firearm shows his firearm to a nearby “buddy” in order to “check” the firearm to ensure that said firearm is clear and unloaded. This is a method that we highly advise against using for the aforementioned reasons.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1225809492 Sean Manning

    I’ve seen this video so many times over the years during training…What ever happened to this super professional agent here?

    • S&W645

       The DEA agent sued and lost a recent case on him being ridiculed because of this same video.

  • Tim

    Isn’t this how corporations behave, as well?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      How do you mean Tim?

  • steve esposito

    ….i think buddy checks are a good idea…they do buddy checks in underwater diving so all your equipment is on right and works properly so you don’t drown…but if the buddy is lame anything can happen…we are all human beings…mistakes are made i just pray it never happenes to me..!!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Dunne/100000632720916 Tom Dunne

      WHEN YOU PUT ON YOUR DIVING GEAR,YOU CANT SEE OR REACH ALL FITINGS.A BUDDY IS NEEDED TO CHECK WHAT YOU CANT. WHEN I CLEAR MY GUN,ONLY I AM RESPONSIBLE SINCE THE GUN IS IN MY HAND AND I CAN SEE MAGAZINE,CYLINDER,CHAMBER AND BARREL.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

        Well said sir, and WITH A GREAT DEAL OF PASSION!

        Thanks for the input Tom, as an advanced diver of ages ago, I agree, good point.

        – SB

    • Wayne

      Correction here on buddy checks in Scuba (and Skydiving);  Your buddy only checks what you cannot see or reach (like the reserve pins on your back).  In Scuba you have a buddy primarily as a backup in case of a malfunction (yours generally for not tracking your air consumption)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

        Thank you Wayne, great point.

        Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

        – SB

    • http://www.facebook.com/tom.gentry.733 Tom Gentry

      Buddy checks in diving (underwater and sky) are no better. You mention it doesn’t work if the buddy is lame, and you pray it never happens to you. Why not simply take care of your own safety and equipment rather than relying on someone with no more training, and a lot less incentive, than you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

        Well said Tom, well said.

        Thanks for your input,

        – SB

  • Hazard123_99

    Well said sir!  Love the thinking on this.  Personal accountabilty, what will they think of next. LOL

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Thanks Hazard123, it is much appreciated.

      – SB

  • Alarmist

    Perhaps the focus needs to be on the responsibility of the “buddy”.  Back in the day we took that job seriously.
     

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      If that is the case here, who is responsible for the ND, the agent or the buddy? Both? Could I apply the same logic to operating let’s say… my vehicle? Would that hold up in a court of law? Could I as the injured party sue my “buddy” for failure to do his job, even though it was my gun?

  • Quest1946

    i personally think that the officer that was in this video should have a whole lot more training as he did a very foolish thing in thinking his wepon was empty,, and he made a statement that pissed me off i’ve been around firearms all my life and i have a 40 caliber springfield emp, a 1911 45asp, 9mm smith and wesson and a few other firearms and i’m not an officer of the law i’ve had firearms training in the service and i go to the range to keep up on my handleing of a firearm to make a foolish statement that he was the only one that should handle a 40 caliber glock only goes to show you that he isn’t and that he should either be put on desk duty or fired as he could have killed one of those student’s or harmed himself,,, this just goes to show you how stupid some people are,,,,,,, and what happened to the buddy system to make sure that his firearm was empty before doing something stupid,,, he could have used a phoney gun which would have been the smart thing to do,,,,,, OH WELL SO MUCH FOR BRAINS!!!!!!!!!!   sure hope that they don’t send him around my neighborhood when there’s a problame no telling who he’ll shoot by accident         bill    

  • Pete C.

    In my training, we were taught after the slide is held back to take our pinky and physically check the chamber and the magazine well.  Both of these things this instructor in the video did not do.  After doing so, if with others, we would have a second trained person do the same with my firearm and I would perform the same check on the second person’s firearm. 

    Neither this DEA agent nor his buddy did this physical check.  Hell, they obviously didn’t do a visual check either.  I have no problem double checking something as important as if there is a round still left in the chamber.  Of course if I have done my job, my buddy won’t find one.  However, as you have mentioned, in this case, the buddy check didn’t work… but the DEA’s training didn’t work either. 

    You make the conclusion then that since buddy checks don’t work (using this case as an example) that we should do away with them.  Using this logic, we should then do away with the chamber check and magazine check that the DEA was trained to perform?  Obviously that didn’t work either. **sarcasm is intended here**

    It’s ludicrous to get rid of the buddy check when looking at the idiots in this video.  I’m a firm believer in being safe with a firearm.  If showing a second person keeps me culpable in doing things more safely, then I’m all for it.  I will however, agree with you, the ultimate responsibility rides on each individual’s shoulders.  I believe the buddy check reinforces doing things correctly and therefore reinforces being culpable for one’s own actions and in turn makes me more responsible when I am alone without a buddy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5814271 Nathan Fellows

    The only time I engage in anything like a buddy check is when someone hands me a firearm. I take into account that they may be an idiot and, as everyone should, don’t trust that they did the thing properly.

    Rounds may not magically manifest themselves into the chamber, but stupidity can magically hide one from view.

    In a sense, the check I’m talking about assumes that you can only trust yourself, whereas the buddy check assumes that you can never trust yourself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Hello Nathan,

      Yip, you got it… only trust yourself, and don’t think for a moment that anyone is responsible for your actions. Kind of the point of the article railing against attempting to spread the liability.

      The buddy check is your buddy showing you a firearm to “prove” that it is not loaded.

      When you pick up any firearm to handle it for yourself, you are not conducting a buddy check by checking it to verify it for yourself, you are simply taking the responsibility for the firearm fully.

      Thanks,

      – SB

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5814271 Nathan Fellows

    One other thing that I just thought of, in 10 years of hunting, 7 years of concealed carry and 5 years in the Army, I have never seen an unloaded firearm.

    That is, I have always been taught that there is no such thing and to assume every firearm is always loaded and treat them accordingly.

    Remind me again why we let something as irresponsible as the government have guns?

  • firescout

    I agree 100% that the ‘buddy check’ method for ensuring a clear/unloaded firearm is poor practice. Caring for and operating your weapon is completely YOUR responsibility.

    In the fire dept, we almost always have a ‘backer’ person assist whenever backing an apparatus.  But that does not relieve the driver in anyway of being 100% responsible for the safe operation (and possible collision from a backing operation) of that vehicle. The backer person is merely an assistant to the driver’s eyes (mirrors), experience, and situational awareness. In an extreme emergency situation, if the driver needs to back up unassisted, they will first walk around and fully observe the area they intend to back up in/to, and then will use all available emergency lights when backing.

    And this ‘buddy check’ procedure should not be confused with the standard procedure of handing over a firearm in a bolt/slide/cylinder open condition, with any magazine removed/empty.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Thanks for sharing your input firescout, I obviously agree with you wholeheartedly.

      – SB

  • stratus41298

    I think you’re missing the point Ron:

    If it works for you and keeps you safe, do it. If it doesn’t, find something else that works!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Hello Stratus,

      I guess I missed my mark in communicating the point clearly, my bad.

      Injecting a moral hazard into a potentially lethal activity like handling firearms will get someone killed.

      Don’t allow anyone to fool you. You are the ultimate safety on your firearm.

      When we are all alone in the privacy of our own home, we are the best person to lean on for our safety, we shouldn’t have to seek outside help to verify the condition of our firearm.

      By all means, I am for people doing what suits them, but the (apparently poorly made) point of the article was to flesh out the fallacious thought process that surrounds the excuse for a “buddy” check.

      Thanks for the feedback,

      -SB

  • Wyatt

    I just read and then reread your entire article to find out what the hell your point is.  I am definely not an author and in my mind NEITHER are you. What a long and rather repetiitive  and unconvinceing “breakdown” of the whole matter in this situation.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Hello Wyatt,

      You are right, I am not an author, just a guy who was trying to make the point that buddy checks are a bad idea.

      I hope I can write something better for you in the future.

      – SB

  • Sarge

    Wotta maroon. I remember a NYPD Captain who accidentally cocked his revolver, an old model 36 Chief’s Special and he couldn’t figure out how to decock the damned thing. One of his Auxiliary cops was in the same bar (that’s right, children; a bar!) and SHE got the thing decocked safely without shooting out the toilet bowl. THAT incident happened in a bar in Brooklyn many years before (back in the bad old 60’s) and the NYPD Lieutenant in question blew up a toilet bowl after cocking his off-duty weapon, at the bar, while trying to “demonstrate his weapons knowledge” for an attractive (after 6 beers) blonde. Like I said; wotta maroon. I have yet to see a DEA agent who is truly not a blowhard or a loudmouth when it comes to having a handgun. Many are good people; just not generally well trained or well-behaved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Yeah, but did the NYPD Captain do a buddy check?

      Just kidding, thanks for the story and comment.

      – SB

  • http://twitter.com/CyaCrazyCA Me not You

    Never heard of buddy check. All the better, apparently.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Yip… wait for an upcoming article where I talk about the need to teach moving with a loaded firearm as a part of your basic curriculum, that will really make heads spin ;-)

  • Anoneemouse

    This all boils down to the concept of “second opinion” I think.   Everyone and I mean EVERY one makes mistakes.  A buddy check is just another measure of safety checks that ensures a shooter is not missing anything AT ALL.  It’s a good idea.  Period.

    I do not mean to offend but the list above under “Well, we are teaching several things” is in my professional opinion very presumptuous, slightly conceited and frankly irresponsible.  To assume that you are always careful under any and all circumstances is foolish especially if you have the availability of a buddy check or any other means of safety checks available.  To assume that you will never ever make a mistake is a dangerous attitude and this is what I believe really shows through in the infamous cited in this opinion column.

    Everyone who is using any firearm should of course be as vigilant and safety-minded as possible and everyone who uses firearms should always strive for perfection in performing safety measure.  But to actually expect perfection is foolish.  NEVER refuse aid and assistance and assume that you’ll never, ever make mistakes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Hello Anomeemouse,

      I would have to strongly disagree with you on this (and that’s okay, we are both entitled to our opinions). But if a buddy check is “just another measure of a safety check” and “it’s a good idea” why did it fail this agent?

      Well, because, as I point out in the article, it introduces a well known tendency of humans to take advantage of a lack of incentive to guard against risk where one is protected from its consequences. This is exactly the type of behavior the buddy check inspires.

      I apologize for seeming to be “presumptuous, and slightly conceited and frankly irresponsible.” I may seem this way because I feel strongly about a subject that I have had to deal with for most of my adult life, and having the background that I do, I am pretty passionate about seeing things wrong and calling a spade a spade.

      Far from assuming one will never make a mistake, I assume people will, and when it comes to spreading the liability via a moral hazard (see video again) I stand on the side of the evidence. Personal responsibility for one’s actions will always trump group think. The idea that someone else is responsible for your actions is where the problem lies Anoneemouse.

      Finally, I agree with your assessment, and I don’t mind anyone double checking my work, what I do mind is training people to fail, and when you train someone that they are incapable of doing something correctly themselves, you are setting them up for a fall.

      Again, thanks for your thoughts, your input is appreciated.

      – SB

  • Blogengeezer

    A major cause of accidents is ‘Distraction’ away from the focus of the project, any project. A crowded classroom is a major distraction. While on the range, distractions can be deadly just as easily. A career experienced TI always views a successful day where distractions are limited and controlled, as a satisfying safe day. Banter is discouraged after weapons are on station. The mere act of talking is in itself a distraction.

  • Tionico

    Problem with the buddy check system in a government agency like the DEA: everyone will cover for their buddies. Like always. Thus, no one will ever uncover the failure of a fellow agent. Ain’t that the way gobmunt works?

  • Arc Angel

    [QUOTE]Ron Danielowski: Case in point: I was recently at a federal range helping with some qualification shoots. While I hadn’t been around this particular facility before, I knew some of the instructors; and I was familiar with the course of fire. At the end of the rifle course of fire, I heard the command from the center line, ‘Once you have ejected that empty magazine ensure that the bolt is to the rear, visually and physically inspect the chamber to make sure that you are clear, and then get a buddy check.’ Really? To what end?[/QUOTE]

    To this end! Heavily experienced pistoleros like you and I do NOT NEED to be, ‘buddy checked’. In fact I’m sure that you are just as equally offended as I am when some overly zealous RSO looks over a shoulder in order to insure that chamber is empty. (Am I right?) People like us have been handling firearms and living on firing ranges for so long that our conscious minds have, long since, stopped directing our every gun-related personal action. Many years ago I realized that in order to be truly safe with any firearm it wasn’t enough to, ‘know what you’re talking about’. It isn’t enough to memorize the NRA’s ten basic firearm safety rules. It’s not enough to know Jeff Cooper’s four basic rules of firearm safety by rote. Something more is required!

    What is that something more? Well, not to be facetious; but, it’s necessary for a shooter to finally achieve that state of awareness with a firearm that I will describe as, ‘Gun Safety Nirvana’. After reading your above article I’m sure that you handle firearms in exactly the same way that I do. In regard to firearm safety and handling, the conscious mind takes a secondary position. Your primary firearm safeguards, and mine, don’t come from any sort of memorization, don’t come from a general familiarization with any sort of firearm or action type. Instead, it’s our thoroughly ingrained habit patterns, our habitual and instinctive behaviors, and customary (read, ‘essentially unconscious’) ways of handling firearm safety issues, that really keep gunmen like you and I safe.

    Secondarily – and I do mean secondarily – it’s our training and past experience(s) that hover in the background of our minds to REINFORCE AND REMIND us of how to always be safe while handling and using firearms. It’s this: habitual, subconscious AND deliberate approach that we, as Firearm Safety Instructors should always be striving to INSTINCTIVELY INSTILL in all students. I believe in this premise so strongly that: If I succeed in getting a student to successfully memorize and be able to recall the basic firearm safety procedures and, at the same time, fail to observe, ‘habitual safety responses’ in his personal behavior then one of three things has happened:

    (1) The student has failed to grasp the essence of what he has been shown.
    (2) As an instructor I have failed to put successfully across the largely immutable aspects and absolute necessity of safe gun handling.
    (3) The both of us, student and instructor, have failed to achieve a genuinely useful, ‘stasis’ over firearm safety issues and personal behaviors.

    Should the, ‘buddy check’ system be an integral part of clearing a firing line and putting a weapon temporarily out-of-service? Well, ……. ‘different strokes for different folks’. Gunmen like you and I don’t need it. What is more, I find this practice to be highly offensive whenever someone else applies it to me. I don’t need no stinking chamber check carried out for me; and, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to discover you feel exactly the same way, too. ‘Why’? Because gunmen like you and I have achieve the required awareness and concomitant personal habit patterns necessary to maintain scrupulous safety while handling firearms. (The, ‘Firearm Safety Nirvana’ previously mentioned above.) Gunmen like you and I don’t act on memorized safety rules; instead, we habitually react in accord with our years of experience in avoiding mishaps and doing things right.

    (In the 60 years that I’ve been handling and using firearms I’ve had, something like, 4 genuine equipment failures and subsequent accidental discharges, as well as 3 negligent discharges. All of the negligent discharges occurred with Browning A-5 semiautomatic shotguns. What made the difference? Why wasn’t anybody hurt? In 6 of these events the muzzle was correctly and instinctively pointed downrange. My first accidental discharge occurred when I was 14 or 15 years old. It was caused by a slow hang fire with a 22 caliber semiautomatic pistol. I was by myself; I knew enough to wait; but, the 10 or 15 seconds I waited proved not to be enough.)

    Now, apparently, I’m one of the few firearms safety instructors in the United States who actually got to see THE ORIGINAL COPY of Lee Paige’s negligent discharge. The numerous copies of this incident that are around today have all been heavily edited; and the exact reasons, ‘Why’ that ND occurred are no longer apparent for public review. First, as I remember it, Agent Paige actually said, ‘I am the only person in this room, as far as I know, who’s professional enough to handle a Glock 40.’ (What, the heck, is a, ‘Glock 40’? The model numbers only go up to 39.)

    Then he removed his Glock Model 22 from its holster and walked over to the side of the room to confer with another agent. With the two of them standing next to each other, Agent Paige, held up his, ‘Glock Fo-Tee’, and with the other older (white) agent watching he dropped the magazine, out of the pistol. (So far, so good!) Next he cleared the chamber. (Good again!) The he did something truly inexplicable? Paige partially reinserted his fully loaded magazine. (At this point I began to get nervous!) The two agents agreed the chamber was empty. I watched Paige tap the magazine home; and, as he moved back towards the center of the room, I saw and heard a quick snap as the slide stop was released. (Working with the slide stop is great for, ‘gun gamesmen’; but bad for combat pistol shooters – Right!)

    Agent Paige next went on to engage one of the little boys in the front row, talking to him about his Glock and (I think) gun safety. Here’s where the real horror in that video started for me! Paige removed his, ‘Glock Fo-Tee’ from its holster; and, I will always believe, pulled the trigger as a final safety check BEFORE handing his still fully loaded and charged pistol to that little boy in the front row! I remember feeling a sense of relief when Paige suddenly shot himself in the foot. Why? Because if it hadn’t been his foot it very well might have been ……. .

    Now I know that America’s public school system is, today, only a shadow of the fine educational system it used to be. What I didn’t realize until I saw that video is at least one major government agency, also, doesn’t know piddital shit about how to safely handle a combat pistol. In the DEA’s Orlando ND incident the, so-called, ‘buddy system’ completely failed to work; AND, among the very last things that Agent Paige should have attempted with his life is to have passed himself off as a firearms (safety) instructor. After watching the sorry gun-handling behaviors of those TWO DEA AGENTS, that day, I wouldn’t allow those two guys to handle slingshots on any firing line I was ever in charge of.

    Nevertheless, do firearms students, and first year shooting competitors, or just plain recent gun-purchase neophytes need to use some sort of, ‘buddy system’ before they step off a firing line? Yes, in my opinion, they do. (Which is, ‘Why’ I continue to absorb the implied insult, ‘to the patches on my sleeve’ and allow RSO’s to look into my chamber before holstering a pistol.)

    [QUOTE]Blogengeezer: A major cause of accidents is ‘Distraction’ away from the focus of the project, any project. A crowded classroom is a major distraction. While on the range, distractions can be deadly just as easily. A career experienced TI always views a successful day where distractions are limited and controlled, as a satisfying safe day. Banter is discouraged after weapons are on station. The mere act of talking is in itself a distraction.[/QUOTE]

    Boy, you really got that one right! If you ever get to see the full, unedited, copy of the Paige ND video, you will see, firsthand, the phenomena of confusion and distraction in action.

    [QUOTE]Pete C.: In my training, we were taught after the slide is held back to take our pinky and physically check the chamber and the magazine well. Both of these things this instructor in the video did not do. After doing so, if with others, we would have a second trained person do the same with my firearm and I would perform the same check on the second person’s firearm.

    Neither this DEA agent nor his buddy did this physical check. Hell, they obviously didn’t do a visual check either. I have no problem double checking something as important as if there is a round still left in the chamber. Of course if I have done my job, my buddy won’t find one. However, as you have mentioned, in this case, the buddy check didn’t work… but the DEA’s training didn’t work either.[/QUOTE]

    Actually they did! For reasons I don’t quite understand, this part of the original video has been edited out. The real mistake made occurred when Paige, inexplicably, reinserted his fully loaded magazine back into the pistol while the slide was still locked back.

    You are, also, absolutely right! The DEA’s training system – If they have any training system at all? – did NOT work. NONE of those DEA agents had any right, whatsoever, to pass themselves off as certified firearms instructors – No right, whatsoever! The very first mistake Agent Paige and his clearly inept consorts made was to deliberately bring loaded firearms and ammunition into that auditorium. (What, the heck, were they thinking?) The second, third, and fourth potentially deadly mistakes are even more obvious.

    [QUOTE]Pete C.: ……. It’s ludicrous to get rid of the buddy check when looking at the idiots in this video. I’m a firm believer in being safe with a firearm. If showing a second person keeps me culpable in doing things more safely, then I’m all for it. I will however, agree with you, the ultimate responsibility rides on each individual’s shoulders. I believe the buddy check reinforces doing things correctly and therefore reinforces being culpable for one’s own actions and in turn makes me more responsible when I am alone without a buddy.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, what you are describing is an example of the ultimate goal to ALL firearm safety training – Ultimate self-sufficiency! Agent Paige AND his crew were, unanimously, clearly not there yet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Hello Arc,

      Thanks for your passionate feedback and your sincere review of the article.

      You are certainly entitled to your point of view, but I can tell you from personal experience that I have never seen an instance where spreading the liability and responsibility has made any shooter of any level of experience safer.

      If you start by demanding 100% personal responsibility, people will step up to the plate. If on the other hand you leave “wiggle room” they will default to the lowest common denominator.

      This is not just my opinion, this is simply human nature.

      Always start with the end goal in mind (in this case personal responsibility with a firearm) and then pursue proper training fully, because as I am sure you would agree, we will fight (and handle guns) the way we train.

      Kind regards,

      – SB

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002330046286 Paladin Firearms

    Let the civil lawsuits for emotional distress and post traumatic stress syndrome begin. I’m an NRA certified instructor for some years now, and we do employ the buddy system but I don’t do it with another instructor or trained professional. I ask one of my students to come up and verify that the handgun I just checked is in fact unloaded. I describe the process for opening the cylinder, or releasing the magazine BEFORE opening the slide. Sometimes I will leave a dummy round in the chamber to see if they catch it. Sometimes I will leave a round in the magazine so when the slide is released a round goes to battery. Sometimes experience is the best teacher, however we cannot deonstrate carelessness as well as the agent in this vidoe did. By having a studet come verify that the handgun is in fact unloaded we’re not telling them that we don’t trust ourselves to verify that a handgun is in fact unloaded, we are using the instance as a teaching example to show them how to pick up, check and clear a firearm. This of course preceeds the lesson on actually loading the firearm (using dummy ammunition) so that when we do get to the range, we don’t have any ND’s, AD’s or any other kind of D’s except for ID’s (intentional discharges) which occurs when the student has taken the proper shooting platform, grip, has minimized his arc of movement, acquired the proper sight alignment and sight picture, take up the travel in the trigger, re-acquire the sight picture, exerted proper breath control and then finally releasing the trigger. There’s not a student yet in all my years of teaching, regardless of whether they have previous experience or has never fired a gun in their lives, that hasn’t hit the bullseye and walked away with all their fingers and toes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002330046286 Paladin Firearms

      To carify beore anyone catches my typo… I use DUMMY ammunition in all classroom exercises. So before anyone says”’ Oh you leave a round in the magazine… take a chill pill.
      There’s no live ammunition allowed in the classroom at any time. I don’t care if you’re an off duty cop, concealed carry holder, whatever.

  • Puddin

    What a moron! I hope they fired him!

  • Mr.Clean

    Keep my finger straight and off the trigger until I’m intentionally firing.
    Control and know where the muzzle is pointing.
    Know the condition of the firearm.
    Be sure of my target and my environment.

    Firearms handling habits of professional gun folks

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/SilentBob-AtPulse/100003366002261 SilentBob AtPulse

      Well said Mr. Clean.

      We should all live our lives by those habits.

      Thanks,

      – SB