Training Schools and Attitudes


bofh

Banned
Some controversy is emerging in the gun community regarding a video posted on Facebook by Chris Henderson from 3 Doors Down. This video is from James Yeager's Tactical Response Fighting Pistol class that includes a wheelchair participant that shoots from behind the firing line. Bob Owens from Bearing Arms wrote an article (hit piece) about this and linked the video for people that do not have a Facebook account.

My personal opinion: The concept of a firing line is one of many range safety concepts, such as the unload and show clear procedure. They are meant to reduce the risk of injury or death during training and to reduce the risk for the training school. This concept, like so many other range safety concepts, however, has no bearing on real life. There is no firing line when you defend your life. Someone may be shooting at the attacker from behind you. Someone innocent may be in front of you. The 4 rules of firearm safety say nothing about a firing line.

View attachment 16444

This is not the first time Tactical Response has come under attack by the gun community for violating their safety rules. Jay Gibson is their famous Downrange Photographer.


PS: Keep responses civil.
 

BluesStringer

Les Brers
I quit taking into consideration just about anything Bob Owens says a couple or three years ago.

As far as Mr. Gibson being downrange taking pictures during a live-fire session, I have no quarrel at all with his own explanation, albeit about a different session than the video posted by Chris Henderson. Same basic issue, and the explanation applies equally to my way of thinking:

Caution, Language Warning, probably NSFW and definitely not safe for those afflicted with political correctness syndrome:

 

Reba

Sinner saved by grace
Oh, my! There are safe ways for wheelchair shooters to participate in training but this is not one of them.
 

BluesStringer

Les Brers
Chris Henderson wrote a reply yesterday to the hubbub surrounding the video and his response(s) to it. It does contradict at least one thing Mr. Gibson said, that he would do such things for and with some people, but not with others, based on his evaluation of their level of training, which he said, he is the provider of, so he's the only one who can validly evaluate them. Henderson says though, that no one in that class had ever met each other or trained there before, so Gibson had no way to evaluate how well or ill-prepared the guy in the wheelchair was to engage that target without hurting or killing someone else.

Gibson's training techniques could certainly end badly for him, his students and Tactical Response's exposure to huge liability judgments if that is their normal practice. Henderson also says that they were not made aware that that kind of live-fire exercise might take place during their training. Assuming that part is true, if I'd been on the front line, turned around and saw what was happening, I would've hugged the deck and low-crawled away from the behind-the-line fire, then gathered my stuff and split, assuring that I'd live to fight for a refund another day. If they tell their students that that kind of exercise might come up in the normal course of training, then they have nothing to complain about and likely Tactical Response has no liability issues assuming all the releases from liability are specific enough to cover running such an exercise. Informed consent seems to be the key here. Henderson has a valid complaint if informed consent was absent.

I have no idea who's telling the accurate truth here, if indeed, either of them are. They say you get what you pay for, but if a beginner student shoots one of his classmates in the back during a similar exercise there, I seriously doubt the injured party or his/her surviving family members are going to think that's what he/she paid for.

Blues
 

Pete Giles

NRA Lifetime Member
I know enough about Tactical Response and James Yeager from Youtube vids to know better then to ever sign up for one of their training sessions. Having said that, if I ever did find myself in a situation like that, with some fool taking photos directly in front of the firing line and/or a wheelchair bound person firing from behind it, I would quickly and quietly leave via the safest method possible and never look back.
 
The saddest part of this is that so many "non-gun" people will see things like that and assume that these people represent the majority of safe gun handlers in this country.
 

BluesStringer

Les Brers
There were several reasons why I posted this, bashing James Yeager or Tactical Response wasn't one of them. If you want to do that, feel free to go to James Yeager's Facebook page, getoffthex.com, or talk to him in person at Shot Show or the NRA Annual Meeting.
This has much less to do with James than with the collective mindset of the NRA, but I'm surprised that the NRA even allows him into any of their meetings.

Watch this video in its entirety on what this discussion is really about:

So just taking the last couple or three lines into consideration, one could surmise that both older videos surfaced again now intentionally to be used in a marketing campaign for the folks who want the imprimatur of legitimacy for thinking of themselves as either the Nine or The One. Novel marketing ploy, gotta give him that.

I understand the philosophy of training that he espouses before he gets to the marketing punch-line at the end, but the lack of informed consent to what one was buying when they signed up as Henderson claims he lacked, is still a valid complaint if true. It would be more valid I suppose if he didn't wait a year (or more?) to voice it, but not totally invalidated by his delay, or perhaps it was simply indecision, which if it was, James' methods didn't do much to fix that all-too-common-of-a-negative-trait in beginners it would seem.

I also understand (and practice) training to manage adrenaline dumps, but think that there are safer ways to do it. I didn't say "safe" ways to do it, but simply safer. I would still pack my stuff and leave if that happened at a course when I wasn't informed it might. But then, while I feel no reason to bash James or his business, I'm not a fan boi either. I think it's probable that non-operators who want to be "...one of the Nine, or if you're The One" (James' words, not mine) must've been convinced of being a fan boi somehow. I feel like those who are called to be the Nine or The One most likely heed that call early in life and join the military or the most prestigious law enforcement agency they can qualify for to fulfill that calling. Paying for high-level training is one thing. Paying for the privilege of having bullets whiz past you close enough to feel and clearly hear doesn't seem like "training" most civilians are likely to pay for, so if I'm right about that, I guess I'd be wrong about it being a viable marketing campaign. Oops. I just caught myself being indecisive. I'm dead.

Blues
 
Personally speaking, as an instructor, there is no way in hell I would allow a student to do that (firing with people forward of their position/firing line). I don't train elite military forces, I work with average joe civilians.

As a student I would have run my ass off laterally if someone was behind me shooting. No way in hell I am letting that happen. I'm not trusting my life to some guy I just met.


and how about the police their shells?! Holy cow.


But for me safety and cleanliness aside, I think this video equates that training methods and fighting tactics which work for the able bodied don't necessarily work for the handicapped. As an instructor who has worked with alot of disabled (vets mostly) I have to adjust traditional fundamentals to meet their special needs. Any instructor should adjust their training methods to the skill set of the student.
 
As someone who has both worked with, trained with, and trained countless Federal Agents, Special Forces, and "average joe civilians" for over 30-years now, I support training for the reality of a gunfight.

Training for reality requires the breaking of the 180-degree "rule."

This can be done (and is done) safely on a regular basis by numerous shooting schools.

Teaching someone to maneuver with people around them - even in front of them - isn't just a nicety, it's a necessity if you are claiming to prepare someone for the fight of their lives.

In the end, training for reality makes for a safer gun owner than those who have never learned to maneuver safely with their firearms around others.
 

BluesStringer

Les Brers
As someone who has both worked with, trained with, and trained countless Federal Agents, Special Forces, and "average joe civilians" for over 30-years now, I support training for the reality of a gunfight. Training for reality requires the breaking of the 180-degree "rule." This can be done (and is done) safely on a regular basis by numerous shooting schools. Teaching someone to maneuver with people around them - even in front of them - isn't just a nicety, it's a necessity if you are claiming to prepare someone for the fight of their lives. In the end, training for reality makes for a safer gun owner than those who have never learned to maneuver safely with their firearms around others.
I don't disagree with anything you've said here, but I do have a question... The person (Chris Henderson) who is attributed with the complaints about the issue gaining nationwide attention, said that one of his complaints was that neither he nor his other course-mates were made aware before putting their money on the table that live-fire exercises with people downrange would be taking place. Of all of his complaints, I personally find that one to be the most compelling. Informed consent about what one is paying for seems to me to be a moral imperative for any business that would try to escape liability should anyone get hurt during such exercises. It wasn't just the photographer who was at risk during the exercise with the guy in the wheelchair, it was the students on the line with their backs to him who were. Do you think they had a right to know and agree to such a high level of risk before being allowed to join the class? Blues
 
I don't disagree with anything you've said here, but I do have a question... Do you think they (students) had a right to know and agree to such a high level of risk before being allowed to join the class? Blues
Hey Blues,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

I was focusing on the training issue, not the marketing of the course.

Should students know what they are paying for? Of course, and that's one of the reasons I love the internet. Today, it's easier to get information, have these discussions to sort the wheat from the chaff and get the critical feedback.
 

BluesStringer

Les Brers
Hey Blues, Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I was focusing on the training issue, not the marketing of the course. Should students know what they are paying for? Of course, and that's one of the reasons I love the internet. Today, it's easier to get information, have these discussions to sort the wheat from the chaff and get the critical feedback.
I don't know how the internet has anything to do with my question. The students sign a hard-copy disclaimer/release from liability form on-site before they can start a class. That's where any disclosures should be that might inure to a safety issue that a given student might decline to take the class over once he/she sees it in black and white. If they stumble upon the videos before going and know generally that such an exercise might take place, that's still not the same as informed consent on whatever contract/agreement/disclaimer/release forms they surely have to sign before starting class. The guy who started all the hoopla about the particular videos posted in this thread said that neither he nor any of his course-mates were made aware beforehand. Since he's made videos that have been posted on the internet, it sort of demonstrates that having access to the internet (and using it) didn't help him become informed about specific exercises that could be a safety concern for him or anybody else thinking about taking a course at Tactical Response, or your own school for that matter.
Blues
 
As an instructor and a perpetual student, I would never put the life of my students in the hand of someone whom they and I have just met and I would never put my life in the hands of someone whom I have just met.

The VSO instructor in the video obviously has a level of trust for the shooter. Trust is earned and built over time. However this instructor was responding to the tactical response video of the man in the wheel chair being pushed very ruggedly and shooting with persons forward of the firing line. Based on the assumption that this was a public class and the first time these students had met, that is entirely unacceptable. As a student I would leave that class immediately.
 

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