Editor’s Note: The following is a post from Sammy Reese, a former Marine Corps Artillery Officer and retired police officer from California. He is a part-time range master for the police department he retired from as well as a life-long martial artist and combatives coach.
Check out the last five episodes in this series:
- Ep. 12 Should I Shoot? Spare Parachute
- Ep. 13 Should I Shoot? Understanding Disparity of Force
- Ep. 14 Should I Shoot? ‘Gun-Free Zone’ Doesn’t Mean You’re Helpless
- Ep. 15 Should I Shoot? Carrying a Gun Around the Home for Defense
- Ep. 16 Should I Shoot? Why You Need to Always Be in Condition Yellow
By the time this column hits the street, I’m sure everyone will know about the war that has been declared on our nation’s police officers. Without getting into the politics, and the media not letting the facts get in the way of a “good story,” my fear is what’s next? What I mean is, if there are members of our society who think the ambush killing of police officers is acceptable behavior, what’s next? Riots? Murders of innocent civilians because of race, sexual orientation or gender?
Take two minutes and surf some social media sites and you will be disgusted with the remarks made by pro athletes, musicians, and Hollywood types. They throw gas on the fire and then make a forced apology so they don’t get fired or lose out on making more money. My fear is with tensions so high right now, it will only take a small spark to start a huge fire — Milwaukee.
As a law enforcement trainer, I’m doing everything I can to ensure the officers I instruct get home in the same condition they started the shift in. The last 20 years, I’ve been taking things I’ve learned in classes and working it into our training.
I haven’t trained with Matt Graham yet, but I have friends who have and I hope to someday. An instructor I work with has Graham’s “Killhouse Rules” posted in his lectures. They apply not only to law enforcement and military but to civilians as well, and since I am one now, I have worked the rules into my planning and training.
If you have read the other 16 installments of this column, you know I’m a huge proponent of “what if?” questions for working through problem-solving before you actually see the problem in real life. The “rules” should be worked into your “what if?” questions so you can be better prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Graham Combat Killhouse Rules:
- NOBODY IS COMING TO SAVE YOU. Whether an event lasts a few seconds, a few hours or even a few days, you have to work as though nobody is coming to save you.
- You are your savior, so start working because EVERYTHING IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. You are your security. You are your medic. You are your rescuer.
- You are your own best resource to SAVE WHO NEEDS TO BE SAVED. Nobody wants to save your life more than you, so set yourself up for success by having the simple tools and knowledge to do so. Do what you can with what you have. Recognize that nobody is in a better position to start saving your life than you.
- Sometimes saving lives means you have to KILL WHO NEEDS TO BE KILLED. It has been almost 15 years since I first wrote, “The more effective you are at taking a life, the more successful you’ll be at saving one,” and nothing in the intervening time has changed my mind. Be swift. Be decisive. Be final.
- Mostly, ALWAYS BE WORKING. There is always something you can be doing to improve your position. Always. Because nobody is coming to save you.
I printed up the Killhouse Rules and keep them in my range bag. I read them before I start training on my own or before teaching a class to get my mind right. It reminds me to really focus on my training and teaching, to take it seriously and not just go through the motions.
Train hard. Your life and your family are depending on you.
For more critical information on the use of deadly force and other firearms and self-defense topics, visit www.uscca.com/GunsAmerica.