Ep. 17 Should I Shoot? The War on Police Officers


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:

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:

  1. 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.
  1. You are your savior, so start working because EVERYTHING IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. You are your security. You are your medic. You are your rescuer.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Jack daugherty September 20, 2016, 8:09 am

    Our own government is the producer of the “terrorists” it claims to protect us from. People are tired of their relatives and friends being gunned down by policeman who join the force only to kill legally.
    The fires are intentionally being stoked by our beloved leaders to bring about chaos and civil and racial war. How much longer will we take it?

  • luis August 27, 2016, 10:31 pm

    the killhouse rules are excelent words to live by . i’m an ex-army airborne / cavalry scout , wich as time has gone by i no longer have the same mobility as i did in my youth days . but i still remember my training and still have that somewhat warrior mind set . i am constantly cojuring up “what if ” senerios in my mind and accting them out and responding to them to the best of my ability . ” what if ” senerios do not exist , it is your mind planting sittuations for you to prepare yourself and see how you act apon it . you think of one senerio and it can have many different outcomes , it’s up to you to be able react in time and have the outcome you want it to have ! stay safe and always watch your 6 !

  • cisco kid August 27, 2016, 6:52 pm

    In the U.S. last year a horrifying 1,500 people were gunned down by cops. Contrast this to Germany where Police killed only 12 people and in China where Police killed only 4. Why the huge difference? In Germany it takes 3 years of intensive training and in the U.S. in some jurisdictions it takes as little as 4 weeks. In Germany applicants undergo extensive psychological evaluation as well. In the U.S. far too many mentally ill people get hired as cops with horrific results.

    The Court system in the U.S. is as corrupt as many 3rd World Countries making it almost impossible most of the time to indict, prosecute or convict rouge sadistic Cops. The corrupt Police System also protects them while on the job and the violence escalates until killings take place and not just one as some Cops get away with killing again and again when there was no justification for it. Their conduct is overlooked by the Department even though there are many, many citizen complaints and it is of no surprise when the rogue Cops go on to kill people with no justification.

    All this boils over especially in hot weather when minority areas finally get fed up to the point where young men who see that there is no legal way to stop the aggression, killings and violence by Cops and decide to take justice into their own hands which results in more violence which does neither side any good. The Cops become more aggressive than ever and there are calls for the abolishment of the Second Amendment. None of which would solve the problems of Police Brutality and killings.

    We have witnessed in recent years the Militarization of the Police and the calls for a complete Police State and the abolishment of private ownership of guns and self defense which the California Courts recently ruled completely legal to protect themselves and their henchmen who protect them. The California Courts declared this year that concealed carry is not a right and a threat to the “Ruling Elite” while they cleverly refused to rule on open carry making current laws against open carry legal which effectively trashes the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court ruled recently that the modern gun bans after the Sandy Hook massacre are completely Constitutional and that any weapon or weapons can be banned for public safety. This is right out of Hitler’s German Police State of the 1930’s or Stalin’s purges of the same time period.

    The Government despite half baked privacy reforms continues to spy at will on U.S. Citizens including even the President of the United States as stated by Jimmy Carter. The U.S. is using foreign countries to spy on U.S, Citizens and then the information is given to the U.S. Government which is an end run around the newly enacted privacy laws. In other words the Government can claim with a straight face that they did not do the spying rather a Foreign Government did, never mind that the U.S. Government is behind the plan.

    Real Hero’s like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange who blew the whistle at the destruction of America’s 1st Amendment either remain in exile like Snowden or held prisoner with trumped up charges in the Ecuadorian Embassy as Assange is.

    Meanwhile Right Wing Military Nazi Fanatics claim that to combat terrorism Americans must give up all Constitutional Rights and that the Cops are being persecuted and prevented from keeping law and order by not being able to gun people down at will.

    And let us not forget that now the American Government is killing Americans with no trial claiming as long as the person is not in the U.S. there needs to be no trial. Its only a matter of time before they start killing Americans without trial within the borders of the U.S. all under the blanket excuse of preventing terrorism. In a way the terrorists have already won their war against America. They have already succeeded in destroying the Constitutional Rights of American by giving the Cops and the American Government free reign to do as they please whenever they please without worry of violating Civil or Constitutional Rights because the American People deserve none in the interests of safety and law and order. The exact same excuses used by Hitler and Stalin, which was “Give up your rights and we the Government and the Cops will make the streets safe”. Yes indeed they did and indeed they will, they will make the streets safe “for the ruling elite only”.

    Since the majority of killings are of minorities the ruling White Majority cheers the killings making statements that there should be lots more to keep law and order when in reality many people gunned down are unarmed and often are guilty of absolutely nothing. The latest outrage was actually a white Deaf Mute who did not understand the commands given and was totally unarmed. The cops aggression and lack of training resulted in another innocent man in a traffic stop being killed for no reason whatsoever. One example of hundreds that happen ever year.

  • Ron Stidham August 26, 2016, 9:19 am

    I agree whole heartedly, you are your best chance for survival. Being a former Marine, I had the luxury of training. Being vigil in your own behalf is what you are working for. Yes, there are times when your not alone. But can you depend on the guy/gal next to you not to get you killed? Training is in your best favor. If you are a former/present military person, you have a leg up and a responsibility to help others. Be smart, be vigil, be thoughtful of others.

  • Wake_Up_America August 26, 2016, 6:24 am

    I completely agree. At the end of the day do you people think 911 is going to save your life? Good luck with that one my friends. You better have at least one reasonable firearm in your home!! And if not, get one before the $hit hits the fan people, buy ammo, magazines and especially train and train and train.

  • DRAINO August 18, 2016, 11:28 am

    As always, Great article and info! Short, yet full of thought provoking ideas….and not a lot of political BS. Love the killhouse rules!!! Words to live by.

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