ask me

Im dedicating this page to anybody who has any questions or suggestions for me. I’m constantly looking for topics to add, so if there is something you would like to see or think is missing here please let me know.

Keep in mind that any law enforcement related advice is simply my opinion, based on my experience and in no way should be construed as “legal advice”, I am not an attorney.

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85 thoughts on “ask me”

  1. Hi Tom

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I appreciate your advice, and got some ideas. I ended up getting onto a website of a US ex-Navy SEAL, who had suggestions on preparing/training for a ruck march (we call it pack march). So with you suggestions and reading his, will all help. A friend of mine also mentioned something about rubbing your feet in metho, to help toughen the skin and help it stay dry? Do you have any suggestions about avoiding blisters?

    The requirement for pre-enlistment for females in AU is 10 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, & 2.4km run in 11-15min? (officer entry). I’ll aim for this first. Have started walking with weighted backpack and will increase weight and distance over period (it’s about 20kg or 44lb or more for packs). Will look at buying some boots soon, as I need to get used to wearing them and my feet are too soft. I begin specific training to prepare me for pre-enlistment within 2 weeks, so will be concentrating on upper body/core/torso strength especially as well as running. I will then start another program more specific to initial base training which is 28 days, and will be where I need to focus on specifics – ruck marches, rope climbs, running, high wire, obstacle courses, etc, etc. I’m looking at about 3-6 months for the whole process, so I’m hoping I should be well on my way as far as physical conditioning goes.

    Anyway, thanks again, and always appreciative of suggestions.

    Oh! In the US, are females employed in ‘direct combat’ units? They are not allowed in AU.

    Ciao for now…Kerry :)

  2. Hi Kerry,

    When I was a soldier, the manuals for foot marching suggested treating the feet with formalin to toughen the skin (my buddy the Marine said that they just urinated on their feet…typical for the USMC :) ). Good moisture wicking socks and foot powder help also as its when the feet get damp and the skin soft that most blisters start. Keep aware of “hot spots’..not yet blisters but those sore “wear points” on your feet and apply moleskin to them ASAP.

    As for women in combat units here…thats actually a complex question. They are not allowed in “combat arms” positions like infantry, tankers, cannon cockers etc. But they are allowed in combat support units and pilot jobs that put them in the combat zone. I was a military policeman and females have been MP’s for years…MP’s are more “field” soldiers than policemen these days (contrary to common belief), escorting convoys, guarding forward positions just behind the FEBA (forward edge of battle area) and reacting to insurgents in rear areas. American female soldiers have been getting a bit more “trigger time” these days than ever before in US military history.

    As a matter of fact, a US female MP was the first woman awarded the Silver Star for combat action (another female MP got the Bronze Star) after fighting off an ambush over 4X her units size in close combat…check her out:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh_Ann_Hester

    “Assist! Protect! Defend!HOO-AH!” (military police motto)

    Tom

  3. Hey Tom,

    1st I’ll drop this quote & then I’ll ask my question:
    “In its original sense, the term strategy refers to battle tactics, the science of warfare or martial arts. Considered more broadly, it can be taken to mean a method for achieving better results in all areas, for leading a victorious life of value creation.
    The “strategy of the Lotus Sutra” refers to faith in the Gohonzon [object of devotion in Nichiren Buddhism, which embodies the law of nam-myho-renge-kyo]. It is faith that battle igorance & delusion, breaks through negative karma & wins without fail…”

    –Daisaku Ikeda

    Basically Ikeda is using the metaphor of battle strategy to everyday life & our stuggle against negative forces that threaten to get in the way of enlightenment. This struggle is also a fundamental aspect of enlightenment, since if we didn’t have to fight, we couldn’t grow.
    My question is simple: can you apply (or compare) this kind of wisdom to any of your reading/s on warfare/samurai philosophy/ Clausewitz/law-enforcement &c.??
    I have just found your blog & you seem to be the guy to ask. I practice Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism & I’m looking for parallels in other like-minded philosophies.

    Thank you,
    Aurelio

  4. Aurelio,

    I’ve given your question a bit of thought and my answer (if Im reading your question correctly) is going to be phrased similar to yours. Let me start with a couple of quotes from the “Book of Five Rings”.

    “If you master the principles of sword-fencing, when you freely beat one man, you beat any man in the world. The spirit of defeating a man is the same for ten million men. The strategist makes small things into big things, like building a great Buddha from one foot model. I cannot write in detail how this is done. The principle of strategy is having one thing, to know ten thousand things.”

    and

    “The Way of the warrior does not include other Ways, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, certain traditions, artistic accomplishments and dancing. But even though these are not part of the Way, if you know the Way broadly you will see it in everything. Men must polish their particular Way.”

    So,to be concise. My opinion of “warriorship” as metaphor is similar in spirit to what Musashi intended when he said… “The principle of strategy is having one thing, to know ten thousand things.” The strategist (in Musashi’s definition) has the ability to see the macro in the micro and likewise he can take the smaller details and see them in the larger world. But, as Musashi further states; “The Way of the warrior does not include other Ways, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, certain traditions, artistic accomplishments and dancing. But even though these are not part of the Way, if you know the Way broadly you will see it in everything.” So just because the person pursuing spiritual goals may look at life through the “lens of the warrior” it doesn’t make him a “warrior”.

    So..Yes, as a metaphor there is value in studying the “martial way” to find parallels to non-martial situations. However, I don’t believe that there is “martial arts” IN spiritualism/philosophy or vice versa.

  5. Tom,

    …thank you for the qwick/intellegent reply. I will be working on a presentation on this subject within the next few days & I’ll get back to you with a response soon.

    Thank you

    p.s. …no Clausewitz connections?

  6. Well..I look at Clausewitz in the same vein as The Art of War, The Book of Five Rings, The USMC Maneuver Warfare Manual, Machiavelli and other books/authors. The authors wrote those works for specific applications, but their “universal truths” made them easily appropriated as “life guides”. Not that there is anything inherently wrong in that.

    In Chaos Theory and Fractals there is the phenomena where patterns can be seen all along the spectrum of scale. If you look as a small rock through high magnification it can look like the side of a mountain. Human capillaries can look like plant structures, and so on. I think that something similar to the same phenomena can be seen in what we are discussing.

    Of course the issue of “war as a metaphor for life” is of similar nature. Just because some of the patterns may appear similar doesn’t necessarily make them one and the same.

  7. Tom,

    …thanks & yes I have a delayed response, but I’ve been juggling other stuff too.
    I see your point. However, these “philosophies” can be used for other means, say self-help, business, religious crossover &c. & that is unavoidable. And I do see that they should be valued in-&-of-themselves, for what they were intended & they are…isn’t Clausewitz still used at West Point?–to help train future military leaders.
    Basically I wanted to find a connection & I did find some great Clausewitz quotes for my presentation.

    I have posted it on my blog, please take a look:

    http://aureliomadrid.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/strategy-of-the-lotus-sutra-notes/
    (cut-n-paste link into browser)

    …& again thank you for the help, meanwhile, I’ll keep an eye on your blog.

    Aurelio

  8. It says “ask me” so I’ll put it in question form:

    How did you know to start w/ the Tactical Preschool stuff for those of us who weren’t on the pointy end when we did our time? Anyway, some of it’s basic, some of it’s “why didn’t I think of that” but thanks.

    1. The idea came to me after a discussion with a buddy. We were talking about how most of this “high speed” stuff is really just a combination of pretty simple principles.

      While the tactical industry seems to thrive on selling the latest “secret technique” or training principle, its my opinion that the fundamentals are where its really at.

  9. I love your Tactical Preschool! I posted this question at THR, but would be particularly interested in your analysis:

    When is a fully automatic firearm tactically advantageous?

    AFAIK a select-fire gun, if available, would always be preferred to a semi-auto gun because when ammunition and conditions permit you would always prefer to deliver three-round bursts to a target you’re trying to put down than a single round with each trigger pull. (Of course, if ammo is limited or precision is required you would stick to single-shot mode.) Following this argument, everyone who carries a Glock 17, for example, would absolutely rather carry a Glock 18 if they had the option. And training and tactics for self-defense would make liberal use of its full-auto mode.

    AFAIK, the only other purpose for a full-auto weapon is to lay down suppressive fire to support advancing or retreating. But this is not a tactic that would normally be attempted with a fully-automatic version of any current civilian-legal firearm. Rather, this role is ideally met with “squad” automatic weapons – i.e., rifles that sport one or more of the following features: (1) shoot from an open bolt; (2) accept drum magazines or linked ammunition; (3) allow for rapid barrel changes. Also, suppressive fire would never be tactically expedient unless the shooter had both a copious supply of ammunition and a rifle with the aforementioned features.

    Are these assessments correct? Am I missing any other reasons for full-auto firearms (of course, other than the fact that they are a hoot to shoot and a great way to burn up spare ammo)?

  10. You pretty much got it.

    The bulk of my experience with “full auto” weapons were with crew served weapon systems in the military: M60 (yes Im getting OLD), M2, MK19 etc. The M16A2 I trained with only had semi and burst fire.

    IMO. The MG’s main advantage is the ability to “deny” large areas to your opponent. Streets, openings, avenues of approach and defensive sectors can be placed under fire without having to aim at individual targets.

    In military applications you are typically distributing automatic fire in bursts vs. continuous fire unless it’s SHTF time and you are on your FPL (Final Protective Line) or you are laying down grazing fire in a defensive sector.

    Basic techniques may involve firing 6-8 round bursts…observing the impact of your rounds..then adjust fire till you are on target. Once your beaten zone is where you want it you may then “open up” with longer strings of fire. Or you may have a sector “laid in” with a tripod mounted MG. Then you just hold the trigger down and traverse between your limiting stakes.

    In military application you could be using MG’s to support maneuver operations like advances (attacks) or retreats. You could be using them in a defensive position to cover a sector of fire, you may be tasked to cover obstacles such as wire, target groups of enemy in your sector, etc. You can also use them to engage “point targets” like vehicles, bunkers, buildings and the like.

    My experience with “hand sized automatics” is predominantly with the MP5 sub-machinegun as a tactical officer. As you stated. The major advantage with this weapon is that you can “serve” your opponent with as many rounds as necessary to stop the threat. You quickly learn how to measure out bursts and seldom would you ever really “hose down” a target with a long stream of fire. And rarely (if ever) would you just kick down a door and spray the entire room like you see in some Hollywood films.

    Currently, the trend in many US tactical teams is the adoption of compact carbine rifles such as the M4 with a shortened barrel. All the compactness of a sub-gun but in rifle calibers.

  11. Sort of off-topic, but I hope you don’t mind. I’m just wondering what you use to create your diagrams for the Tactical Preschool articles. Or are these images from another source? They seem like they’re too specific to have been harvested from another source, so I’m assuming you made them (or had them made).

    I’m asking because I’d like to be able to create similar diagrams for a project I’m going to start working on soon.

    1. I make those diagrams in Corel Draw. Most are “hand made” with simple shapes or are built using text dingbats which I altered.

  12. Hello, first off, let me say that these are some of the best of the `pre school` introductions I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot of *bad* examples on the net.

    I’m working on updating my teams training materials to reflect our current procedures, and many of your ‘tactical preschool’ entries contain images that would be PERFECT for including visual aids in our SOPs. I found your website when looking for a visual aid, for demonstrating bounding overwatch, but there is just so much here.

    If I may, I would very much like your permission to use some of these images. Copyright/etc notices on the pictures can be anything you want.

    1. I’d be honored. I acquired a masters degree in graphic design back in my “misguided youth” days and my blogging has been a pleasant “knocking off the rust” of my design skills.

      If you would like any specific diagrams in the same genre as the “preschool” images just let me know.I can knock off illustrations with those basic images in short order. I can also e-mail you the files if you would like.

      As to credits…my rank/name and perhaps my blog url would be appreciated. A copy of your SOP pages w/my images for my portfolio could be handy for future promotional boards, if thats possible. ;)

      You can e-mail me at tgace459@gmail.com with any questions.

  13. From one Tom to another I would love to see you publish a book on your experiences. It would make fantastic reading for rookies, and I for one as an FTO would sure use some of your tips for my newbies. Ever think about writing one??

    1. It’s been an idea floating around, but I keep “back-burnering” it. I also haven’t really coalesced a solid idea of what it would be either.

  14. Great blog and found the PPL link on Dr. Grossman’s data very interesting. I read an interesting book “Terror at Beslan” by John Giduck and hope you plan to review in the future. It is a detailed AAR on the Beslan tragedy and possible implications for American schools

  15. Greetings,

    I am posting you because I enjoyed your blog and would like to feature your site by adding a permanent link to your blog on my three blogs, “Kindergarten Cop, Officer Friendly and Watch Dawg Tally” and request that you do the same.

    About Me:

    My name is Dustin Brock. I am currently a 7-year veteran sworn law enforcement officer working as a Deputy Sheriff for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in North Florida. I also have a 4-year B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice from the Univ. of West Florida.

    I have just started out doing my own blogs and am kind of enjoying it. I want to increase my networking in law enforcement through these blogs. If you could, visit my blogs and give me some critiques. I would really appreciate it. Here is a list of my blogs:

    http://kiddiecop.blogspot.com/

    http://watchdawgtally.blogspot.com/

    http://cordialcop.blogspot.com/

    Sincerely,

    Dustin Brock

  16. Hi Tom

    I was just wondering if you have any previous posts on shooting ‘moving targets’ (from a military perspective). I’ve got an upcoming range shoot, and it will be the first time we’re applying theory to the practical, and I’m a little apprehensive about it. This area is not a strength for me, and we don’t get much opportunity to work on our shooting skills.

    Any tips, techniques you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :)

    1. Im posting from my cell, so this reply will be brief. I will put together a more detailed response soon. But in a nutshell, there are a few techniques for doing this. You can track it with a “single lead” style technique or you can “trap” a target by aiming at a spot in the targets line of travel and firing as it enters your “kill zone”. More later….

  17. tgace,

    I am part of a MilSim unit and I need your advice on a political debate that my team is having about the use of a rank structure.

    As it stands, everyone in the team agrees that there should be particular jobs and responsibilities assigned to people.

    The defacto CO of the team has stated that although a ranking system hasn’t been implemented yet there is always a natural ranking system where everyone knows who the leaders are, not just here but everywhere in real life.

    For example, as I’ve mentioned we have a defacto CO, under him is myself as the defacto XO/2iC, then we have another person who serves as the defacto senior NCO or platoon sergeant and finally we have everyone else who serve as ordinary operators with another 2 or 3 operators in the mix who are good small unit leaders, usually at the fireteam level.

    As you may have noticed I used the word defacto quite a lot, hence the natural ranking system.

    Now because the CO recognises that the natural ranking system is doing it’s job he sees no reason to clearly define the ranks by implementing a formal ranking system and everyone else seems to agree. His argument is that we shouldn’t do something just for the sake of it.

    I disagree quite simply because I believe that although a formal system is difficult to implement and maintain properly, it is rewarding in the end as it serves the team by making it more efficient. I also disagree because I have read that military’s of communist states in the past have completely abolished ranks only to reinstate them because of problems with command and control.

    I think another problem with this debate is the clashing visions of the ranking system as well as misunderstandings caused by poor communication.

    My team is 9 men strong at the moment. My vision of the ranking system involves the CO and myself being the “officers” of the team with 2 or 3 NCOs under our command and everyone else being ordinary operators.

    So as it stands right now, I have no good and/or clear argument supporting the implementation of ranks, which means we are going to be sticking with the no rank system.

    What are your thoughts on this issue?

    Yours sincerely,

    jimothy

    1. There are so many responses I could give you for the necessity of assigned leadership positions but it all really boils down to continuity of leadership. In real military operations people get killed. What happens when your “natural leaders” are no longer around? In order to lead a group you need a command structure. A group with a command structure..even filled with “non-natural leaders” will be able to accomplish tasks. A group with no organized structure that looses it’s charismatic leaders will be directionless.

      A person in an assigned leadership role and an organized rank structure, provides a “rally point”…”a banner”…someone to look to for direction regardless of who falls in battle.

      1. Thank you for your reply Tom.

        I’ve already pitched your main point about “continuity of leadership” to the team.

        But I will still post a quote of what my leader has said in the past (before I posted here).

        —————–

        Ed said something very important to me. Whether we like it or not there is a natural ranking system. The question is whether we choose to actually define it.

        I don’t see any advantages of defining ranks. I think we should have team members who have roles such as responsibility for training recruits or technical things. I also think a line must be drawn between team members and recruits for selection. but no ranks.

        For anyone interested in the reasons against ranks, they are listed below:

        - They do not solve any problems
        - They hold potential to create problems (divisions, hostility)

        ——————

        I think the main reasons why he is against it is because he maintains a democratic team where everyone is equal and has a say.

        I have already made the point that while it is a hierarchy it does not equal social status but rather leadership and responsibility. I think a lot of the other team members are having trouble getting their heads around that idea.

        A democracy can still exist in a hierarchy. The British SAS pride themselves on their use of “Chinese Parliament” where all members have an equal say while planning an operation regardless of rank.

        Then there’s the argument that it can allow dictators to rule and do things like make decisions without allowing their subordinates a say on the decision being made by pulling rank.

        To counter that I’ve already stated that if that person is a subordinate of another leader then they will face consequences if they are found to be abusing their authority and/or responsibility. And if it the dictator is the top leader then everyone will just quit the team. Therefore, no one is untouchable.

        It has also been mentioned that it can cause political problems as well as allow poor leaders to lead as they “slip through the cracks”.

        And there’s the final reason of it not solving problems.

        While we all debate about this in our team I believe our political and social views also have an effect on this.

        I am by no means an authoritarian but rather a libertarian.

        But while I am a libertarian I also see the need for a hierarchy and structure in society.

        Perhaps this is why I am pursuing a rank structure even when everyone else in the team is against it.

  18. A “democratic Army”…excuse me while I chuckle at that one. My drill Sgt. said in one of his first soliloquies..”This is the ARMY! This is not a demcracy, it is a dictatorship and I AM THE DICK!!” Said for effect of course but there is truth in it. Effective military operations do not happen due to consensus.

    If by “MilSim” you mean Airsoft or something of that nature then I guess you guys can run things any way you like, but if you are truly attempting to simulate a military unit than you should have a rank structure. ALL suscessful militaries, from the Romans to the US Military, have succeeded because of a clearly defined rank structure. Hell, a rank structure is what defines an “Army”…without one all you have is a mob. Rank structure is how an organization remains an organization. People come and go, they die, they retire, they get injured, they get promoted and move on. The “unit” remains because the rank structure provides…well…structure. Even with all new people it can operate as smoothly as it did before. In a “charasmatic” group, when people leave it is no longer the same group in an operational sense.

    I think your friend is confusing “leadership” with “command” (also known as management). Leadership is the process of influencing others to accomplish the mission by providing purpose, direction, and motivation. The lowest ranking person can be a good “leader”. Command is the authority a person lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of his rank and assignment or position. An organization needs both.

    Command is how you sail your ship. The Captain of a ship isnt given responsibility for a vessel because he stepped aboard and began ordering people around. Should the Captain be a good leader? Ideally yes. But in the end what matters is that someone with a modicum of skill and knowledge is vested with the authority to call the shots. That is done by defining someone as the Captain.

    Ideally you put good leaders in position of command, but even with substandard leadership, goals can be reached as long as a command structure exists. Thats why you hear all of those WWII stories of privates winding up sergeants or lieutenants by wars end. As the leaders fall someone HAS to take their place. To operate, the command structure HAS to be maintained.

    Sure 4-5 guys can get along with no defined “leader”..for a while…but when you are dealing with larger numbers of personnel you have to deal with a concept called “span of control”. For every 3-7 people (5 being ideal) you need someone in command of the group. Defined leadership is the only way to allow a large organization to act “as one”.

    Do you routinely train by “killing” the leaders to see what happens? What happens when the “followers” disagree with the “leaders” orders in the heat of battle? With a defined structure you follow the lawful orders of those placed in command.No matter what your leader says, in the real world military/LE operations are not run by consensus.

    Even in SAS/Delta..sure they are more flexible in the planning process and less strict in protocol, but you can bet your ass that they adhere to a “who is in charge” system (based on rank) when the green light goes on.

    In the real world simply “being the leader” (natural or not) is what is required most of the time. I refer you to:

    http://tgace.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/tactical-preschool-24/

    The problem with the “some guys are natural leaders” meme is the question, “how do you know what a good leader is?” and how do you really know that this guy is the best choice? Most people I have run into who hold similar beliefs as yur guy are usually reluctant to tell the bossy “natural leader” to step-off..or is friends with the “natural leader” and is afraid to rock the boat by assigning positions. Trust me, you will probably find that some of the people your leader thinks are not “natural leaders” would probably turn out better leaders than the guys he thinks are “naturals” if they are given the training and the opportunity to lead. Most of the time issues like this stem from EGO. In a well operating unit you follow the orders of your commander. And a good commander realizes that some of his subordinates may be better “leaders” than he is…and he uses them accordingly.

  19. Any advice on shooting while moving? (Other than practice?) I’ve seen IDPA shooters who seem to shoot as well speed-walking as standing still, but the few times I’ve tried I can’t even hit paper!

  20. I am in the process of turning your tactical preschool into book form (PDF) for personal use. I thought you might like a copy of it when I have finished formatting and organizing the material. Book form makes it easier for offline referencing. There will be a DVD or similar attachment of the movies so they too can be viewed offline. Its just a matter of time at this point :)

    You have my email, so contact me offsite if you are interested in a copy.

  21. Hey Tom,

    I have a question. This might be the Zen Riddle of LEO, lol.

    Every police officer is an officer, but not every police officer is an officer.

    Could you explain the title “officer” from a historical perspective and a terminology perspective?

    Thanks,

    Dave

    1. Well. A Police Officer is a sworn position (for sworn officers) of the executive branch of gvt. and a definition of “officer” is:

      a person appointed or elected to a position of responsibility or authority in a government, society, etc.

      another

      any person routinely performing corresponding functions with respect to any organization whether incorporated or unincorporated.

      1. Not around our neck of the woods. The easiest explination (as I understand it) would be to use myself as an example.

        I am an “officer” of the Town Gvt and that “office” is in the Police Dept. I became an “officer” the day I was sworn in and signed the Town employee ledger.

  22. dtiquips@clouds.com

    10 Sept 10

    7.62×39 Ammunition:

    A student recently asked,

    “… just took delivery on my RA/XCR in 7.62×39. I’ve been looking for
    practice ammunition. What brands do you recommend?”

    My reply (after consulting with my good friend, Alex Robinson, president of
    RA):

    “Your XCR is a robust, military rifle and, in my experience, will handily
    digest anything. Brass-case, steel-case, it doesn’t matter!

    However, Russian ammunition produced at the Barnaul plant tops the List for
    foreign producers, for availability, price, and quality. It is marketed
    under the ‘Brown Bear’ and ‘Silver Bear’ labels. We’ve found it reasonably
    priced, consistently reliable, and acceptably accurate.

    ‘Wolf’ is adequate, but firmly in second-place. It is widely available
    and reasonably priced, but suffers from consistency issues, due to the fact
    that it is produced at several, widely-separated plants in former Soviet
    satellites, but all marketed under the “Wolf” label.”

    Domestically-manufactured hardball runs fine, but is a good deal more
    expensive.

    For serious work, Cor-Bon/DPX is at the top of the List!”

    /John Farnham

    What do you think about the rifle?

    How about the Cor-Bon/DPX? I’ve never used it.
    _______________________________________________
    Dtiquips mailing list
    Dtiquips@clouds.com
    Copyright 2010 by DTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

    1. Never handled an XCR. It’s a SCAR candidate/AR style/OP rod driven, multiple caliber capable (with barrel and part switching) weapon. Good for this guy if he could afford one.

      As to ammo. Depends on the application. As always. But for someone willing to drop the bucks for an XCR it seems odd that ammo price would be a big issue. Im not a 7.62X39 guy..but I’d go with Brown Bear. I’ve used their .40 SW for training and it sufficed.

  23. Tom,

    Do you consider all first responders to be warriors?

    Do you consider non-combat soldiers/veterans to be warriors?

    Isn’t the final step to being a warrior, having gone through war?

    Dave

    1. Yes I have. It’s on my shelf somewhere, but it has been a long while since I have re-visited it. I’ll have to dig it out to give you a fair evaluation, but I tended to go to other sources for my interest in Zen Buddhism.

  24. Hi Tom, Could you explain article 265 again. I’m still a little unclear about it.
    What happens to a legally licensed handgun carrier if he drives down Sheridan drive, passing a Catholic school, and is pulled over?

  25. Tom,

    I still need more clarification about carrying knives, concealed or not.
    This question keeps surfacing, and is driving me crazy.

    I thought a civilian couldn’t have a gun within 100 yards of a school, no exceptions. Gun free zone and all.

    1. I think you are confusing California’s “Gun Free School Zone” laws with NY’s PL 265. We have no stipulated distance from a school.

      PL265.01 states:

      He or she knowingly has in his or her possession a rifle, shotgun or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college or university, except the forestry lands, wherever located, owned and maintained by the State University of New York college of environmental science and forestry, or upon a school bus as defined in section one hundred forty-two of the vehicle and traffic law, without the written authorization of such educational institution;

      “Grounds” wouldn’t include driving past the school here.

      from my research, most LEO’s in CA dn’t really know how that “zone” thing is supposed to apply to people driving past a school..or people who live within 1000′ of a school.

  26. Shooters Committee on Political Education – S.C.O.P.E. NY
    SCOPE – New York State’s 2nd Amendment Civil Rights Organization for the preservation of firearms ownership, as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
    http://www.scopeny.org/ – Cached – Similar

    SCOPE published these NYS prohibitions. What’s your take?

    The info is under media then firing line.

    1. What about knives? You keep asking about the gun free zone. There is no specific law regarding knife carry in school. It may however be against a schools policy to possess them on their grounds. Otherwise you are subject to all the normal state regulations.

      1. I believe federal law states a civilian can’t bring any type of weapon, including pocket knives, on to school property, without the written permission of the superintendent.

  27. The legal definition of the crime of Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th is:

    Section 265.01 Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree

    A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:

    (1) He possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun,
    gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle
    knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, chuka
    stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot,
    shirken or “Kung Fu star”; or

    (2) He possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto,
    imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon
    with intent to use the same unlawfully against another; or

    Some weapons are illegal to simply possess. You can’t be carrying one PERIOD. While some are illegal to possess only if you intend to use it unlawfully against another. Otherwise they are not illegal. The difference is very important in terms of my probable cause to arrest. But oddly enough NOT so different at the same time….read on.

    The “any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another;” part covers using just about any object as a weapon as long as you are using it unlawfully.

    What is a “dangerous knife”?

    Matter of Jamie D., 59 NY2d 589 (1983). Whether a “knife” is a “dangerous” knife may be determined on the basis of three alternative considerations: one, its own characteristics which show that it is primarily intended for use as a weapon; second, a modification, which converts what would otherwise be a utensil into a weapon; and third, the circumstances of the possession which may reveal that the possessor considers it a weapon and not a utilitarian tool.

    In other words “its not what it does that’s important…its how it looks thats important”. If it looks like a weapon instead of a tool/pocket knife it will be treated as a weapon. Something to keep in mind.

    That last sentence there is an eyeopener too isnt it? The “the circumstances of the possession which may reveal that the possessor considers it a weapon and not a utilitarian tool. ” one?

    There are no specific limits on blade length in NYS Law. NYC has a city code on carrying blades longer than 4″. But that’s local law.

    To throw another thorny legal issue into the mix (in NY) is the fact that PL 265.15(4) dictates that simple possession constitutes presumptive evidence that the possessor intends to use the instrument unlawfully against another.

    4. The possession by any person of the substance as specified in section 265.04 is presumptive evidence of possessing such substance with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person or property of another if such person is not licensed or otherwise authorized to possess such substance. The possession by any person of any dagger, dirk, stiletto, dangerous knife or any other weapon, instrument, appliance or substance designed, made or adapted for use primarily as a weapon, is presumptive evidence of intent to use the same unlawfully against another.

    So what that means is that if an officer has some reason to be dealing with you and discovers a dagger on you he can “presume” (in the eyes of the law) that you intended to use it unlawfully on another and arrest you for it. To be honest, if you were a decent person/victim/or otherwise respectful and with no “history” of criminality, you probably wouldnt be charged. You may have the blade confiscated. It is sort of circular reasoning. The statute says that possession of a “dangerous knife” is legal to own and only illegal if carried with itent to use against another. But then another statute states that simple possession is enough to prove “intent”.

    What it means is…if you carry a knife stay out of situations where the cops would be likely to search/detain/ or otherwise “deal” with you.i.e. “STAY OUT OF TROUBLE” and people places and situations that attract trouble.

  28. Thanks Tom. This helps answer my question. I’ve gone to the pistol bureau carrying a pocket knife and handgun and was only questioned once. The deputy seemed like a decent guy. His question seemed more out of curiosity than anything. He said, “Just tell me, you have the lic. to carry the handgun, why the knife?” My response was, “Utility.” This drew hearty laughs from him and the other deputies. I checked the knife and he said, “Go on”, with a smile.

  29. I agree with staying out of trouble. I remember you said, “I’ll tell you how to stay out of trouble, it’s easy. Don’t hang around bad people, don’t go where trouble is known to happen, and don’t do bad things.”

    I like that and tell it to my students, often.

  30. Tom,

    What’s you’re view on a licensed handgun carrier being able to carry deadly force (handgun), and not a knife, telescopic baton, stun gun, etc?

    IMO, this doesn’t seem logical. The more options, the better. There’s a better chance of NOT having to use deadly force, with more tool.

    1. Heh. If I could explain NY law I’d be making big bucks as a lawyer. ;)

      Why is it that slapping you in the face is a violation but calling you on the phone and saying I’m going to come over to your house and slap you in the face a misdemeanor? :)

      1. Isn’t slapping me in the face considered assault and battery? Isn’t that considered misdemeanor assault?

        Recently, I had someone emailing me, telling me he was gonna come and kick my butt. I told him he wasn’t to come to my business, home or property, because he was not welcome.

        He kept sending threats. I called the police and they only said to block him from sending me email. Wasn’t he committing a misdemeanor.

        Since I blocked his email I haven’t heard any more from him. This whole thing is confusing.

      2. Nope. Assault requires physical injury. otherwise it’s violation level harassment. Most times punches don’t even make misdemeanor level. There is no “battery” in NYS law.

    1. As Per NYSPL Sec. 10.09:
      “Physical injury” means impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

      This boils down to an argument made by the prosecution that the injury was substantial enough to rise to a level of “substantial pain” or impairment. I have seen black eye, cut/scrape and bruise cases get tossed as not being “substantial” enough to sustain an Assault charge. I have “heard” of even broken noses not being enough. It all depends on how good of a case the DA can make. Photos, doctors statements, etc. all add to it. “Run of the mill” bang up’s from a fist fight often do raise to the level required by NY. However..it also comes down to a “totality of the circumstances” situation when a Cop arrives on the scene. What you MAY get charged with and what a Court may sustain are two different matters.

      In People v. Rodriguez, 158 A.D.2d 376 (1st Dep’t 1990): This was said about “Physical Injury”

      “[w]ith respect to physical injury, this court has stated, “[T]he legal authority is clear that ‘there is an objective level below which the question is one of law’”. Id. (quoting People v Oquendo, 134 AD2d 203, lv denied 70 NY2d 959, [quoting Matter of Philip A., 49 NY2d 198, 200.]) The Rodriguez Court noted that “[s]ubstantial pain requires evidence of more than “‘pretty slaps, shoves, kicks and the like’”. Id. (quoting Matter of Philip A., supra, at 200.). In Rodriguez, the alleged victim testified that “the blows [she had suffered] hurt ‘(a) lot’. Aside from a photograph of the bruises from the blows, received and seen by the jury, there was no evidence whatsoever of the blows’ aftereffects.” Given this, the Court concluded that after examining a “photograph depicting the bruises and the record, and while the complainant may have undoubtedly experienced some pain at the time of the assault, we do not believe that she experienced “substantial pain” sufficient to support a conviction of assault.” Id.

      The defendant’s third-degree assault conviction was overturned on appeal.

      In general terms, “Battery” is what is known as “Harassment” in NY. Battery is typically used to refer to any unlawful offensive physical contact with another person. In some states it can be a misdemeanor or felony. In NY “Harassment 2″ is a violation.

    1. “Harassment” type offenses on a minor, except as discipline (spanking, etc), could be charged as “endangering the welfare of a child” which is a charge separate from Harassment in iteslf…and a misdemeanor.

      As to domestic’s..police can only charge for violation level crimes if they occur in their presence. So if a person in a domestic relationship calls for a harassment level offense, they (the victim) would have to sign the information that lays the charge. In any misdemeanor or felony level offense, we are mandated by law to arrest, regardless of the victims wish to prosecute or not.

    1. Not sure how to answer you without seeing the magazine you purchased. That photo is actually one I took for this blog. The newer “drop free” magazines have the metal plate on the face that makes contact with the magazine release apparatus inside the mag-well. The other magazine is an older generation Glock magazine I was issued 11 years ago (now turned in when I was re-issued a Gen4).

  31. Hi,

    My name is Aaron and I’m the marketing director for TacticalDefenseGear.com.

    I came across your site today and I wanted to know if you would be interested in partnering with us to help cross promote both of our websites.

    I would like to propose a partnership something like this… If you post a quality blog article on your website that links to our website (ideally this would be a review of one of our products). Then we will post a link to your site on our Facebook page that currently has over 104,000 fans (http://facebook.com/tacticaldefensegear ). This would send send a large amount of targeted traffic to your website.

    If you have any other ideas for how to work together, I would be happy to discuss them with you.

    Please be in touch and let me know if you are interested in discussing this further.

    Thanks,

    Aaron

  32. Hello,

    I came across your site and I was wondering if you allow blog posting with one link going to our site. Our article will contain about 200-250 words which will talk about military combat uniforms, shoes and gears.

    Right now, we can’t provide you with our exact URL but I can guarantee you that our site is legitimate and has been running since 2009.

    If you are interested, please also inform me about the cost of blog posting on your site.

    Thanks and regards,

    Kylieanne

  33. Tom,

    Is a lawfully, handgun-armed, private citizen, legally obligated to inform the police officer he is armed, when pulled over?

    1. In NY….no. For an average car stop I wouldn’t mention it. If the officer asks you to step out of the car, or if its a street contact it would be wise to mention it.

  34. Hello,

    I’m writing to let you know that your blog has been selected for inclusion in our list of the Top 25 Police and Detective Blogs of 2012. Blogs were selected by our editors based on the quality and frequency of posts over the course of 2012.

    You can view the list of blogs at http://www.topcriminaljusticedegrees.org/top-police-and-detective-blogs-of-2012/.

    Congratulations!

    J. Shane
    Managing Editor
    TopCriminalJusticeDegrees.org
    editor@topcriminaljusticedegrees.org

  35. Hello,
    We launched a new web site. It’s called Responder Gateway. Please read the About Us page for purpose, direction and background of the site.

    We have recognized your blog as a leading provider of news, comment and just good reading for the law enforcement community! We have added your blog to our “Blogs and Community” page.

    Here is the link. http://respondergateway.net/law-enforcement-blogs-community/

    We are linking directly back to your blog. As the site gains popularity our hope is that you will also gain more visitors and readers to your site. We do not comment, amend or change your content in anyway, just a link directly back to you. If you do not want us to link to your site please let me know and we will remove it.

    Thank you
    Bill Booth
    Responder Gateway

  36. ‘Ello

    I’m part of a tactical gaming community and I write a lot of guides/manuals for them based on gameplay, tactics, loadouts, movement, etc.

    I’ve been looking at your Tactical Preschool and Tactical sections (which are very interesting), I was wondering if I could use some of the images/diagrams in my next manual?

    The manuals are strictly non-profit and are basically forum threads that I add images and text to, to make them look fancy. They will not be published in any way and are for the community’s use only to better their gameplay.

    Of course, I’d credit and link your blog in the manual. Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers
    Adam

  37. “The infinite is in the finite of every instant”

    Reminds me, if God is infinite then God is everywhere (as you can’t have something beyond or less if infinite) therefore you can never be separated from God,

    Question, what are your opinions on God?

  38. Tom,

    My name is Ben Bowdon and I am a part of the Knowledge Outreach Team for L-Tron Corporation, a leading provider of cutting-edge bar code readers and data-collection solutions – serving Law Enforcement agencies across the country. Since you’re always speaking on ways officers can improve their skill set, I wanted to reach out and let you know about the next generation of scanning technology for the Department of Transportation, Law Enforcement and security agencies – the 4910LR e-citation license bar code reader.

    The 4910LR offers fast, accurate scanning of bar codes to reduce manual functionality and eliminate errors caused by illegible handwriting, transposition of numbers, and other challenges associated with paper-based processes. Given the advanced capabilities, innovation and ease of use, Officer.com and Law Enforcement Product News selected the 4910LR as an Editor’s Pick for May/June of this year! http://www.officer.com/press_release/10985499/l-trons-4910lr-well-received-by-law-enforcement

    Basically, we’re hearing great reviews from departments across the board and wanted to give you a chance to share with your readers, in hopes they might be able to upgrade their routine as well.

    If you agree, here are a few links to share. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out via email. Your imput would bequite appreciated.

    http://www.l-trondirect.com/Honeywell-4910LR-Next-Gen-Area-Imaging-Scanner-p/4910lr-151-ltrk.htm

    Thanks For Your Time & Consideration,

    Ben Bowdon
    Knowledge Outreach Team
    L-Tron Direct | http://www.L-TronDirect.com

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