Operator or Pretender by John Farnam

Published on 05 January 2011 by in Uncategorized

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Operator or Pretender?

On New Year’s Eve, a city councilman in the Phillippines was murdered as he
 stood next to his car, surrounded by his wife and children.  He was shot
at  close range by a pistol-wielding punk, against whom the councilman had
testified  in a car-theft case.  The councilman died at the scene from a
single  gunshot that penetrated his upper chest.

Suspect has been identified, but is still at large.

Curiously, the councilman was armed at the time.  He was carrying a  1911
(concealed), in 45ACP, in a holster.  No word on the condition of his
pistol, nor whether it had been “taped,” as is the policy among Philippine
police over the holiday weekend (described in my Quip of 28 Dec 10).  In  any
event, this hapless victim failed his Test, and died, not even knowing if  his
family was safe.  It seems VCAs don’t go on vacation.  Imagine  that!

The councilman never drew his pistol; never fired a shot.  He took no
action to defend himself, despite the fact that he, and his entire family, were
in direct danger, and even though, by all accounts, the murder suspect
presented  an easy, stationary target at close range, clearly representing an
immediate,  lethal threat, and there was plenty of time for the councilman to
identify the  threat, draw and engage him with several, carefully-aimed
shots, all before the  suspect finally got around to shooting.

As my friend and colleague, Ken Hackathorn says, and I often quote, “When
you lack confidence in your ability to perform a task, under stress you’ll
not  even attempt it!”

This councilman had been “trained” by the Army Reserve Command and
actually  carried most of the time.  Yet, he apparently never “thought it through,”
  nor, obviously, had he trained and practiced sufficiently so as to be up
to the  task when his Test came!  

Lesson: Right this minute, there are many, like the hapless victim
described in the foregoing, who are carrying concealed guns, and who do carry on  a
regular basis, some police among them, who couldn’t shoot their way out of
a  paper bag!

At some point, they may have learned how to operate a gun, and may have
even punched a hole or two in a paper target.  That’s where real training  has
just begun, but that’s where most “training” ends!

The world is a terrible, desperate place.  Always has been, and living  in
it is a job from which you don’t get to resign. We are ever confronted with
two kinds of pain: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret.  You can
 avoid one, but never both.  When the time to perform arrives, the time to
prepare has passed!

“A superior man, when resting in safety, forgets not that peril is ever
present.  When in a state of security, he forgets not that ruin is only a
breath away.  When all is orderly, he forgets not that chaos ever hovers  over
him. Thus, his state and clans are preserved.”

Confucius

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MztzOjY0OiJodHRwOi8vdGFjZmlyZS5tdHNoZXJtYW4uY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvNS1oZWFkZXIucG5nIjtpOjQ7czo3NjoiaHR0cDovL3RhY2ZpcmUubXRzaGVybWFuLmNvbS93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzQtNC1HR0JBaGVhZGVyLXRyYW5zLnBuZyI7aTo1O3M6NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly90YWNmaXJlLm10c2hlcm1hbi5jb20vd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8zLWt1YnJpY2toZWFkZXIuanBnIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==