The following guest article was written and submitted by John Veit.
We welcome a variety of points of view on the subjects of shooting and marksmanship. Test them objectively on the range and let the results fall where they may.
Flying Saucers, Sight Shooting and Self Defense
by John Veit
[Author’s Note: This article was written in 2000. What was true then, is still true in 2012.]
If you have a handgun at home, you probably bought it with the thought in mind that you could use it for self defense. And, you probably have been trained to use one or both sights for aiming and shooting it.
Well, if you think you will be able to use your handgun and training in a real self defense situation, you could be dead wrong.
Darrell Mulroy, a trainer and one of the owners of Plus P Technologies in Minneapolis, MN, [Darrell died in 2003] made a review of 900+ videos of real shootings. He found that Sight Shooting was not used in any of them.
Here is what he said about Sight Shooting: “You still ASSUME you will look at the gun in a real shooting. Wish we could find it on REAL videos of such things. We are still looking 900+ videos later.”
Believing that Sight Shooting can be used in real close quarters shootings is like believing in flying saucers.
There are a lot of good and honest folks who believe in flying saucers, and some have even said they have taken rides in them. Now, I don’t doubt their honesty and sincerity a bit, but it would be nice to see a video or two of some flying saucers coming over low and slow.
There also are a lot of good and honest folks who believe that Sight Shooting can be used in real close quarters shootings. Some say they have used it themselves, or they say that they have seen it used. I don’t doubt their honesty and sincerity either, but it would be nice to see a few videos of Sight Shooting being used.
I have seen many shooting videos. In them, the shooters do not aim. They just point their guns towards a target and blast away. Sight Shooting training, if they had any, goes out the window, and what you end up with is Point and Blast shooting with terrible accuracy. According to the FBI, the police miss rate is 83 percent.
In reviewing 900+ shooting videos, you could expect to find a few cases of gun operator error in that Sight Shooting was not used. But when there are 900+ cases of gun operator error in 900+ videos, something is amiss, and seriously so.
There is a growing body of scientific knowledge that deals with fight/flight situations and what happens in them. It provides scientific reasons why Sight Shooting is just not practical for use in close quarters shootings. But, even if you knew all the whys and wherefores, it would not change the fact that it is not used.
This information is not met with open arms by Police Agencies, trainers, and others in the gun community. It usually causes a general uprising among sight shooters, many of whom would like nothing better than to use the messenger for target practice. But no matter how much consternation it causes, it is irrefutable.
You can hoot and holler about it, or discuss and argue about who did this, that, or whatever. The exchanges, usually end up being futile exercises in trying to assign or shift blame, or save face. Nothing really gets resolved, changed, or improved.
The in-car video cameras which provide the information, are silent observers with perfect recall of what they hear and see. They don’t care if or why something happens, or who or what caused it. They don’t think, get confused, take sides, or have agendas. They just show what happens, and they do it frame by frame.
The negative reception the information gets, and the turmoil it causes, is understandable. It never was available before, and it brings into question long and strongly held beliefs and traditional ways.
The information poses the question of whether or not trainers are teaching an impractical method of applying deadly force in close quarters life and death situations. It also brings into question, statements made by those involved in shootings. This is not a happy situation, but hard facts, are hard facts, and they raise hard questions.
There are alternative shooting methods that are immediately available for use. And they require very little or no training for effective use. They deal only with the very narrow and vital area of aiming and shooting in close quarters. Nothing else is changed. They are simple and practical, and they can be used with current guns as is.
The alternative shooting methods are not new, but they are not widely accepted by the powers that be.
One such method is AIMED Point Shooting, or P&S. It was most recently and successfully tested a few years ago, at the Vermont Police Academy.
[The method was not part of the official training, it was presented to new VSP members by Walter Dorfner, the long time lead firearms instructor for the VSP. Walter died in 2001.]
P&S is fast, instinctive, automatic, and accurate. It can be used at day or night, in good light or bad, and under a wide variety of conditions. It is a no-brainer which according to the scientific literature, is just what is needed for effective use in real. Here is what a State Legislator, said about it.
“I was taught the P&S method by my father 36 years ago and taught it to both my daughters when they started shooting. Until today, I never even knew it had a name. It was just the way I was taught to shoot. It works!”
It would be nice to know if it is practical for use in real shootings. That information could be a real life saver for Police, and for the millions of civilians who have a handgun at home for self defense.
Since the Police have the in-car cameras, that information can only come from them.
To get it, one or more Police Agencies will have to step forward and test it or another alternate method of shooting.
The watchful eyes of in-car cameras, will quickly tell which is practical for use in real shootings. There are hundreds of thousands of Police, and millions of civilians who should be interested in the information.
Are there any volunteers out there?
Per FBI Uniform Crime Reports, during the last ten years, [prior to 2000] Police Officers have been shot and killed at the rate of one every seven days, and thousands and thousands have been wounded during that time. In addition to the human costs of those tragedies, millions and million of our tax dollars have been lost to them and the legal actions that flow from them. And unless changes are made, you can expect more of the same for the next ten years.
As far as I know there is no government agency that is responsible for providing “consumer user” type information to the millions of gun owning citizens, nor is there a private agency that has taken on that responsibility and which also has the ability to obtain it.
The ATF and the Federal Trade Commission do not deal with the issue of consumer safety and guns. The Consumer Products Safety Commission, by its charter, is exempted from dealing with firearms. And, the Occupational Safety And Health Administration does not deal with consumer issues, only worker concerns.
In short, no one is “in charge” in this area.
It would be good to know which method or methods of self defense shooting is or are the best, as that information could save Police Officers from injury and death. It also could have life saving value for the millions of civilians who have a handgun at home.
The recent  extensive newspaper coverage and attention paid to Firestone tire blowouts, where Firestone tires MAY be linked to 46 deaths over a ten year period, is laudable from a consumer protection standpoint.
But it is perplexing when it is compared to 500 Police Officers deaths in the same ten year period that are directly linked to training to use an obviously impractical method of shooting in life or death Close Quarters situations, and about which little has been done to resolve this long standing and continuing tragedy.
[If you are going to be shot and or killed, there is an 80& chance that it will happen a less than 21 feet.]
It is now 2012, and 600 more Police Officers have been shot and killed at the rate of one every seven days, and thousands upon thousands have been wounded in the past 12 years.
Obviously, Police are continuing to be trained in an impractical method of shooting for use in life or death close quarters situations and which is a proven cop killer.
In the war in Afghanistan, 1,777 US troops have been killed in the in the past ten years, and thousands have been injured. And billions and billions of dollars have been spent on the war.
In the United States of America, 1,100 Police Officers have been killed in the past 22 years, and thousands are injured each year. To me that means that there’s a real war going on in the United States, and nobody seems to care. Makes me both sad and mad.