Arsenal Attorneys’ George Lyon attended the Rangemaster Tactical Conference March 17-19 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Here’s his after action report.
This was my second time attending the conference. Last year I attended in Memphis, Tennessee at the Memphis Police Academy, an excellent venue. This year’s event was at the Direct Action Resource Center, called DARC For short and pronounced ‘Dar-C’, a premier training site for tactical specialists – surrounded by Arkansas swamp – with a shoot house, a Russian chopper situated on a tower for fast roping, an airliner body, sans wings, for hijack scenarios, and a variety of ranges ringing the facility. The facility is best known for its anti-terrorism class, open only to military and law enforcement personnel.
The Rangemaster event, previously known as the “polite society” conference included some of the better known firearm and self-defense instructors in the country, including Massad Ayoob, John Farnam, Marty Hayes, Craig Douglas, Greg Ellifritz, our friend John Murphy from FPF Training, and of course Tom Givens of Rangemaster. A good deal of the conference was devoted to legal issues with Manny Kapelsohn speaking on lessons learned from previous self-defense shooting cases, Skip Gochenour speaking on the role of provocation in defeating a self-defense claim, and Andrew Branca distilling his excellent four-hour class on the law of self-defense into two hours. Mas and Marty spoke on the potential role of a firearms instructor as an expert witness, the class I most anticipated.
In addition to the speakers’ presentations, the ranges were in use all three days, with one devoted to a shooting competition and others devoted to a variety of classes taught by among others John Hearne, Chuck Haggard, and Tom and Lynn Givens. There were also classes on combatives, tactical medicine, and a variety of lectures.
Some of the highlights of the conference for me were Tom Given’s lectures on “Active Killers” and “Defining the Threat” as well as two tactical scenarios. In this blog, I will address Tom’s lectures. In a subsequent blog, I’ll share the learning points from the two tactical scenarios.
Average active killer incident ended by police: 14.29 deaths. Average incident ended by armed citizens: 2.33 deaths.
In both of his lectures Tom stressed a crucial point for survival: carry a gun. He went through a litany of active killer events emphasizing that in each case the killer’s goal was inflicting the highest number of casualties and in each of those events, each of the dead victims had been unarmed. In the vast majority of those cases when confronted with armed resistance the killer either committed suicide or simply gave up. When active killer incidents are ended by police response, an average of 14.29 persons are killed. When active killer incidents are ended by armed citizen response, an average of 2.33 persons are killed. What does that tell you that you need at an active killing event? Tom says it’s clear. “Carry a gun,” he said.
Tom’s lecture on “Knowing the Threat” had a similar theme. The odds say that one in 30 adults will be a victim of violent crime in any particular year. That statistically resolves to a 1 in 4 chance of being a victim of violent crime in one’s lifetime. Women have a 1 in 60 chance of being raped in any one year. Ten percent of violent events happen at home; 90 percent happen someplace else. If you had a 1 in 30 chance of your house catching fire in any one year, would you have fire insurance, a fire extinguisher, a plan for how you would handle a fire? Do you think you need a plan for handling a violent confrontation both inside and outside the home? Do you think that might involve having a gun available at every possible moment? Again, Tom’s advice is to carry your gun.
Interestingly, Tom addressed statistics suggesting a drop in crime. He acknowledged that the murder rate is down, but explained that is a function of advanced trauma care. When you don’t die, the police don’t call it attempted murder, they call it aggravated assault. The result of an aggravated assault can leave you blind, substantially incapacitated, paralyzed, bankrupt from medical expenses, etc. Admittedly, better than dead, but maybe not so much. Just “carry your gun,” Tom repeated.
Finally, Tom discussed the experience of persons who had taken Rangemaster’s training. There have been 66 known gun fights involving Tom’s students over the years. Sixty of these students have escaped without injury, three had injuries, and three were forfeits. What did he mean by forfeit? They were murdered by an armed robber while they were unarmed. In Tom’s words, the lesson should be clear. “Carry your gun.”
Like George Lyon, Arsenal Attorneys™ team includes lawyers who are certified firearms instructors, federal firearms licensees, former law enforcement, and criminal defense attorneys, particularly for self-defense cases. Our attorneys are available for personal consultations in self-defense law for gun owners, which we offer at our offices or by phone or video conference nationwide. The firm also offers legal services in business law, estate planning, civil litigation, personal injury and other areas of law.