The final part of Suarez International’s Pistol Gunfighting School completes the paradigm shift from Tactical Clue 1997 – the old Modern Technique of the (Defensive) Pistol – to Tactical Clue 2017 – the New Modern Technique of the (Offensive) Pistol.
As noted in my last post, rather than imagining the typical counter-ambush defensive scenario, Suarez is suggesting the students prepare themselves mentally and physically for a counter-terrorist offensive scenario.
The same principles of gunhandling and marksmanship that Suarez taught on day 1 still apply, but now the skills employed shift from reactive point shooting to proactive precision shooting. In a proactive event, the shooter needs a good sight picture and index, more focus on breathing, and a better trigger press and follow through.
The level of precision required is much finer in the proactive event than in the reactive one. For the proactive event, Suarez offers the following levels at different distances: inside room = eyeball, across parking lot = head, 100 yards = torso.
Suarez actually introduced this continuum on the first day, having the students alternate between shooting 6 inch steel plates at 15 yards and shooting torso sized steel targets at 60 yards. Later in the class, he emphasized how “technology allows you to exceed what you can normally do with a tool.” He was talking specifically about the red dot optics that he is well-known for.
As I noted in an earlier post, in the context of Suarez’s Pistol Gunfighting School curriculum, paying $1,200 to put a red dot slide on your pistol makes perfect sense.
Of course, needing to make a head shot from 25 yards or a body shot from 100 yards only makes sense if you buy into Suarez’s broader idea: “You are a modern day civilian warrior.”
In terms of mindset, the appropriate response to a terrorist/active shooter situation is not, “Oh God, now we’re all going to die.” Rather, Suarez suggests, “You want to say, ‘Thank you Lord for putting me here to stop the slaughter of kindergartners.’”
Your mental conditioning for combat must be such that when everyone else is running away from the gunfire, you will run toward it. This puts the private citizen gun carrier in a much more military or LEO role. It extends the idea that “you are your own first responder” beyond the individual and those in her or his immediate care. In a terrorist attack, the civilian warrior is everyone’s first responder.
Some people seem to have innate or trained dispositions to run toward trouble (e.g., my wife, who after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard became a nurse). My own disposition is risk aversion, running away from trouble (hence my comfortable position in the ivory tower).
So I left the Suarez International Pistol Gunfighting School wondering what I would do in the scenario Gabe Suarez asked his students to imagine: “When you are called on to change history…”