Tom Givens’ National Tactical Conference and Polite Society match finished up last weekend at the fabulous US Shooting Academy range in Tulsa. About 100 attendees picked from a smorgasbord of hands-on fighting classes, live-fire tactical shooting programs, and relevant classroom lecture. There was a smattering of military, and I’d guess about 15% or so police, with the rest of the student body and staff made up of armed citizens.
The match, named after Robert Heinlein’s comment (popularized by Jeff Cooper) that an armed society is a polite society, was a challenge as always. Half was “standard exercises” that included firing from various downed defender positions, at distances from three paces to twenty-two with carry guns. The other half was “run to cover and shoot” scenario work against reactive 3-D humanoid mannikins from DVD Targets. Congratulations to the winners: The overall champion was Wayne Dobbs, a retired police officer from Texas, and the female champion was Gail Pepin, producer of the ProArms Podcasts.
Psychologist William Aprill lectured on behavior patterns of violent criminal offenders. Dr. Martin Topper addressed ammunition selection and theories that interfaced terminal ballistics with medical perspectives on incapacitation of the human body. John Hearne gave an excellent analysis of the FBI gunfight in Dade County, Florida 25 years ago, which embodied many timeless lessons in shootout survival. Claude Werner detailed how to interact with other good guys, including family members, when a deadly danger situation forces you to bring your gun into action. Carl Rehn gave a tutorial on how to stage force-on-force training for maximum relevance to real-world encounters. Steve Moses taught “VIP protection for dummies.” My topic was managing the emotional and psychological aftermath of the use of deadly force.
Hands-on fighting included armed encounters that begin as physical fights, with my old friend “Southnarc,” who may be teaching under his own name when he retires from undercover police work not long from now. Mike Brown of Tulsa PD taught weapon access in a clinch. Tactical field treatment of gunshot wounds was taught by Caleb Causey.
Live-fire training encompassed Fire For Effect with Jim Higginbotham, Snubby Skills (Claude Werner), Critical Fundamentals of Combative Pistol (Wayne Dobbs), Unorthodox Shooting Positions (Rob Pincus), Shotgun Skills (Will Andrews), and Support Hand Only Techniques (Brian Hill).
Camaraderie was strong and a meaningful training experience was had by all. Date and venue for next year’s event have not been set at this writing, but information is available at www.rangemaster.com sometime this coming summer.
Attendees learn to fight in the clinch in Mike Brown’s class.
Brian Hill begins demonstration of left-hand-only reload.
Gail Pepin has right target down, left target begins to rock back from impact of shot as spent casing just exits the chamber.
Host Tom Givens, left, presents awards to high lawman and overall Polite Society Match champ Wayne Dobbs.
Attendees had option to shoot assorted exotic firearms. These machine guns are, from left, Browning .30, Browning .50, and .30 cal. Minigun.