Flew to Tulsa last Friday from Chicago with Andy Stanford, talking shop all the way. Andy is the founder of the Options for Personal Security (OPS) firearms training school, a former winner of the National Tactical Invitational, author of “Surgical Speed Shooting,” and low-light shooting instructor for SureFire. We were going from the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) to the National Tactical Conference and Polite Society event. Andy commented that Polite Society had done for private citizens what International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, and ILEETA had done for police in firearms training: exposing folks all over the country to the latest and greatest international research and training in the field.

Another old friend and colleague, John Farnam, put it best in his comments after the weekend was over: “Lots of cops attended, but there were many non-police too and cross-pollination was rampant! We all learned much from each other…much credit goes to Tom and Lynn Givens for organizing and orchestrating this wonderful event.” Despite the economy, the seminar was full, with about the same 150-person turnout as last year.

Tom and Lynn own the Rangemaster training center in Memphis, where Tom tells us the violent crime rate exceeds that of Los Angeles by a little more than double. A former Memphis cop who saw the reality of the streets, Tom went on to train armed citizens to protect themselves. He’s up to 52 of his graduates who have been in self-defense gunfights. All have won. He told us that in 2007, Memphis recorded 32 justifiable homicides in self-defense by private citizens in the city, and only 5 by the police.

Anyone interested in attending next year’s conference, or taking training direct from Tom and his excellent crew in Memphis, can check out his website at www.rangemaster.com. I’ll be doing a 40-hour class for him there next August, and am very much looking forward to it. Congrats to Todd Louis Green at www.pistol-training.com, who won the Polite Society match with a blazing display of combat pistolcraft using a Heckler and Koch .45 drawn from concealment, and ran a great charity side-match. More on that worthy endeavor later.

It was good to see what Brother Farnam so aptly called “cross-pollination” between police and law-abiding armed citizens. Speaking as someone with a foot in each world, I find it a very natural and well-balanced juxtaposition.

Tom Givens lecturing.

Todd Green winning the Polite Society match. Arrow points to spent casing from his HK .45 auto. Note that muzzle is still on target: excellent control.


  1. It’s obvious that criminals don’t fear the “system”; just look at the anarchic illegal-alien situation in Arizona that led to that new law there on illegal aliens. What they DO fear is armed victims not worried about what politicians want.

  2. My apologies, this is off the topic but I wanted to contact you all.

    I would very much like to hear your comments around the Governor of Texas shooting a coyote in defense of his dog.

    The “Denver Post” ran a thinly veiled article around this incident, along with a sidebar with a gray screen over it.

    The sidebar states that the Governor was armed with a .380 Ruger Semi auto (Gasp!)
    Also was using a Laser Sight (Shudder) and worst of all – deadly Hollow Point bullets, (The worst of all)

    Of course the article made no mention of the benefit of laser sights, especially with us older guys, or the fact that a hollow point is to maximize shock and to limit over penetration. All of these are used by Local Police forces of course.

    As far as I am concerned the Governor was protecting a member of his family. My cats, dogs, and horses all have status as family members. I have the vet bills to prove it.

    This is slanted Journalism at it’s worst, hand in hand with fear mongering.

    Thank you for such a great forum.

    Most Sincerely,

    Grant Rader
    Certified NRA Instructor

  3. I’m actually glad to hear that more than a few in law enforcement are accepting of an armed citizenry. My personal belief is that the second was about the People as an armed and ready force, and that regulation was not about where you could and couldn’t take your gun, but about being competent in actually using that gun to deadly effect in defense of the Republic and the American way.
    In regards to AZ new immigration law, I read an interesting statistic, one that claims the vast majority of suspects wanted for homicides in the greater Phoenix area are in fact, illegal aliens.
    Gov. Brewer may well have a valid point when she said that this law was about public safety. Of course, the leftists all want to scream that any curbs on illegal immigration are racist. Guess its ok with them as long as its not their families impacted by the above homicides.
    I haven’t read the article about the Texas situation, but I would say in closing that Denver now proclaims itself as a capital for “progressiveness”. Translation=they want a disarmed citizenry in the mile high metropolis.

  4. The new AZ law mirrors the federal law. Denver doesn’t want good citizens bothering vermin or MI13 members.

  5. Slightly off-topic from Mas’s entry but I wanted to chime in on Colorado. I was really disappointed with CO’s Firearm Freedom Act dying out here. It would have been nice if it did pass with Magpul Industries being out here and working on their PDW.

    It’s kind of ridiculous, I live just outside of Denver and if I want to go to a range in Denver to shoot my evil black rifle, I need to leave my 30 round magazines at home and bring 10 round magazines. Denver still has an Assault Weapons Ban but most of the surrounding areas do not.

    Another example of Denver’s gun friendliness is the Denver Zoo cannot prohibit Concealed Carry yet they post a “No Firearms” sign at the front gate. Upon asking for their written policy, it says they just prohibit open carry.

    I like CO but if starts turning into another CA, I’m moving to a FFA state. I’m not going to live in a state where I have to worry about my right to carry concealed being taken away down the road.

  6. It would have been nice if it did pass with Magpul Industries being out here and working on their PDW.I like CO but if starts turning into another CA, I’m moving to a FFA state. I’m not going to live in a state where I have to worry about my right to carry concealed being taken away down the road.
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