A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words ?

May 12th, 2008  

I’m often asked why Front Sight students “average ordinary citizens” have gun handling, marksmanship and tactical skills that exceed law enforcement and military personnel.

The reason is that Front Sight Firearms Training Institute simply provides more training and better training than one can get in a police academy or the military and we provide it without any boot camp mentality or drill instructor attitudes.

Another way to look at it is to consider for a moment that law enforcement and military do not get as much or as good a training program as they could get if they simply had Front Sight train their people.

Every now and then, a situation on the street is captured in the media that exposes the fact that Front Sight students have a level of skill at arms that exceed law enforcement standards and that Front Sight should probably be training more cops and soldiers.

In the category of A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words you will see a police officer doing just about everything wrong with her tactical rifle.

See how many errors you can spot:

Cop in Standoff

Cop Standoff

(Click on the small picture to see the original article in the River Cities Daily Tribunethat the photo was taken from.)

Now understand that law enforcement officers have a tough job, and for the most part are dedicated people who do not get paid anywhere near what they are worth and do not get enough training.

What you see above is a training issue and nothing more. With proper training she would not make such obvious and life-endangering blunders.

There are many problems with this picture. Here are a few:

  1. She is not using cover or concealment. Cover stops bullets. Concealment hides you. She is standing up like a big bullet sponge when she could be crouched behind a patrol car using it as partial concealment and/or moderate cover. She is lucky the suspect did not open fire on her.
  2. Her shooting stance is a mess. She is standing upright, with absolutely no forward lean to control the muzzle should she ever fire her weapon. She is actually leaning back a bit. Yes, even a .223 will push her back a bit if the weapon is set to three shot burst or full auto. If in semi-automatic, without even a slight forward lean her second shot will be delayed because of muzzle rise. She should therefore have a slight forward lean and a more aggressive posture.
  3. She has no cheek weld and is looking over the gun. Granted, she may not be ready to shoot, but with everything else I’m seeing in the picture, I’d be willing to bet she has not been taught the importance of a good cheek weld on the stock. You cannot guarantee hits or have any consistency in your shooting platform without a number of consistent and stable points of contact that make YOU the shooting platform on which the weapon is mounted.
  4. What is she doing with her elbows? She has both elbows up in “chicken wing” fashion. Great if she trying to fly, but bad if she is going to get any type of rearward pressure of the stock into her shoulder pocket and control the movement of the weapon for her first shot or subsequent shots. BOTH elbows should be down with her firing hand pulling the weapon into the shoulder and her support hand cradling the barrel hand guard. There is some industry debate on whether the support hand should also be exerting pressure rearward. Certainly not in a prone, kneeling or squat precision shot, but in an aggressive standing position or while shooting on the move there should be some rearward pressure from the support hand. In her case, who knows what she is thinking or doing?
  5. And if you haven’t seen it yet, the 30 round magazine is in BACKWARDS.

Again, this is a training issue. Training starts at the top of the organization. If you can find this officer for me, I will do what her department failed to do. I will train her, free of charge, and send her back to her department to train her fellow officers. So send this around the Internet, and get the department that she worked for to contact me because we will train her free of charge and then we will send them back an expert warrior and trainer.

And if you think the whole “Lack of Enough Training in Law Enforcement” issue just affects the patrol officers, then check out this story that happened a few days ago involving a Police Chief…

It all comes down to training. You either have it or you don’t. Simple gun-handling training at Front Sight would have saved that Chief of Police from a very embarrassing, and potentially career-ending injury.

I will be posting a different article on this blog each Monday so I look forward to your visit every week.

If you have an interesting photo, story or tip about a relevant topic of interest to gun ownership, firearms training or Second Amendment issues, please feel free to send it to me at: info@frontsight.com

And if you want to take advantage of the greatest course, gun, and gear offer in the firearms training industry see this link:


See you next week.

Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute

Entry Filed under: Dr. Ignatius Piazza,Monday Blog Posts.

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