Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Detroit Michigan 2010 CCW CPL Class Schedule

Rick's Firearm Academy has officially announced their 2010 schedule for Concealed Pistol License (CCW/CPL) classes:

Saturday, January 16th, 2010
Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Saturday, February 13th, 2010
Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Saturday, March 13th, 2010
Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Saturday, April 10th, 2010
Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Saturday, May 8th, 2010
Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Saturday, June 5th, 2010
Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Sunday, July 18th, 2010
Saturday, July 31rst, 2010

Sunday, August 15th, 2010
Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010
Sunday, October 17th, 2010
Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Sunday, November 14th, 2010
Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Sunday, December 12th, 2010
Sunday, December 26th, 2010

To register, visit one of the above links that best matches up with your personal schedule.

Go to our 2011 Class Calendar

Don't Bring In The New Year With Gun-Fire Demonstrations

Detroit has "unique" traditions. One such tradition is the burning of cars (i.e. car-be-cues) and abandoned buildings on Angel's Night (AKA Devil's Night). However, recent governmental administrations have called upon the community to conduct citizen's patrols to help the police and fire department monitor the city. Recent efforts have been successful to keep the number of arsons down during this period.

However, another Detroit tradition continues unabated. Many people in this town feel the need to shoot their firearms at midnight. In fact, some idiots can't wait and start shooting at early as 11:00 p.m.

A casual observer to our town may think it is a celebratory gesture. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truly astute people here know that people engage in this reckless behavior for essentially one purpose: to let other folks in the hood know that this house has guns and that its residents are not afraid to use them.

Shooting a firearm while it is aimed at the sky is reckless. Simple physics dictates that what goes up (i.e. the bullet) must come down. The perpetrator of this self-less act is often deluded that his act is harmless. A bullet falling from the sky is traveling at 700 feet/second when it comes to rest. This velocity is more than enough to penetrate the skull of an adult.

Sometime during the night tonight and a throughout a period in the wee hours of the next morning, it will be literally be raining bullets in the city of Detroit. As a consequence of the hail of lead falling from the sky, many Detroiters are forced to bring in the New Year in their basements. Apartment dwellers will be forced to take their chances by only being able to lie on the floor of their units. You know how the saying goes, "bullets don't have any names on them."

Thus, I ask you - my fellow Detroiters - to end this practice of shooting guns in the sky at the dawn of a new year. This irresponsible act could needlessly end someone's life. If you don't own a gun, but know someone who does and has plans to shoot it in the sky take a moment to talk him out of it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What Every Firearm Owner Should Know About Gun Safety

Over the least few days, I have read several stories in the local Detroit-area media about firearm accidents which, in my humble opinion, were caused by a lack of knowledge of simple safe gun handling and usage rules. Earlier today, I "tweeted" a lot of info about gun safety via Twitter.

For austerity, I am assembling that info here for you to read and apply, where necessary, to make you a safer user of firearms.

If you don't know the 3 Fundamentals of Gun Safety - by the number - don't handle a firearm until you do.

Rule 0 - Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded at all times.

Rule 1 - Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.

Rule 2 - Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

Rule 3 - Always keep firearms "not in use" unloaded and locked away from unauthorized users.

Rule 4 - Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

Do not attempt to clean your firearm until you have verified that it is unloaded.

Pulling the trigger is NOT how you safely determine whether your firearm is loaded.

Before handling/operating any firearm, read the operator guide until you understand everything in it.

To check a firearm, point it in a safe direction with your finger off the trigger, open the action, and inspect chamber.

Not knowing whether a handgun is loaded is NOT a valid excuse for a negligent discharge.

Never give or knowingly accept a loaded handgun from someone.

Always use the proper ammunition caliber in your handgun. If you don't know, find out.

Never trust a safety. They are mechanical devices that can fail. Your brain is the best safety.

Handguns do NOT "just go off" despite what they say in the newspapers. The trigger must be pulled. No exceptions.

Firearms are inanimate objects that can NEVER harm anything all by itself. The problem is with criminals and idiots.

If you are handling a firearm without a basic understanding of gun safety, you are an idiot.

Never take gun safety advice from someone who "just" owns a firearm. Verify their knowledge.

Do not operate a handgun that is not safe to operate - filthy, bent, broken parts, rusted, pitted, or etc.

Do not operate a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Before practicing at a range, find out the range rules and understand basic range commands.

Always wear hearing protection and safety glasses when shooting a firearm.

Know basic ammunition malfunctions (e.g. misfire, hangfire, and squib loads) and how to handle them safely.

Hearing protection should have a noise reduction ration (NRR) of 22 or higher to protect your hearing.

Do not use +P or +P+ ammo in your handgun unless your manual says that you can.

Firearm safety is not rocket science. Learn it from a credible source and practice it everytime you handle a gun.

Pointing a handgun downwards towards the floor/ground is NOT always a safe direction. Use your brain.

Don't be a Plaxico. Always use a holster to carry your handgun. They make them also for purses and pockets.

Never discharge a firearm in the air. That bullet has to come down somewhere and could kill someone.

Never take a warning shot. You are responsible for that bullet wherever it ends. Shoot a target or don't shoot.

Only use JHP ammunition for personal protection. You are less likely to over-penetrate and hit an unintended target.

If you got your CPL/CCW on a "hookup," you risk hurting yourself or an innocent, going to prison, and/or being sued.

You should never take gun safety advice from a politician or law enforcement officer grandstanding in the media.

Each one the aforementioned tidbits could be expanded into an entire article/blog post on its own. Do some research, consult with credible advisors, and strongly consider taking a firearms safety with a credible firearms trainer.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Seven Questions Michigan County Gun Boards Like To Ask CPL Applicants

For many state of Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL) applicants, the submission of the application package (i.e. official application, proof of gun safety training, fingerprint scans, and etc.) will be the last contact applicants will have with their respective County Gun Board until they are notified of an approval or a rejection.

However, residents in a handful of Michigan counties will have the additional hurdle of making an appearance before the County Gun Board to answer a few questions about their submission.

With the adoption of PA 381 of 2000, CPL licensing was standardized across the state. Accordingly, much of the previously held discretionary authority County Gun Boards have has been drastically minimized. In fact, many County Gun Boards do not require an appearance at all due to the fact that an applicant's eligibility can be readily determined via a criminal background check and a query of public records.

This article will specify questions which may be asked during an pre-licensure appearance before a Michigan County Gun Board.

Question 1: Why Do You Want A CPL?
The correct answer to this question is "Personal Protection." It is a truthful response to the question that is self-explanatory. Nothing else needs to be said. Any other response given by the CPL applicant to this question during a Gun Board appearance opens the door for further discussion and scrutiny of your motives.

Question 2: Do You Have Any Problems With Anybody?
If you have not had any documented incidents with another person, the answer to this question is "No." A documented incident would include, but is not limited to, a 9-1-1 call and a Personal Protection Order. No one knows with any level of certainty if a particular "issue" or an incident with another person is serious enough to merit discussion at a Gun Board appearance. Moreover, if the circumstances was truly serious there would be some official documentation on file with the authorities.

Question 3: Have You Ever Been Arrested For A Felony?
This question is obviously an interesting one to be asked during a Gun Board appearance because they are already informed as to the contents of your background. A felony conviction that has not been set-aside will disqualify an applicant for licensure. Every CPL applicant undergoes a rigorous criminal history check by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Answer the question truthfully. Be mindful that an arrest is not the same thing as a conviction. A mere arrest does not disqualify an applicant for a CPL.

Question 4: Have You Ever Been Arrested For Anything Else?
As mentioned before, a mere arrest is not grounds for a CPL rejection. Any arrest info in your background will show up during your criminal history check. Honestly answer the question - yes or no - and await their next question. Do not volunteer to share any info about your past that will serve to unnecessarily extend the time needed for your appearance before the Gun Board. The purpose of your appearance is not a popularity contest. You need only demonstrate that you meet CPL licensing requirements.

Question 5: Have You Ever Had A Mental Illness?
Unless you have ever been officially diagnosed with "clinical depression" or another specified mental illness by a qualified mental health professional, the answer to the question is "No." Evidence of a mental illness condition is grounds for a CPL rejection. Please be mindful that there is a huge difference between "depression" and "clinical depression" and only qualified health pros can make that determination. Thus, a self-diagnosis of yourself as being "depressed" does not have any legal standing with regards to your qualification for a CPL.

Question 6: Is There A Current Protection Order Against You?
Under federal law, the Lautenberg Amendment to the 1968 Gun Control Act, persons with an active Personal Protection Order (PPO) against them are forbidden from possessing a firearm. Thus, if you have an active PPO against you, your CPL application will be rejected. Curiously enough, the Gun Board should be aware of your status. Truthfully answer the question.

Question 7: Have You Ever Taken Out A PPO Against Someone?
If you are asked this question, the County Gun Board is attempting to get you to reveal info about your lifestyle which may open up a line of questioning about your motives. Obviously, PPOs are recorded publicly; if you have ever taken a PPO out against another person, it is safe to assume that they know about it. Answer the question honestly, directly, and tersely. Unless asked, there is no need to deliver a speech as to your specific circumstances.

Bottom Line:
Gun Board appearances as a part of the CPL licensing process is largely a symbolic gesture, as an applicant's qualifications can be readily determined from a criminal background check and a check of public records. If you have been notified of a pending pre-licensure appearance before a County Gun Board, you probably have been approved.

However, do not take your appearance lightly. Gun Boards still have the ability to not bestow CPLs to persons who may present a danger to themselves and other people. Thus, you should keep your responses short and on topic to any questions presented. If you successfully manage to not open up any unnecessary areas of your background and motives, your chances of having your application approved are enhanced.

You are strongly encouraged to not only conduct your own independent research but to also consult with a competent and qualified attorney before acting upon any information in this article. Laws covering self-defense, lethal force, firearms, and the Michigan Concealed Pistol License and their enforcement are always subject to change due to laws being amended, politics conducted in the Prosecutor's Office, and election results at all levels of government. Ignorance of the law, legally speaking, is not a valid excuse for running afoul of it. The penalties and fines imposed upon violators of firearms related offenses are stiff and severe.

About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.

Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

For more info about free shooting lessons for women and Michigan CCW Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Phone: 313.733.7404

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Should Michigan County Gun Boards Be Disbanded As Unnecessary Relics Of Our State's Racist Past?

On April 28th, the Detroit Free Press ran a story in which a 39 year-old Brownstown Township man has accused the Wayne County Clerk's office of wrong-doing with regards to its processing of Michigan Concealed Pistol Licenses (CPLs).

Michigan Concealed Pistol Licenses are permits which allow the named person to carry a concealed and loaded handgun on his person and in his vehicle. Although CPLs are state-issued licenses, they are issued by the County Gun Board of the applicant's county of residence.

Amongst the allegations levied in Mr. David Springsteen's lawsuit against Wayne County are claims that some staff members charged interested CPL applicants an expediting fee to speed up processing.

In Wayne County, it is not unusual for CPL applications to take as long as five months to be processed. In contrast, many of my CPL students from neighboring Oakland County have told me that they received their CPLs in the postal mail as soon as two weeks after submission.

Although the corruption charges alleged in Springsteen's suit are still under investigation and are - at this date - still unproven, they cast an ugly shadow on the Wayne County Clerk's Office.

The possibility of public corruption within the CPL issuance process in Wayne County should force us to revisit the sordid history of Michigan County Gun Boards and ask ourselves if County Gun Boards should continue to exist.

Ultimately, we may come to the conclusion that County Gun Boards are an unnecessary and ugly relic of our state's racist past. Accordingly, we may also find that it makes more sense for the state government to take over the role of CPL issuance, in the same manner that it uniformly controls the issuance of state Driver's Licenses.

The Genesis of Michigan County Gun Boards

In 1927, the state of Michigan adopted the Michigan Firearms Act (1927 PA 372) which amongst other things required that all handguns be "safety inspected" (i.e. registered) and created a local Gun Board in each of Michigan's 83 counties.

The law was passed at the behest of the Klan, which was very active in Detroit at the time, as a direct result of "not guilty" verdicts reached in 1925 during two highly publicized trials. The two trials centered around an incident in which a black physician, Dr. Ossian Sweet, who had recently moved into a non-integrated Detroit neighborhood.

Racism Spawned The Michigan Firearms Act of 1927

On the night of September 8th, 1925 a large mob of Klan members and sympathizers gathered in a school-yard, directly across the street, in front of the Sweet residence, while police officers patrolled the blocked-off street. A short time thereafter, protesters began hurling rocks into the home.

The scene rapidly deteriorated, as evidenced by the eventual eruption of gunfire exchanged by both the mob and the inhabitants of the house. By the time the dust had settled, two members of the mob were shot - one of which died. At this time the police officers, who had just stood idly during the gunfight, stormed the house and arrested everyone inside for the charge of murder.

Ultimately, the first trial ended as a mistrial; no guilty verdicts were reached. Additionally, the second trial actually produced a verdict - "not guilty." Obviously, the Klan was incensed at the outcome - black citizens being allowed to use lethal force against racists - and lobbied the Michigan Legislature to pass 1927 PA 372.

Michigan Gun Control Has Racist Roots

The County Gun Boards, via their newly defined powers and duties, were then utilized to deny and discourage black Michigan residents of their right to purchase and own firearms and to also inhibit their ability to acquire Concealed Pistol Licenses. CPLs at that time were issued under "discretionary" policies, whose licensing requirements significantly varied from county to county.

In actual practice, counties where large numbers of black residents lived, such as Wayne County, had very stringent licensing requirements. Thus, PA 372 was used as an effective form of gun control with the explicit purpose of lawfully disarming black residents.

Michigan Enacts "Shall Issue" Licensing

PA 381 of 2000 revamped Michigan state law with respect to the licensing of CPLs. In essence, it standardized the licensing requirements on a state-wide basis, forbade lower levels of governments from establishing its own set of requirements, and removed much of the "discretionary" authority County Gun Boards had with respect to determining who would be licensed.

As long as a Michigan resident could meet uniform criteria, the law was modified to affirm that CPL applicants "shall be" issued a license. The criteria for licensure was stiffened, however it applied to everyone, regardless of which Michigan county in which the applicant resided. Thus, the legal paradigm shift in law would - in theory - remove the racial component which had existed under prior law.

As a direct consequence of the uniform criteria, many Michigan County Gun Boards currently elect to routinely issue CPLs via mail, once it has been determined that applicants have met the state-wide uniform requirements.

For example, the Wayne County Gun Board which processes CPLs in the state's most populous county does not require an appearance before it prior to applicant licensure. In contrast, some counties - such as Macomb County - still require them.

Did "Shall Issue" Eradicate The Need For County Gun Boards?

Despite the adoption of "Shall Issue," Wayne County still lags significantly behind most other counties with regards to the time that it takes to process CPLs. Many applicants in Wayne County find out the status of their CPL applications when they are pulled over by law enforcement officers on routine traffic stops.

Accordingly, a case can be made that there is a large disparity in service levels, with respect to processing time, for Wayne County applicants relative to other counties. This is the case even when other counties still require an in-person appearance of the applicant before licensure, as is the case in Macomb County.

Service processing of CPLs in Wayne County is so slow that many Wayne County residents "temporarily" change their addresses to another county while applying. Once the CPL is approved the applicants then change their addresses back to Wayne County. Of course, this tactic is illegal but it doesn't stop folks from doing it.

The obvious conclusion is that - at least - in Wayne County, which has a racist gun control past, provides poor service to its constituents which to a large extent is African American. Gun control was created to discourage black folks from getting CPLs. Under our current system, which has undue delays compared to other counties, is succeeding in that goal - suppression of CPLs in Wayne County.

Since the County Gun Boards were created to administer separate standards of CPL issuance under "Discretionary Licensing," there is no need for them under our current system of "Shall Issue." In fact, CPL issuance done at the state level would improve processing times in Wayne County.

The only parties who would complain about moving this function from the counties to the state would be the actual counties where a large number people apply for CPLs every year. CPL application fees - currently set at $105 - is a cash cow, especially when you consider that the state of Indiana only charges $70 for its concealed handgun licenses which is good for a lifetime. Michigan CPLs must be renewed every four years.

Michigan county gun boards are nothing more than an ancient relic of an ugly time in our history. Under its current implementation, folks in Wayne County are getting substandard service. Even worse, there are allegations that the process has been compromised by corruption of county employees. The time has come to move this function to the state level.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - Sunday, December 27th, 2009

We are pleased to announce another CCW/CPL Class of this year! So, if you have a desire to qualify for a Concealed Pistol License, so that you can feel safe, register for our next class.

Southfield Hampton Inn (Map to Hotel)
27500 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield, Michigan 48034

Option I

Pay Tuition in Advance ($150) and Save $20! (Total Cost: $150 + Range Expenses)

Option II

Pay Tuition Deposit ($85)/Pay Balance ($85) at the Door.
(Total Cost: $170 + Range Expenses)

Register at our site:

Range expenses will be incurred at the range to handle gun rental, range time, ammunition costs, and a fee for a target. The estimated fee is $35.

Our class starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp!

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - 99 - December 28, 2008

CCW Class Gift Certificates On Sale Now!

Give the gift of personal protection for your loved ones!

Each certificate entitles a person of your choosing to be enrolled in one of our firearm safety classes with the class tuition paid in full.

Our training class satisfies the state of Michigan's educational and shooting requirements for a Concealed Pistol License (CPL).

Our gift certificates are a great gift for a variety of occasions:

  • Birthdays

  • Christmas

  • Mothers Day

  • Fathers Day

  • Graduations

  • Anniversaries

  • House-Warmings

The gift certificates are redeemable for any CPL Class that we conduct within 18 months from the date of purchase.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Does A Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Conviction Justify A Gun Ban?

A few days ago, I informed a prospective CCW Class student that he was ineligible for a state of Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL). He was surprised at my disclosure because the issue at hand was a misdemeanor domestic violence (DV) conviction on his record.

It didn't make sense to him that a misdemeanor offense would have such a drastic consequence on his future ability to own a firearm. In response, I told him about the Lautenberg Amendment to the 1968 Gun Control Act and urged him to research it. Apparently, there are a lot of uninformed or unscrupulous firearms trainers neglecting to mention this provision of federal law to their prospective students.

The Lautenberg Amendment
Effective September 30, 1996, the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) was amended to make it a federal offense for a person with a misdemeanor domestic violence (DV) conviction to possess, ship, transport, or receive either a firearm or ammunition for a firearm. Furthermore, it is also a federal offense to knowingly provide access to a firearm or ammunition to a person with a misdemeanor DV conviction.

The Lautenberg Amendment in some circles is viewed as controversial. For example, in many cases persons who were convicted of a misdemeanor DV charge prior to the law's enactment were not "grandfathered in" the law. Thus, some police officers and active duty soldiers were forced to resign their current positions because of an old DV conviction, which at the time of disposition did not have dire consequences with respect to firearms possession. Such persons have come to be known as having been "Lautenberged."

Perhaps, the most unfair aspect of the provisions of the Lautenberg Amendment is that people who plead guilty to a misdemeanor DV charge are not being made fully aware of the consequences - a potential lifetime ban on firearms possession and federal prosecution. A person who violates the provisions of the Lautenberg Amendment faces a hefty maximum fine of $250,000 and a term of imprisonment not to exceed 10 years.

Are All Domestic Violence Convictions Equal?
First and foremost, I want to state that I do not condone domestic violence in any form. In my personal opinion, it is a scourge in our society that should be eradicated. In fact, during my CCW Class when we cover "Defense of Third Persons," we inform and admonish students to be careful if they choose to intervene in a domestic disturbance because the rescued "victim" might see their actions unfavorably.

It is not uncommon for victims of DV to not want any serious repercussions to happen to their assailant, regardless of the injuries they have suffered. Many times, these battered victims don't want to see their violent loved ones go to jail and will refuse to cooperate with authorities. They would rather see a light penalty imposed: Anger Management classes, counseling, or a small fine.

Thusly, a person with a CPL who is carrying a firearm should think "hard and long" before getting involved in a domestic issue because if a violent confrontation occurs, the victim's feelings about the rescuer may not play favorably when recounted for attending police officers.

Persons who feel the need to physically abuse their loved ones, in my opinion, are sick and are in need of an intervention. No one has the right to abuse and to inflict physical suffering upon another regardless of whether it is a domestic situation or not. It is unacceptable.

In contrast, many people are pleading to a DV charge to quickly get past an unfortunate incident that does not rise up to the level typically thought of a domestic violence offense. For example, the prospective student I wrote about earlier told me the back story on his conviction.

He told me that on one eventful night, he and his wife got into a heated argument about household finances. By his own admission, he related that their argument was the worse they had ever experienced, however, at no time did he put his hands on his wife. His wife, whether she actually felt threatened or just wanted to be vindictive, called the police. When the police arrived, the husband was arrested - standard protocol in many jurisdictions.

Sometime thereafter, the husband was released but was contacted by the attending Prosecutors. They offered him an opportunity to plead guilty to "just a misdemeanor" charge of domestic violence and to take one Anger Management class. They told him that this solution would lead to a speedy resolution and would not involve the high expense of an attorney. Accordingly, he jumped at the opportunity to "get on" with his life, without being told of the consequences of the Lautenberg Amendment of the GCA.

Thus, this man is no longer able to legally own or possess a firearm because he and his spouse had a heated argument one night. Fortunately, in this case, it appears that he may have grounds for an expungement in a couple of years. However, in many other circumstances such as this, a "set-aside" is not an option; their misdemeanor DV conviction triggers a life-time ban on firearms possession.

Domestic Violence Is Not Just About Wife-Beaters
Often times when the average person hears the phrase "domestic violence" images rapidly form in his mind about a man in a white tank-top battering his spouse. However, a DV charge can arise in a parenting situation. For example, in 1997 a Novi, Michigan mother was convicted of DV for slapping her 14 year-old daughter.

In this case, the "victim" testified that her mother should not have been prosecuted because the slap was deserved after a couple of years of the daughter engaging in unruly behavior which included the following: stealing, under-age drinking, smoking, sneaking out of the house, and vulgar obscenities. The incident that served as the "last straw" was the teen leaving the home without permission to spend an entire weekend with her boyfriend.

In the end, the mother was convicted of DV and was given probation. Although the immediate penalty imposed was not severe, the Lautenberg Amendment guarantees that the mother will not be able to own and possess a firearm for her life-time.

Bottom Line:
Domestic violence in it purest form is despicable crime. However, there are circumstances and mitigating factors that in my opinion suggest that all DV convictions are not equal.

For example, over zealous prosecutors interjecting themselves needlessly into a parenting issue that many would agree required action from the parent and persons copping a plea of DV to make a one-time heated argument disappear are two instances where a life-time gun ban are unacceptable.

The general public needs to be aware of the consequences of a domestic violence conviction, for the biggest penalty - a gun ban - is not disclosed to persons found guilty of the offense. Certainly, abusers need to be held to account for their transgressions, however, everyone with a DV conviction should not be forever barred from owning a firearm.

What do you think?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

[Video] Detroit CCW Class - Violent Encounter Responses

Chief Firearms Trainer Rick Ector discusses five responses to a violent encounter: Fight, Flight, Posture, Freeze, and Submit.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

[Video] Detroit CPL Class: Read Handgun Manual

Chief Instructor Rick Ector gives a couple of reasons why you should completely read your handgun's Operators Guide before using your firearm.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

[Video] Michigan CPL Classes: Cease Fire Command

Chief Firearms Instructor Rick Ector discusses the 'Cease Fire' command.

[Video] Michigan CCW Class: Developing A Sight Picture

Chief Firearms Instructor Rick Ector discusses how to develop a sight picture.

[Video] Detroit CCW Class: Misfires and Hangfires

Chief Firearms Instructor Rick Ector discusses misfires and hangfires:

[Video] Defensive Accuracy versus Marksmanship

Chief Firearms Instructor Rick Ector describes the difference between defensive accuracy and marksmanship.

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - Saturday, December 12th, 2009

We are pleased to announce another CCW/CPL Class of this year! So, if you have a desire to qualify for a Concealed Pistol License, so that you can feel safe, register for our next class.

Southfield Hampton Inn (Map to Hotel)
27500 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield, Michigan 48034

Option I

Pay Tuition in Advance ($150) and Save $20! (Total Cost: $150 + Range Expenses)

Option II

Pay Tuition Deposit ($85)/Pay Balance ($85) at the Door.
(Total Cost: $170 + Range Expenses)

Register at our site:

Range expenses will be incurred at the range to handle gun rental, range time, ammunition costs, and a fee for a target. The estimated fee is $35.

Our class starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp!

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - 99 - December 28, 2008

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - Student Video Testimonial #110

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class: Student Video Testimonial #109

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #108

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #107

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #106

Detroit Michigan CCW Class: Student Video Testimonial #105

Detroit Michigan CCW Class: Student Video Testimonial #104

NRA-ILA :: Important Pro-Gun Bills to be Considered Tomorrow in Michigan!

NRA-ILA :: Important Pro-Gun Bills to be Considered Tomorrow in Michigan!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Media Appearance: Detroit News City Hall Insider

Last week, I was featured in a Detroit News piece. Check it out! They were discussing my offer to train Detroit City Council members how to qualify for a state of Michigan Concealed Pistol License.

Media Appearance: Cam & Co. - 11/20/2009

Last Friday, I was a guest on the Cam & Co. show. Listen to the recording below to hear my interview.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Michigan Concealed Pistol License Is Not A 007 License

Unlike Ian Fleming's fictional character James Bond, persons issued a state of Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL/CCW) do not have a "License To Kill." Rather, a CPL only allows a designated person to carry a concealed pistol on or about his person.

In fact, in the state of Michigan a permit of any kind is not necessary carry an "openly displayed" registered handgun in a holster. Since many Michigan residents are either unaware or uncomfortable with the idea of "open carry," it is not widely practiced throughout the state.

While a concealed handgun does provide a person with a means of defending himself against an attack, there is a narrow band of circumstances under which the usage of lethal force can be used by any citizen for defensive purposes - whether he has a CPL or not. Thus, it is imperative that armed law-abiding citizens are knowledgable about the law. One excellent way of learning the law and its nuances is to take a bona fide Personal Protection Class.

Lethal Force Authorization
In Michigan a person can use lethal force if he is somewhere he has a legal right to be, is not committing a crime, and has a reasonable and honest belief that he or another person is facing an imminent threat of severe bodily harm, sexual assault, or death. Any person using lethal force outside of the aforementioned boundaries faces criminal prosecution.

While the usage of lawful lethal force may result in the death of an assailant, it is not the intent. The intent is to stop the threat posed by the bad guy. Once the threat has ended, the defensive use of lethal force must also end. In contrast, James Bond didn't have to worry about the law. He could indiscriminately kill anyone at any time for any reason without repercussions from the legal system.

Realities Of Shooting
Contrary to what is shown on television shows, an individual defending himself from an attack by an assailant may have to shoot the bad guy several times to end the threat. There is no set number of times that a bad guy can be lawfully shot, as long as he is a threat. Multiple hits may be necessary to offset the effects of illegal drugs in his system and/or heavy clothing and jackets being worn.

Assailants under the effects of drugs and adrenaline may be mortally wounded but still possess the ability to pose a threat. In fact, a defender may mistakenly believe that his shots were misses because the bad guy continued to advance despite being shot several times. The key strategy to be employed is to target the assailant's "center-of-mass" and to shoot until he stops.

Once the bad guy stops his threat, the defense of that threat must also end because a CPL is not a license to kill. It would be unlawful to stand over the shot-up assailant who was no longer a threat, and "finish him off." However, it is entirely possible that any of the prior shots were enough to cause death - which would be lawful.

Bottom Line:
If you are going to be using a firearm for personal protection, you need to be aware of the law. In Michigan, lethal force is authorized under a very narrow band of circumstances. Failure to know or observe the boundaries is not a valid excuse. Take a bona fide Personal Protection Class which teaches Michigan law on lethal force to not only empower yourself with knowledge but also to prevent you from being prosecuted. James Bond is authorized to kill; you aren't.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fan Page Hits 900 Members!!! Celebrate With Me!

My Fan Page on Facebook officially acquired its 900th member today! I feel like celebrating. However, I don't want to just give away a discount to my next class - Saturday, November 14th. I want to make it a little challenging.

So, here's the promotion: Select the correct answer key to the following quiz. Then, string together all of the answers (e.g. ACDAD) and use it for a coupon code on my class registration page. If you get all the answers right, you'll get a $40 discount off my class this upcoming Saturday.

Also, this promotion expires at 12 noon tomorrow. So, act fast!

Here's the quiz.....

1. I made a media appearance on which program?
A. Fox News Channel 2
B. WGPR's Real Talk
C. WJLB's Gurl-Bye
D. All of the above

2. What's the name of my blog?
A. Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit Blog
B. Detroit - Murder Capital USA
C. Planet Rick

3. What form of gun rights activism have I done this year?
A. FREE shooting lessons for women
B. Block Club Presentation
C. An Open-Carry Meetup
D. All of the above

4. How many videos have I uploaded to my Youtube Channel?
A. Over 100
B. Over 250
C. Over 500
D. Over 950

5. How many followers do I have on Twitter?
A. 28
B. 138
C. 513
D. Over 10,000

Good Luck!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Detroit CPL Class: Transfer Of Intent

Students in a bona fide Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CCW/CPL) Class are taught various aspects of Michigan law, including but not limited to the following: Self-Defense, Lethal Force, Defense of Third Persons, and Pistol-Free Zones. Without question, most students feel that the legal concept of "Transfer of Intent" is perhaps the most unfair legal concept under our system of justice.

Transfer Of Intent Explained
Transfer of Intent means that the "intent" of firing a handgun travels along with the discharged bullet until it hits an eventual target. If the eventual target was justified in being fired upon, there is no issue with respect to unjustified usage of lethal force.

Michigan law authorizes lethal force for self-defense and for the defense of other third persons when the shooter is somewhere he has a legal right to be, is not in the act of committing a crime, and has both a reasonable and honest belief that he (or the third person) is in imminent jeopardy of severe bodily harm or sexual assault.

Problems arise when the eventual (i.e. struck) target was not justified. Transfer of Intent issues arise under two circumstances: missed shot of intended target or over-penetration of intended target.

A victim of an assault is authorized to defend himself. However, if the victim uses a handgun to mount a defense against a predator and consequently misses and hits an unintended target, the "intent" to fire travels along with the bullet to the resulting target. Thus, it is possible that the victim is now guilty of the crime of shooting someone who was not a threat to him. Manslaughter or Second Degree Murder charges could be the eventual result of the shooting.

Obviously, the solution to this issue is to not miss the intended target - the bad guy. Persons who carry a firearm for self-defense must be adequately trained to reliably hit their intended target. Accordingly, defenders should be intimately familiar with their firearms and should adopt a regular training regimen at their local range. Shooting a handgun is a depreciable skill that necessitates shooting - at a minimum - a box of fifty cartridges per month.

Alternatively, Transfer of Intent can also come into play if a victim successfully fires upon and strikes an attacking predator with a bullet that "over-penetrates" or passes through the body of the attacking bad guy. If the over-penetrated bullet strikes another person, the original defender faces consequences from the legal system.

The risk of over-penetrated bullets can be minimized by handgun caliber selection and ammunition selection. Larger caliber bullets, such as .45s, are heavier and slower than their 9mm counterparts which are prone to over-penetration of first struck targets. Defenders are urged to shoot the highest caliber handgun that they can reliably fire accurately.

Additionally, defenders are encouraged to use Jacketed Hollow Points (JHPs) in their concealed carry firearms. JHPs are designed to stop in the first target that they encounter, for they expand upon impact and latch into the soft body tissue of bad guys.

Many CCW Class students think that the concept of Transfer of Intent is unfair due to the fact that a very real threat existed which authorized a defender to use lethal force. In the minds of many students, it seems unfair that an attacked victim could have murder charges levied against him despite the fact that he did not "intend" or mean to hit an "unintended" target.

When it is explained that family members of "unintended targets" would probably seek out justice from the legal system to help them cope with the loss of their loved ones, it is apparent that a penalty of some sort must be dealt to the shooter.

Bottom Line:
If you are going to carry a firearm for personal protection, you have the duty of only shooting legally justified targets - bad guys. If your discharged bullets miss or over-penetrate and strike persons who posed no imminent threat to you, consequences from the legal system may be forthcoming. Thus, defenders should become intimately familiar with their handguns, practice regularly at the range, select the highest caliber gun they can accurately shoot, and only use JHPs for personal protection.

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - Sat. Nov. 14th 2009

We are pleased to announce another CCW/CPL Class of this year! So, if you have a desire to qualify for a Concealed Pistol License, so that you can feel safe, register for our next class.

Southfield Hampton Inn (Map to Hotel)
27500 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield, Michigan 48034

Option I

Pay Tuition in Advance ($150) and Save $20! (Total Cost: $150 + Range Expenses)

Option II

Pay Tuition Deposit ($85)/Pay Balance ($85) at the Door.
(Total Cost: $170 + Range Expenses)

Register at our site:

Range expenses will be incurred at the range to handle gun rental, range time, ammunition costs, and a fee for a target. The estimated fee is $35.

Our class starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp!

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - 99 - December 28, 2008

Gibraltar Trade Center Gun Show

Yesterday I cast aside a vow I made years ago and attended "The Gun and Knife Show" at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Taylor, Michigan. In the past, I had been disappointed by my prior visits and had pledged to never return. However, a friend recently asked me for my opinion about guns shows in general and about the show conducted in Taylor. I told my friend that it was a waste of time. Undaunted, my friend pressed me to attend to serve as a guide. I relented - in part - because I reasoned that I could use the freshly experienced activity as a blog post to share my thoughts with others.

Not A Place For A Great Deal
Perhaps the biggest reason why first-time gun buyers want to attend a gun show is to find a good deal. Hopefully, these people will have done their homework by actually checking prices on various firearms before attending. It has been my experience that there are no great deals to be had at the gun show.

The web site to the Gibraltar Gun Show implies that there will be a lot of dealers there selling guns. One might reasonably conclude that if a lot of dealers are present, competition to make a sale will translate into lower prices. In fact, the online promo states, "Up to 500 Tables!" However, in actual practice the amount of tables specified is more like a theoretical maximum. I didn't actually count the tables in use, but it was considerably less than 500.

Furthermore, most handguns that caught my eye were tagged at full suggested retail price. I will concede that if I was seriously in the market for yet another handgun an ensuing negotiation could have resulted in a discount. I was not in the mood for wasting a dealer's time with price haggling when I knew that I was not buying anything. However, if I had gotten a hint that a great deal was to be had, I would have snapped it up in a heart-beart.

Not A Great Place For An Uneducated Shopper
A person who does not have any familiarity with handguns should not make the gun show his first shopping excursion. A person without basic knowledge may make a purchasing decision he will regret later. As an example, the very first dealer booth we passed yesterday had a considerable number of new High-Points and Kel-Tecs 9mm handguns available for sale for under $200.

An uneducated consumer may think he is getting a great deal on a firearm. Those handguns are priced for under $200 for a reason; they are not well regarded for quality. If you are going to place the safety of yourself and your family on a handgun, you should buy a quality handgun, which will probably retail at a price of $500 or higher. If you don't know which brands to consider, either do your homework, take a gun safety class from a reputable firearms instructor, or consult with a knowledgable user.

Other Observations:
A huge pet peeve I have about this show is that they apparently have a policy of asking folks entering the show if they have a firearm on their person. Persons who reply that they are armed are then asked to produce and unload their handguns so that they can be banded with a tie and be rendered unoperable.

I disagree with this policy from both a safety standpoint and from a position of general principle. First, the handling of a loaded handgun should be kept to a minimum. There are too many potential variables that could result in a careless and negligent discharge at a gun show. Obviously, this is something that all gun owners would not want to happen at a gun show.

In addition, I am opposed to disarming at a gun show for philosophical reasons. A law-abiding gun owner with a Concealed Pistol License should not be disarmed at a gun show. If a person can't be trusted with a firearm at a gun show, he can't be trusted anywhere. This policy is decidedly anti-gun. As such, I can't condone the practice of making the show area a Pistol-Free Zone. I just hope that a mental case doesn't show up one day and decides to "make a statement" at this gun show.

Bottom Line:
Attending a gun show can be a major waste of time if you are looking for a good deal on a handgun. Advertised references to a theoretically high number of participating dealers will probably not pan out. Consequently, you will probably be better off going to a local gun shop with a large inventory. Further, you will not burn up gas driving all the way to and back from Taylor, will not pay a $2 fee to park, and will not pay a $5 per person admission fee to the show.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Michigan CCW Class: The Tueller Drill

Today it was reported in the news media that a local police officer was attacked by an apparently disturbed person via two blows to the head with a butcher knife. It is not known at this current time the severity of the officer's injuries, but he has been transported to a local hospital for treatment. This incident, despite how many times in the past police officers have defended their safety against threats, illustrates that a knife wielding person can prevail in an encounter with a person who is armed with a firearm.

The Tueller Drill
The Tueller Drill is a personal protection exercise designed to raise awareness as to how close a potential threat must be to create a dangerous situation to a defender. The drill was named after Sgt. Dennis Tueller of the Salt Lake City, Utah, Police Department who conducted some experiments and published his observations in an 1983 Swat Magazine article entitled "How Close Is Too Close?"

Since 21 feet is a common distance at which many law enforcement officers are trained to shoot targets with handguns, Tueller wondered if a knife wielding assailant could physically close that distance between himself and a defending officer before a couple of shots could be fired. For purposes of this experiment, Tueller estimates that it takes a trained shooter about 1.4 seconds to unholster and "double-tap" a target.

In a separate exercise, Tueller then timed how long it would take for a person to sprint 21 feet. He estimates that it takes the average person about 1.5 seconds to complete the race. The apparent conclusion is that a defender has on average about a tenth of a second to spare. In practical terms, a person armed with a knife at 21 feet away can present a very real and dangerous threat to a person with a handgun. Furthermore, the drill doesn't account for the amount of time that it takes for a defender to even recognize that a threat has started to advance in his direction.

Bottom Line:
Viewing a Tueller Drill demonstration can be a very sobering event for spectators. Many people blindly assume that a person armed with a knife will lose in an altercation with a person armed with a handgun. This assumption can get a lot of people hurt. Make no mistake about it - A person armed with a knife who is charging a defender within 21 feet is a very real threat.

Individuals desiring to protect themselves against charging threats would be well advised to maintain a state of awareness to allow fast threat identification, be completely familiar with their firearm, and to cultivate the practice drawing their handgun while on the move.

At the time of this writing, I did not have the actual facts with respect to the distance between the alleged assailant and the police officer. However, this incident did remind me of the Tueller Drill and the lessons it imparts to those who have seen it demonstrated.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #99

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #98

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #97

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #96

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #95

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #94

[Video] Detroit Michigan CCW Class - Smooth Trigger Pull

In this video Chief Firearm Trainer Rick Ector discusses how to smoothly pull the trigger of a handgun.

[Video] Detroit Michigan CCW Class - Practice Ammunition

In this video snippet Chief Firearms Trainer Rick Ector discusses practice ammunition: wadcutters, semi-wadcutters, and FMJs.

[Video] Detroit Michigan CCW Class - Jacketed Hollow Points

In this video snippet Chief Firearms Instructor Rick Ector discusses jacketed hollow point ammunition.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Personal Protection: Posturing As A Response

In this snippet Chief Firearms Trainer Rick Ector explains the concept of posturing as a response to a potentially deadly encounter with an assailant.

Your Handgun Is Always Somewhere

All handgun owners have the responsibility of knowing where their handguns are located at all times. By itself, a handgun poses no threat to the safety or welfare to other people and property. A handgun is neither good nor bad. However, in the wrong hands a handgun can be utilized negatively with dire circumstances. Each and every second of the day, your handgun is somewhere and you need to know exactly where that location is. If handguns are properly controlled and policed by their owners, no unintended incidents can occur.

Always Keep Unused Guns Unloaded
A fundamental rule of gun safety states that all guns "not in use" should be unloaded and properly secured. A firearm that is "not in use" is a NOT a firearm that is being actively used for personal protection. In contrast, Personal Protection handguns that are "in use" should ALWAYS be loaded so that they may be called upon to be used as a tool of last resort during an attack by an assailant.

For example, I own a .22LR caliber handgun that I use to show students in my Personal Protection Classes what a revolver looks like. Obviously, I do not use this firearm for personal protection because it is not of a suitable caliber for self-defense (i.e. 9mm or higher). However, it is a great visual aid for instructional purposes.

Thus, when I am not teaching a Personal Protection Class this handgun is NOT in use for defensive usage. Accordingly, I ensure that it is unloaded, separated from ammunition, encased in a locked gun box, and stored away in a hidden location. If someone should happen to "find" my firearm, it is not immediately available for use until the requisite time to unlock the case, find ammo, and load it has passed.

Furthermore, handguns that are NOT in use for personal protection are firearms that a owner would not try to gain access to and use during an attack. These "not in use" firearms should also be safely secured and stored.

Handguns "In Use" Should Be Loaded
If a handgun is actively being used for personal protection, it should be loaded and ready for use against an attack. An unloaded handgun is of no practical value when a bad guy has broken into your house and seeks to rape, rob, or terrorize the inhabitants. A homeowner under these circumstances should not waste valuable time trying to find his gun, find his ammunition, and then load his "in use" firearm.

Having a handgun "in use" requires that a responsible gun owner knows where his handgun is located at all times. For one, if it is quickly needed he needs to know where it is located so it can be accessed and used. A home invasion is not the opportune time to try to remember where your "in use" firearm is located.

Handguns "In Use" Must Be Inaccessible To Unauthorized Users
An actively used firearm's location needs to be known at all times so that unauthorized users can be kept away from it. It is not possible to effectively keep unauthorized users from your "in use" handgun if you do not exactly know where it is currently resting.

Officially, an unauthorized user is someone the handgun's owner does not give authorization to use his firearm. A lot of students in my classes incorrectly believe that other people in the home fall automatically under the classification of unauthorized users. For example, if an "in use" firearm is accessible to a spouse or other person - who is allowed to possess firearms - who needs it to fend off a home-invader, that handgun's usage is defensible, reasonable, and lawful.

For the most part, children in the home will be the persons who are unauthorized users of a firearm. An "in use" (i.e. loaded) firearm should be kept away from curious children. Obviously, bad things can happen if a child "finds" a loaded handgun and decides to play with it.

Thus, all handgun owners with children in the home, need to implement a personal protection plan that balances their personal accessibility to fight crime with inaccessibility to their children. In some cases, children in the home are sufficiently emotionally developed to obey the parent's edict not to bother a firearm.

In other cases, additional measures, such as gun safes with keypad openers, may need to be adopted. Since each home environment is different, no 'one-size-fits-all" solution exists. Responsible gun owning adults are capable of making the correct arrangements without governmental interference or "common-sense" gun control laws to dictate what happens in their homes.

One Solution That Works
Obviously, having a gun in the home is a big decision wherein the owner has to balance accessibility and inaccessibility to unauthorized users. Many gun owners, especially those with children, elect to carry their handguns in a holster at all times of the day. In this scenario, the gun owner knows with absolute certainty where his firearm is loaded, the gun owner has access to it in his moment of need, and his children do not have access to his firearm.

To some folks, this practice may seem a tad extreme. However, in light of the fact that within recent memory several violent crimes - such as robbery, rape, and murder - have been done to victims as they were answering their front doors, taking out the trash, and moving cars in their driveways. It's never a bad thing to have access to handgun just in case you need it. There is no down-side to wearing a handgun that you didn't have to use.

Bottom Line:
A handgun owner should know with absolute certainty where his handgun is located at all times. It is of no practical good to have a handgun if you don't know exactly where it is located during your time of need. Additionally, it is almost impossible to safeguard its usage from unauthorized users if you do not know where it is located. An unattended handgun in of itself is not a problem until either an untrained adult or a curious child comes into contact with it. As a consequence, many handgun owners elect to wear their firearms all day long.

Where are your firearms?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Video: Cartridge vs Bullet

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #93

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #92

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #91

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #90

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #89

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #88

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #87

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gurl-Bye Radio Appearance - 10/04/2009

Listen to the October 4th, 2009 broadcast of radio talk show "Gurl-Bye." I was featured on this episode in which they discussed self-defense and lethal force.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

FREE Shooting Lesson For Women

I provide a FREE shooting lesson for women who do not have any experiences with discharging a firearm. The appointment will consist of me meeting with the interested ladies at a local target range. I will provide access to a firearm, range time, ammunition, and a target. I will provide a range safety briefing, explain basic safety rules, and teach them how to safely discharge a handgun at a target.

Why I Provide This Service
The metro-Detroit area is not safe. It is no surprise that women, especially those who are single and have children are the preferred victims of violent predators. As such, many women are curious about gun ownership but do not explore it due to due irrational fears or untrue rumors about guns.

My charity is not totally altruistic. In all honesty, I believe that if I expose women to firearms in a safe learning environment, they will consider enrolling in one of my Concealed Pistol License (CPL) classes. Further, it is great PR for my training service. So, I actually get something out of the deal for promotional activities for my company and the ladies are exposed to shooting a handgun.

In all honesty, I also do receive a spiritual boost for empowering ladies with this offer, so it's not really all about business. I feel good about having done a good deed and that is the real reward.

How To Sign Up For FREE Shooting Lesson
Sign up for a FREE profile at Facebook and join my Fan Page. Send me a message and we will set up an appointment.

Ladies We Have Given A FREE Shooting Lesson

Sponsor A Lady's Introduction To Shooting!

Help us introduce ladies to firearms. The demand is great and our resources are few. A few bucks from you can provide a woman with the confidence to pursue using a firearm for her personal protection.

Donate $15 to cover box of 9mm ammo.

Donate $30 to cover box of 9mm ammo and range time.

Donate $45 to cover box of 9mm ammo, range time, and handgun rental.

Thank you!!!!!

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - Saturday, October 17th 2009

We are pleased to announce another CCW/CPL Class of this year! So, if you have a desire to qualify for a Concealed Pistol License, so that you can feel safe, register for our next class.

Southfield Hampton Inn (Map to Hotel)
27500 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield, Michigan 48034

Option I

Pay Tuition in Advance ($150) and Save $20! (Total Cost: $150 + Range Expenses)

Option II

Pay Tuition Deposit ($85)/Pay Balance ($85) at the Door.
(Total Cost: $170 + Range Expenses)

Register at our site:

Range expenses will be incurred at the range to handle gun rental, range time, ammunition costs, and a fee for a target. The estimated fee is $35.

Our class starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp!

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class - 99 - December 28, 2008

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Handgun Handling Safety Rule 3

Handgun Handling Safety Rule 2

Handgun Handling Safety Rule 1

Handgun Handling Safety Rule 0

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #86

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #85

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #84

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #83

Detroit Michigan CCW CPL Class Student Video Testimonial #82

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #81

Detroit Michigan CCW Class Student Video Testimonial #80

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wayne State's "Active Shooter" Class Prepares Students For Victimization

Roughly five months after a Henry Ford Community College student was fatally shot on campus by a fellow student, Wayne State University (WSU) announced on September 22nd the launch of an online class to inform its students of what they should do if a shooting happens on campus. The course, designed for current students, workers, and faculty, is entitled, "Be Prepared: Surviving an Active Shooter Incident."

The course takes about an hour to complete and has six easy to follow modules:
  • Defining The Active Shooter
  • Surviving An Active Shooter Incident
  • Reporting An Active Shooter Incident
  • Helping The Injured
  • Police Response - What To Expect
  • Closing/Follow-up

As a certified firearms and personal protection trainer, I had a desire to take the class to see if in my opinion it would yield any useful advice for students on a college campus while a shooting incident was occurring. A friend, who is currently enrolled at WSU, facilitated my viewing of the class.

A Stirring Start For An Important Subject

Unless, you have lived in a cave for last 15 years or so, most middle-aged people have undoubtedly heard of several highly publicized workplace and school shootings on the national level. However, today's college-age students do not have the benefit of being jolted every couple of years to the news of yet another mass killing that Generation X-ers, such as myself, have wearingly grown accustomed to hearing.

The opening course lesson provided background info, perhaps too much, on several mass killings. For each covered mass-shooting incident, the class recounts where the attack happened, the name of the attackers, how the attack happened, how many people were killed and injured, whether and how the attacker died, how many shots were fired, and how long the attacks lasted in real-time.

The statistical run-down on mass-shooting incidents included the following: Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University, and Northern Illinois University. The key take-away from this section is that these events can occur seemingly without warning, can yield high body counts, and will most likely be over before local law enforcement can arrive.

The module closes after documenting seven common elements of school shooting incidents that researchers have uncovered after studying them: most incidents happen in urban areas, most shootings involve males between the ages of 11 and 27, most shooters are white, most shooters were loners who were rejected by women, most shooters had detailed plans of attack, most shooters had access to guns, and all victims were chosen at random.

In my opinion, nothing of much use can be done with the aforementioned data by students under attack. The cynic in me suggests that the facts, as presented, provides a handy justification for - in the words of the class - to "neutralize" and "take out" the assailant.

If the intent of the opening lesson was to increase awareness of the frequency of mass shootings, to stress how grave this issue is to students under attack, and to illustrate why this class is important, then it was successful. It felt unduly long to complete but I understand why the opening was done this way.

The Good Things I Observed In The Class

The best over-all module in the course was Lesson III. This chapter gave detailed information on how a person should report a shooting incident. While it may be questionable that a student under a high stress situation, like an active shooter scenario, can remember and make note of all the info that law enforcement would like to receive in a call-for-help, this module requested a treasure-trove of details.

I would urge students to do their best to recall the info as best as they can but rely upon the operator to lead them through the information gathering process. A laundry list of 30 or so details to provide in a frantic distress call is a stretch goal, at best.

Curiously enough, the class asks that callers do not call Detroit Police via 9-1-1. Instead they are directed to call WSU's Police Department. The stated reason is that their response time - believe it or not - is 60 seconds or less. I don't personally believe that fact but it was stated as the principal justification. Another given reason, which is more plausible, is that they know the campus better than local law enforcement.

I support the efforts of the Detroit Police Department (DPD), but I realize that they have their hands full with crime-fighting tasks outside of WSU's campus. Their response times are poor if they respond at all, their investigations are bad as evidenced by their 30% case closure rate, and according to a recent report in the media are understaffed by about 500 officers on the street. Personally, I don't have any info about how well WSU's police force does it job, but a fast response from them rather than relying upon DPD has to be the better choice.

Another detailed module in the class was Lesson V. Contained therein was detailed info on what to expect when law enforcement responds. In essence, students - still on the scene - are being taught how not to be perceived as threat. Great pains were taken to make sure that an additional tragedy doesn't occur - the shooting of an innocent student by campus police. Much of it appears to be common sense, but this course leaves nothing to chance.

Generally speaking, students should expect police officers on the scene to be geared up for a confrontation. Thus, they stay where they are located until found by a Search-and-Rescue Team, do exactly as told - not too much and not too little, keep their hands visible at all times, and refrain from any conduct that may surprise or startle officers. There is a huge list of things "to do" and "not to do." Hopefully, students will be able to just focus on remaining calm and follow instructions as ordered by the police.

One confusing aspect of this module confused me. If a student is with a "downed" assailant who had a weapon, the students are asked to move the weapon from the immediate area without holding or handling it. Presumably, they could have said kick it away if that's what they meant. However, if that's what they meant then they should have said that. Like I said, that part was confusing.

Two Modules That Don't Make The Grade

As a person who is a Red Cross certified responder for first aid, CPR, and AED, I was grossly disappointed with the dearth of material in Lesson IV. It was the shortest module, as it was even surpassed by the Conclusion module - Lesson VI - in length.

In a nutshell, students are taught to help other students stop bleeding wounds by applying direct pressure and elevating the affected area. Care was mentioned to not directly touch any blood. The diagram in the section, interestingly enough, shows a person with rubber gloves helping a victim. The text for the section, however, tells ad hoc care-givers to use whatever implements (e.g. clothing, feminine napkins, coat drawstrings, and etc.) that can be improvised to provide assistance.

In my opinion, this whole section needs to either have more info added or be totally scrapped from the class. From a practical perspective, a student without any basic first aid training may put himself at risk and render ineffectual aid to any victims.

The other section in this class that was disappointing was the last module - Lesson VI. As the concluding lesson, I was anticipating a recap of all the info that was presented throughout the class, especially with an emphasis on how to survive a shooting incident on campus. It seems to be a forgone conclusion, that surviving a shooting on campus will be largely dependent on not being shot by the assailant and awaiting a rescue from a fast-responding police unit detail.

This module was primarily a recitation of the previous module - how to behave when the police get there. This lesson added no additional insight and could be safely scrapped from the class with no ill-effect.

The Ultimate Worth Of This Course Is What Is Shared In Module II

It wasn't until I reviewed the entire class, that I came to the inescapable conclusion that my opinion of this overall course will based almost entirely on Module II. Given the parameters of a campus shooting incident - a well armed assailant with a detailed plan of attack which will probably be over before law enforcement arrives - this is the only really relevant module that can meet the promise of the course.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that much of what was presented to students in this module is typically found in a Personal Protection Class. The key to surviving an incident is to quickly assess the situation and act quickly. Survivors act - victims panic.

I was impressed with the fact that the class did not list submission as a means of responding to a shooting incident on campus. History has shown that giving up will only lead to being shot and possibly killed. The only three options given to students were to flee the campus, find a place to hide, or confront the attacker to "take him down."

The part about confronting a well organized and armed attacker bordered on the absurd. Confrontation, of course, is the last resort of surviving an attack but I was disgusted to view scenes of students pathetically throwing office supplies at a sociopath armed with a firearm. Other info that I felt disappointed about seeing in the class was the advice for students not to band physically together when hiding. The idea here is that if he starts shooting, his body count won't be as high.

Bottom Line:
A student's chance of surviving a mass-shooting incident on campus will largely be outside of his control. This online class, for the most part, will not save anyone's life after viewing it. Some campus shooting survivors will be the people who heard gunfire, recognized it as such, and took action by either fleeing or hiding. Some victims will be those persons who were unaware and/or failed to take action and were later discovered by the assailant.

Hearing gunfire on campus, means that someone has already been shot and that others nearby will be shot soon. Nothing in this online class addresses that fact. If campus police arrive in promised and previously stated 60 second response time, the number of victims can still be remarkably high.

Unfortunately, the only true solution to safe-guarding students, workers, and faculty during a mass-shooting episode on campus is unaddressed by this online class. Currently, university classrooms and dormitories are pistol-free zones under Michigan law.

If law-abiding, qualified, and licensed students, faculty, and workers were allowed to carry concealed firearms on campus, there would be a chance that there could be zero victims during a shooting attempt. Under current law there will always be victims, as the attacks are targeting unarmed victims and are over before the police can respond.

By the way, Michigan Senate Bill 747, which will allow licensed concealed firearms on campus, was recently introduced in Lansing. If you truly care about preventing mass killings on Michigan campuses, you will call your Senator and support this legislation.