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.