First, I'll recap the "21 Foot Rule".....
If an individual is within 21 feet from the officer, even if the officer has his gun pointed at the suspect, the suspect can close the distance and stab or otherwise injure the officer before he can shoot and stop the attacker. This doctrine is taught much like a religion in basic police academies and is the basis for the concept of shooting center mass. The belief is that unless the officer manages a fatal, man-stopping shot, the suspect inside of 21 feet will still get him.
Thanks for sharing.
I'm sure you know this stuff, but I'm going to explain it so folks that don't know can chime in on the conversation/thread.
First, the 21 foot rule is a little different from what you described - this quote is from an article on the 21 foot rule:
"Originating from research by Salt Lake City trainer Dennis Tueller and popularized by the Street Survival Seminar and the seminal instructional video "Surviving Edged Weapons," the "rule" states that in the time it takes the average officer to recognize a threat, draw his sidearm and fire 2 rounds at center mass, an average subject charging at the officer with a knife or other cutting or stabbing weapon can cover a distance of 21 feet."
So, a little different... It's not about the officer already having his weapon out, nor about taking a single shot. The officer has to draw his weapons from the holster and take two shots aimed at center mass. This takes much longer - when things are moving at the speed of life - than having the weapon already out and taking one shot. The draw itself takes the most time - and nowadays takes longer (for the average cop) because of level III and IV retention holsters. I myself wear a level IV retention holster - a choice I made to carry since most officers, when shot, are shot with their own weapon. My draw is on average between 1 second and 1.5 seconds from the standstill. That's ample time for athletic folks to bridge a 21 foot gap - and my draw is fast for my hoster's retention level, according to national averages.
From your brief description of the GRAPLE option and strategy, I'm under the impression that they changed the scenario to account for the difficulty in drawing a duty sidearm from a retention holster when falling down to assume an open guard. With the weapon already out, you can kind of gloss over how difficult it actually is to draw while falling, or how long it is to wait to draw until you have fallen all the way to the ground, while you can at the same time appear to present an option to the 21 foot rule findings. Does that make sense? Let me try again: I think they tweaked the rule to make their tactic appear more viable than it is.
On the number of shots: The original two shots to center mass are part of the traditional understanding of how ineffective a pistol round truly is toward actually stopping a willful attacker. The idea is that these two FIRST shots are part of trio (potentially at least) - such that one is putting two shots in a place they are most likely to hit (the largest part of the body) so that a third shot can be placed on the head (i.e. medulla oblongata) - the kill shot.
Personally, I don't think cops should train to shoot a given number of times, or train to aim for different targets after a given number of shots. I think that tips the odds too much away from us when the crap is hitting the fan. My idea is this: Shoot the target as many times as it takes to neutralize your reason for shooting him/her, and put these shots in their most likely place of hitting the target. So, for example, in the 21 foot rule scenario, I would put as much steel on target - at the largest cross section that is shown to me - to have the knife wielder stop advancing toward me. If that means a whole magazine (14 rounds of .40 SW) in his/her torso - that's what it means. I'm not going to aim for a smaller target in that situation just because I shot twice. Moreover, shooting twice and hitting the center of mass twice is not the same thing, and it is very difficult to tell this difference in the middle of a gunfight. That said, training for two shots doesn't cut it for me - even more so for one. For that reason, I don't like the idea of standing still or of falling down (which doesn't really allow for a multitude of shots before you start getting cut - as I would expect the ineffectiveness of the handgun round in real-life and look to be able to shoot as many times as necessary (e.g. a lot). Additionally, if I am wanting to shoot a lot, I would not want to shoot multiple shots with my legs on the other side of the muzzle, with my legs moving frantically, and getting cut (legs have arteries too - right?), while I was quite immobile on the ground. I would imagine one is quite prone to shooting his/her own legs in that that kind of situation. And, let's not talk about multiple attackers and being on the ground in a lethal force situation...
Again, my opinion is that GRAPLE tweaked the 21 foot rule to make its options look more effective than they actually are. For me, knowing we cannot address all situations, even that we don't need to when we train consistently, I still want to address as many "Oh crap!" elements as possible (e.g. multiple attackers, my pistol rounds not acting like in the movies, etc.). So, no open guard for me. One thing, and I guess I'm being critical here - mostly because this is for real, with folks lives on the line, folks just trying to help society/culture/others - why would one opt to utilize a tactic (i.e. the open guard) when your own system has tons of moves for getting past said tactic (i.e. passing a guard)????! I don't get that, but I don't get why one charges $1000 per officer for the training. I train folks for free: three times a week at our dojo, at the Academy for instructors for 8 weeks, etc. - no cost. It's a public service, not a money making opportunity. Okay - enough bitching from me. Apologies.
Here's other stuff on the 21 foot rule - from the article:
Here's some relevant findings done by the Force Science Research Center out of U of Minn.:
Once he perceives a signal to do so, the AVERAGE officer requires 1.5 seconds to draw from a snapped Level II holster and fire one unsighted round at center mass. Add 1/4 of a second for firing a second round, and another 1/10 of a second for obtaining a flash sight picture for the average officer.
The fastest officer tested required 1.31 seconds to draw from a Level II holster and get off his first unsighted round.The slowest officer tested required 2.25 seconds.
For the average officer to draw and fire an unsighted round from a snapped Level III holster, which is becoming increasingly popular in LE because of its extra security features, takes 1.7 seconds.
Meanwhile, the AVERAGE suspect with an edged weapon raised in the traditional "ice-pick" position can go from a dead stop to level, unobstructed surface offering good traction in 1.5-1.7 seconds.
The "fastest, most skillful, most powerful" subject FSRC tested "easily" covered that distance in 1.27 seconds. Intense rage, high agitation and/or the influence of stimulants may even shorten that time, Lewinski observes.
Even the slowest subject "lumbered" through this distance in just 2.5 seconds.
Bottom line: Within a 21-foot perimeter, most officers dealing with most edged-weapon suspects are at a decided - perhaps fatal - disadvantage if the suspect launches a sudden charge intent on harming them."
Here's another relevant quote:
"Among other police instructors, John Delgado, retired training officer for the Miami-Dade (FL) PD, has extended the 21-Foot Rule to 30 feet. "Twenty-one feet doesn't really give many officers time to get their gun out and fire accurately," he says. "Higher-security holsters complicate the situation, for one thing. Some manufacturers recommend 3,000 pulls to develop proficiency with a holster. Most cops don't do that, so it takes them longer to get their gun out than what's ideal. Also shooting proficiency tends to deteriorate under stress. Their initial rounds may not even hit."
""Experience informs us that people who are shot with a handgun do not fall down instantly nor does the energy of a handgun round stop their forward movement," states Chris Lawrence, team leader of DT training at the Ontario (Canada) Police College and an FSRC Technical Advisory Board member. Says Lewinski: "Certain arterial or spinal hits may drop an attacker instantly. But otherwise a wounded but committed suspect may have the capacity to continue on to the officer's location and complete his deadly intentions."
"Relying on OC or a Taser for defeating a charging suspect is probably a serious mistake. Gary Klugiewicz, a leading edged-weapon instructor and a member of FSRC's National Advisory Board, points out that firing out Taser barbs may be an effective option in dealing with a threatening but STATIONARY subject. But depending on this force choice to stop a charging suspect could be disastrous.
With fast, on-rushing movement, "there's a real chance of not hitting the subject effectively and of not having sufficient time" for the electrical charge--or for a blast of OC--to take effect before he is on you, Klugiewicz says.
Lewinski agrees, adding: "A rapid charge at an officer is a common characteristic of someone high on chemicals or severely emotionally disturbed. More research is needed, but it appears that when a Taser isn't effective it is most often with these types of suspects."
"The truth is that where edged-weapon attacks are concerned, "close-up confrontations are actually the norm," points out Sgt. Craig Stapp, a firearms trainer with the Tempe (AZ) P.D. and a member of FSRC's Technical Advisory Board. "A suspect who knows how to effectively deploy a knife can be extremely dangerous in these circumstances. Even those who are not highly trained can be deadly, given the close proximity of the contact, the injury knives are capable of, and the time it takes officers to process and react to an assault.
"At close distances, standing still and drawing are usually not the best tactics to employ and may not even be possible." At a distance of 10 feet, a subject is less than half a second away from making the first cut on an officer, Lewinski's research shows. Therefore, rather than relying on a holstered gun, officers must be trained in hands-on techniques to deflect or delay the use of the knife."
On these last two quotes: The 21 foot rule was more a kind of research investigation than it was an actual real-life analysis. In other words, statistically, way more physical confrontations, armed and unarmed, happen well within 21 feet. 21 feet is luxury most on the job encounters do not have. So, speaking of 30 feet, or more (as I have seen in other articles), is just not the way to go. For me, a tactic should be able to work from normal interviewing distances (three to five feet) for it to be considered viable. I'm not saying we should do the same exact thing from 21 feet and from 5 feet, but in principle they should be the same. Thus, if I need 30 feet to draw my weapon and put a charging suspect down (even assuming that can happen in two shots), then the principle is invalid because there's no way I can do that at 3-5 feet.
I got some stuff on tape today - I hope I can get it posted by Saturday. This should be enough for all folks to chime in on what is presented on the videos.
talk again later,