I advise extreme caution on First Person Defender videos

A good friend posted the following video online:

I’ve had considerable heartburn with these videos. While they’re well done from a production standpoint, including some good safety gear, I see so many flaws inconsistent with my ow 45 years of firearms training and experience, 20+ years of armed military experience, and decades of self-defense training I’ve obtained through both private and law enforcement sources.

With that in mind, I’ll begin my critique.

Never get within grappling distance of a suspect.

Neither the Samaritan nor the instructor allow any room for a belligerent good guy. For example: I’m a good guy. If I’m where I’m supposed to be i.e. hanging sheet rock / drywall in a client’s house and he gave me the key, then someone unknown walks in on me, draws and starts barking orders… I don’t know THEM from Adam and will treat THEM as the hostile threat, regardless of how “official” they look or sound. Exception: Police, and only then if they’re corroborated by the situation i.e. they arrive in a cruiser, they have a partner, official radio chatter, actions are commensurate with POST, etc. Not all the above, but certainly more than just some guy in a uniform.

Why’s he drawing on a blue shirt handing in the closet?

Why assume people will always hear you? LOTS of people wear silicone seal earbuds blaring music.

Kudos to shooting the guy who drew on him…

Wait… No… RRRRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPP!

Turns out the guy really was an armed law-abiding citizen and sheet rock contractor with earbuds who was just defending himself against an unknown intruder who

I’m a CC carrier, with 30 years of permitted carry, as well, but I’ve OC’d about as much as I’ve CC’d.

I’ve also hung sheet rock.

I’m different from Chad in that my firearms experience spans 45+ years, includes 20 years of carrying training and experience in the military, and one-on-one training with a number of friends who’re law enforcement officers.

Other law enforcement officers listening in, feel free to jump in. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Drawing on an unknown is an unnecessary escalation and can get you killed by the good guy on whom you’re trying to draw, IF they’re a good guy.

Thing of it is, you don’t know whether they’re a good guy or a bad guy, and you can NOT just assume they’re a bad guy until proven otherwise. Not only does that violate THEIR Constitutional rights, but it’s likely to get one or both of you hurt or killed.

My point is the video fails to cover proper escalation/deescalation, not to mention a WHOLE LOT of other important considerations.

Given my experience, Chad did NOT “do a great job,” and the instructor at First Person Defender are doing a serious disservice by presenting this scenario in this fashion.

Consider:

In my scenario, above, if the guy shoots me, HE’S going to jail as I had permission from the owner to be there. If I shoot him, I’M going to jail as he had permission from the owner to conduct spot checks.

HOWEVER, if he draws on me and I defend myself, he’s dead and I’m NOT going to jail.

See where I’m going with this?

While the object/color training was good in some ways, it was negative in other ways. “Negative training” is that which increases the likelihood of an undesirable outcome i.e. shooting a good guy. The whole point of escalation/deescalation training is to know:a. When it’s appropriate to leave your firearm holstered. When it’s appropriate to have your hand on your firearm while holstered. When it’s appropriate to drawd. When it’s appropriate to fire. What commands are lawful throughout the escalation. What commands are not lawful throughout the escalation.

What actions are more suitable for assessing the situation. What actions are more suitable for deescalating the situation.

Back to the scenario: If my neighbor asks me to look in on his place and the door is ajar, that’s a BIG clue something is wrong. If it is a crime scene, the LAST thing I want to do is contaminate the crime scene, either erasing the bad guy’s data or leaving my own on top of his.

Ergo, I call law enforcement.

If someone might be in there, the LAST thing I want to do is confront an intruder in a close quarters combat situation.

Ergo, after calling law enforcement, I note (cell phone video) the make, model, and license plate of any vehicle(s) in the driveway or nearby.

Remember, Step 1 of deescalation (live to fight another day) is to AVOID CONFLICT and Step 2 is to QUIETLY LEAVE THE SCENE. Walking into a home that should have been locked violates both steps and risks getting you killed.

Besides: Not my home! My first action would be the do a 180 and call the owner, who might say, “Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you — I hired a contractor to install sheet rock. He’ll be there today. He has a key…” If so, then I simply make sure my neighbor’s door is locked after the installer leaves. If the owner says, “Well, did you lock it?” I’ll say, “I’ll call you back in a few minutes” then call law enforcement.

The ONLY time I MIGHT put myself at risk in an intruder situation is if someone is in danger of life or limb (screaming inside and I have reason to believe it can’t wait until law enforcement arrives) or I catch an obvious arsonist carrying two cans of gasoline towards the structure.
Even then, I’d have to evaluate the situation on the spot. WAY too many variables for a post. Books have been written on the subject.

Back to what I said earlier: Given my experience, Chad did NOT “do a great job,” and the instructor at First Person Defender are doing a serious disservice by presenting this scenario in this fashion.

The point isn’t whether I could do better. The point is, if you’re going to present these scenarios, make DANG CERTAIN you’re following the law to a “T” and you’re providing proper instruction designed to keep ALL parties from harm.

Let’s rewind. Chad notices the door ajar and calls the cops. They arrive, and begin their procedures, calling out from the exterior of the building, first by identifying themselves, “Police! Anyone inside?” They may honk their horn or flip their siren. No answer, so they proceed cautiously inside, again announcing their identity.

When they encounter the guy, instead of the guy seeing some unknown person pointing a gun at them yelling his freakin’ head off like a blithering idiot, the guy instead sees two law enforcement officers calmly asking him, “Sir, do you live here? May we see some ID?” Both law enforcement officers are likely to have their hands on their firearms, in case the guy really is a bad guy, but it’s EXTREMELY UNLIKELY a good guy would ever draw on the officers. In fact, if it were me, I would raise both hands and let them know I was carrying a firearm.

I’ve been in PRECISELY that situation with law enforcement on not one occasion, but FIVE, including hanging out with friends when LE responded to a noise disturbance, twice when I was pulled over by LE (1 speeding and 1 sobriety check), and twice when I’d called LE to my own place, once for suspected home invasion and another time to report a noise complaint.

A key point of military training is that if it’s worth saying once, it’s worth saying three times: “Given my experience, Chad did NOT “do a great job,” and the instructor at First Person Defender are doing a serious disservice by presenting this scenario in this fashion.”

Reply at will, but I’m holding onto my 45 years of extensive professional and personal training on this one.