A number of years ago I read, On Combat, by LTC Dave Grossman. There are a handful of books in my library that I can honestly say are life changing; On Combat is one of them. Grossman’s study of physiological and psychological dynamics that take place in the toxic realm of combat is unsurpassed. Moreover, his research into the motivations of soldiers called to live the life of sacrifice is both informative and inspirational.
So, when I was given a heads-up that Grossman was going to be doing a presentation for members of the Law Enforcement Community in Orange County, I jumped at the chance to listen to his lecture.
He is one of the most impassioned and dynamic presenters to whom I have ever had the pleasure to listen. The organization that sponsored LTC Grossman is called The Bascom Group. These guys own, and manage, real estate developments throughout the country. To give back to law enforcement personnel in their communities, they sponsor Grossman to come out and present to these agencies for free. (Hell, they even give lunch to the cops in attendance.)
One of the managing partners of The Bascom Group is a gentleman named David Kim. David met Sandy at this initial lecture, and the two became friends. A few months later The Bascom Group contacted Artemis and asked if we could help organize another Grossman event, this time in Pomona. We were more than happy to help, and Sandy was able to put together a spectacular event. This developed into our hosting another presentation in Scottsdale, and, then again, in Costa Mesa.
Recently, The Bascom Group asked us to put together another Grossman event…. this time in Vegas.
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)
Now it was our own Terra’s time to shine.
Many of you have met Terra. She is our office manager and resident artist. This was also the first time she had been asked to fill up a theater full of cops in an area that she does not live. She dove headfirst into the project, and in the end, filled a theatre at UNLV with 300 State and Federal Law Enforcement Officers. She did a great job… it didn’t hurt that Grossman’s reputation for an awesome lecture precedes him.
Last Thursday, I accompanied Terra to Vegas to see Grossman again, and to introduce Grossman to the law enforcement officers in attendance.
His class, as always, was mesmerizing.
He focused on something that I know he has mentioned before, but now seems to stress a bit more: Always have your gun available.
Now, this lecture was not for CCW holders per se; it was for sworn law enforcement officers. Yet, he has seen an issue nationwide, throughout the years, which he is determined to confront head on: Off-duty cops who choose not to carry their guns.
The psychological trauma that comes from knowing that you have the skill set to save lives, but you have consciously made the decision not to carry the necessary tools required by that skill set, is too much for many survivors to bear.
“If you have the ability to carry a firearm, never be without the lifesaving tools of your profession.” Truer words have never been spoken.
What was also interesting were the words of appreciation we received. During the breaks quite a few officers approached me to thank me for “putting this together.” I told them the credit really belonged to The Bascom Group and Terra’s hard work. That said, we were all glad they could attend.
Many of them… interestingly enough most of them were federal law enforcement… were simply thrilled to have this kind of training available to them at all.
“We don’t typically get this type of training.”
“Rarely do we ever get anything this practical and eye-opening.”
“I’ve read many of Grossman’s books… but I never thought my department would actually let me attend one of his presentations.”
These were some of the expressions of gratitude we received.
While we are happy… thrilled… that these officers were able to get this training, we are concerned that a greater emphasis is not being placed on continual reinforcement of the skills necessary to prevail a deadly encounter.
Budgets, bureaucracy, and politics are, in my view, merely excuses for obstructionist, institutionalist personalities. If their individual paychecks were in jeopardy, they would figure out a way to get paid. If their own existence were threatened, they would prepare to prevail. Those that stand on the front lines against the forces of chaos must be given the training and the tools necessary to prevail against those who would seek to destroy them.