Am I Being Careful Enough?

The Sig Sauer Academy has a class in “Civilian Response to Terrorist Threats”.

No, really.

“This one-of-a-kind course is specifically designed for the responsible citizen and will educate the student about Islamic Extremist Terrorism. The student will be taught the mindset of a terrorist, the methods and places in which we are most likely to be attacked and then the tactics and weapons skills that can be used to save the lives of their families and themselves. This training school is a balanced program that will not only give the student a wealth of knowledge but it will also teach and improve the student’s firearms and tactics abilities. The lessons learned from this school can be utilized not only in countering terror attacks but also in other deadly force encounters. The attendee will be given the latest information/intelligence available in regards to terrorism tactics, plans and methods of attack.”

Now, I don’t even own a Glock, much less one with a Bar-Sto barrel in .357 Sig, but I can see the attraction for such a course. And I can also see that my money and time would be better spent in other training courses out there.

Unless your business is getting paid to counter terrorist threats, you’re not going to be up-to-date on “the latest information/intelligence available”  because that information is going to change the instant you leave the class.

For me and who I am, it’s much more important for me to have a skillset that is flexible to be adapted to a worst-case scenario like a terrorist attack or a mass shooting than it is to know what Al-Qaeada may be up to at this very moment.

One thing I learned as a photographer is how to improvise on the spot. If your location shoot is on hold because of a broken lighting accessory, a few A-Clamps, copious amounts of gaffer’s tape and a Leatherman on your hip are MUCH more useful than a big tool kit back in the studio.

A class in civilian counter-terrorism is the photographic equivalent of learning to light automobiles. Sure, it’s fun, and sure, you get some amazing results, but the fact is, the people who are good at specialized areas of photography tend to be good at just that area of their business, and no, you and your Nikon D70 will probably never be called on to shoot a bevy of supercars (Although I will say that having done such a shot in my career, they are a TREMOUNDOUS amount of fun and really push the limits of your logicstical and photographic abilities.).


Play the numbers. “Black swan” events like Aurora or Mumbai are horrible, but they are not likely (thank God!). Despite that, there’s probably going to be a lot of people out there signing up for a class in counter-terrorism abnd they’ll probably have a rockin’ good time doing so, but that sort of thing is not my bag, baby. It seems to me that if you’re concerned about counter-terrorism, CPR certification, a CERT class and an alert mind will go a long, long way to keep your community safe, and leave the counter-intelligence to the pros.

For me and mine, I think some time on the range with Massad Ayoob or Larry Vickers would do me a lot more good than learning specific counter-terrorist techniques…

… at least until Mrs. ExKev finishes sewing that extra ballistics plate onto the back of my armored vest, that is.