What’s My Motivation? (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 86 – November 2nd, 2014)

“We’re prisoners of our own experience. So, when people have gained understanding of an event that might happen… they’ll ratchet up their level of preparation… You can only prepare for what you can conceive of. And if you can’t conceive of what that other person is preparing for, it seems ridiculous.” - Dr. William Aprill


For some reason he keeps coming back for more. Dr. William Aprill joins us for another fun filled show about why criminals and “good guys” sometimes do the things they do. William discusses possible motivations behind the recent emergence of singular terrorist attacks and how they should affect your training regime.  We also discuss self definition as an armed person, how to prepare for unforeseen situations, and how we can grow the gun community without completely alienating “non-gun people”. Plus see just how we’ve improved our ergomenomics!

There Is A Great Disturbance In The Facebook (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 85 – October 26th, 2014)

“You don’t need magnification to hit things at distance. You do need magnification to identify WHAT, you’re hitting at distance.” – John Johnston


We had so much fun doing it the first time that we’re going to do it again! It’s another Facebook user submitted question show, and this time we have the phone lines open, too. John tackles questions on the topics of carry ammo, the popularity of  polymer pistols, and the usefulness of force on force training. Find out if a day of tailgating affects The Minion’s ability to read submitted questions. And perhaps most importantly of all, we find out which Cincinnati style chili John prefers. All this, and more!

Magazines and Lube (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 84 – October 19th, 2014)

“The number one thing, 95% of the reliability and the function out of the gun is the magazine (and it’s condition). Pure and simple.” – Dr. Bill Riehl


Good magazines and proper lubrication, that’s all you need to keep it running strong. Your gun, that is. Get your mind out of the gutter! For this episode of Ballistic Radio, we have Dr. Bill Riehl join us in studio to talk about firearms cleaning/maintenance, lubrication, and common misconceptions about the aforementioned topics. We take the time to answer a few listener calls, and The Minion gets his microphone shut off for failing to pay attention.


Red Dots, and Shotguns, and Truths, Oh My! (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 83 – October 12th, 2014)

“…My whole world came apart because I couldn’t see my sights. …I was having a very difficult time on target identification, where I was having to do identification based on movements and action rather then crystal clear vision.” - Darryl Bolke


If Call of Duty has taught me anything, it’s that you don’t need to put a red dot on a shotgun. You just point it in the direction of your foe, shoot, and magically they get hit and die. This just goes to show that Call of Duty has not taught me anything. Our guest for this show, Darryl Bolke, on the other hand, has lots to teach on the subject of shotguns. Darryl provides a multitude of reasons why using a quality optic on a shotgun is a major advantage. He discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the platform, along with some of the unique skills people need to develop to run one effectively. Plus, we play a game called, “Let’s See if John Can Read All the Ads From Memory Because He Forgot His Laptop at Home”!

The Beavercreek Incident, and How the Feds Made the Internet Cry (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 82 – October 5th, 2014)

“…Handguns suck. Which, if you didn’t already know that, let me try and break the news to you gently and as softly as I know how. Handguns suck. All of them.  Not just all the ones you don’t like, but all of them. Even your favorite one. They don’t do what we want them to do, when we want them to do it.” – John Johnston

Listen closely, and you can probably hear the interwebz crying. Which is one of the topics for this show. No, not grown men crying, but rather the F.B.I.’s recent switch from .40 caliber to 9mm. John talks about the original adoption of the .40 caliber round and what made the F.B.I switch. As well, John and Andy discuss; a shooting incident at the Beavercreek Wal-Mart, introducing ambiguity to training, and the importance of what we say in a 911 call.

Sighted vs. Unsighted Fire (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 81 – September 28th, 2014)

“…If you default under duress to your level of training, and your level of training sucks, it’s natural to focus on your target instead of your sights. But the entire idea that you can instinctively shoot is just ridiculous.” – Lt. Chuck Haggard


Lt. Chuck Haggard of the Topeka, Kansas Police Department joins us once again to give his insight and opinion on the topic of sighted vs. unsighted fire during a gunfight. Lt. Haggard touches on such things as the ineffectiveness of handgun rounds,  the influence of media and culture on shooting tactics, and the unreliability of a post-gunfight memory.  We’re also reminded, once again, about the absolute importance of dry fire practice and proper trigger control.

Western Psychiatric: Stopping An Active Shooter (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 80 – September 21st, 2014)

“…I fire on Schick. I struck him twice in the chest. He goes down, continues to fire. Now at this point the only portions of him that are above the hostage are his firearm and a portion of his head. I fire a third time in a failure drill. This one strikes him through the eye, and effectively ends the gunfight.” – Dan Papale


On this episode of Ballistic Radio, we speak with Dan Papale, the officer who stopped the Western Psychiatric Institute murderer John Schick before he could claim more victims. Dan recalls, in detail, how the events unfolded that day back in March of  2012. As well, Dan answers some questions that are pertinent to the event and the firearms community as a whole.

Sentinel Events (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 79 – September 14th, 2014)

“There’s these (uncommon events) that occur, that most people do not prepare themselves for, either through training or equipment selection. …While… they are uncommon, if you find yourself in the middle of that situation and you’ve not properly prepared for it, the consequences can be dire.” – John Johnston


 Sentinel Event- A statistical outlier amongst critical incidents where pre-need decision making (Beyond just being armed), i.e. Training received and/or equipment selected, has a clear impact on the positive/negative outcome of the event.

John and The Minion sit down to discuss the concept of Sentinel Events, and their importance.


The Rise of the Sentinel (Event)

I have a bead, tattoos, and a carbine, that means you should listen to what I have to say right?

I have a beard, tattoos, and a carbine. That means you should listen to what I have to say right?

As Claude Werner has noted many times, in the majority of self-defense situations that go to guns, the training that person has received and the equipment that person has selected to use has almost zero bearing on the outcome of the event. The mere fact that the individual has chosen to arm themselves is what makes the difference between success and failure… until it doesn’t. It’s the “until it doesn’t” where training and equipment selection come into play, and it is how we discuss those instances that becomes crucially important, especially when educating people that are new to the realm of self-defense.

So, let’s discuss these instances where training and/or equipment has truly made the difference between success or disaster. There’s just one problem, how do you talk about something that there is no word for? We’ve got these things that are occurring, sometimes with great frequency, that for our purposes, literally shape the course of history yet we have no way to categorize them, or group them together. To paraphrase Morgan Atwood of BFE Labs, names have power, and having a term to categorize the events that shape our community can only help make the lessons we learn from them more accessible to the people who need those lessons most.

I’m going to steal a term from the medical community, Sentinel Event, and apply it to our community. As defined by me, it looks something like this.

 Sentinel Event – A statistical outlier amongst critical incidents where prior decision making (Beyond just being armed), i.e. Training received and/or equipment selected, has a clear impact on the positive/negative outcome of the event.

These are the events that rock us to the core, that teach us the most valuable lessons often times due to the total failure that occurs during them. They are discussed as if they are one time events, YET, they occur with alarming frequency. Let’s look at some examples in the LE world. We have The Newhall Massacre, The Miami FBI Gunfight, Columbine, North Hollywood, and many more. These are thought of as single events, and in many ways they are, but from a teachable moment standpoint they are the SAME KIND of event, an incident thought of as so unlikely by the participants before it occurred that there had been zero pre-need decision making associated with them. 

The civilian community is even worse in this regard. A quick search of google will reveal instance after instance of improper equipment selection having disastrous outcomes. Every single time someone is shot that didn’t need it simply because the shooter did not have a flashlight, or the training to positively identify a target before engaging it. Equipment selection and training both are the critical area of breakdown yet they keep occurring over and over again. Even outside of the narrow focus of having a light and identifying a target, there are various examples, often times with disastrous outcomes, of civilians experiencing Sentinel Events. They are viewed as uncommon by almost everyone, yet they keep happening over and over again. George Zimmerman leaving the safety of his truck, Jerome Ersland murdering a robber immediately after he had used perfectly legal and justified force, Theodore Wafer in Detroit, all due to massive breakdowns in training.

For better or worse the culture of self-defense is fixated firmly on the gun as the solution, when in reality it is only a tool WE utilize. There are many fine trainers who will educate people as to why viewing the gun as a magic talisman used to ward off evil is probably not a good idea, but HOW do we get people to recognize there are questions they should be asking in the first place? It is my opinion that the only way to do so is by raising awareness as to how often these “farfetched, ramboesque, timmy-fantasy, tactical band camp” issues occur. Imagine if every time one of these events occur we call it a Sentinel Event, to the point where it is just a forgone part of the self-defense/firearms community. What we then do is INSTILL in people from day one of their introduction into our culture that there are things to think about beyond just having a gun, simply by making the term part of the conversation.

“It’s easy to be up ahead, and say that “those who want to, who ‘get it’, will join us”, but its not always the case; Some people will simply sit down and wait, or stagnate, for lack of a trail guide. Not everyone who is serious about self protection is a pioneering spirit, or free-thinker; They just don’t want to die. And until someone shows them the way, they will exist in whatever box they’ve been put into, or put themselves into, and never know. Increasing someones awareness is sometimes all it takes.” – Morgan Atwood of BFE Labs

So, if you hear me throwing around the term Sentinel Event, at least now you’ll know what I’m talking about and more importantly WHY I’m talking about it. We have the ability to shape a new generation of shooters and self-defense minded people, let’s teach them to think WITH a gun in their hand instead of letting them assume all they need, is the gun in their hand.

The Facebook Is Strong With This One (Podcast – Season 2, Ballistic Radio Episode 78 – September 7th, 2014)

“If I had to get people carrying one thing extra, and it was not going to be a flashlight or a non-lethal, (it would be a) fixed blade centerline knife.” – John Johnston


Power to the people! Well, the Facebook users, anyways. Some last minute circumstances, in combination with the phone lines being down, allowed us to devote this show entirely to answering questions submitted by our Facebook fans. We get the chance to talk about all sorts of things, such as; weapon mounted lights, defense against canines, concealed carry for seniors, carrying and storage of a long gun in a vehicle, and a plethora of other topics. Are we able to successfully slap a show together last minute? Listen and find out.