“Active killer” is a difficult subject matter to cover because it’s so new to our national reality. As a firearms instructor I make it a point to regularly attend training with other instructors so as to gain as much perspective as possible. Most recently I attended the Handgun Combatives: Critical Space Pistol course taught by Dave Spaulding.

To refer to something as being critical is to say that it has a decisive, or crucial importance in the success, failure, or existence of something. I would argue that the “something” is you. Active killer training is becoming big business and as we enter a new chapter in the world of training, it’s incumbent upon all involved to understand what’s at stake. Our very ability to hold our collective freedoms, all of our freedoms, is at stake if this subject matter is broached in a sloppy manner.

I’ve been training in all things firearms, medical, and EDC for a long time. Active killer is the new kid on the block, and it’s evolving rapidly due to access of multi-angled HD video of events as they unfold in real time.

For the longest time, skill sets geared around noncombatant, stand-in mannequins were always done with a linear, almost slalom course mentality; that is to say that working around simulated people only meant that you couldn’t muzzle them. That was the extent of the level of care we were supposed to show towards them.

Now the reality that we’re being exposed to is that not only can we not muzzle them, we also are required to not draw fire towards them. We must be aware that even if a person chooses to stand with their cell phone and record what’s going on, we cannot allow our actions to draw fire toward these citizens. That’s a tall order but it one that’s attainable if the training is done properly.

With all this in mind, watch this video and see if you can catch what I got right, and what I got wrong. This training moment is too important for me to edit this so as to make myself look “dialed in.” The learning has to be shown as it unfolds.

For more on Dave Spaulding, please visit

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