The 4th SMU
Sprinting to the gun
In 1983, Sergeant Stephen Tueller of the Salt Lake City Police Department asked an alarming question, “How close is too close?”
How close can an assailant be, perhaps with a knife or a club, that they can charge an officer faster than the officer can draw and fire? He recruited a number of volunteers and decided to find out.
Let’s think about that for a second. That’s longer than my Toyota Camry. It’s 27″ longer than a 1959 Cadillac Coup DeVille. In fact, it’s 2″ longer than a full-size Ford F-150 Supercab with the crew cab and the full 8′ bed.
Tueller’s research completely changed the question of when was the appropriate moment for an officer to draw against an attacker. I have a buddy who was a Vietnam-era Marine MP. He said that a lot of his job was hauling drunk Marines off to lockup until they dried out. When I mentioned Tueller’s Drill to him, he shivered. “There I was, manhandling some of the most lethal drunks ever, and I never thought to draw against even the most belligerent. I’m lucky I’m alive.” Of course, he was one tough-as-hell Marine himself.
Here’s the Mythbusters failure to bust that myth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGzeyO3pGzw
Now you understand why the emphasis on quick-draw holsters. I’ve read, but haven’t seen (despite a Google search), that Delta Force operators actually wear their pistols at the center of the abdomen so that they are actively aiming their weapon in the same motion that they are pulling it from the holster. (Hint: I wouldn’t try charging against a Delta Force operator anyway. Just sayin’.)
Tueller’s Drill, or Tueller’s Law as I learned it in a “Firearms & Fiction” course, has appeared in several of my books, most recently in the upcoming Miranda Chase #3, Condor.
Looking for something new to be afraid of? How about chionophobia, the fear of snow (chion is Greek for the white fluffy stuff).
Want to know about the 35 types of snowflakes and how to study them? Pick up a copy of Ken Libbrecht’s Field Guide to Snowflakes. Trust me, you’ll want the print edition. Way fun!
By the way, it’s been confirmed that the Inuit do have roughly fifty (50) words for snow. But that’s barely a flurry. To properly catalog snow in all its many forms from “skelf” (a large snowflake) to “unbrak” (the beginning of the thaw), one should learn the four hundred and twenty-one (421!!) words cataloged as used by the Scots. So, next time your heads in a “feefle” (swirl) while standing out in the “spitters” (small flakes of driving snow) you’ll know what to call it.