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Thread: AAR - John Hearne’s Who Wins, Who Loses, & Why and Defeating Violent Criminals

  1. #1
    Member John Hearne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Northern Mississippi

    AAR - John Hearne’s Who Wins, Who Loses, & Why and Defeating Violent Criminals

    Michael Novack wrote this on BookFace. I thought you guys might appreciate it:

    When was the last time you took a gunfighting class that began with studying chimpanzees?

    I did last weekend with two impressive lecture courses from John Hearne, a respected 30-year Federal law enforcement officer who specializes in criminology and statistics in addition to being a world-class defensive shooting instructor. Covering two 9-hour days with working lunches, "Who Wins, Who Loses, & Why: Understanding Human Performance When Death Is On The Line" and "Defeating Violent Criminals: A Conceptual & Tactical Analysis" are packed with incredibly dense value. They will help anyone to better understand, avoid, and prepare to confront violent crime, both mentally and physically.

    John's two programs sometimes overlap and continue the themes of the late William Aprill’s famous “Unthinkable” program about criminal origins and their predation choices. Hearne and Aprill were friends and collaborated, and full credit is always attributed when appropriate. But while their presentations dovetail perfectly, I would be giving Hearne far too little credit to imply that his offering is that simple.

    John has done an exhaustive amount of independent investigative work for years to compile data and offer a perceptive analysis of it while making it digestible for the rest of us. It is important to note that while university-based researchers are vital (and he often cites many of them), the lens of seeing data through a lifetime in law enforcement creates a different picture.

    Like Dr. Aprill, he highlights that different types of criminals have different motivations and respond quite differently to the same stimulus. Even their physical brain wiring is demonstrably different from normal people, so perceiving who you are dealing with and calculating a type of response is an important skill. He carefully weaves in everything from managing unknown contacts (MUC) to sociology, gunfighting to anthropology, and a fair amount of evolutionary physiology from sport science. And yes, chimps and australopithecines play into this as well. However, rather than just being a disparate pile of fancy factoids thrown at the wall, this broad spectrum of information is all woven together and leads to cohesive, actionable conclusions.

    Breaking down the world of violent criminals and assaults into quantifiable statistics goes a surprisingly long way towards reframing our distortions, fallacies, and misconceptions. Not only do we often not know what we don't know, but an uncomfortable amount of what we think we know may prove to be wrong in the face of data. His sections on personality, mistraining, and current crime rates and their cultural and political influences were attention-getting.

    While Hearne thought it was his weaker presentation of the two days, I was fascinated by his Day 2 lectures on the CHP’s Newhall Massacre and FBI’s Miami Massacre. While outliers, they still show a type of apex supercriminal that is a true worst-case that you may blunder into. They make sleeping with a shotgun under your pillow seem much more reasonable when you see just how far beyond a “crackhead with a Raven” the handful of these deadly offenders are, particularly intelligent sociopaths and psychopaths, and killers in gang culture. Your training will take on a renewed seriousness after this lecture.

    John also offered tremendous background for the training failures that led directly to failures under fire. Sadly, we see much of the same context still today and many of these decades-old lessons have been lost or ignored, potentially dooming us to repeat them over and over. The most pivotal moment in California Highway Patrol history, and one of the bloodiest days for American law enforcement, was the 1970 Newhall Massacre where four officers were murdered in a shootout. It was an event with enormous impact and lessons about improper training, political choices that don't match ground reality, and mindset failures. Yet, Hearne related how a local Valencia officer he spoke with had never even heard of it. Not just the lessons, the entire incident. Studying these watershed incidents has tremendous application to both law enforcement and citizen threat management and gunfighting if we want good guys and girls to survive and win.

    After the dissection of violent criminal actors and how to deal with them through science and the lessons of past experience, the underlying message of both lectures is that you ultimately have to choose to put in the work. You need to be sure it's smart work, validated by real world performance when pressure tested. That's not just knowing how to shoot fast and accurately. It's knowing how to shoot within your decision-making abilities. It's knowing how to get deselected from the victim pool and never have the gunfight, or how to not inflame a situation with a careless word choice. It is learning when pepper spray is the right choice, why you target either "valves or switches," and why you should have medical training and available trauma gear. When Hearne's job ends as your instructor, your job begins.

    Also, a quick compliment to John for issuing very complete binders of documentation to his students of the PowerPoints each day. It saved me from frantically scribbling notes and always playing catch up like I’ve had to in some classes. The two days ended up as more than 18 hours of lecture, which would have been an awful lot of note taking. Being able to just scribble in the margins instead was very nice. He wisely dates his documentation because he notes that it changes and evolves.

    I could only give the thinnest overview here of these very deep and worthwhile lectures. If John Hearne is teaching anything in your area, I can’t recommend getting a seat in his class enough. He jokingly referred to his curriculum as the “Brussels sprouts of training" because it’s good for you, but not necessarily as fun or flashy as the steak or ice cream classes. Maybe, but they were certainly the best training veggies I’ve had!

    John’s company is Two Pillars Training.

    By the way, a big thanks to Cecil Burch for hosting John Hearne, and to Glen Stilson for the use of the Independence Training classroom at their very convenient Tempe location.
    • It's not the odds, it's the stakes.
    • If you aren't dry practicing every week, you're not serious.....
    • "Tache-Psyche Effect - a polite way of saying 'You suck.' " - GG

  2. #2
    Site Supporter SeriousStudent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    These are great classes, and there is a ton of useful data in both.

    As the AAR said, a huge benefit is that John provides a book with the slide deck. It allows you to actually listen and process the data. Huge, huge win for the students.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post

    As the AAR said, a huge benefit is that John provides a book with the slide deck. It allows you to actually listen and process the data. Huge, huge win for the students.
    This is fantastic. I have several notebooks laying around from classes, with the first few pages containing hastily scribbled notes that I cannot now understand.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2022
    Super excited to attend this on Sept. 8 in Virginia.

    Unfortunately the shooting course was full, I’ll have to catch that next year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2022
    Sent you a PM, John.

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