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Thread: Why you shouldn't search with a weapon-mounted light on a handgun - Massad Ayoob

  1. #1

    Why you shouldn't search with a weapon-mounted light on a handgun - Massad Ayoob

    0:00 - The popular weapon-mounted light
    1:05 - Not for searching
    1:35 - Light spill over
    2:15 - Felony aggravated assault
    3:05 - Misdemeanor brandishing
    4:20 - Treat the same as a scope
    5:15 - Possibility of accidental discharge
    6:00 - They save lives
    7:15 - Always have separate illumination
    7:50 - Increase accuracy
    8:30 - use them as intended


  2. #2
    Abducted by Aliens Borderland's Avatar
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    You'll put your eye out.
    In the P-F basket of deplorables.

  3. #3
    Depends on what you're searching for.
    LET'S GO BRANDON!

  4. #4
    and where.
    Adding nothing to the conversation since 2015....

  5. #5
    Murder Machine, Harmless Fuzzball TCinVA's Avatar
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    A few weeks ago I was made aware of someone who caught a boatload of felony charges because he investigated a suspicious vehicle that happened to be full of lost teenagers. He investigated with the light mounted on his pistol...meaning he pointed a gun at multiple minors who posed no reasonable threat to anyone.

    Certainly his decision making in "investigating" a vehicle on a public road in the first place is the root of the problem, but had he been using a regular flashlight and a holstered gun he'd likely not be facing such life-altering consequences.

    That gets at the root of what Mas is saying.

    The WML is a very specific tool for a very specific context. Disciplined use of that tool where it is useful is fine. Very few people (including police officers) have the requisite level of training or discipline to use the tool properly.

    Something Tom is making a point to emphasize in his classes is that the consequences for stupidity with a gun are increasing. At many points in the past, if someone did something stupid with a gun and there was no real harm done, the consequences for the act were relatively minor. Today we have permitless carry in almost half the states and some form of concealed carry in all of them. We have a larger percentage of people carrying guns than we have had since WWII, getting high enough up there that we're starting to look more like the late 19th and early 20th century when concealing a handgun on a regular basis was a dead common thing to do.

    In concert with that, the authorities are becoming less and less charitable in their handling of stupid acts with firearms, including more aggressively pursuing charges in instances where a gun was pulled or pointed at someone else. Increasingly the principle of picking up accountability when you pick up the gun is getting bigger and sharper teeth in more and more places.

    A pistol-mounted light is almost completely useless to a typical concealed carrier. I don't carry my pistol with a WML because in my view it's as useless as tits on a boar. I'm not doing building searches or felony stops. I need a damned compelling reason before I ever pull my gun out of the holster and if I have that compelling reason I don't need the WML at that point. I'm perfectly happy carrying a normal light and knowing how to use it in concert with a pistol for those statistical outlier situations where I might end up deliberately clearing the house of a family member or friend with my pistol.

    At home my defensive long guns have lights, but home defense is a different situation altogether than dealing with typical street crime. At home the primary worry is positive identification. A light mounted on the gun is a last ditch failsafe to ensure I have adequate information to make an intelligent UOF decision. A forcible entry into the home is a situation where your typical citizen is at the zenith of their ability to have a gun in hand prior to positive identification of an immediate threat. So there a WML on a long gun or pistol makes a great deal of sense...but even there discipline in the use of the light is at a premium because ostensibly that environment has a bunch of people and things you care about in it and you don't want to be pointing death at any of that willy nilly. The risks are real, but in that environment given how common it is for family members to get shot because they are assumed to be an intruder, the risk/reward calculation shifts in favor of having the light and using it more liberally.

    WML's are attached to deadly weapons. Where the light's hotspot goes, so too goes a muzzle.

    Col. Cooper's rules about firearms aren't range rules, they're rules for life that help us mitigate the possibility unintentionally hurting someone with a lethal weapon. If we injure or kill with a firearm it should be an intentional act. Controlling where we point the thing is of primary importance, and pointing the thing at someone who hasn't earned a bullet is actually a criminal act everywhere in the country.

    Simple truth is that the vast majority of people who will watch that video on youtube really shouldn't be searching with a WML.

    I recently watched someone whip out a Glock in a parking lot to look at a flat tire.

    You aren't doing that. But there's a whole lot more of the dude who "investigates" the car full of teenagers with a WML or the guy who pulls it out to illuminate a flat tire change in a parking lot than there are of people who can intelligently discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the WML on a forum like PF. So Mas isn't just pissing in the wind on this one.
    3/15/2016

  6. #6
    old & beat up Leroy Suggs's Avatar
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    @TCinVA outstanding post. A lot of wisdom.

  7. #7
    Site Supporter Rex G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCinVA View Post
    A few weeks ago I was made aware of someone who caught a boatload of felony charges because he investigated a suspicious vehicle that happened to be full of lost teenagers. He investigated with the light mounted on his pistol...meaning he pointed a gun at multiple minors who posed no reasonable threat to anyone.

    Certainly his decision making in "investigating" a vehicle on a public road in the first place is the root of the problem, but had he been using a regular flashlight and a holstered gun he'd likely not be facing such life-altering consequences.

    That gets at the root of what Mas is saying.

    The WML is a very specific tool for a very specific context. Disciplined use of that tool where it is useful is fine. Very few people (including police officers) have the requisite level of training or discipline to use the tool properly.

    Something Tom is making a point to emphasize in his classes is that the consequences for stupidity with a gun are increasing. At many points in the past, if someone did something stupid with a gun and there was no real harm done, the consequences for the act were relatively minor. Today we have permitless carry in almost half the states and some form of concealed carry in all of them. We have a larger percentage of people carrying guns than we have had since WWII, getting high enough up there that we're starting to look more like the late 19th and early 20th century when concealing a handgun on a regular basis was a dead common thing to do.

    In concert with that, the authorities are becoming less and less charitable in their handling of stupid acts with firearms, including more aggressively pursuing charges in instances where a gun was pulled or pointed at someone else. Increasingly the principle of picking up accountability when you pick up the gun is getting bigger and sharper teeth in more and more places.

    A pistol-mounted light is almost completely useless to a typical concealed carrier. I don't carry my pistol with a WML because in my view it's as useless as tits on a boar. I'm not doing building searches or felony stops. I need a damned compelling reason before I ever pull my gun out of the holster and if I have that compelling reason I don't need the WML at that point. I'm perfectly happy carrying a normal light and knowing how to use it in concert with a pistol for those statistical outlier situations where I might end up deliberately clearing the house of a family member or friend with my pistol.

    At home my defensive long guns have lights, but home defense is a different situation altogether than dealing with typical street crime. At home the primary worry is positive identification. A light mounted on the gun is a last ditch failsafe to ensure I have adequate information to make an intelligent UOF decision. A forcible entry into the home is a situation where your typical citizen is at the zenith of their ability to have a gun in hand prior to positive identification of an immediate threat. So there a WML on a long gun or pistol makes a great deal of sense...but even there discipline in the use of the light is at a premium because ostensibly that environment has a bunch of people and things you care about in it and you don't want to be pointing death at any of that willy nilly. The risks are real, but in that environment given how common it is for family members to get shot because they are assumed to be an intruder, the risk/reward calculation shifts in favor of having the light and using it more liberally.

    WML's are attached to deadly weapons. Where the light's hotspot goes, so too goes a muzzle.

    Col. Cooper's rules about firearms aren't range rules, they're rules for life that help us mitigate the possibility unintentionally hurting someone with a lethal weapon. If we injure or kill with a firearm it should be an intentional act. Controlling where we point the thing is of primary importance, and pointing the thing at someone who hasn't earned a bullet is actually a criminal act everywhere in the country.

    Simple truth is that the vast majority of people who will watch that video on youtube really shouldn't be searching with a WML.

    I recently watched someone whip out a Glock in a parking lot to look at a flat tire.

    You aren't doing that. But there's a whole lot more of the dude who "investigates" the car full of teenagers with a WML or the guy who pulls it out to illuminate a flat tire change in a parking lot than there are of people who can intelligently discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the WML on a forum like PF. So Mas isn't just pissing in the wind on this one.
    “Liking” this was not enough, so, quoted, to add my “Amen!”
    Retar’d LE. Kinesthetic dufus.

    Don’t tread on volcanos!

  8. #8
    Site Supporter Rex G's Avatar
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    Folks in my neighborhood are on pins and needles, right now, with catalytic converter thefts, thefts of GM/Chevy trucks/SUVs, using electronic devices to unlock and start the vehicles, and follow-home robberies, that I have become increasing concerned that someone might see me, in the darkness, simply walking our dogs, and decide to “investigate” me, with their WML-equipped handgun providing illumination.

    From posts on that Nextdoor dot com forum, and on some of the other general firearms forums, I have gathered that plenty of folks keep a WML on their “bedside” pistols, and on the long guns that they (unwisely) stash in the closets near their front doors.

    We live in interesting times.
    Retar’d LE. Kinesthetic dufus.

    Don’t tread on volcanos!

  9. #9
    Site Supporter Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCinVA View Post
    You aren't doing that. But there's a whole lot more of the dude who "investigates" the car full of teenagers with a WML or the guy who pulls it out to illuminate a flat tire change in a parking lot than there are of people who can intelligently discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the WML on a forum like PF. So Mas isn't just pissing in the wind on this one.
    Great summation. How I wish that citizens would concern themselves equally with getting training as they do with their right to carry a gun.
    Hambo's Original E-Burger, home of the 5G Energy Burger!

  10. #10
    Deadeye Dick Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    About 3 years ago I decided to get really good at shooting SHO. It didn’t take that much practice, and makes me a lot more confident with my handheld light.
    "You can never have too many knives." --Joe Ambercrombie
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

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