There is such a thing as a false positive, it means your judgement was in error even though there was good outcome. Your evaluation process took the positive outcome and thereby validated the means.

Slap it baby

Some of these false positives are not too bad. A good example would be when you seat your magazine and the slide moves forward. It was unintentional, but the positive result misleads people into believing it was a valid technique. There are several other examples in the tactical world, but one happened to be discussed at our last class. I resisted the urge to talk about it for only so long because it will create a bunch of drama so try to stay focused on the point. We had a retired officer from a large department who during our discussion on multiple threats and the use of cover commented about an incident he was in while on the job.

I give up said the bad guy

The incident happened around his patrol vehicle, where initially the officer was being fired upon by a large caliber rifle. As his vehicle is taking rounds he dismounts and seeks cover behind the wheel well as commonly taught. There was no active engagement or returning of fire and the incident was resolved when the suspect either ran out of ammunition or the rifle malfunction. Either case the “lull” afforded other officers to approach and confront the suspect who by this time had dropped the rifle and was taken into custody unharmed. The officer who had taken temporary cover believed his action were a positive reinforcement of his tactics. He did not account for the fact the suspect surrendered due to the stoppage and fearing for his life.

The key is mindset

The problem I have is the vehicle did not save his life despite what he thinks and despite what many want to think. The use of a vehicle as cover is temporary at best and while the subject has been the source of numerous discussion the main problem I have is the difference in mindset. There are so many “what if’s” it is hard to draw any accurate conclusions and I like that, it’s important you acknowledge the limitless number of variables present. Honestly it has been the main reason I have stayed clear, because no two scenarios will be the same, that outside of a true scientific laboratory it is difficult to replicate results.

Feeder vs. receiver

Here is the problem with cover, it will become your coffin if your opponent is willing and able to maneuver. The moment the threat is no longer static, the moment he is willing to move in an effort to kill you all bets are off. The real question is what tactics you choose to use, tactics versus a stationary target or tactics versus someone who will maneuver on you aggressively. People want to think it is some form of higher learning to be able to maneuver. It’s not, it’s simply a mindset issue and the best way I can describe it is the difference between a feeder and receiver. These terms were shared with me years ago and I have yet to discover something better to describe the two mentalities.

Intention behind action

Had the suspect from the vehicle incident choose to move the outcome could have been dramatically different. When I asked the officer had he maintained visual contact with the suspect he replied he had not, so he had no way of reacting to the suspects actions and was left to receive whatever outcome the suspect was willing to feed. It took some time for that to soak in, to absorb how the vehicle did not save his life how is actions were receiver like despite him taking action to get out of the vehicle. That’s my point, just because you perform some action does not guarantee it will have a positive outcome. While taking action, any action can be better than taking no action it is the intention behind the action I am pointing out.

Here is a summation of the two mindsets; a feeder sees cover in these terms. His first form of cover are his bullets, then body armor, then buddy and lastly ballistic protection. A receiver sees cover in these terms; ballistic protection, buddy, body armor and lastly bullets.

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." Napoleon Bonaparte, French Military and Political Leader

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