Saturday, February 23, 2013

10 Questions with Corey D. Roberts (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1.

Corey D. Roberts is the founder of Tactical Insights L.L.C. in Monticello, Iowa, which provides "Christ-Centered Emergency Response Training" for churches and faith based organizations as well as tactical training for law enforcement and private citizens.

Roberts is currently a full-time patrol police officer with the Monticello P.D. and also serves on the multi-jurisdictional Jones County Emergency Response Team as Tactical Commander. He also serves in the Iowa Army National Guard (having served as an enlisted man, NCO and officer) and has been deployed several times.

Officer Roberts agreed to answer a few questions for me about guns, crime and freedom. The views expressed are those of Roberts and not necessarily those of any organization he may be affiliated with.

6. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a bill that would ban "assault weapons" and “high capacity” ammunition magazines. Says Feinstein, “Military-style assault weapons have but one purpose, and in my view that’s a military purpose, to hold at the hip, possibly, to spray fire to be able to kill large numbers.” You are intimately familiar with weapons like the AR-15 (which would be affected by the ban). What exactly is an "assault weapon?" Do you agree with Feinstein's analysis of the purpose and proper employment (such as being designed to be "spray fired" from the hip) of weapons like the AR-15?

            Sen. Feinstein watches too much television.  I will begin by answering the basic question of “What is an Assault Weapon?”  To be perfectly honest, as a firearms expert, I don’t know.  The term “Assault Weapon” is not a gun term, it is a political term that is used to scare people.  The term “AR” does not stand for assault rifle.  It stands for Armalite, which is the company that produced the modern civilian model of the gas operated, magazine fed, semi-automatic sporting rifle.  Armalite developed the AR-15.  Having been in the military for 20 years I can say without question that no one is taught to “hold at the hip and spray,” certainly not with the black rifle that she is comparing to the civilian semi-automatic rifle.  Currently our military is issuing an M4 which is similar in design to the civilian model, but functions differently.  Even our military does not issue “spray and pray” weapons.  The current issued M4 is not fully automatic and instead uses a 3 round burst mode.

This argument has nothing at all to do with banning a specific firearm.  These terms such as “high capacity magazines” and “Military style assault weapons” are being used to divide the gun enthusiasts in this country.  The liberals who wish to confiscate our firearms understand that they cannot simply say that they are going to ban firearms, they have to start slowly.  If they can convince the hunters and collectors in the country that the only “bad guns” are the “assault weapons” it sounds reasonable, and people want to be reasonable.  They are working to convince the guy with the shotgun that he has nothing to fear and that no one “needs” 30 rounds.

As an aside, I mentioned that we have begun to define all of our needs as rights, so why are we surprised when the government begins to infringe on our rights based on need?  I disagree with the premise that our rights are defined by need.  The argument that I have used is that if our rights are based on need, then please explain to me the need for Rosa Parks to sit in the front of the bus.  It was her right, not her need.

Our government has developed a pattern that is easy to follow if we pay attention.

 Step 1. Create a term that everyone can agree is bad.

Step 2. Refuse to define said term but continue to use it and enlist the media to join you in using it.

Step 3.  Wait for a critical incident in which said term can be applied and the “people” cry out for government intervention.

Step 4:  Create your own definition for the term.

For example, our government uses the term “assault weapon” and even uses the term “reasonable” when attempting to convince the American people that no one needs them.  The media then splashes the term “assault weapon” only when describing a weapon used by a crazed gunman and never when used by anyone else.  A great example of this was the Dorner case in California in which one media outlet used the term “assault weapon” when speaking of Dorner, but used the term “personal defense weapon” when talking about the exact same weapon used by law enforcement in the same article.  When confronted about the definition of “assault weapon” the government uses another non-definable term to define it, “military style”.  So, we have the media and the citizens agreeing that “assault weapons” are bad, but when the ban list comes out from Sen. Feinstein, we see that she is actually referring to any weapon with a detachable magazine and any weapon with a pistol grip.  But by now the media frenzy has convinced the people that the government is only after “assault weapons”.

Some other examples of this government pattern is the use of the term “universal background check”.  Again this term has been championed as “reasonable” but has yet to be defined.  “Mental health assessment” has been spoken of as a “reasonable step” to curb gun crime, but has not been defined.  Questions for those who support the Universal background check and Mental health assessments are as follows: Will the government maintain a record of every citizen who had a background check to pass family heirloom rifle to their children?  What parts of the “background” is involved?  Will this background check be compared to any “watch lists”?  (The DOJ stated that combat veterans should be on a watch list.)  Who will receive a “mental health assessment”?  At what age will we begin to “classify” our citizens based on this assessment?  (People are very different at 16, 22, and 35.)  Who will be deciding what is mentally “fit”?  Does marital counseling bring into question whether a person is mentally “fit?  What about “sexual deviancy” (remember homosexuality was a diagnosable mental condition)? What is to be done with those “classified mentally unfit” persons? 

Can you see where these questions are going?  I follow the rule that anytime the government uses the term “reasonable”, I begin to question it right away, governments are anything but reasonable.

When we allow our government to infringe on our rights based on terms that sound scary such as “domestic terrorist,” we all agree that “terrorists are bad and should be killed.”  The problem is that the government’s definition of “terrorist” can be re-defined to mean anyone who the government sees as a threat. 

The 2nd Amendment was specifically put in place to ensure that the people had the power and the government did not.  Those who believe that only the military and police should control the guns, or that only they should have the most recent technology in firearms must also agree that only the government should have control of the media and internet.  Our government is very aware of the power of an armed populace and shows it by arming citizens all around the world to overthrow their own governments, such as Egypt, Lybia, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.  I do not trust a government that wishes to disarm its own population.

Make no mistake, this gun legislation has never been about guns, it’s been about control and many in our government have been waiting for just the right catalyst to push the agenda.  

Limiting “high capacity magazines” is another example of this erosion of rights.  My first question to anyone advocating this is “Please tell about all the firefights that you have been in that led you to the conclusion that people only need 7 rounds?”  Who does this “limit” hurt?  An active shooter by statistics will bring multiple weapons, multiple magazines and lots of extra ammo.  The free citizen who is carrying a firearm is the only one allowed a limited number of rounds.

This free citizen has not planned to be in a fight for his life today, the crazed gunman has a plan.  The citizen is required to respond to a well-planned, prepared for attack with whatever he has on his person.  Will the limit on magazines affect the preparedness of the crazed shooter?  Of course not, it will simply make it harder for the citizen to defend him or herself.

7. Your website includes a statement of faith and says that you "felt a strong call of God to minister to the local church in matters of Emergency Preparation, Response and Training." It's obvious that your Christian faith is central to your life. Some Christians, however, wouldn't touch a gun with a ten foot pole. They would cite Christ's instruction to "turn the other cheek" or the Sixth Commandment. According to the National Council of Churches ofChrist, U.S.A., "Christian tradition insists that it is idolatry to trust in guns to make us secure, since that usually leads to mutual escalation while distracting us from the One whose love alone gives us security." How do you square your Christian faith with the potential deadly force of firearms?

We believe that a Christ-Centered Security Team is a group of Christians who desire to apply a Tactical Mindset to serve God and their local church through preparedness and willingness to respond in event of an emergency.  I have a lot of respect for the National Council of Churches of Christ but I tend to disagree with many of their stances on several issues. 

Their stance based on “Christian tradition” is well meaning but does not address the realities of the Bible. Our security for our ministries should be based in faith and managed in action.

While we embrace the biblical teaching that God will provide our needs and we believe the Bible when it says in Matthew 6:25 “Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you should drink; nor yet for your body, what you should wear,” this faith and confidence does not remove us from participating in our own preservation.  Christ was not telling us to stand around waiting for food to fall into our mouths, or water to just appear.  We do not stand in our bedrooms in the morning and wait for clothes to float out of the sky and land on us.  These require action on our part.

Nehemiah 4:9  “We prayed to our God and posted a guard…” 

Isaiah 62:6- I have set Watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.

Nehemiah 4:9-…because of them we set a watch against them day and night.

John 15:13  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Luke 10:19- Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.

Luke 22:36-…and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.

1 Peter 5:8- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Romans 13:4- For he is God’s minister to you for good.  But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

In 2012 alone, there were 135 total deadly force incidents in churches and ministries alone and this number is increasing every year.  We have taught Response to Active Shooters both armed and unarmed.  This choice is as personal for a Christian as it is for any other citizen.   

While I may disagree with many things that the National Council of Churches of Christ, U.S.A. believes I firmly stand with Philippians 1:15 “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

8. If talking to someone who was new to guns and was looking to purchase, what weapons would be your top picks for concealed carry and for home defense and any other category you think relevant?

Rule 1: ignore the hype. Every "gun guy" out there will be more than willing to give you advice on the perfect weapon/caliber/cool guy gear out there. I would stick with a reputable manufacturer. Think simple, especially for a defensive weapon. If it requires buttons and switches and voodoo spells to's too complicated.

Also don't buy the hype of "knock down power" and buy a huge caliber. For one, it will be more expensive to shoot and two if it's not easy to shoot, you won't shoot. I use the analogy that if someone were to give me a 20,000 dollar set of golf clubs, I would chase that stupid little ball through the trees all day the same I would with a 60 dollar youth set from Wal-Mart.

Proficiency requires practice. A well placed set of rounds from a 9mm or .40 caliber will do the same as a .45...good guy wins, bad guy loses. With the current advancements in AMMO, the old argument of Big Caliber=One shot stop is gone. This isn't TV, it's not high noon and people don't fly across the room when shot...even with a .45. I personally would not go smaller than 9mm but I really prefer the 9mm.  Higher ammo count, less recoil, less weight, awesome power with good ammo.

On the other side of that argument, a .22LR that one is willing to carry is more effective than a hand cannon at home or in the glove box.

I would suggest getting an idea of what you are looking for:
Am I going to carry it every day?
Is it easy to operate?
Can I conceal it?
Is ammo easy to acquire for it?
How much do I want to spend?
Will I enjoy shooting it?- Only practice makes proficient
Will it work under the worst possible conditions?- Murphy's Law.

I would suggest looking at the Glocks, Smith and Wesson M and P's or Sig Saur. For small carry guns Khar makes some very nice pistols.  One way is to hit up a local gun club and talk to people. 74% of law enforcement carry Glock and the majority carry one of the other two. The reason is simple...they are proven, no gimmicks, no "latest greatest", just a solid combat pistol that will operate when needed.

There really isn't a trick to it, which is why I offer people to shoot different stuff (anything I have) at my classes. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of people that will allow that. I carry a Glock 22 .40 caliber on duty, a Sig 229 .40 caliber on the SWAT team and a Glock 26 9mm off duty. My wife Jeannine carries a Glock 19 9mm. We have been very happy with them. I also occasionally carry a .357 revolver and have no problem with it other than low round count.

Cost is going to be an issue because of the buying that is going on ahead of Congress making some possible moves. You should look to spend $350-$600 on a good quality handgun. For a convenient carry pistol, I would also suggest looking at the Beretta Nano (it's a 9mm). I have just started carrying it so I can give other ideas for people who "don't want a Glock" and I have been very happy with it. It runs about $360.00.

I have nothing personally against the big 1911.  45's other than the ones manufactured today have a VERY strong emphasis on accuracy, which is why you see the competition shooters using them. The way they get this is by making the guns tolerances VERY tight. This leads to problems with functioning in a defensive "combat" pistol role. I have NEVER had a 1911 shooter make it through one of my classes without having malfunctions. When they get dirty, they begin to have issues. Not a problem on the range...BIG problem for defense. Of course, you also run into issues with concealability with the big 45s.

Choosing a handgun is as close to purse shopping as we can get. It has to work for you. Just because some "expert" says that some brand is the "best" or some caliber is the "must-have" does not make it true.  You need to pick it up and hold it.  If it feels wrong in your hand, you probably should keep looking.  Ideally, you should shoot that make and model before buying it.

For home defense, I prefer the 12 Gauge shotgun with a “pirate grip” and a side saddle with extra rounds.  Very little will discourage an intruder more than the sound of a pump action shotgun.  If that is not enough to discourage them, the first round will certainly help convince them.  Another reason I prefer it is that I can choose the round that I wish to have in it.  I use target load as the first several rounds in order to eliminate over penetration in my own home.  I have double 00 buck and slugs in the side saddle if needed.  The home defense weapon should be part of a total home defense plan that includes physical security, phones in appropriate rooms and practiced drills. 

The reality is that just because a gun is really cool and effective in Call of Duty does not make it a practical choice for self-defense. 

9. You and I are about the same age. In addition to having a lovely family, you’ve amassed significant civilian, military and law enforcement training. You’ve authored a book and numerous articles. You’ve racked up real world experience on the streets at home as well as serving in Kosovo and Afghanistan and even fighting wildfires in Montana. In contrast, aside from two wonderful sons, my only accomplishment has been to collect all five seasons of “Quantum Leap” on DVD. What is your secret for accumulating such a wide breadth of experience before you’re even forty?

 I distinctly remember a conversation with my Dad that night before I left for Army Basic Training at the age of 17.  During this conversation my Dad told me to ignore those who lived by the rule “Don’t volunteer for anything” and to take every opportunity for a new experience.  I have followed that advice in every area of my life.  While there were times that volunteering caused me to do tasks that I did not enjoy, more often it afforded me the chance to do something amazing. 

Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”  I don’t know the trick to being driven.  I do credit my upbringing and the example of my father.  Were I to give a young man advice, I would simply say, “Volunteer for everything.  In every task you have, work to be the best at it.  Learn from those who have gone before.  Accept responsibilities that are given to you and do them to the best of your ability.”

Years ago during Army Officer Candidate School, I was selected as the “Kai-Bo Commander”. For those that do not know what a Kai-Bo is, they are also called Port-a-Johns or any other inappropriate names that one can think of.  I was in charge of the plastic toilets just like the ones at construction sites. To say the least, I was not impressed with my assignment. My job was to ensure that the toilets were reserved, delivered and placed at the various training sites where we would be conducting field operations.  The position I felt I deserved was that of Class Commander, or at least a Platoon Leader, but no, I was Candidate Roberts, “Kai-Bo Commander”. This was obviously not my proudest moment.

I decided that if someone had to do it, then I would be the best Kai-Bo Commander the Army had ever seen. Don’t be fooled, this didn’t make my job any less demeaning, or any more glamorous. What it did do was show my superiors that I was willing to take the task and do it to the best of my abilities.  The happy ending to the story is that after a short time, I was taken off of Kai-Bo duty and given a position that I felt was much more in line with my desires.

When you are given a task, do it to the best of your ability every time. Even if it is not the duty you want, take the small steps.  The Bible has a parable of a rich man who was traveling and left his servants with some money.  To one servant he gave ten, to another five and to the final two.  When he returned, he asked the servants what they had done with the money and the one with ten said, I invested it and made ten more. The rich man gave him control of ten cities.  The servant with five said I invested and made five more. The rich man gave him control of five cities.  The final servant said, I kept the money and did nothing with it. The rich man called him a wicked and slothful servant and took the two away from him and gave it to the one with ten. ~Matthew 25:14-30

The simple point to his story is that when given more, more is expected. Prove that you can handle the little things and you will be given greater and greater responsibility.  When you are put in charge of small tasks, do them as though they are the most important task that can be had. Show your willingness and ability to accept those challenges and you will be given more responsibilities.  Fail in the small tasks, and it will be understood that you will fail at the big tasks.

10. Lastly, who do you think would win in a gunfight, the overzealous Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry from the movie “Police Academy” or survivalist gun nut Burt Gummer from “Tremors?”
 I would have to go with Burt.  While I love Tackleberry’s drive and his affinity for guns, Burt has spent his life preparing.  A fight is always won before the first punch is thrown, before the first shot is fired.  Those who have developed a strong Tactical Mindset have a marked advantage.  I believe that all of us can and should have a Tactical Mindset.  We begin to develop this the day we realize that we are being hunted.  When we can understand the threats around us we can begin to develop the “when this-then what” preparedness that life requires.  Burt was prepared for giant worms in the ground, which tells me, he is prepared for pretty much anything

1 comment:

  1. Ben,

    You sold yourself short on your own accomplishments. I don't believe that even Corey has single handedly saved a small Montana community from attacks by giant gophers and/or mutant marmots.

    Seriously, I just put Corey's book on my Amazon wishlist. Leadership using common sense and faith appeals to me as a level-headed approach and a happy middle ground between the chest-beating hoo-ahh types on one side and the sterile theoretical paper-pusher school on the other.

    I've always been of the old-school "Don't ask your men to do anything you wouldn't do yourself" type of leadership. Seemed to work, but must have been too simple to catch on.


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