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Jess Karren
West Texas/Lubbock
Recent Activity
The shift started out as it usually did. 0630 hours, sitting in the squad room wiping sleep from my eyes as the duty sergeant reads the most current watch information and happenings from the previous shift. Haven’t had my dose of caffeine yet and my mind wanders as I quietly ask my partner where we are going for coffee. A typical briefing and it’s off to my beat. “1125, I’m 10-8.” I say over the radio to dispatch as I go into service. Not an hour passes and I’m already into my third vehicle burglary report. “It’s going to be a long day”, I sigh as I ponder on the upcoming zoo trip with my kids; a trip that has been planned for a month now. But, that’s still three days away and I need to get these reports done and get back in service. The captain’s been on us about getting our reports done quickly so that we can get back in service. Calls are starting to back up. I finished and submitted my third report and just went... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2016 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
Being a father of a rambunctious 3 year old boy, I often times find myself running around, trying to keep up with him. Toy cars, plastic drums and water guns are only a few of his favorite items and are generally strewn about the living room floor. You fathers of young boys know exactly what I'm talking about. Despite the almost constant flow of energy from my little man, there are those moments of quiet time when he likes to color and he invited me to color with him a few days ago. What follows are some of the thoughts that I had as we sat at his table and colored. Thus the title "Coloring, Crayons & Gunfighting". I can't remember what we were coloring but I was reminded of the importance of having sharp crayons. One can get by and "color" with dull, flat headed crayons. Even an adult with many years of coloring experience under their belt may be able to stay in the lines and fill all of the "white space". But in my experience, having a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2015 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
RANT: READY, WILLING AND ABLE? IF NOT, STAY HOME! I saw this video come up in my email feed. The man shoots an officer in the vest. That officer is then pleading with the man to drop the gun. LISTEN!!!!!! There is no pleading with the man that just shot you and is in possession of the weapon used to shoot you. Shoot him to the ground. LEO, civilian, etc doesn't matter. If you are attacked like this, don't "wait and see" how it's going to turn out. You have made the decision to carry a weapon. Don't make others do the work for you and put them at risk because of your lack of willingness to act. Willing, Ready and Able!!!! Get it? Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2015 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
While teaching a Pistol Gunfighting class, I was discussing the sight alignment and sight picture module in which we discussed identifying one’s master eye, aiming with both eyes open or with one eye closed. This was a fundamentals class so the in depth discussion of “firing that perfect shot” was had. One of the students shared that other “gun guys” had stressed the importance of keeping both eyes open as you aim and shoot. It seemed that dimming and/or closing one eye was wrong and should never be done when shooting. I wasn't present to hear that discussion between the student and gun guys. It was more than likely held during a shooting competition, IDPA type event. I will say that these gun guys' teaching was neither right nor wrong, but simply incomplete in my opinion. As with many things in the study of combat shooting, so many grab onto one piece of the puzzle at the dismissal of so many other important aspects of the skill set. Similar to “I am a point shooter” or “I am a sighted... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2015 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
I love the Lord of the Rings series. For me, it illustrates the very real fight between good and evil in a fantansy type way. I have used it in two articles; THE EYES OF MORDOR, and now this one. The premise here, though, is to keep your weapons hidden. I base it off of the instruction given to the Hobbit, Frodo, by Gandolf, when Frodo inherited the Ring of Power. This is not a discussion on the legality or the "right" to bear arms or to open carry. In my personal life, that is a dead issue as I carry no matter what. For my POV on open carry, read my article "Open Carry - Food For Thought". This, on the other hand, is a call to avoid stupid situations that could have been avoided in today's stupid society, by properly concealing your weapons. Bottom Line: Keep your stuff covered!! There was an excellent thread started on the Warrior Talk Forum where a concealed carry individual was tackled by a wannabe do gooder "hero". You can view the video... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
I thought that I would share this. Nothing like learning from your own mistakes. This is intended for "food for thought". Yesterday, Sunday 01/18/15, I was providing some security at a church event. My wife and I took separate cars to church. I drove my unmarked police vehicle and she drove our personal SUV. On the SUV, I had a sticker representing the police association that I belong to. Yes, it was for those times that I may have gotten pulled over for speeding.....:). Well, as my wife was going home from church, she noticed a piece of crap biker dude a few cars behind. He caught up to her and started looking into our vehicle. He had full tats on the knuckles and tear drops under the eyes, riding the standard hog. He spent some time looking at the police related sticker that was on the left side of the rear window. He did not pass but decided to slow up and parallel my wife's driver's side window. As she looked at him, he pulled down the bandana that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2015 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
After having trained with Suarez International (SI) in the past, applying the techniques in real life against thugs that tried to kill me in 2009 and then finally responding to a call where an officer from my agency was shot, I felt inspired to bring the SI methodology to west Texas. What was passing for LEO training, was taught to the lowest common denominator and was not sufficient to make officers and civilians dangerous to the wolves that were hell belt on their destruction. I felt that having experienced the training first hand, I had a responsibility to spread the word. If I didn’t do it, nobody else would. This little thought started rolling a stone that has only picked up speed as we approach the New Year. In November of 2013, I called SI Headquarters with a request to host Close Range Gunfighting in Lubbock, TX. It took only a few days and I was on the phone with Jon Payne. Let me tell you about Jon Payne. Many of you know him and have known him for a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
With the events of Sydney, Australia still playing out as I write this, I feel the need to write what alot of us may think and feel. However, there are still alot more, in my opinion, of spineless, blind and purposely ignorant people that refuse to take responsibility for their lives. They stupidly turn their lives over to someone else be it a parent, grandparent, government, school, ideology, etc. It is to these spineless little people that I direct my comments, though, they probably won't read the article, let alone heed the message. EVIL IS REAL! ISIS IS REAL! THEY REALLY DO WANT TO KILL YOU!!! No amount of love, peace and "lets all just get along" is going to change that. No, I won't get along with people that want to kill me. Early reports stated that an individual walked into a coffee shop in Sydney carrying a gym bag. So he might be on his way to the gym and wanted to get some coffee on the way. To each his own. But, is there any reason to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
“Throughout the campaign I announced my support for open carry in Texas.” --Gov. Elect, Greg Abbott With the recent announcement made by Gov. Elect Abbott in Texas, the topic of open carry has again emerged. The open carry of rifles by some is nothing new. However, the open carrying of pistols in public by citizens could be something new to see. Now, I have nothing against the open carry laws. If a law abiding citizen wants to carry a pistol for the world to see, than by all means do it. What needs to be addressed, though, and what I hope to get across in this article, is the tactical advantage and disadvantage of openly carrying a pistol. Some "food for thought", if you will, for those considering to take advantage of the new laws that may soon be on the Texas books. This is not a discussion on concealed carry vs. open carry. I say, "to each their own", but know why you choose to carry the way you carry, and by all means, TRAIN, TRAIN AND TRAIN some... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
Now a days in 2014, going into 2015 everything that we have at our disposal can be used for both good and evil. The internet is a never ending pool of information that aids us in learning, researching & communicating. Yet at the same time it is a source of wickedness and vice that we can all identify. The same applies to violence. "Despite what your mother taught you, violence does solve problems." I came across this quote some time ago and do not know who the author is. I like it because I believe that it tells a truth that many in our society strive to cover up and/or distort. The righteous, explosive use of violence is the topic that I wish to high light in this article. Skill at arms and hand to hand are important, but often times overcome by extreme and sudden violence by even the most unexperienced tactition. Supercharging your skill at arms or with your bare hands with overwhelming and unadulterated violence can, often times, save the day against a bigger, stronger or more... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
I thoroughly enjoyed teaching this class. In a previous article I referred to the Suarez International Force on Force class as a "guided discovery" and that is exactly what it was. As the instructor, I am extremely grateful to my students that attended and put in the work over this two day course. There were two students in this class and they ran every single drill and experiment. They stayed focused and worked hard in the cold then hot, windy and dusty west Texas enviroment. Though, the attendance was low, I am confident that the tribe will grow as the masses learn the value of this training. Day 1 We started the day with a brief lecture on mindset and the proper mental preparation needed to prevail in a fight. In it we discussed the need for a clear mission and focus on winning the fight, aligning ourselves spiritually with taking a bad guy's life and legal and emotional issues that may or may not arise after the smoke clears. After discussing mindset and going through the safety ritual we... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
I was on patrol, traveling down a major street, admittedly, thinking about what to do on my weekend that was about to start. I noticed a black older model Camaro make a wide right turn onto my street. A minor traffic violation but a violation none the less and an opportunity for some proactive police work. I caught up to the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop by activating my over head red and blue emergency lights and bumping my siren to catch the driver's attention. The driver pulled over to the right. "Normal so far," I thought as I exited my vehicle. As I started my approach, I told the driver to put his hands on the steering wheel. I said, "Place your hands on the steering wheel, please." I didn't ask him to, but I wasn't a jerk either. That's where things started to get unusual. He didn't comply. I immediately stopped my approach and told him a couple more times to place his hands on the steering wheel. A simple command to understand, in my opinion. The... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
The First Responder is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a person (as a police officer or an EMT) who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance. Now, I'm not a scholar, but I disagree with this definition. The first responder is you, the CCW citizen or off duty police officer (one in the same in my opinion). The one with the gun and hopefully the skill and willingness to step up. How many people can a person kill in two minutes, six minutes, fifteen minutes if not stopped. Will your family be among those that are hurt or killed as you all attend a movie or go walking the mall. Are your a teacher? Do you have the means, skill and attitude to protect my children at your school? Perhaps you have made the decision of covertly carrying a weapon despite being in a non-permissive enviroment. No, ladies and gentleman, YOU are the first responders. The "boots on the ground" that have the best chance of success and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
I had the opportunity to apply this on a suspicous person/vehicle stop. This guy, I have no doubt, was going to attack me upon me reaching his driver's side window. It was interesting to apply this concept in real life. I was able to get to a good position to shoot and eliminate his advantage. Good times!! :)
Image Many, no doubt, have seen this video and have formed some opinion about what should or should not be done in a scenario like this. I have polled several police officers from the lowly rank of officer, like myself, to assistant chiefs. I have polled detectives and am awaiting some results from a few other agencies. What I found was not that surprising. I found that 50% of the people I talked to stated that they would shoot before seeing a gun based on the man's behavior. The other 50% stated that they would wait to see a gun before they engaged. I heard and read several responses on the Warrior Talk Forums, where "damned if you do, damned if you don't" was applied to a scenario like this. If one shoots this guy to the ground and it turns out that he didn't have a weapon, they argued that one would be screwed legally (criminally & civilly). Others argued that if you didn't shoot or if you waited to visually acquire a gun before shooting, it would be... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
Download Alaska Baseball Bat Incident There are times when a video comes out that serves as an awesome training video. This is just one of those videos that I recently came across. First and foremost, this is not a critique or my poor attempt to "armchair quarterback" the officers in this video. I'm a huge believer in not judging unless you were there. However, I also think that a wise person learns from their mistakes. A wiser person learns from the mistakes of others. I think the officers in this video, if they could do a few things differently, would. Watch the video and then continue reading below. I am going to present some of my thoughts about how this incident could have gone better for the good guys. Clear & Present Danger: Was there a clear and present danger? ABSOLUTELY!!!! A blind man would have no problem articulating, without hesitation, that the "bad guy" here was charging with a bat in a "I'm going to smash your F'ing brains out!" position. Is there any reason to sit and analyze... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
As discussed several times before, gunfights are broken down into two categories: 1) Proactive and 2) Reactive. I categorize pistol malfunction clearing or better yet, pistol manipulations, into these two categories as well. An example of a proactive manipulation would be the proactive (tactical) reload. This post is not, however, about proactive reloading. I wish to cover the reactive manipulations and explain why I teach them the way I teach them. The reactive manipulations include the "tap-rack-shoot" and the "rip-reload-rack-shoot" techniques. I know that there are several names for these techniques, but I will refer to them by these names. The “tap-rack-shoot” is often times referred to as the “immediate action drill” because when the pistol stops shooting, we immediately tap the bottom of the magazine to make sure it is fully seated in the magazine well. Second, we rack the slide to eject a bad round and/or load a new round into an empty chamber. If the “tap-rack-shoot” doesn't work, we immediately perform a “rip-reload-rack-shoot”. Basically, we grip the bottom of the magazine, any way that we can, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
Consider it done. Give me a few days and I will right it up. Sent from my iPhone
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2014 on The CCW Dilemma at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
I love the concept of the concealed handgun permit. I support an armed citizenry 100%. When the title "First Responder" is thrown around it is commonly understood as referring to the police officer, the paramedic or the firefighter. I don't agree that a police officer, as an example, is the first responder in an active shooter event. Furthermore, paramedics and firefighters arrive after you have already been injured or your house has already been burning. No, the first responder in the context of this article and the concept of the civilian defender is you, the concealed permit holder in your community. Despite being a peace officer, I consider myself to be a citizen first and operate like a concealed handgun (CHL) permit holder, for the most part, when I am off duty. In this article, I hope to highlight some common mistakes that permit holders may make. My intent is to offer some advise and hopefully shed some light on things that may put the CHL holder in a bind. CHL Permit & False Security Before I was a cop,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
As a followup to the Gunfighting Fundamentals article, I wanted to examine how the fundamentals of marksmanship are applied, or not, along the entire spectrum of combat shooting. Most of the Suarez International tribe will, no doubt, identify with these concepts as they are taught in the Close Range Gunfighting series, as well as fought in the Force on Force classes. For those that are new to the tribe, I hope that this article, as well as the first, gives insight into why we do what we do. Its common knowledge that we can put gunfights into two categories: 1)Proactive and 2) Reactive. The proactive gunfight is one that we know is going to happen and/or that we ourselves initiate. Some examples of proactive gunfights include law enforcement officers or a SWAT team kicking a door going after a dope dealer or the home defender lying in wait to ambush the invader. Suffice it to say, we are the ones initiating the contact. The reactive gunfight, on the other hand, is one that we did not know was going to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
The 8 fundamentals of shooting permeate every aspect of combat shooting. The more we master our fundamentals, the better we are able to employ our weapons no matter the environment, conditions or positions we find ourselves. I believe that the fundamentals must be mastered and practiced from our very first basic training course and be included as an integral part of every training session. In the Close Range Gunfighting series we list the fundamentals as Grip, Stance, Point, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture, Breathing, Trigger Control, and Follow Through/Trigger Reset. These are the foundation that all other gun fighting skills are built upon. The correct execution of these skills will result in our being able to fire that “perfect” shot again and again. Other fundamentals that are often overlooked are proactive and reactive manipulations. The manipulations include the instinctive “tap, rack, flip” and the “rip, reload, rack” drills to clear a myriad of malfunctions. These manipulations must be second nature and can only become that way when practiced with regularity. The ability to keep the gun running during a fight can... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
Red Flag was established in 1975 as a result of poor performance in Vietnam by the USAF pilots and Weapon System Officers (WSO) in air-to-air combat. Many of the crews at that time had also fallen prey to the Surface to Air Missile Systems scattered throughout Vietnam. Due to these short comings, the Air Force conducted a study titled Project Red Barron II. Project Red Barron II concluded that a pilot’s survivability in combat dramatically increased once the pilot had completed 10 combat missions. Today, Red Flag Exercises are conducted at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. It is a major multi-national exercise bringing air forces from around the world to train together and to learn from one another. Since inception, the purpose of the exercise was to put air crews into simulated combat in several realms including Air-to-Air Combat, Air-to-Ground Interdiction and Close Air Support. The training is as close to real combat that a pilot can get in a controlled and safe environment; allowing the crew to get their 10 combat missions under their belt and increasing their ability... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
I was able to attend a ceremony last month that was hosted by the Victim Assistance organization in my area. First, let me say that I appreciate and respect what this organization does. In a nutshell, the people of this organization serve as advocates for victims of violent crime and help them through the “due process” process of the American legal system. This, however, is not why I write about this. The purpose of the ceremony was to recognize and honor law enforcement and various social service organizations for their “fight” on behalf of the victims. One of the individuals recognized was an elderly gentleman that was the victim of a home invasion robbery. The master of ceremonies (MC) introduced him. It was a nice introduction until he walked up to deliver his prepared speech. As he approached the pulpit, the MC, in her most sincere voice, stated, “He is a true victim.” “What a way to be labeled!” I thought. I never want to be labeled a victim, and I refuse to label myself a victim. The gentleman stood... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at GABE SUAREZ BLOG
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