Episode 441 - Claude Werner the Tactical Professor

Available at Safety Solutions Academy blog podcast web page, iTunes, Stitcher, or direct link to MP3 file

I've transcribed some interesting excerpts, below; errors are mine. But of course, listen to the whole thing.

This is episode 441 of the SSA Podcast and I am so pleased that you have joined us.

This episode’s guest is Claude Werner. Claude is known in the firearms training industry as the Tactical Professor and focuses on the firearms industry from a different angle than most other personal protection educators.

Like many of his peers, Claude has a background in the military, however, this background was focused on military intelligence. After his time in the Military Claude had an executive career in the private sector, first in commercial real estate followed by a director level position in a big 5 accounting firm.

What these three different life experiences have in common is decision making based on large amounts of data. Claude has successfully transitioned the same skills he used in military intelligence, commercial real estate and accounting to educating his clients in firearms and personal protection related topics.

In today’s episode of the Safety Solutions Academy Podcast I have an in depth conversation with Claude on a wide range of topics. We discuss:

  • Making decisions based on data instead of emotions
  • Evaluating a defensive gun use based on financial criteria
  • The defense of others and how third party defense can be significantly more difficult to avoid negative outcomes
  • Dynamics of home invasions that may surprise you
  • Negative outcomes and why Claude focuses on mitigating those negative outcomes
  • How competence can increase your ability to deal with a defensive gun use more efficiently
  • Why we need to think about personal protection more like Italian real estate
  • How firearms instructors miss the boat when they fail to understand their clients lives and why they should get a real job
  • The Can/May/Should/Must paradigm and how it can improve your decision making as you prepare for a defensive gun gun use
  • Why making decisions ahead of time is so important in the defensive use of guns.
  • Colonel Boyd and what he should be known for, and it isn’t the OODA Loop
  • How David Brin’s Triumvirate of Success can help us to balance the consequences, the honor and nobility, and our courage in responding to a personal protection incident

The conversation I had with Claude was comprehensive and deep. Claude is one of the folks in the firearms industry that invests the time and energy into considering the fine details of his instruction and the consequences those details could lead to when applied to personal protection.

Claude Werner @ 40:15 I'd like instructors to have a better idea of what their clients' lives are like. That's probably the single biggest issue that I am dissatisfied with the industry about, is that instructors don't understand what their clients are like. And instructors want to turn their clients into clones of them. And that's a big issue.

Claude Werner @ 41:35 I had this discussion on Facebook in the past couple of days, where one of my colleagues asked "How do you get people to carry a gun?" And my answer was "I don't". Because that's a very personal decision.

Paul Carlson @ 43:30 The whole NRA mantra of "The only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun", I don't believe that to be true.

Claude Werner @ 43:40 That's the NRA's political stance. But actually if you look at the training department, it's not. Refuse To Be A Victim; it only barely talks about guns after-the-fact. That kind of information is something that we ignore giving people. And I think that's wrong. Because it always means we're going to be dealing with a small segment of the population.

Paul Carlson @ 46:00 When I talked about qualities that you'd like to see in defensive firearms instructors, one of the things you said -- and you've said it repeatedly -- you'd like them to get a real job. Tell me what you mean by that.

Claude Werner @ 46:12 Go to work at Target, dude. Get off of your gun range that you live at out in the middle of nowhere. I've made this challenge several years ago, and no one ever took me up on it. Firearms training typically has a lull spot around the end of the year holidays, Thanksgiving to New Years. So that means you got a little bit of time here. Go get a seasonal job at Target or Macy's or Lowe's or whatever, some big retailer -- and it should be a retailer -- and then carry all this EDC (every day carry) gear that you tell people they have to carry; the full-size service people, the two spare magazines, a flashlight, a fixed blade knife, two ounce can of pepper spray. I want you to carry that for your full eight hour day, five days a week, for the two or three months that you have this seasonal job, and not get fired.

Paul Carlson @ 47:30 You came from an environment like that. Where it wasn't a Home Depot or Lowe's, but it was a place ...

Claude Werner @ 47:35 I worked for a big-five accounting firm for the better part of a decade. I did have a gun. I had a Davis .32 derringer in the business pocket of my slacks. So I did have a gun. But it wasn't a Glock 17 with two spare magazines. I will, every now and again, have someone tell me how easy it is, if you just "dress around the gun", to carry a full size gun. And I'm like, "Dude, have you ever been in a room with 30 other auditors, 10 hours a day, for 2 months at a time? Not all of whom are from your own firm." Because that's the way it works in the accounting business. So if they're not from your firm, they're not even your friends, and they're not going to overlook any faults you make. So when people tell me "It's so easy to do", I'm going "You just haven't been in the right environment. Because if you were, you'd understand what you're saying is ridiculous."

Paul Carlson@ 49:10 Especially when you talk to females, concealing a handgun in business attire is very difficult. Because females are constantly being assessed by both males and other females. Mistakes in wardrobe, or dressing around a gun, those things are very often noticed. A person might not notice why. They might not know it's a gun that's being dressed around, but they know something's off.

Claude Werner @ 49:35 Tamara Keel, who has one of the better minds in the business, made the comment that "It became a lot easier for me to carry a gun when I started dressing like a hobo." That's the deal. I look at when people say "Oh you can carry a gun. Just dress like this," I look at them and go "Dude, you look like crap. Does your wife let you go out of the house like that? I bet not when she's with you."