Katie Pavlich


“On April 11, 1986, at Miami, Florida, special agents of the Miami Division attempted to apprehend two suspects responsible for a series of armed bank and armored car robberies. In the attempted apprehension, the subjects William R. Matix and Michael Lee Platt opened fire on the special agents. In the ensuring gunfight, Special Agents Benjamin O. Grogan and Jerry Dove were killed. Special Agents Edmundo Mireles, Jr., John F. Hanlon, Jr. and Supervisory Special Agent Gordon G. McNeill received serious wounds and Special Agents Gilbert M. Orrantia and Richard A. Manauzzi received minor wounds. The remaining agent in the gunfight, Special Agent Ronald G. Risner, was unharmed. Both subjects were killed by fire of special agents. No civilians were hit either by agents’ fire or by fire from the subjects. Some property damage was done to neighboring residences and vehicles. Best estimates are that approximately 145 shots were fired in this exchange of gunfire.”


Matix was hit with a 9 mm handgun round (standard ammunition being used by the FBI at the time) through his arm and lung and still went on to kill FBI special agents Grogan and Dove before dropping dead. The will to survive mindset of those intent on doing harm is strong, and it’s important to have enough ammunition to stop it.

Overseas, the average number of rounds per enemy casualty is 50,000. The truth is, it’s not always easy to hit your target when you’re under stress. Luckily at Gunsite, they teach you how to use the proper techniques of handgun self defense which can work every time under pressure if applied correctly.

“Training allows you to survive,” Instructor Walt Wilkinson said Tuesday during a demonstration.

Training is key and it’s extremely important to train as if you’re confronting a real life threat, both mentally and physically with your firearms skill set. During training on Tuesday, after using stationary targets, we switched to moving targets to help simulate a real life situation.

Below is a slideshow demonstrating a speed reload, which is used when the gun runs out of ammunition during a fight.

(Photos: Alex Landeen, LandeenPhotography.com)

Wednesday we will start the morning in the classroom, Tuesday were started out on the range. By the end of the week, our shots are expected to get faster and more accurate.

“Fast is the absence of excess motion,” Instructor David Starin says, adding it is important to be smooth first and that eventually speed will follow.

Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her latest book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, was published on July 8, 2014.