So this Waco thing has caught my interest, mostly because of all the dumb things being said about it. I’m no expert and have no direct connection to the Waco Biker shootout, nor do I have access to anything more than media reports. However, based on my experience as a patrolman, assistant active shooter instructor and soldier I’ve made a few observations and educated guesses about what happened.

1) I predict we’ll soon learn most or all of the dead bikers were shot by police officers

I base this on a couple things, but the biggest one is a comment the Waco PD spokesman included in the official statement: “Our officers treated it as an active shooter scene.” An active shooter’s goal is to kill as many people as possible rather than steal money, take hostages or escape. A police officer who encounters an active shooter has one mission: stop the killing. The best way to stop that killing is by quickly engaging the active shooter with accurate gunfire. The Waco shooting took place in a crowded restaurant within a crowded shopping center with several businesses and restaurants full of innocent civilians. Police officers outside Twin Peaks could be expected to treat bikers firing shots in the parking lot as active shooters.

The affiliations of the bikers would obviously play a part in how the officers perceived the threat they presented. At least some of the bikers involved in the Waco shootout were “1%ers” or “outlaw bikers”. That’s what they call themselves, not just what police call them. Many wear 1% patches on their vests, in reference to the “99% of motorcycle riders are law-abiding citizens” comment made after the first riotous motorcycle rally in 1947; a 1% patch means they’re not law abiders. It’s a public proclamation of their dedication to a criminal lifestyle.

Outlaw biker gangs have a long history of violence, and more importantly, are known to engage in gang warfare around uninvolved civilians. In 2002, Hell’s Angels and Mongols had a gunfight inside a Laughlin casino that killed three bikers and wounded many more. Hell’s Angels and Vagos were involved in a shootout inside a Nevada casino in 2011 that left one biker dead and two wounded. In November 2013 a Bandido allegedly stabbed two Cossack bike gang members in Abilene. Waco’s shooting is thought to be directly related to that incident.

The Waco shooting was reportedly sparked by a Cossack gang member wearing a Texas patch on his vest. This deserves a little more attention. Bandidos are a big Texas motorcycle gang, Cossacks are also Texan but aren’t as big as the Bandidos. The three patches worn by Bandidos are a “Bandidos” banner, the gang logo, and a Texas banner. The Bandidos banned the Cossacks from wearing a Texas banner (because it meant Cossacks were trying to take over Bandido territory), but apparently Cossacks dared to not follow this edict. So Bandidos just had to attack the Cossacks. Because honor and respect. Or something.


The fight escalated to clubs and knives, then spilled into the parking lot and escalated to gunfire. No police are reported to have been inside the restaurant, although of course conspiracy theorists are already suggesting undercover officers were inside acting as “agitators” (hint: it would be pretty damn stupid for cops to instigate a fight that would put them in the impact area of other cops’ rifle fire). But when the fight got outside, twenty-two cops in marked units already in the parking lot took action.

The officers would likely have seen dozens or hundreds of bikers flooding out of the restaurant swinging, stabbing and shooting. They would have seen the fight before receiving a call, because the incident unfolded too quickly for a caller to dial 911, explain the situation to a dispatcher, then have the information relayed by radio or computer. The officers probably took cover behind vehicles and searched for sources of gunfire. When they saw an armed suspect, they probably wouldn’t have been able to discern his target because of their distance and the general chaos. The officers would consider the shooters’ gang affiliation, consider the danger to uninvolved citizens, and make the decision whether or not to engage.

As of this writing, initial reports suggest at least four of the nine biker fatalities were killed by police. I’m willing to bet police killed more or even all of them. I’m already seeing online accusations that police fired indiscriminately into the crowd; I doubt that was the case (especially considering how many uninvolved civilians were present) and I expect to learn that the bikers killed by police were hit from a distance with one or two well-aimed rifle rounds.

A reasonable question has been raised: in the chaos, is it possible that a biker with a Concealed Handgun License legally drew his weapon to defend himself against a threat, legally shot at a criminal who was attacking him, and was then shot by a police officer who didn’t know the CHL holder was engaged in justifiable self-defense? The answer is, “of course it’s possible.” Hell, it may even be likely. If we find out that happened at least once, does that mean the officers committed murder and deserve to be prosecuted?

No. The law doesn’t require perfection from anyone, whether they’re a cop or private citizen. People just have to be reasonable.

Contrary to popular myth, cops don’t get a free pass for killing people and private citizens aren’t immediately charged with murder if they kill someone in self-defense even if they were wrong. In one Texas incident, late one night a woman killed a man she thought was kicking her door in; the man turned out to be her drunken firefighter neighbor who went to the wrong house after coming home from a bar. The woman wasn’t arrested or charged because police and the grand jury correctly decided the woman acted reasonably. She was home alone, it was late at night, someone tried to force open her door, she got a weapon and warned the person to leave, he kept trying to get in, so she fired through the door and killed him. She thought her life was in danger and even though she was objectively wrong, her perception was still reasonable. (

So if a police officer sees a person who appears to be a member of a biker gang shooting at an unknown person or people while engaged in a massive fight with other gang members, while numerous innocent civilians are present, is it reasonable for the officer to decide the biker is a threat and shoot him? I say yes. Biker gangs are gangs, no different than bloods or crips except in their mode of transportation. If a fight between bloods and crips breaks out at a movie theater and they start shooting at each other inside the theater while surrounded by innocent civilians, I can understand if a police officer sees any gang member firing a weapon as a threat to innocent people. Others will disagree. Whatever our personal opinions are, ultimately the law only requires that officers and armed citizens act reasonably, not that they’re perfect or even right.

And if we do learn all the dead were killed by cops, that doesn’t equal “This whole thing was the cops’ fault!” (as some are already claiming). It could mean officers used too much force in response to a minor fight. But it could also mean officers did exactly what they’re trained and expected to do: use appropriate force against criminals they reasonably judged to be an imminent threat to the public. It’s even possible some officers were totally justified in shooting and others weren’t. Time and evidence will tell.

2) We’ll soon learn that most of the wounded bikers were wounded by other bikers, not cops.

According to latest reports, 318 weapons were recovered from the Twin Peaks shooting scene. The weapons ranged from chains to an AK-47. I haven’t heard how many were pistols. Despite what one might see on Game of Thrones, chains, clubs and knives are dangerous but are actually hard to kill people with (when you stab someone in the stomach or cut their throat, shockingly enough they don’t immediately drop dead). Pistols, of course, can easily kill. However, as we see in almost every officer-involved shooting, under stress most people’s accuracy goes to crap. Shooters who hit ten out of ten bullseyes on a static range at ten yards hit one out of ten or worse on an entire human target in an actual gunfight. This is because in real gunfights the target is usually moving, at an unknown range, partially concealed behind cover or other people, and shooting back.

So I expect most of the bikers in the hospital were beaten, stabbed, or shot with pistols by other bikers who were distracted by hundreds of possible threats around them. In the melee, their effectiveness with any weapon would likely have been compromised. The police, however, weren’t in the middle of the fight, weren’t facing threats from 360 degrees and didn’t have nearly as many factors degrading their effectiveness.

So less serious injuries were inflicted by bikers, more serious by cops. Just my guess.

3) Most of the charges will be dropped

As far as I know, most of the bikers were charged with criminal conspiracy because they belonged to biker gangs. Absent evidence that each of them committed a specific crime, I don’t think that’s enough to make a charge stick. If they were convicted felons in possession of guns, they’re toast. If an officer can testify that specific bikers committed specific crimes, they’re toast. The bikers who were caught armed and coming from out of town to back up their gang after the fight are toast. But Joe Regular Guy who just bought a Harley in an over-forty fit and went to the outlaw biker gathering because he thinks Sons of Anarchy is cool will probably make it out without a conviction.

4) Two very different groups will blame the police for the shooting even though their arguments make no sense

The “hands up don’t shoot” crowd is already spreading really stupid memes like this:

11017664_950946018259031_8620348833418721643_n (2)

These memes prove – PROVE! – that cops treat black people worse than whites.

I won’t waste much time on this, because it’s so friggin’ stupid, but I can offer this rebuttal: Hey dumbasses, cops shot a bunch of white bikers and may have killed nine of them. But cops didn’t shoot any rioters in Ferguson or Baltimore, even though rioters shot at cops in Ferguson. More white bikers were arrested in one afternoon in Waco than blacks were arrested in two days of rioting in Ferguson and a day of rioting in Baltimore. Judges put 1 million dollar bail on the bikers. Cops killing whites and throwing them in jail doesn’t prove that cops treat white people better than blacks. So shut up.

The second group accusing cops of murder is the “cops are evil jack-booted thugs” crowd. That crowd is sharing an article from a site called “aging rebel” about the “Waco Police Massacre”. According to Mr. Rebel, “The shove in the bathroom became a scuffle in the restaurant. When about 30 Bandidos, Cossacks, Scimitars and other bikers spilled into the parking between the Twin peaks and the Don Carlos Mexican restaurant next door, the police were waiting for them. The scuffle became a knife fight and several men were stabbed. When one of the combatants produced a gun the Swat team opened fire with automatic weapons. Multiple sources have told The Aging Rebel that all of the dead were killed by police.”

Right now, before any autopsy results are released, I don’t see how the hell anyone can possibly claim with certainty that all the dead were killed by police. I highly doubt any one person could have seen every single shooting and knows exactly who fired. But let’s set aside logic a moment. Assuming these multiple (anonymous) sources are telling the truth, well, their statement partially matches what police have said: a fistfight turned into a gang fight with knives and clubs which then turned into a shooting in the parking lot.

I guess that proves the police are evil, tyrannical, and at fault for the Waco shootout. I mean, this is America! You’re telling me armed bikers can’t even have a massive gang fight around hundreds of civilians without getting shot by cops? What happened to freedom?

You know who else tyrannically oppressed biker gangs? Hitler, that’s who!

5) Video and witness statements are going to come out, and will put some of the anti-cop claims to rest

I doubt any of the bikers involved in the fight pulled out cell phones and started videotaping, but plenty of uninvolved civilians did. I’ve seen brief snippets of video on TV, not full videos. But they’re out there, and eventually we’ll see them. If bikers had videos of cops spraying gunfire indiscriminately into the crowd we probably would have seen it already; any biker who had it and wasn’t arrested would have immediately put it on the internet to help his biker buddies out, and if the biker was detained or arrested he probably still would have had time to upload it or send it to a friend before he was cuffed and transported (see the picture above, where a detained biker was still able to use his phone). So although we’ll hear numerous lurid tales of out-of-control cops hell bent on massacring innocent bikers with full-auto fire, we won’t see evidence of it. But we will see video of cops taking cover behind cars and firing deliberate, aimed shots. That’s just my guess.

My gut feeling is that the incident unfolded exactly how we’ve heard it did: outlaw bikers were spoiling for a fight and started one over something stupid. The fight went lethal real quick. Cops who were there in case the outlaw bikers acted like outlaw bikers saw the fight and heard shooting. The cops engaged and killed any biker they thought was a threat to innocent civilians. The cops will be cleared of any wrongdoing because their actions were reasonable, most of the 170 bikers arrested will have charges dropped.

And the outlaw biker gangs involved will find somewhere else for their next fight.

4452_1084593231917_5914735_n (2)
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (

This was published yesterday on Breach Bang Clear.


Curses! Our sinister plot has been discovered!

Somehow Jade Helm, our “training exercise” [wink wink], has been revealed as a plan to wage war on Texas. We tried to trick the public into believing it was just training, but the sheeple didn’t buy it! Astute internet investigators, none of whom usually have a clue what they’re talking about, nailed this one!

Jade Helm is a ruse, a way for the military to invade Texas. Which sounds weird, since Texas is in America and already has tons of military bases full of military personnel. So, like, if the military wanted to invade and stuff, they could just book a vacation to Dallas or something. But nevermind all that! We were going to invade Texas!

And we would have gotten away with it too, if not for those meddling truthers!

Henceforth a tinfoil hat will be called "Jade Helmet".

Henceforth a tinfoil hat will be called “Jade Helmet”.

How could our plan have been leaked? Our operatives followed every top-secret, MK-Ultra protocol! They put a news release on the internet, notified local officials and private citizens in the “training” area, published a Jade Helm PowerPoint presentation, and held a public press conference. But despite all that secrecy, people somehow found out about it!

Alex Jones and his buddies must have seen through our charade. And we were so close! All our TFTDOF (Tools For The Destruction Of Freedom) were in place. We closed Wal-Marts and turned them into FEMA death camps, dug tunnels interconnecting them so we could move Texas patriots to the gas chambers without arousing suspicion, and prepared our Special Forces to confiscate everyone’s guns. It’s all true.


Anyone with a brain might wonder how we managed to dig all the tunnels connecting our closed Wal-Mart FEMA death camps without attracting attention. You’d think a gigantic tunneling project which would require hundreds of vehicles, thousands of workers and the movement of thousands of tons of dirt over a period of months, would have been noticed by someone. But nobody did. Know how we pulled that off? I have no idea! But we must have done it, or multiple morons wouldn’t believe it! Right?


Sure, reasonable people might think Jade Helm really is just training and therefore no big deal. They might believe it’s conceptually the same as the Special Forces Robin Sage exercise that’s been held on public land in North Carolina for decades. They might notice North Carolina somehow isn’t under martial law. They could also point out that our military conducts permissive environment training in public on a regular basis. People with at least two brain cells to rub together might look at these facts and conclude Jade Helm fear is hysterical stupidity.

But they’d be wrong! Unlike Robin Sage, Jade Helm isn’t in North Carolina! The Posse Comitatus Act clearly states, “Any military training held off post that’s not in North Carolina constitutes an illegal invasion of America.” At least, that’s what I think it says. I’ve never actually, you know, read it or anything. But I’m sure Jade Helm violates Posse Comitatus!

If Jade Helm wasn’t really a secret plot to invade Texas – and IT IS – one might say it’s pretty damn stupid for so-called “patriots”, like the ones at the Jade Helm public meeting near Bastrop, Texas, to accuse our military of preparing to commit treason. Especially since that military has been fighting, bleeding and dying to defend America for the last fourteen years. But they’d be wrong again! The brave patriots in Bastrop were absolutely right to cheer a Special Forces spokesman’s military service while simultaneously accusing the military of plotting to invade Texas.


Read the rest at

4452_1084593231917_5914735_n (2)
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (

There has to be a reasonable explanation. Please let there be a reasonable explanation.

This weekend Texas Governor Greg Abbott – MY governor, the governor I voted for – mobilized Texas State Guard members for a state emergency. What’s the emergency? American Special Operations troops are training. In Texas. Which is part of America. American troops training in America is scary. So Governor Abbott is sending State Guard troops to “monitor” the training.

I wish I was kidding.

Maybe you’ve heard media reports about the upcoming “training exercise” called Operation Jade Helm. It’s actually a massive government conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, confiscate guns, and impose martial law on Texas. Sure, you might think that’s conspiracy theory lunacy. But it must be true; if not, surely Governor Abbott wouldn’t mobilize Texas militia to monitor Jade Helm. Right?

I first heard about the State Guard mobilization when I saw this article on Facebook: At first I assumed it was a joke. To my horror, I discovered it wasn’t. But I still hoped the story wasn’t true; even if it wasn’t a joke, maybe NPR just got it wrong.

NPR photo

NPR photo

NPR’s reporting turned out to be slightly incorrect. They originally reported Texas National Guard members were being mobilized to monitor Operation Jade Helm. In reality, the troops were from the Texas State Guard, which is our official state militia. Unlike the Air and Army National Guard, State Guard troops don’t carry weapons and aren’t paid for monthly drills (although they are paid when mobilized on state active duty orders). They wear military uniforms almost the same as the regular Army and are addressed by rank. But SG members don’t need any actual military experience and don’t have age, height/weight or physical fitness standards. They tend to be decent, honest, older men and women with successful careers and skills critically important during state emergencies. I’ve met many of them, interacted with some on a regular basis, competed against some at military competitions, and attended a couple of State Guard drills when I was in high school.

Yes, I admire and respect these State Guardsmen. No, they shouldn’t “monitor” Special Operations troops conducting important training.

So State Guard and National Guard troops aren’t the same thing. That ultimately doesn’t matter. Our governor actually ordered American troops to ensure other American troops aren’t trying to wage war against Texas. He doesn’t trust my military brothers and sisters. Or he’s caving to the lunatics who don’t trust us. Which is it?

I’ve seen the moronic, nonsensical hysteria about Jade Helm from near-clinically insane conspiracy theorists. I’ve heard completely irrational concerns about Jade Helm from otherwise normal people. I watched the recent press conference near Bastrop, Texas, where an exasperated Public Affairs Colonel had to answer repeated, ridiculous questions from people who seemed to desperately want Jade Helm to be a sinister conspiracy (“Why can’t they just train on post? What about the closed Wal-Mart, is it a FEMA camp? WHAT WILL YOU DO IF YOU’RE ORDERED TO CONFISCATE OUR GUNS?”). But despite the ranting of the conspiracy crowd, Jade Helm is nothing to worry about.

About 74 seconds of research on Google will show anyone – including Governor Abbott – that Special Operations and regular troops have been training off post in civilian areas for decades. Army Special Forces trainees attend an exercise called Robin Sage as their final test; Robin Sage takes place in rural North Carolina six to eight times a year, on civilian land, with civilian volunteers. The exercise has been going on for over fifty years ( Last I heard, North Carolina isn’t under martial law.

Many other military exercises take place off post, among the civilian population. I’ve participated in some myself. No, they’re not practice for martial law. They’re off post because the real world is a far more challenging environment than the sterile, control-freak atmosphere of a military training area. A soldier on a base full of soldiers doesn’t have to try too hard to not get noticed. A soldier among vigilant civilians faces a far greater challenge, which makes off-post training for certain skills very desirable. And last I heard, we actually want our troops to be trained. Especially our Special Operations troops, who often have to carry out critically important covert missions among civilian populations overseas.

I have one piece of advice for Jade Helm conspiracy theorists: the day after the exercise ends, open your gun safe. If your guns are still there (and they will be), SHUT UP. If you’re not in a Wal-Mart FEMA camp (and you won’t be), SHUT UP. Stop desperately hoping your conspiracy fantasies are real. They’re not.

As a Marine and Soldier who’s served for over twenty-five years, I have to ask: does Governor Abbott consider me a threat? Does he worry that I’m plotting to wage war against my own country? When I was training for my wartime mission, did he think the State Guard should have monitored me? Am I suspected to have evil intentions because I sometimes trained off post?

Whatever someone thinks about the federal government – and I personally have huge criticisms and concerns – how does a reasonable person accuse the Special Operations troops participating in Jade Helm of treason? Even if the federal government intends to confiscate all our guns and put us under UN control (it doesn’t, but some people believe that) why do people think regular Joe Soldier is willing to murder American citizens, stick traumatized survivors in Wal-Marts-turned-FEMA-camps, take everyone’s guns and impose martial law?

Our troops come from this society. Our cities are their cities. Our families are their families.

Some conspiracy theorists are (unfortunately) veterans, or are closely related to veterans. They, of course, would never want to destroy American freedoms. Yet they suspect our best, most dedicated and bravest troops of preparing to do just that. That’s ridiculous, irrational and hypocritical. Some others argue that Governor Abbott was correct to mobilize State Guardsmen because his constituents have concerns. Whether those concerns are valid or not, Abbott has a responsibility to address them.

My response is “whatever”. Irrational concerns deserve nothing other than “That’s stupid and we’re not worried about it. Next question.” If you disagree, then do you think Governor Abbott should mobilize the State Guard to watch the sky for chemtrails? Or search for MK-Ultra sleeper agents? What about monitoring the border for UN troops being secretly brought across? Should we task the State Guard to stop the US government from spreading Ebola?

Screenshot-51 (2)

Conspiracy theorists operate under the non-logic of “We don’t have proof it isn’t true, so let’s believe it!” Does that stupidity deserve to be addressed? How many ridiculous, dumbass conspiracy theories does Governor Abbott have to respond to? And why did he respond to this one?

As a combat veteran, I have at times felt ignored or disrespected by our federal government. But I always felt – ALWAYS – that Texas and its government were a bastion of common sense, old-school values and respect for service and sacrifice. I’ve never had a single reason to believe my state government viewed me as a problem because of my military service.

Now I do. It sucks. And I didn’t expect that from this state, or this governor.

4452_1084593231917_5914735_n (2)
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (


So here’s an interesting development. Tim McGraw is putting on a concert to support an organization called Sandy Hook Promise. Sandy Hook Promise supports laws and efforts to protect children from gun violence (I realize this concert is somewhat controversial, but that’s not the point of this essay.) McGraw is doing this partly because his longtime fiddle player, Dean Brown, has a close friend named Mark Barden. Barden is also a musician, and lost a child in the Sandy Hook Massacre.


1) Mark Barden lost a child at Sandy Hook;
2) Mark Barden is a musician and good friend of Dean Brown;
3) Dean Brown is Tim McGraw’s fiddle player and has been for 22 years; so
4) Tim McGraw will perform at a concert to support a Sandy Hook-affiliated organization.

Why is this interesting? Because the Sandy Hook Massacre never happened! It was faked by the government! The school was closed years before the fake massacre! No children were killed! The “parents” were all actors! [Insert whatever other ridiculously moronic claim you feel is appropriate].

The inescapable conclusion is that Tim McGraw is part of the Sandy Hook conspiracy. Honest!

A fellow writer, Maya Bonhoff, pointed something out in a comment on another post yesterday: if there was no massacre and no children were killed, Dean Brown either doesn’t know his longtime friend Mark Barden is a government shill or Brown is part of the conspiracy. Likewise, McGraw either doesn’t know his fiddle player of two decades is a government shill, or McGraw is part of the conspiracy.

Maya explains this better than I can:

“How do the CHFF (Conspiracy/Hoax/False Flag) advocates propose that this connection has not resulted in the whole deal being blown? Does Dean Brown not realize that Mark Barden is 1) a crisis actor paid to pretend to have had a son, 2) a citizen of Newtown who never had a son, but has been hired by the government to pretend he did, 3) has a son who is still alive but in hiding somewhere, 4) had a son who was killed by the government, but is accepting money to pretend that Adam Lanza really did the deed?

If he does know one of these things, why has he not come forward? He’s just the sort of person CHFF advocates posit is in a position to blow the whistle on a CHFF of whatever nature.

Take your pick of the above or advance a new theory, then please respond. How does a conspiracy in an open environment (not hidden somewhere and where traffic from outside is not limited) account for all such connections of people to the world?

My point is that this connection between a Sandy Hook parent and a high profile friend, who is frequently in the limelight and who travels extensively, is just one out of thousands that would have to have been carefully researched and accounted for in the plan with contingency plans for every one of them.”

Maya is an accomplished author, and discusses the logical and logistical problems inherent to conspiracy theories from a writer’s perspective in this post:

Maya very politely asks Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists to address this connection between Tim McGraw and a [fake] Sandy Hook parent. I’d also like them to address it, but my request is far less polite.

Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists are a bunch of brain-dead morons. The kindest thing I can say about them is maybe they’re mentally ill or suffering from Alzheimer’s, rather than simply being window-licking stupid. Please, conspiracy theorists, explain why Tim McGraw is putting on this concert. Does McGraw know the massacre never happened? Is he part of the conspiracy? Is he innocent and being manipulated by his evil fiddle player Dean Brown, who actually is part of the conspiracy? Or are both McGraw and Brown being tricked by Mark Barden, who conned his longtime friend Brown into believing his son was murdered?

Please come up with some plausible explanation. I’ll hang out here until you do. In over two years you haven’t come up with even one actual piece of evidence to support your stupid “theory”, so I won’t hold my breath waiting for you to actually say something logical.

4452_1084593231917_5914735_n (2)
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (

This was published yesterday on Breach Bang Clear. I don’t know that I’ve ever enjoyed a training class as much as this one.


So there I was, finger on the trigger, stock in my shoulder, left hand on the monopod adjustment, staring through a scope at a thousand yard target. And our instructor, that bastard, didn’t just want me to hit the target. He wanted me to hit its head. Everyone knows thousand-yard head shots only happen in bad novels and action movies.

This was on day two of 1MOA Solutions’ ( Precision Rifle Course, held at Red Stag Tactical’s range in Eagle Lake, Texas. When I heard about the class I got all excited at the prospect of making long-distance shots like I had in Afghanistan. The problem was, I don’t own a good long-distance rifle. So my options were borrow whatever I could get, or take my WWII Enfield to the course.

I borrowed an AR-10 clone from an Army buddy. It had a badass new Trijicon scope on top; unfortunately, it was a badass Trijicon scope with a hunting reticle, no mil or MOA lines. And I only had 75 match rounds instead of the required 200, the rest was whatever craptastic ammo I could find at Academy. So while I expected to learn a lot at the course, my personal performance expectations were low. I figured I’d be able to hit out to 600 or so, and would watch other shooters hit at a thousand. I was just there to have a good time.

Day one, zeroing

Day one, zeroing

The other students were all civilians with no military background. I was the only one who had been downrange, been shot at, and shot at people. That DID NOT mean I was the most skilled or well-trained shooter. I went through Marine boot camp, picked up a secondary MOS of range coach (8531) and fired expert six times during my enlistment. In the Army I was lucky enough to attend the Squad Designated Marksman course and fire to 600 yards with M16A4s using optics and irons. In Afghanistan I was able to hit at 900 meters with my M14 and at 980 meters with a French .50 once. So yeah, I had some experience.

Firing a PGM .50 French sniper rifle in Afghanistan, with a French Marine sniper talking me on

Firing a PGM .50 French sniper rifle in Afghanistan, with a French Marine sniper talking me on

But I didn’t have a good grasp on the science behind long-distance accuracy. I had never used a Kestrel or other small arms ballistic computer (although I was familiar with the basics from my time as an Abrams tank gunner). As far as rifles went, I had pretty much been spoon fed whatever the Corps or Army wanted me to know, which wasn’t much more than the basics. In Afghanistan I was able to make long distance hits on static targets, always under ideal conditions, usually with French snipers talking me on.

But in this class I was going to have to get way in depth on accuracy. On that first day Adam sat at a table with us, passed Kestrels around and talked us through ballistic calculations. Two students were engineers, had really studied ballistics and had a level of knowledge way over my head. They and Adam had an intense, hard-to-follow discussion about mil versus MOA adjustments, G1 versus G7 scales and the ballistic coefficient of a laden swallow; my contribution to the discussion was something to the effect of “I like tacos.” If I had any illusions about my mastery of shooting, I lost them at that table.

So I went into the class with an open mind and tried to stay humble. And I learned a LOT. And shot far better than I expected. This two-day class consisted of a short period of classroom instruction on ballistic calculations, zeroing at 100 yards, a few accuracy drills at 100 yards, range estimation class, unknown distance engagements on steel targets, known distance engagements on steel to 1000 yards, unconventional position training, and a short discussion on useful accessories.

We had one slight problem: rain. No offense to the townsfolk, but Eagle Lake only has that name because “Buzzard Swamp” was taken. Heavy rain drenched the area for weeks before the class and the first day was a partial washout. Because we lost valuable range time we had to give up the planned range estimation class. The rain also flooded roads, prevented placement of some targets, got trucks stuck and created a pool deep enough to trap a tractor and nearly drown Adam Wilson (from the tower several hundred yards away we saw him standing on the tractor bumper singing “The heart will go on” while the driver yelled “I’ll never let go!”). That all sucked, but 1MOA and Red Stag are making up for the lost instruction time at a later date.

The instruction we did receive, however, was friggin’ fantastic. Here’s what I learned: The right gear makes a huge difference. Prior to this class I thought my Afghanistan M14EBR was the One True Rifle. I expected my borrowed AR-10 to be decent, nowhere near as good as a 14.

Then Adam Wilson looked through my AR-10 scope and said, “This isn’t going to work. Use one of my rifles.” And he handed me his Ashbury Precision Ordnance Tactical Competition Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor with a Surgeon action and Leupold Mk 8 3.5 – 25 x 56mm scope. It was kind of like telling a high school boy, “Your prom date is just so-so. Here’s Sasha Grey, take her instead.” I’ve never handled a rifle that accurate, and my eyes have been opened. A 7.62 anything just isn’t as accurate as a good 6.5; we had one 7.62 shooter, and as predicted he just couldn’t make the same shots a 6.5 shooter could (although he did hit at a thousand).

Shooting a precision rifle is a lot different than firing a carbine. Duh, right? Don’t get me wrong, the principles are the same. But little things make a huge difference. For example, during CQB-type carbine training we’re death-gripping our weapons. At SDM school I’m pretty sure I did the same thing. But in this course we learned to not strangle the pistol grip. In fact, Adam had us lightly hold the grip with just three fingers, without even wrapping our thumb around it. One student barely even touched the pistol grip; just about the only part of his strong hand touching the weapon was his trigger finger. And he was accurate to a thousand yards.

To be a good distance shooter, you might have to shotgun breach a tree. WTF do I mean by that? Well, when we were on the known distance range we fired at 300, 500, 700 and 1000 yards. Everyone hit at 300 and 500 with no problem. Then one student was nowhere near the target at 700. Adam couldn’t spot his trace or see a splash, so he had the next shooter try it. That shooter hit. Then I tried 700, and again, Adam couldn’t tell where the hell I was hitting. We went back to the first shooter. I was watching through my scope when he fired; I heard his rifle go boom, a small branch fluttered down and his round splashed into the mud far short and far right of the target.

I hadn’t paid much attention, but a few branches were hanging over the range. I thought they were too high to make a difference, and I had that tanker mentality about brush anyway: “Brush? Who cares? Just shoot through that shit!” Well, you can’t just shoot through that shit. Even light brush can totally jack your mojo. I wound up riding in a tractor bucket onto the range and blowing the branches down with a shotgun. Maybe someone thought that would remind me of my glory days on a tank. No, they didn’t make me do the gardening because my last name is Hernandez. I swear.

Read the rest at

4452_1084593231917_5914735_n (2)
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (

This was published yesterday on Breach Bang Clear.



The NCAA championship is currently going on. Apparently Kentucky was just eliminated (I’m not a sports guy and really couldn’t give a rat’s ass what team wins). So students at the University of Kentucky rioted over the loss, just like they rioted last year.

The rioters threw bottles and burned sofas in the street, police used tear gas on them, and people got arrested. But there are no reports of looting, or businesses being destroyed, or gunfire, or murders. It seems like a bunch of spoiled college morons acted like spoiled college morons, and the police treated them the way they deserved to be treated. No big deal, right?

Of course it’s not that simple. There’s a serious problem with the Kentucky riots: there were no National Guard troops, “tanks” or militarized police like there were in Ferguson. Police responded to the Kentucky rioters differently than they did the Ferguson rioters. Wanna know why? The Kentucky rioters were white. It was all about race. I know this because the Daily Kos says so.

Unfortunately, as a cop and card-carrying member of the Official Oppressed Minority community, I kinda see it differently. I’m probably the only person in the world who realizes this, but there are actually little tiny differences between the Kentucky rioting and the Ferguson riots. Differences like, “the Kentucky rioters didn’t loot, burn down businesses, throw Molotov cocktails, shoot at cops or murder anyone, but the Ferguson rioters did.” (As an unimportant side note, the Daily Kos mentioned looting in their headline but made no mention of it in their article, and I can’t find any other reports of Kentucky students looting.)

A few brave warriors against racism have also made much fuss about Kentucky students posing with police officers before the riot.


Those pictures lead to one inescapable conclusion: “That’s racism! And it shows white privilege!”


I guess they have a point. A police officer would never, ever have taken a picture with a protestor in Ferguson.

Missouri State Police Captain Ron Johnson making fraternity hand sign with Ferguson protestor

Missouri State Police Captain Ron Johnson making fraternity hand sign with Ferguson protestor

But actual evidence has no place in this discussion. So let’s not bicker about who killed who, or who burned businesses instead of sofas, or the fact that protestors in both places took pictures with cops, or any other minor unimportant details. A riot is a riot. Dang it, there was a different response in Kentucky because of racism!

Let’s look at the results of the Ferguson riots:

Twenty-five business destroyed

Two police cars burned

Twelve civilian cars burned

Hundreds of shots fired by rioters

Thirteen people injured

One person murdered

And now the Kentucky riots:

Eighteen injuries

Unknown number of couches set on fire

And in Kentucky there was also… well, actually, I guess that’s it.

Sure, it seems like the Ferguson riots were much worse than the Kentucky riot. But look closer. In Ferguson rioters merely murdered someone, attempted to commit multiple capital murders and torched over two dozen businesses. In Kentucky they didn’t murder anyone, or try to kill cops, or destroy businesses, but they burned seventeen couches.


That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but ask yourself this: where are people going to sit now? Did you think about that, smartass?

So the Kentucky riot was nowhere near as large or destructive as the Ferguson riots, but that unimportant fact should be dismissed. The only difference between the riots was racism. In fact, the Daily Kos and its adherents have suggested authorities dismissed this as “kids blowing off steam” because the rioters were white, which has led some people to believe no rioters were arrested in Kentucky. In fact, thirty-one rioters were arrested. Again, I apologize for confusing the issue by introducing facts.

Read the rest at

4452_1084593231917_5914735_n (2)
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (

Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation:

People of several different races are having a public event. Two people of one specific race show up to cover the event. Someone at the event says, “We don’t want that race here.” The two race-offenders are escorted out of the event, despite the fact that they had personally done nothing wrong. They were journalists, and were kicked out of the event simply because of their skin color.

Now let’s say there was a backlash. The event organizers took some heat for barring one race from the event. You might think the event organizers would apologize, promise sensitivity training, insist the two people were kicked out because of one person’s mistake instead of any discriminatory policy, and claim the entire thing was just a misunderstanding. Or maybe they’d immediately fire/exile/expel/charge whomever kicked people out because of their race. Isn’t that what always happens when an organization does something blatantly racist?

In this case, no. This event was at Canada’s Ryerson University, hosted by the Racialised Students’ Collective (and the mentality displayed by the “Racialised Students” would be at home on any number of American universities). The people kicked out were white journalism students. So no harm, no foul, no widespread outrage.

It gets better than that. Shortly after the somehow-not-racist-event, the Huffington Post published an essay from Ryerson journalism student Aeman Ansari titled “Ethnic Minorities Deserve Safe Spaces Without White People”.

In her essay, she makes a few interesting points:

“These [safe] spaces, which are forums where minority groups are protected from mainstream stereotypes and marginalization, are crucial to resistance of oppression and we, as a school and as a society, need to respect them… Segregation was imposed on people of colour by people of privilege, not the other way around. The very fact that individuals organizing to help each other get through social barriers and injustices are being attacked and questioned for their peaceful assembly is proof that they were right to exclude those [white] students… Racialized people experience systemic discrimination on a daily basis, on many levels, and in ways that white people may never encounter. The whole point of these safe spaces is to remove that power dynamic.”

She also says, “I am a person of colour and a journalist and so there are two conflicting voices inside my head. But in this case one voice, that of a person of colour, is louder and my conscience does not allow me to be impartial. I have to take a side.” This is a sentiment I strongly suspect many journalists with “social justice” indoctrination share. Perhaps that’s why they shy away from any story that might reinforce negative stereotypes about a minority, yet embrace any story that portrays whites as racist. “Hands up don’t shoot”, anyone?

As a minority and supposed “person of color” (if I ever actually use that phrase to describe myself, please punch me), I guess I should be thrilled that my fellow coloreds are now free to put white people in their place. I should cheer the Racialised Students and embrace my dark-skinned sister for being courageous enough to accuse – in the Huffington Post, where blatant racial pandering is never welcome (yuk yuk) – all white people of being oppressors.

Long live the revolution. Kill whitey. Power to the people. Four hundred years of oppression. Whoop.

But I just ain’t feelin’ it. Maybe I wasn’t oppressed enough as a child; I grew up in Texas, “the America of America”, in a mixed white and Hispanic neighborhood. I was around whites all day every day. We played, went to school, and grew into adulthood together. I’m obviously Hispanic, but somehow was never oppressed by whites (or maybe I just didn’t notice). At seventeen I joined the Marines and served with men and women of all colors, but most were white. As a cop I’ve risked my life with and for whites, and whites have risked their lives for me (likewise with blacks, Asians and others). As a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan I experienced the same thing.

Were some whites I knew racist? Of course. So were some blacks. So were some Hispanics. My parents were discriminated against, as were my grandparents. One family story even had the Texas Rangers murdering my great-great-grandfather and his brothers in retaliation for one of Pancho Villa’s raids. If the story is true, I’m pretty sure the Rangers who committed the murders are dead, as are most of the people who discriminated against my parents and grandparents. The country has changed, for the better.

I embrace that change. I see Americans of all colors treating one another as equals every day. And I heard of this guy once, who said something like, “Don’t be a dumbass and judge someone just because of what color they are.” That actually applies to whites too, not just supposedly oppressed minorities.

And whites shouldn’t be viewed as the world’s only oppressors. Slavery among blacks was so common in Africa it remained legal in Nigeria until 1932, in Ethiopia until 1942, in Niger until 2003 and in Mauritania until 2007; even now a huge portion of Mauritania’s population is still believed to be slaves. Black Africans were heavily involved in capturing and selling slaves, and some historians estimate “… Africans captured and then sold to Europeans around 90% of those who were shipped in the Atlantic slave trade” (

Here in America, where our default is “whites were slave owners, blacks were slaves and that’s the end of it”, free blacks owned slaves as far back as 1654. Free black slave owners in Louisiana even requested, and were granted, permission to serve in the Confederate Army ( And Arabs, now automatically considered oppressed, were well-known and enthusiastic slave traders for centuries. Here’s just one example: “Periodic Arab raiding expeditions were sent from Islamic Iberia to ravage the Christian Iberian kingdoms, bringing back booty and slaves. In a raid against Lisbon in 1189, for example, the Almohad caliph, Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, took 3,000 female and child captives, while his governor of Córdoba, in a subsequent attack upon Silves in 1191, took 3,000 Christian slaves” (

Native Americans, our most revered “peaceful” population, weren’t always so peaceful and non-oppressive either. I’m not just referring to Native American attacks on whites: “…among the indigenous peoples of the Americas, only 13% did not engage in wars with their neighbors at least once per year. The natives’ pre-Columbian ancient practice of using human scalps as trophies is well documented. Iroquois routinely slowly tortured to death captured enemy warriors… at Crow Creek in South Dakota, archaeologists found a mass grave containing the remains of more than 500 men, women, and children who had been slaughtered, scalped, and mutilated during an attack on their village a century and a half before Columbus’s arrival (ca. 1325 AD).” (

With this historical context, how does anyone arrive at the “white = oppressor, nonwhite = victim” conclusion so beloved by Aeman Ansari and Ryerson’s Racialised Students? Maybe I’m breaking the inviolable Oppressed Minority Code of Silence by saying this, but every race has its share of historical horrors. White people shouldn’t defined by past slave ownership any more than African blacks should be.

I’d also like to point out an inconvenient fact: If all white people are evil because of slavery, then all white Americans are heroes for ending it.

Maybe I’d be the only person on the typical University campus who’d know this, but in America we actually fought a really bad war to end slavery. Over 350,000 white Americans died fighting to end slavery. White Americans burned white American cities to the ground to end slavery. White Americans completely destroyed other white Americans’ ways of life and forced them to abandon slavery. American slaves weren’t powerful enough to rise up and free themselves; white people freed them. Why do whites seem to get all the blame for historical oppression, but none of the credit for fighting it?

Yes, I realize it’s pathetically stupid to credit all whites for the actions of those who fought to end slavery. And it’s just as stupid to condemn all whites for the actions of those long dead. I’m not saying all white people are great; plenty are absolutely scumbag (I’ve arrested a LOT), and many are racist. But those people should be judged on their own merits. Am I wrong to view whites, or anyone else for that matter, as individuals who should be judged as individuals?

When I was in Kosovo I had a conversation with a local about her ethnic enemies. “The adults commit crimes against us. The old ones used to, and the young ones will someday. So they should all be killed, from one until the end.” It was a stupid, destructive mindset that always, always, does horrible damage to those who hold it. In modern America, and Canada, everyone should reject the notion that all people of any race are the same. Or that we need to keep any race out of our “safe spaces”.

Oddly enough, this is one thing I loved about being in combat; under fire, you are who you are. Nobody cares about race. All that matters is whether or not you can do your job and cover your brothers’ and sisters’ backs.

On its website, the Racialised Students’ Collective says it “…opposes all forms of racism.” Then it excludes students for being white. I’m sure the Racialised Students don’t see the irony in that. Aeman Ansari, I’m sure, tirelessly campaigns against racism. Then she supports keeping white students away from minorities, because a white person’s mere presence allegedly makes them unsafe. I’m sure she sees no irony. The Huffington Post published Ansari’s essay praising racism against whites, then added a slideshow to the page showing “9 people who think casual racism is okay.” But they didn’t add Ansari or the Racialised Students to the slideshow.

The Huffington Post probably doesn’t see the irony either.

4452_1084593231917_5914735_n (2)
Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at or on his Facebook page (


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,721 other followers