UT-Austin’s Proposed Campus Carry Rules and “Israeli” Carry

by concealed campus on December 18, 2015


AUSTIN, TX – We at SCC have made our opposition to UT-Austin’s proposed empty-chamber requirement loud and clear. As we’ve repeatedly stated, carrying a semiautomatic handgun with an empty chamber flies in the face of the standard training offered by every U.S. firearms school, police academy, and military branch. In fact, we know of only one professional fighting force that regularly carries semiautomatic handguns with empty chambers—the Israeli army (hence, this method of carry has come to be known as “Israeli” carry). However, before proponents of UT-Austin’s proposed empty-chamber requirement begin pointing to the Israeli army as proof that this method of carry works, they should take a look at the totality of the Israeli method and ask themselves whether this is truly the method they want to see implemented at Texas colleges.

Unlike all U.S. methods of carry, which were designed with the goal of using minimal force (or, preferably, only the threat of force) and incurring zero collateral damage (i.e., dead or wounded bystanders), the Israeli method was developed as an assassination technique and later adapted for rapidly stopping terrorist attacks by suicide bombers and the like. Proper aiming is made difficult, nay, impossible by the need to draw the weapon and immediately rack the slide (as opposed to the U.S. method of drawing the weapon and immediately bringing the sights into line with the shooter’s dominant eye). The idea behind the Israeli method is to fire as many shots as possible as quickly as possible, without pausing to aim, hesitating to assess whether the threat has been neutralized, or stopping to consider where missed shots may strike. In many ways, it bears more resemblance to the shooting style adopted by U.S. gang members—including sometimes firing with the handgun held in a sideways cant—than to the shooting techniques used by U.S. law enforcement.

In a June 2003 article for Soldier of Fortune magazine (it’s not one of the periodicals we subscribe to, but we tracked down a copy), police/SWAT firearms instructor Jim Shults breaks down the Israeli shooting method, which was a short-lived fad in the U.S., and explains its many shortcomings. Here are a few notable excerpts:

All of the U.S. techniques teach that you draw a loaded and chambered pistol and – depending on the instant threat – either fire or present the pistol as a threat with your finger off the trigger (which can be reached and functioned in a tiny fraction of a second if necessary). The Israeli method trains that once you draw, you immediately begin firing – and fire a lot. There is no gun-presenting to show some idiot 20 feet from you that you want him and his friends to go away. Nope, when you draw “Israeli-style” you start blasting. Remember, you will fight like you train. If trained to immediately fire after the draw, odds are great you will do just that.

No U.S. technique or U.S. instructor teaches that you shoot every time you draw unless you see an instant and deadly threat which can instantly reach you; a guy with a knife 25 feet away from you is not a draw-and-shoot threat.

In all U.S. firearm schools (military, SpecOps, law enforcement and civilian), aiming is taught. This is not precise target-aiming. We are talking about getting the front and rear sights on the target and firing, if necessary. With very little training this can be accomplished nearly instantly. Okay, it’s the heat of a life and death battle and you start shooting with the nifty Israeli instinctive-shooting training (not aiming). Assuming you survive and win the fight, try to explain to a judge and jury, with the “encouragement” of the prosecutor and police officers, that those shots you sprayed over the landscape smashing into cars, buildings – and bystanders – were the result of you taking a “Mossad” course on how not to aim your pistol.

It takes no talent to fire and hit a bad guy 3 feet away, unless you still have to chamber a round. Up-close a blind man can get hits, but just 4 or 5 yards can make all the difference in any real accuracy in the “crap your pants”-pressure of a gunfight.

As John Farnam states when talking about aiming, “You can never shoot fast enough to make up for misses in a gunfight.” One of the basic elements taught in American schools is to draw quickly and shoot slowly (relatively) because only hits count.

The Israeli slide-manipulation method is a disaster in waiting. I guarantee you that in a once-in-a-lifetime, “holy-crap”-panic, self-defense encounter, the odds of you drawing your empty pistol, rotating it, pulling it to your shoulder while precisely gripping the rear of the slide with your fingers, properly chambering and getting it running is – Mission Impossible! Real life isn’t a gun range; there is no rehearsal. What if you miss the grip and thrust out a pistol with nothing in the chamber? What if you don’t get a good enough grip on it to fully rack the slide (short-racking)? Sure, none of us have ever done that. What about a misfeed and you thrust the pistol out with a stoppage? In the heat of battle you will not notice the problem until you try to fire; whoops, too late. Besides, what kind of idiot brings an “unloaded” pistol to a gunfight?

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