No One Is Innocent

25-Sep-13 – 16:16 by ToddG

Thanks to Caleb of Gun Nuts Media for posting this video of himself shooting a pretty strange stage at this year’s IDPA Nationals:

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Normally in IDPA there are two kinds of humanoid targets: threats and non-threats. You are supposed to shoot the threats (penalty for bad hits or missing) and you’re not supposed to shoot the non-threats (penalty for hitting them at all).

What makes the stage weird is the army of humanoid shaped cardboard cutouts that are neither  targets nor non-threats. They were supposed to simulate a crowd of bystanders at a rodeo. Thanks to the stage design, however, the smartest way to get a good score was to shoot through these “score-neutral bystanders.”

That’s right. The stage design didn’t just allow you to use the bystanders as an aiming point, it actually encouraged it by presenting a problem most easily solved by ignoring the presence of those cardboard cutouts altogether.

You might ask why the stage didn’t just use a sea of non-threat targets instead. The answer is that IDPA has a rule specifically forbidding such a thing! A particular stage may only have one non-threat target for every three threat targets. So with nine threats in the stage here, you could only have three non-threats… and if you watch the video you can clearly see those three.

In the future, hopefully IDPA will find something better than “innocent bystanders you’re allowed to shoot” for vision barriers at Nationals.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 17 Responses to “No One Is Innocent”

  2. Or, perhaps they’ll admit that a 10,20 or even 30:1 non-threat to threat ratio is more realistic.

    By Joe Allen on Sep 25, 2013

  3. It also encourages both covering a non-shoot, and doing it with a finger on the trigger in violation of the two “golden rules” of firearms safety. This kind of thing is why I stopped seriously shooting competitively twenty years ago and totally threw myself solely into purely pure tactical training.
    Having just shot my first multi gun match in a lot of years and seeing the level of concentration on match mindset, match gun handling and match marksmanship, I really wish they would use some kind of match target that isn’t supposed to represent people.

    By nyeti on Sep 25, 2013

  4. Once again, the ‘is it a game or is it training’ question comes up. The rules bias the decision one way or another; but in the end each person must decide for themselves if they want to try for the most realism (and sacrifice the score, which most won’t) or the best score (at the expense of realism on a regular basis).

    By Redchrome on Sep 25, 2013

  5. Kill zem! Kill zem all!!

    By Joe on Sep 25, 2013

  6. WTF? Rule Fail of exponential proportion.

    By JD on Sep 25, 2013

  7. Um… wow.
    This is supposed to be the “realistic” gun game?

    They should have just called the stage what it really is… “Kill your way out of the Embassy.” And no… that’s not me trying to sound glib.

    I agree, hopefully that stage designer can find a better way to put up a soft cover wall without simulating what it would be like to shoot your way out of a crowd.

    By Ben on Sep 25, 2013

  8. “Having just shot my first multi gun match in a lot of years and seeing the level of concentration on match mindset, match gun handling and match marksmanship, I really wish they would use some kind of match target that isn’t supposed to represent people.”

    This is a great case for the “Stop Sign” IPSC targets…

    By Les on Sep 26, 2013

  9. Ben’s comment at last gives a perspective that makes this fit inside a potential tactical problem scenario. BZ.

    I still think a changed threat to nt ratio rule is needed. But at least there is a way to think about the problem without breaking one’s brain. Now as to sparking a good ethical and moral debate… worth a long conversation after the day over some fine monkish provided beverages.

    For those that have not faced that particular problem, it is worth considering; whether embassy occupation or other serious breakdown in civil order.

    For those that came before, I believe the best one can offer is thanks. And a hearty Argo kitten yourself raised in memorium. Perhaps a revised stage name?

    By abu fitna on Sep 26, 2013

  10. The first thing I thought of was: change the scenario to guys with dirty bombs running through a major city. You might have to throw caution to the wind.

    But is that really a good scenario at a major match that’s being filmed by tons of people and put up on YouTube a few days after the Kenya mall massacre?

    By ToddG on Sep 26, 2013

  11. While it would be difficult to administer in a match, we have always had “shoot-thru” hits penalize the shooter. If the shoot-thru hit is on a “bad guy”, it doesn’t count. If it is on a no-shoot, it counts…for a penalty. This forces the shooter to be aware of the background and to work the angles to make his hits. This within the context of Rick Miller’s Paladin Program.

    As to IDPA’s one no-shoot to three threats rule. It makes one wonder if the guys who thought this up have ever been in a Burger King at lunchtime.

    By Rosco on Sep 27, 2013

  12. I can see this happen. Guy setting up an IED that will kill more than one person you might have to shoot though but that is an extreme case that I do not expect a non LE or non Mil to have to make more than .01% of the time.

    By Scott on Sep 27, 2013

  13. Right. And just because a scenario is a possibility doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for the course of fire at a major match. How about this one:

    “Your father gets drunk and starts beating your mother. The attack becomes so brutal that your only choice is to kill your father or watch your mother get pummeled to death. Shooter ready? Stand by…”

    By ToddG on Sep 27, 2013

  14. The scenario could have been fixed by making the vision barriers square pieces of cardboard and telling the shooter that they simulated empty seats at the rodeo.

    Problem solved.

    By Caleb on Sep 27, 2013

  15. At least he wasn’t penalized for “Failure to Eliminate a Witness”…

    By Phil Wong on Sep 27, 2013

  16. I have always wondered which one of the founders so hated the ‘sea of no shoots’ that were prevalent in uspsa at the time. I’m sure each of the rule quirks can be traced to a founder with an axe to grind.

    By Jon D on Sep 28, 2013

  17. IDPA just proved that there should be no threat to non-threat ratio. The use of non-threats should be unlimited. If they can’t follow their own rules then why have it?

    By Ken Rihanek on Sep 30, 2013

  18. I am literally aghast at this one. It’s bad enough that IDPA doesn’t give a realistic penalty for clipping no-shoots, like say 30 seconds or a minute per hit, and still gives the hit points for the rounds that go through the no shoot, no they have a major match that allows you to spray-and-pray their way through,,, what? Crowds?

    Stupid as hell.

    Caleb’s idea does have merit, learning to shoot bad guys through barriers ain’t a bad thing.

    By Chuck Haggard on Oct 1, 2013

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