When Exactly Should You Use A Shotgun? Check This Gritty 1970s Police Training Video

Humor
The eternal question
YouTube/Jeff Quitney/Pasadena Police Department

Here at Task & Purpose, we're tremendous fans of the retro training video. A technicolor artifact from a simpler time, they're a captivating (and inadvertently hilarious) windows into the U.S. armed forces of yesteryear, from the life of a Vietnam-era Huey door gunner to a Marine Corps Reserve recruiting officer.


But hey, they're also informative! Like this 15-minute 1976 training video on when, exactly, you should keep your sidearm holstered and go fucking buck wild with your trusty pump-action shotgun.

Yes, it's civilian law enforcement, and yes, it's not exactly a love letter to the trusty Mossberg that's the breaching weapon of choice for anyone itching to throw down. But by God, the Pasadena Police Department basically created a short hard-boiled cop film, complete with urban gunfire. I mean, it opens with basically the worst possible way you can use a shotgun:

Joking aside, the video's message doesn't bode well for the shotgun-obsessed: it's more a cautionary tale regarding the awesome and often uncontrollable power of military-grade buckshot.  "A shotgun is a wrong weapon in just about any situation where you can expect innocent people to be nearby," the narrator scowls. "In a busy area like this, there are too many elements you can't control."

So why carry one? Simple: "You can whirl, fire, and blow the guy away."

These training videos are courtesy of the diligent Jeff Quitney. If you need me, I'll be over here drinking bourbon and wondering what the hell I just watched.

Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra

Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.

However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:

Read More

You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.

Read More

A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.

Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.

"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."

Read More

Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.

Read More
Protesters and militia fighters gather to condemn air strikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces), outside the main gate of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019. (Reuters/Thaier al-Sudani)

With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.

"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Read More