In The MagLife Podcast 172, we are speaking with Corinne Mosher. She is a firearms instructor, mom, LE wife, musician, and a highly respected individual in the firearms community.
Tune in as we learn about Corinne, and how she transitioned from violins to firearms and grew into a career as a firearms instructor and competitive shooter. We also discuss the complexities that surround of Use of Force, and the value of well-executed Force on force training for women.
Corinne is one of the top five best shooters I’ve ever seen. ~Daniel Shaw
Just months ago, the community reeled after Corinne’s husband Mike was shot while trying to arrest a hit-and-run suspect. Corinne talks about the many ways that Mike was an example of compassionate service to the community he loved. Be sure to listen all the way through because toward the end of the episode, Corinne details the ways that we can all support and honor Mike’s legacy. whether by how we conduct our personal lives and/or by supporting the charitable events that he loved.
Hosts : Daniel Shaw
Co-Host: Varg Freeborn
Guest: Corinne Mosher
Introduction/Timeline: Stephanie Kimmell
172 — A Spirit of Love with a Capacity for Violence
2:47 Corinne Mosher has been a firearms instructor in Kansas since 2012 and a competitive shooter since 2014, participating in the IDPA, 3-gun, USPCA, tactical games. She is also a classical musician. Raised by Marines and trained by Law Enforcement officers, she has worked under some of the finest firearms instructors in the world. She is the Director of Education at Centerfire Shooting Sports in Olathe, Kansas, heading the women’s program.
5:02 With a background in classical music, how did Corinne get started in the firearms world?
• Corinne describes herself as being a reluctant firearms student before she took her first concealed carry class. Until then, she thought of guns as movie props and things that only cops and bad guys carried. She didn’t see the need for regular citizens to carry guns, and thought that people who did were backward and paranoid.
• Her husband Mike, however, was passionate about making sure she got at least the basics of firearm and self-defense knowledge. He was the one who pushed her into taking that first concealed carry course.
I got the crap scared out of me.
Corinne realized the complexities of every day concealed carry. Even if you do everything right you can still get into legal, moral, and financial trouble with consequences that can last for the rest of your life. Even so, she recognized the need to weigh those risks against the risk of choosing not to carry a gun. She asks, what are you willing to risk? What are you willing to compromise?
7:46 After making the decision to learn, what was Corinne’s primary focus?
• She knew she wanted to learn how to use the firearm and how to shoot, but she wanted to ensure that she learned how to do it correctly. She didn’t want to just figure it out on her own, and she didn’t want to have just anyone take her to the range. She took as many training courses as she could, and eventually she and her husband Mike were teaching firearms courses together for their company Tactical Simulation Solutions.
8:35 When did her career really take off?
• Straight out of an NRA Instructor Certification course, she was hired by range owners in Olathe, Ks. Once she came into that role she jumped into the shadow of the primary instructor, Rick Staples. She took every course he taught and says she became the range rat, absorbing the knowledge and skills like a sponge.
I became addicted to learning guncraft.
She built confidence in how to use the gun, how to carry it, and how not to use the gun if it wasn’t appropriate. On the tactical side, she eventually took over the Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun classes. And then the competitions took off.
9:50 What are the complications surrounding Use of Force?
• Shooting is the easy part. The complex part is everything surrounding it. That’s why it’s important to practice physical manipulation and marksmanship skills so that we don’t have to focus our attention on that — it’s going to be an automatic response.
There’s no such thing as a template for a Use of Force Scenario.
• As for the complications, well….its complex. We need to believe that we can be in a situation that, in a sense, we’re not prepared for because we’ve never been in that situation before. We have to learn and prepare for what could happen based on what has happened in the past, knowing that what might happen to you will be different.
You have to take personal responsibility for your education; for developing your mindset to be prepared for any scenario based on what has happened in the past. That’s why every time there’s a Use of Force situation, you need to pick up on the learning points from it, otherwise, you’re being irresponsible. Most learning doesn’t happen on the range at camp — that’s just perfecting your automated response.
True education needs to come from reading books and from watching surveillance videos and police videos. Corinne recommends Varg’s book Violence of Mind.
• Again there’s no template for Use of Force situations. You can’t know what your real-life situation will look like, so learn to prepare for the unknowns accordingly.
13:28 What about Force on Force training?
Force on force training is extremely valuable in the right amounts, done the right way. You can overdo it. You can undergo it.
• Both as a student and as an adjunct instructor, Corinne describes Force on Force training with airsoft guns, shock knives, and hand-to-hand fighting. She cautions students to participate appropriately, so they don’t inadvertently de-train themselves. This kind of training can put a shock to your system, changing you completely and sometimes it scares people.
It forces you to be there physically, verbally, emotionally, with tools that you figure out exactly what your skill level is under stress. It is artificial stress, but just like competition is artificial stress, it is still a degree of stress because there’s performance anxiety, sometimes there’s environmental factors. I think everybody on earth, especially concealed carry people, should go to some kind of force on force training.
• Sometimes people overdo it, constantly running the same scenario over and over again. Corinne says that the same scenario shouldn’t be run more than once because at that point it becomes a video game or laser tag, and it’s no longer taken seriously.
• The classes should be run with clear learning objectives, with enough variables to ensure a unique experience with each scenario. If there aren’t enough real, applicable fighting experiences behind the classes, that’s where you’ll run into trouble.
17:50 How valuable are Force on Force training classes for women?
• Generally speaking, for women you have to break an emotional barrier in order for her to get ‘cat crazy’. In training, this is difficult because the trainer is not going to actually break or harm the student. But in a real-world situation, the bad guy is trying to hurt the victim. It’s the trainer’s job to make it as realistic as possible, in order to actually teach something to the student.
• It’s important to teach women the “I will win. I will fight. I will be covered in his blood.” mindset. Force on Force training teaches them exactly what disparity of force means. In practical ways, the female student gains understanding about how the differences between male and female strength and structure affect the fight. Sparring with a man teaches her that she doesn’t want to get touched in a fight because her chances of overpowering or winning the fight aren’t that good based on weight and strength alone (even if he is unskilled). Instead, she learns to do everything in her power to prevent the male aggressor from getting too close to her
• Mosher says that after she gained an understanding of what her limitations are, she became passionate about honing her technique and skill. Competitions taught her that she can be on the same playing field as men with technique. “I am more technically perfect. I can run my gun and I can keep it running. I can use my finesse and I can cut time and I’m not losing time in areas where they are. And that’s why I can win, and you can apply that same thing to fighting.”
• Disparity of Force should actually be the first thing taught, and women should learn, “Don’t hit. Break!”
• Some women’s self-defense classes teach pre-planned moves and pre-planned counterattacks. You know the type, with lots of giggling, and it’s ‘fun.’ In all seriousness, your body doesn’t even have the conditioning and strength to perform effective fighting moves. On top of that, you have to break that emotional barrier to get into that primal female violence. Once that happens, you realize that the fight isn’t a type of chess match. You’re trying to get away to a safer place, and you have to fight to get yourself there.
24:20 Training mindset.
She’s well-rounded and has some natural ability, but when she attends a class she comes with a mindset to work and to learn. ~ Shaw
•Be respectful of the other students and the instructor. Be respectful of their time. The instructor has knowledge to share that can save your life.
•Come to training to stock up on skills, to test what you think you know, to learn what’s better. You don’t know how long you’re going to have to carry these skill sets before you get a refresher.
•Take it seriously. It can be enjoyable, but you’re there to do work for yourself and your family.
•Tune yourself in for the training because you’re probably going to learn something that wasn’t even said. As you attempt to do something, you’ll discover a complication and you’ll have to figure it out yourself. You never would have learned that with the regular routine of going to the range. To gain firearm skills to fight for your life, you need to attend in-depth, complicated, difficult, and physically challenging training classes, because if it’s a real fight, you won’t be able to quit when you’re tired.
Be tired, don’t look tired. Be cold, don’t look cold. Be hungry, don’t look hungry.
• When you’re uncomfortable, keep going. That’s when you’re going to grow, gain skills, and grow your mindset and warrior spirit.
34:06 Savage ferocity, where (or how) do you get it?
• Corinne says she got her savage from being angry at things that should never have happened. For her, it was the murder of an 18-year-old high school student in her area. She saw the surveillance videos of the young lady being stalked out of the Target and pushed into the car, and she realized that there is real evil in the world.
“I had this rage. I wanted to kill him.”
—That’s the emotional barrier that has to be developed and trained to the point that it can be turned on and off.
37:19 The violent gentleman concept.
• The actions of a violent gentleman are done out of love and a desire to protect people. We don’t train to hurt and kill people. We train out of love, to protect and provide. That’s the mission.
• The mindset needs to be cultivated. Compassion and caring drive the ability to come back from the savage to being a good person who wants people to live better, safer, stronger lives.
• Coming back from the savage can be very difficult for some people if they’ve been pushed over the emotional barrier. A bad experience, legal consequences, loss of mobility, or significant change in physical function after the fight — all of these can affect people.
Even if you’ve never experienced it personally, but you’ve seen it by proxy, coming back and balancing it out going forward is probably the most important part of the violent gentleman concept. The ability to do this requires it’s own kind of work.
• How do we deal with the cognitive dissonance of associating violence with criminals, yet being capable of violence? How can we still go home and read bedtime stories to the kids? These issues are not mutually exclusive. It’s necessary to protect what you love in the way that you are able to do it. Recognize that the savage side is part of the fullness of life, and you need to be capable of that violence while cultivating a generous spirit.
43:15 Be Like Mike.
• As just discussed above, coming back from the savage side and cultivating the part of you that is loving, generous, fun, and caring — that’s what it is to Be Like Mike.
•Mike had been giving back to the community in ways that nobody knew until after his passing.
• He was one of the highest trained people in his department, always going to the range and taking classes. He was the exception, considering that it’s difficult to get cops to get extra training. He took it seriously.
• Mike was a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), a sharpshooter. After all that training, what did it get him in the end? He was able to kill his murderer. Sometimes that’s what you get.
• Mike Mosher lived the warrior gentleman balance. He had a side to him that was the ultimate warrior, doing what he needed to do to come home. Then, there was Mike, the community cop, the guy that went to the Children’s Mercy hospital every month to read to the kids. He was a school resource officer, president of the Fraternal Order of Police and while he was doing that he was the president of the Police Officer’s Foundation, the charitable arm of the organization — because he wanted to help their officers and he loved the charities and events they hosted. He was the cop that would stop and dance with the kids and be silly and nurture community relationships.
• Be Like Mike is being selfless, looking around to see what you can do for other people, He was the kind of person who would help you and never let anybody know. You could trust him. He was a real friend. In the police officer role, he showed the community what that uniform can do. He had a warrior mindset and a character that earned the love of his community.
• When Mike was killed, the community came together. Only weeks later, the attacks on law enforcement began. During that time, the community was mourning Mike’s death, which may have insulated the community from the ‘bad cop, bad cop’ mindset, because that’s not who Mike was, and Mike was what the community understood cops to be.
49:50 How can people support and honor Mike’s legacy?
• Mike and Corinne’s daughter Tyler is helping promote the Courageous Crew line of first responder dolls (or Buddies) with the Shadow Buddies Foundation. These dolls are used to help first responders connect with kids in the community.
• To support and continue what Mike was doing: stop looking in. Look out and around you and find somebody who needs help. You can do something for somebody today, even if it’s a phone call.
• Support the Special Olympics because Mike loved the Special Olympics. He single-handedly created the Shoot for the Gold competition, raising tens of thousands of dollars for Special Olympics, Kansas.
•Mike loved the back to school “Shop with a Cop” and “Operation Rudolph” initiatives. You can support them through the Greater Kansas City Community Fund. Mike has his own page on the website with a bio description and the Mike Mosher Memorial Foundation. All donations here go directly towards the effort of continuing his work.