Today marks the 36th anniversary of the terrible 1986 gunfight between members of the FBI’s Miami C-1 Bank Robbery Squad, and a pair of violent bank and armored car robbers who were willing to fight to the death, rather than surrender.
For those unfamiliar with this gunfight, please see last year’s post, here.
There have been many words written about the Miami gunfight in the gun press, most of which have focused on issues of equipment, and particularly ammunition.
While there were certainly important lessons to be learned from the Miami experience about equipment, and the gunfight had an extraordinary impact on ballistic research and development, we at RevolverGuy think there has been too much emphasis on this aspect of the fight.
Instead, we think the more important lessons from the fight relate to training, tactics and mindset, which haven’t received the attention they are due.
Edmundo Mireles did all of us a tremendous favor with the publication of his book FBI Miami Firefight several years ago, and addressed some of these issues, as only he could. As the man who fired the final shots that stopped the killers from escaping, his personal testimony about the fight is irreplaceable, and the book is a must-read for those who want to learn more about it.
As many parts of the greater gun and law enforcement communities reflect on “Miami” today, the conversation will undoubtedly turn to equipment in many corners, but we’d encourage RevolverGuy readers to focus on the human aspects, instead.
In the end, it was the courage, commitment, and mental toughness of the involved agents which won the day, more so than the hardware. Ed Mireles’ revolver and ammunition were rather unremarkable, as were the guns and ammo of all the agents embattled that day.
The truly remarkable components of that fight were the men, themselves; The men who risked their lives for each other, who plunged into danger, knowing they faced certain injury or death, because they had to stop the evil pair of criminals from hurting more innocents. The men like Mireles, who, on the very brink of death himself, somehow found the strength to get up and finish the fight.
The gun is an important tool, but it’s useless without the trained and committed man who wields it. As Napoleon Bonaparte once observed, “There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the mind.”
So, today, as we remember and honor the men of the C-1 Squad who fought and died that day, let us commit to sharpening our minds, as readily as we sharpen our swords.
God bless you all and be safe out there.