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Range Training - Outdoor Range Work
So last week I talked about my indoor range work.
Two of our clients had been in and were asking about specific live fire training protocols.
Rather than just blasting away at a paper or steel target they wanted to know if I had a specific methodology to my live fire work.
Last week I wrote about indoor range practice. To summarize, the indoor range is an opportunity to check the functionality of my firearm and make sure that my shooting fundamentals are in place.
I do not consider indoor range work to be an opportunity for tactical training.
Outdoor range work is different.
When I arrive at an outdoor range and I begin to set up my targets I am doing so with the intention of recreating a hostile environment.
To begin with I am going to start shooting cold.
(If you arrived here from our email, continue reading here:)
I am not going to have the luxury of shooting a few rounds off to “warm up” if someone decides to attack me... It makes sense that practice my ability to quickly come out of the holster and engage multiple targets “cold”.
I will also make sure that every time I draw I am moving....somehow.
Typically I will take a lateral step off the line before drawing my firearm and engaging the target.
There are times when this is not practical, and for those drills I have other movement elements to the training.
As a general rule though I want to constantly be moving while shooting. I also want to practice shooting fast.
Col. Jeff Cooper stated that statistically it will take a minimum of two rounds to stop a threat. It only makes sense to practice consistently placing two rounds into a target. I will do this using both “controlled pairs” as well as “hammer drills”
(A controlled pair are two shots fired using three sight pictures, a hammer is two shots fired with two sight pictures.... that may sound confusing... basically it means that I’m usually using a hammer when up close, and a controlled pair when there is distance.)
I also want to practice shooting from cover and concealment.
This only makes sense.
My first order of business in a use of force situation is to get the hell out and call for back up.
If that is not applicable or advisable I want to move to cover as quickly as possible.
Standing in a static box and throwing rounds into a static target might make for pretty targets, but it does not ensure survivability.
Actually, it can be counter-productive.
The more I perform and action, the greater the likelihood that action will become ingrained into muscle memory.
I live in 2014.... not 1793.
While duels are elegant, and in many respects more honorable then todays methods of dispute resolution... they are not tactically sound.
More to the point I’m not interested in fighting a fair fight.
There are no rules to this game, only aggression and a determination to prevail.
To enhance the chances of survival I want to make it as difficult as possible for bad guy to put lead into me.
There are only two ways that I know of that can make this happen: Shooting from cover quickly with good hits to stop the threat before he knows my position, and shooting while moving, making it difficult for bad guy to get lead onto me, while at the same time placing stopping shots into his fixed position.
Both of these require practice, and that is what this outdoor range was designed for.
I’m also dropping magazines, crawling, rolling, crying and bleeding... (well...maybe not bleeding)... basically everything that might manifest in a gunfight I want to do my best to rehearse as accurately as possible.
Go to outdoor ranges... practice, practice and practice again.
These shooting bays are proving grounds for you.
Push yourself to your failure point and learn exactly where and when this point manifests.
I really am not all that interested in “how well” I perform under pressure.... I want to know exactly where I "fall apart" under pressure.
This knowledge will help to keep me alive.
Range practice. (Indoor)
Imagine a formula one racer.
To make sure that she is in top form she not only needs to make sure her car is in top racing order she needs to practice her racing skills constantly.
She also needs to practice eye hand coordination skills that may not at first blush look like they relate at all to racing.Still... to make sure that she has a winning edge she develops a training regime.
You happen to see her in her garage where her race car sits idling on a diagnostic tester. Every couple of seconds she revs the engine and checks the dials. You ask her what she is doing. She replies that she is training.
Interested you ask what other type of training she does.
She looks at you confused...
“This is pretty much it.”
Chances are she has yet to win a race.
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This seems to be the same type of training most of us do when we hit the live fire range. This is especially true if we go to a public indoor range.
When I go to our local indoor range I usually see people in the bays shooting at silhouette targets, standing in some form of a Modern Isosceles or Weaver Stance blasting away one round per second (in compliance with standard indoor range rules).
When they are done they take out their magazine and place it on the shelf in front of them and then bring forward their target and beam at their magnificent marksmanship skills.
The other day two of our clients Dan and Pat were in ADI working on moving drills and Dan asked me if I had a specific training regimen when I go to a live fire range.
He said that he has always wondered about this since usually when he goes to a range he just burns through a box or two of ammo.
Pat was curious also, since he rarely goes to an indoor range and instead opts for the outdoor range where he can move, shoot quickly without limitations, shoot from a holster and drop magazines.
The fact that Dan asked me this.... and Dan is a very very experienced shooter.... made me realize that most people don’t have a specific regime when it comes to practice. Hence the impetus for this article.
Indoor Range:There is a difference between indoor and outdoor shooting.
I use indoor ranges as a proving ground for my weapons system... outdoor ranges are a proving ground for me.
I have a specific course of fire when I go to an indoor range:
First I start off with a circular bullseye target... ideally one with minute of angle squares. I’m going to be limited to one shot per second so I am not even going to pretend that I am “training” here.
I want to make sure that my firearm is 100% functional and that my basic fundamentals are in tact.
I will fill four magazines with rounds... and buried somewhere in each one lies an inert snap cap.
Then I will mix up the magazines and lay them on the bench in front of me...all to the left with my gun in the center action open.
I will then insert the first magazine and slowly shoot into the center of the bullseye with the target set a minimum of 12 feet out.
Very slow, deliberate shooting using trigger resets.
When I reach the snap cap I want to see if I muzzle down during the trigger press.
If I am then this is the entire type of shooting I will be doing today.
If not... then I will finish off the magazine and move onto the next.
If I get a failure to feed or any other malfunction I will take that magazine and put it off to the far right. When I am done with all of my magazines I will reload it and try to determine if I have a reoccurring problem with that magazine.
Assuming no problems with the mags and no muzzling down on my shots I will then take a silhouette target and send it out to at least 25 feet.
From this distance I will do a series of failure drills hitting the target with controlled pairs.
Once I’ve worked through all four magazines (usually with two targets - magazines 1 and 2 on target 1 and magazines 3 and 4 on target 2) I pack up and go home.
I am now 100% convinced that my weapon is functional and my fundamentals are in play.
Did I train? Perhaps to an extent...
like the formula one racer at the beginning everything is "training".
However the only thing I know for certain is that my weapon works.
I still need to visit an outdoor range to really “train”.
Next week we will discuss my training regime when outdoors.
You have chosen to attempt to victimize me.
You have made a calculated decision that you will use violence, or the threat of violence to coerce, intimidate or neutralize me so that you can receive some gratification that you could not achieve through civilized persuasion.
The fact that you have sized me up and created a calculus that ends with you prevailing is disturbing.
Either I have radiated a signal that I am capable of being victimized, or you are an incredibly incompetent decision maker.
Either way, here we are... When this is over and I have survived, I will need to take a hard look at my actions and bearing that led you to believe that I was victim material.
But that will have to wait.
Right now I have to deal with you.
(If you have arrived here from our email continue reading here:)
The fact that you feel that your life has more relevancy, more justification, more entitlement than mine is annoying... wrong... but just annoying.
I really couldn’t care less about how you arrived at your world view at this point.
What really pisses me off is that you have attempted to assert dominance over me.
Your actions have deeply offended me. Not the type of offense the professional victims cry out when the slightest criticism, or inelegant phrase demeans a group.
No... this is red hot, personal, pissed off, “who the hell do you think you are?” righteous indignation.
And now you and I are about to go to war.
Col. Jeffery Cooper outlined 7 fundamentals of personnel defense. They are:
We have arrived at “Aggressiveness”.
When you decided that I would be your victim you probably assumed that I would either freeze, or try to negotiate, and ultimately to submit to your wants. (Or I would be incapacitated by your attack and unable to act.)
I will instead choose another option:
I am going to destroy you.
The rage that I now have for you is barely containable. You dare rob me of my life? Rob my family of my presence? Effect my psychological well being, or the psychological well being of my family?
Screw you pall. I’m sending you to Hell.
I will respond to your act of aggression with a counter attack that is so aggressive, so relentless, and so total your ancestors will feel the pain from the great beyond and will look down on you with total disgust that their DNA has been degraded to such an extent that you hold the banner of their clan.
If you survive this experience.... and quite frankly it is totally irrelevant to me at this point if you do... you will carry the physical and psychological scars of this encounter for the rest of your life.
You grabbed a tiger by its tail compadre.... and now you must deal with the teeth and claws.
When... if... you even realize that you are under a serious threat to your continued existence you will have one of five possible responses to the destruction that rains down upon you.
You will attempt to fight. (Good luck with that).
You may flee. (This is probably going to be your response since you are a coward at heart... but this will save you. For once you cease to be a threat to me, I will instantly cease to be a threat to you. I use force to stop a threat. If you flee from my presence you have by definition stopped being a threat).
You may possibly freeze. (Works for me... thanks for standing still and making this easier).
You may try to posture. (This is cute. You’ve pissed me off so much do you really think that you puffing out your chest is going to make any difference to me at all?).
Or you may submit. (This might work... but you will have to be convincing beyond all doubt... and frankly I’m so angry right now I might be having a difficult time containing myself.)
In any event, most of the outcomes above end with me calling 911 and having your broken body taken away by emergency services.
I will be victorious. I will embrace my righteous indignation and use the fierce energy it yields to devastate you. Then when it is over I will embrace my family and thank the heavens and providence that I am with them for another day.
Training for a higher purpose.
If you are reading this you probably have some degree of an established warrior ethos.
You listen to tales of heroism, and swell with pride and admiration that a member of our species is capable of acts to bravery and self sacrifice in the face of danger.
When the hero manifests from the ranks of the unlikely there is a greater degree of surprise, admiration, and humility.
“If someone like him could summon the strength and courage to perform such bravery perhaps there is hope for someone like me.”
Call it the antithesis of confidence... yet it still motivates us.
Would Audie Murphy have achieved such monolithic status among the Magnificent Warriors if he had stood 6’2” and weighed in at 250lbs?
But his tiny stature and his acts of bravery and ruthlessness in WWII make him even more mythical.
It also reminds us that the warrior ethos is an internal phenomenon.
What is interesting is that the adoption of that warrior ethos can and will effect our outward appearance.
Today at the gym I ran into a good friend of mine.
He was, in a past life, a professional football player. He is now a high level executive with a major aeronautics company. While he still looks unbelievably intimidating for a man pushing 50 he may not have the exact same physique he had while an offensive guard for the 49ers.
Still he works out regularly.
He asked me if my dedication to the gym comes from an effort to control my type 1 diabetes.
The control I get over my blood sugar from working out is at best a side benefit.
My 30 inch waist is also an unintended, albeit fortunate consequence.
I don’t work out to achieve a good looking physique.
I have a good looking physique because I work out.
The guys at 5.11 Tactical have a phrase.... “Training for a higher purpose”
I like that.
It sums up what I do.
I am a weapons trainer. My job is to provide people a forum and lab to develop the skills necessary to save their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
While we may spend time with the mechanical tools of a handgun, a taser, or oc spray, the first, singular and prime weapon that each of our clients possess is their body/mind warrior ethos.
We need to keep that weapon... as well as all of our weapons in the best condition possible.
I train in the gym not to loose, (or in my case gain) weight.
I train because someday I may need to carry a stranger out of a burning building.
I train for a higher purpose.
My weight, the fit of my clothes, the control I get over my blood sugar... Those are blessed unintended consequences... nothing more.
Live your life with the understanding that you are a sheepdog... a protector... a guardian and embrace that responsibility.
Know your weapons and keep them in the best condition possible.
By design of our society you never know when you will be called upon to stand up against the wolves that threaten the sheep.
If you are the best marksman around, but can’t carry a wounded brother or sister to safety you’ve lost sight of the larger picture.
Train train train... for a higher purpose.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Great advise...but only if you know who your enemies are.
We take special care to protect ourselves from the obvious. Sometimes we protect ourselves against threats that are not really there in the first place, allowing our own prejudices and stereotypes to dictate our behavior. We all do this to some degree or another.
“I would not go to that part of town after dark”.
“I would never drive over there alone.”
“I live in a gate guarded community.... you know.... to keep my family safe from those people.”
“I would never go to my car in a parking garage late at night. You never know who may be waiting for you.”
Ok. Great. You’ve taken some concrete steps to keep you safe.
Except: You never know when an accident or freeway closure forces you to “that part of town”.
You may or may not be alone at the time... and frankly your safety might be a heck of a lot improved if you are alone and not worrying about the safety of your passenger.
That gate guarded community only keeps two groups of people from accessing your home quickly... Cops and Firemen. Crooks have no problem getting past the rolling gate.
(If you are coming here from our email continue reading here)
Finally while you may have planned on going back to your car during the day, sometimes life gets in the way... if you want to go home in your car you're going to have to walk through a parking structure at night sometimes.
This last one came into play the other night at Artemis.
A rather young and very pretty trainee was going through a scenario that put her up against armed assailants in a parking structure. After the debrief she said that she would never put herself in this position.
I asked her if she knew all of the people in her life that hated her. You know... her “enemies”.
She thought about it. “Yeah... I guess I do. But none of them are psychotic or sociopathic... They may hate me but they would never do anything that would cause physical harm.
”Hmmm..I asked her if she had a lot of attention in school from boys that hit on her.
She rolled her eyes. “Yeah.... I get that a lot”.
“Do you think any of them might be violent”
“No... well... I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, but no I don’t think so.”
“What about the guys that like you but you are totally unaware of them?”
“What about the guy that has been pining away for you for years, but you’ve never even noticed him. The guy that is totally quiet, but has developed a fetish for knowing everything about you. You know.... the weird guy.”
“Ughh! I don’t even want to think about that!”
“But you take precautions to minimize the impact of known threats like empty parking garages... what about the unknown threats like the hypothetical guy I just mentioned.”
This is a legitimate issue that often gets glossed over when we do individual threat assessments. We naturally look for the known threats... or rather potential threats that fit our general assumptions.
While we may live in a pleasant, well manicured community do we know the potential psychosis that might manifest within a couple of homes of our neighborhood?
We might know our neighbors... but do we know exactly what makes our neighbors “Crazy Uncle Charlie” crazy?
And are we aware of when he comes to visit?
We may know all of our daughters boyfriends... but do we know all of the guys that would like to be our daughters boyfriend... they just haven’t worked up the courage to communicate with her yet?
Being situationally aware is a multi level analysis and it is on going. Relying on our prejudices to build a template is, believe it or not, a rational starting off point.
I’m not going to criticize anyone for taking steps to keep themselves safe. That someone might be offended at their actions is completely irrelevant to me.
But these measures are simply starting off points. We must put in the requisite time to keep ourselves up to speed on all potential threats. We spend hours investigating the potential liabilities associated with a financial investment and are constantly looking for an “angle”.
Why don’t we do the same with our own safety and the safety of our family.
Egalitarianism on display.
The second amendment is a tool that recognized a fundamental right of each individual to resist tyranny.
Tyranny is not only the hand of a nefarious government intruding on individual liberty.... tyranny can take the form of a mugger, an abusive spouse, or a sexual predator.
A gun is a tool that allows a citizen to resist tyranny.
Does it potentially make the tyrant more powerful as well?
Does that make the relevancy of the firearm moot for the protection of life and the resistance to tyranny?
Don’t be ridiculous... of course not.
But only certain types of people buy guns right?
Less educated, politically conservative, religious zealots right?
This last weekend Sandy and I worked our first ever Artemis Defense Institute booth at the Crossroads of the West Gun Show.
What a couple of days that was!
Immediately after the show opened hundreds of people flooded the hall, most searching for quick cheap deals on ammo and many glancing towards our booth and trying to figure out who the hell we were.
Then everything stopped.
Over the loudspeaker there was a call to pause and say the Pledge of Allegiance. During the pledge I furtively glanced around at all of the people who had arrived there early.
Anti-gun folks like to propagate a specific narrative about gun owners. To diminish our relevancy the first thing they need to do is cast us as a homogeneous group. This usually tends to be based on race.
Gun owners are white people.
Throw in a little abject racism, a smattering of anti-semitism, sophistry secured to the ball and chain of conspiracy theories.... and for good measure make sure that they are not educated and we got our selves the stereotypical gun owner right?
Not even close.
The group that I saw was first and foremost large. I mean really large, and from what I was told kinda on the small side for a typical gun show. It was also diverse. While there were definitely more men in attendance women made up a good chunk of the attendees.
There racial make up was pretty broad too: African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians and a few that quite frankly I had a difficult time pinning down.
I’m not sure how relevant the sexual orientation of the people there was,... but for those of you that are keeping score of our big "political tent", I can tell you I saw two gentleman wearing Pink Pistols Gay Shooting Organization shirts.... from this I can only make assumptions.
The point is that our visceral aversion to tyranny is not dictated by race, gender or national origin.
Nor is it a mandate of wealth.
There were quite a few people that came to our booth who clearly had established wealth.
(Or are deeply in debt).
There were others that were not ashamed to admit that they were on fixed budgets and were exited to hear that they could participate in our training programs for a fee that would not require a second mortgage.
These two groups intermingled, talked and exchanged advise on guns and training without hesitation or restraint. While they might live in different worlds economically they were bound together with a common cause.... the active resistance against tyranny.
While money might buy you better guns, it will not dictate your place among free men and women.
Ours is an egalitarian society indeed. (And from what we saw from the people that came to our booth a pretty friendly society as well!)
Sending live rounds down range.
I just got back from a morning of live fire shooting with my family.
The summer holds a special benefit for us when it comes to familial scheduling. With our youngest daughter off from school... and our occasional day off from Artemis being set for Mondays, we can go to our local outdoor range and not worry about the crowds or long wait times.
Chaney (The daughter) and I have Elk tags in Colorado so it is incumbent on both of us to do a little rifle work between now and the October hunt. We decided that today would be a perfect day to go to Raahagues... zero our rifles, and what the hell since Sandy would be joining us too.... bring our pistols and do a little live fire work.
(If you are arriving here from our email continue reading here)
The zeroing went relatively fast, and with the addition of Kavon our armorer to our little group we headed over to the pistol range.
Kavon was shooting his little baby Glock.... Chaney had her Sig 239, Sandy her Springfield EMP and I was shooting the Mighty Kimber Desert Warrior 1911.
We just don’t get to shoot that often. Sure... we send thousands of virtual rounds down range every week... but to actually get out and go shooting...Well... That is a luxury that just does not happen very frequently.
Our performance? OUTSTANDING!
We drill all the time on tac loads, movements and proper presentation techniques. All of us were consistent with our quick target acquisition and our weapons manipulation. Before we moved over to the pistol range the range master set up two bowling pins at 110 yards and Kavon and I... just for kicks... decided to try to hit them with his baby Glock.
He fired a dozen or so rounds and came incredibly close, (not bad for a .40 cal round sent down range at that distance.) I took the gun from him and nailed the pin on my second shot. My little gallery cheered at my magnificence... but Kavon analyzed the situation correctly: dumb luck. This was proven by the twenty or so misses that followed on the remaining bowling pin.
The point of this little missive: Shooting does not have to be a solitary exercise.
Sure... I love shooting alone. (Especially when I’m doing rifle work). Shooting with a group... especially your family changes the dynamics and makes the whole process a hell of a lot more fulfilling.
My wife and I were able to share the pride we have in our daughter, and she in turn was able to bask in the glow of admiration she received from her parents.
In short... we had fun.
Isn’t hat the point?
A team becomes a team because of the confidence that builds among the individual members, as well as the group as a whole. The shared experiences act as a binding agent that unites the desperate parts into a single cohesive unit. A family is no different.
We shared an experience today, one that Chaney seemed to feel the need to incessantly verbalize the entire ride back home.
This is the way it should be.
The Ultimate Warrior...
The other day I had the pleasure of listening to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman give a lecture to a bunch of cops and business people in Orange County.
He said something that really resonated with me and I would like to share it with you.
There is no such thing as the “ultimate warrior”.
This might sound like a defeatist statement when it comes to our personal path towards what we call “unconscious competency”. (More about this in a bit).
It is not.... it is a realistic appraisal and a motivational tool at the same time.
There is no “ultimate warrior”. The magnificent warriors of the Comanche, The Mongols, the Samurai, the Spartans... they all strove toward this goal... but in the end the goal is elusive.
As it should be.
(If you arrived here from the email continue reading here)
The “Ultimate Warrior” is the far end of a scale. The willfully defenseless babe is at the opposite end. We each fall somewhere along this continuum. Our place along this scale is not a piece of property that once secured stays with you forever. This scale is fluid, and while you might have achieved a higher point than another in one context, you might fall far lower in another.
I have a fairly decent amount of training when it comes to survival in an aquatic environment. I have expanded that training to allow me to survive and hopefully thrive in a subtropical climate. I am completely ignorant of how to adapt and survive in an Arctic climate.
My scale differs for each specific situation.
Very few of us enter the world of weapons training as complete novices. Somewhere along the way someone took us to a shooting range sometime. We have also been exposed to literally millions of images of graphic violence courtesy of Hollywood, as we inched towards adulthood.
As such we have a pre-existing belief in our ability to survive violence. We are “Unconsciously Incompetent”. We think we are much better than we really are. After some training we are exposed to our own inadequacies. Those that are willing to acknowledge it become “Consciously Incompetent”. We know we don’t know what we thought we knew.
After training begins to set in we become “Consciously Competent”. Given a specific set of circumstances we can elegantly perform a pre-scripted series of maneuvers that may allow us to survive. This of course pre-supposes that we are confronted with that specific set of circumstances.
Lastly,... with time... we become “Unconsciously Competent”.
We don’t think about our tactics... we don’t “think” about are maneuvers... they happen with effortless precision because we have willed them into our being.
Is this the manifestation of the “Ultimate Warrior”.
Even the most inept young little league player may if the stars are aligned, hit the ball in just the right manner to achieve a home run.
Does this mean that he is destined for pro-baseball?
If he practices and practices and dedicates himself to the proposition that he may earn his talent and some day be good enough for the pros, can he achieve that dream?
Is it possible for us to become an “Ultimate Warrior”?
I honestly don’t know... Frankly maybe it is beside the point. Maybe the journey towards that goal is more important than any ultimate achievement.
“There is a certain amount of excitement knowing that someone.... or a group of “someones”... people you will likely never meet.... possessed with far lesser knowledge of of a subject than you, decide what is best for you and demand through force, that you accept their benevolence.” - Anonymous
I heard this quote in college and I tucked it away for future use. Well.... the future is upon us!
I want you to imagine that you are a chef. (Perhaps you are a chef... or merely interested in cooking as a hobby... both are ok.)
You are on a trip to Arizona and to pass some time you wander into a high end cooking store at the local high end strip mall. There you see a beautiful damascus carving knife. It is not cheap, but you are instantly drawn to it. The sales person lets you handle it and you decide you need this knife!
(Sure... you’ve got one at home in the kitchen drawer that is similar... but it is not this beauty!)
Well.... you’re heading back by plane tomorrow and you are only taking carry on luggage, so buying the knife now is not going to work. No worries... this is a chain store, and there is a sister store just a few blocks from your house. You’ll get one just as soon as you get home.
Back home you walk into the cooking store and are shocked to find out that that knife is not available in California!
You are told that that knife is not on the approved roster of “Safe Knives” for sale in California. You see... a manufacturer must submit the knife to the Dept. of Justice. They must determine that the knife is not going to cut you or someone else unintentionally, and there must be approved features embedded in the knife. For a manufacturer to submit the knife to the Dept. of Justice they have to pay a pretty penny.
What is worse.... The Justice Dept. has just announced that all new knives on the roster must have imbedded serration micro-marking technology. (So if someone gets cut they can trace the knife back to the owner). The problem is no reliable Micro-marking technology exists.... so knife manufacturers have simply said screw it.... we won’t sell our knives in California.
This is our gun roster. While a citizen can purchase a specific handgun in Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon... that same handgun... not on the roster in California is deemed by California authorities as “Unsafe”.
(I’m sure the store owners and purchasers in the bordering states are quivering at the possibility that the products they own or sell are “unsafe” by California standards.)
Sunday I went to Bass Pro for a lecture. I got there a little early and looked at the gun counter. The last time I visited there were literally hundreds of different varieties available for purchase.
Not that these guns will be around that long.
By 2015 all of the guns that are currently on the roster will have to be re-tested... and guess what... They will all fail.
One of the requirements... That they all be fitted with micro-stamping technology is not reliable, nor commercially feasible at this point.
Of interesting note... there is an exemption to being forced to buy a handgun on the roster... if you have a badge... meaning you’re in law enforcement... you are authorized to purchase and carry.... wait for it... an “UNSAFE GUN”!
This might create an interesting litigation point.
Here is the bigger problem for our law enforcement brothers and sisters...
Gun companies love to give big contracts to agencies. Not because they make a whole lot of money on the individual guns... they don’t. Because they are huge marketing opportunities.
See.. when “Metro-police” announce a contract with Evil Gun Manufacturer there are a whole bunch of civilians that decide they want to buy that same gun from Evil Gun Manufacturer. These civilians are more than willing to pay full retail... and that full retail price and the sales driven by those civilians, more than make up for the money lost with the actual contract.
If Average Joe can’t buy the gun that “Metro-police” carry, why in the world would Evil Gun Manufacturer bother with the contract in the first place?
Or... if they do... the price of the contract will go up dramatically.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, as well as Cal-Guns both have law suits challenging the Constitutional validity of the roster. In the end they will probably win... but in the mean time we wait... wait, wait, and wait... while our betters up in Sacramento smile knowing they know what is best for us.
“I’m not going to shoot”.
“Ok...you are under no obligation to shoot”
“I don’t even want to touch the gun...do I need to have one to go through the scenario?”
“Um, no...you don’t...but you will be at a serious disadvantage should you need one.”
“Thats ok...I don’t believe people other than the police should have guns in the first place...I’m only here because of this corporate event. I have no choice...if it were up to me we would have donated this money to an anti-gun group.”
“Ok...you are absolutely entitled to your opinion. If you don’t feel comfortable participating I’m sure your co-workers will understand.”
“Nope...they won’t. I’ll do it..but I’m not taking that thing in there with me.”
(If you have arrived here from our email continue reading here!)
This dialogue took place a few months ago during one of our corporate training events. This young woman was clearly not thrilled about being at Artemis. She had established very specific viewpoints about firearms and the right of the public to own and use them. I did not feel it was appropriate to debate her in front of her co-workers...so I let our simulators do the work for me.
She was insistent on not taking a firearm into the simulator with her. So I put her on a scenario where an assailant confronts a woman with a kitchen knife. Without a firearm available to protect that woman she had no choice but to stand by and watch her be murdered by her attacker.
“But...but that is not right!” She stammered after the scenario concluded.
“What do you mean?”
“Well...why did he stab her? He didn’t need to!”
“Maybe he stabbed her because he thought she would talk....maybe he stabbed her because he thought he would be sexually gratified if he stabbed her...maybe he stabbed her because he thought she was a dragon about to eat him...does it really matter why in the final analysis?”
“Well...yes it does...so it doesn’t happen again!”
“But you could have stopped it from happening in the first place if you had been willing to use deadly force when you realized an attack on her was imminent.”
“Yeah...but I didn’t have a weapon!”
“That was your choice.”
“But...but...I told you people should not have access to guns!”
“Should people have access to kitchen knives?”
“Well...then your political decision sealed her fate.”
She just stood there and stared at the screen.
“Let me ask you something....If I had been up there..and I do choose to carry a gun when I go out in public...would you have been happy if I had chosen to use that gun to save that woman’s life?”
“But you would prefer if the legislature made it illegal for me to carry that same gun.”
“Well...yes..but I would also like them to make it illegal for that guy to carry that knife around too!”
“Do you think he really cares if it is legal or illegal to carry a knife? After all...he really doesn’t seem to care that murder is illegal, and that didn’t seem to stop him.”
She stopped looking at the screen, and stared at the floor silently.
“You’ve got a point.”
Update: Our young client has gone through a transformation of sorts...after taking an Art of the Pistol class, and going through a few one on one instructional sessions she is now the proud owner of her first handgun.
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