I’ve known and trained with some fine people. Shot socially with others, and heard others speak. Read even more works of other trainers and shooters.
They are (were) all people, and as such all had foibles. They were human.
I could list some of the foibles:
Retain men (and women) for their skills in training you. If you cannot get past an ego or personality (or an error in judgement), go elsewhere.
Wirecutter shares with us a tale of people in Condition GREY…
The passengers on a San Francisco light rail line were so absorbed in their phones and their tablet computers that no one noticed when a madman pulled out a handgun and waved it around several times before opening fire and killing a random commuter, police have revealed.
Nikhom Thephakaysone is charged with murdering promising San Francisco State University student Justin Valdez, 20, in cold blood, without provocation on a Municipal Railway last month.
Police say the CCTV footage from the rail car show that neither Valdez nor any of his fellow passengers saw it coming – even though Thephakaysone pulled out a .45-caliber pistol several times – even rubbing his nose with it in his hand once.
I used to hang with a shooter who said average people walk around inattentive (Condition WHITE), but those whose faces are buried in newspapers or magazines (the cell phones and tablets of the day) are even WORSE. CONDITION GREY!
Don’t be GREY!
I’ve been shooting, as an adult, since 1974. And, I’ve made some mistakes, like occasionally failing to follow The Four Rules (see the sidebar). Those stories have been recounted here. Fortunately, no serious injuries have resulted. I have learned from my mistakes.
But there are other errors-in-judgement in which I’ve not participated, fortunately. And I keep seeing them on TV Shows. Not old movies like The Shootist, but modern television, like Top Shot and Sons Of Guns.
PEOPLE SHOOTING GLASS IN NATURE
Why would anyone want to spoil a natural environment using bottles or other glass objects as targets? Plastic milk jugs, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard targets can all be policed up and taken away with us, leaving the desert (forest, etc.) relatively unspoiled.
I think it was Col. Cooper who said shooting glass leaves behind a legacy spoiling the shooting area for many generations. And some folks with whom I’ve shot say it’s their DUTY to leave the area nicer than when they started!
Let’s police the area, pick up our targets and pick up our brass, people.
It’s for the children! :-)
pistol-training.com has an interesting link adding to the debate regarding the speed of the draw (pistol presentation). It seems, empirically:
Professor Ross explains that in 90% of the 1,100 cases studied, an officer had less than two seconds to react to perceived lethal danger. (Law Enforcement Executive Forum, 2013, #13(2), p 90) (emphasis Guffaw)
While an interesting factoid (and, to be fair, I’ve not read the study, it costs $4.00) my emphasis is about an officer being the focus. Most of us gun folks on the Internet, reading this and many other blogs are not officers, not in uniform and not charged with protection of the public at large.
And, I’m certain a civilian carrying discretely doesn’t have the same constraints on their actions. Civilians probably have more.
Having said all this, it would be ‘cool’ is all of us were Condition Yellow enough to be able to react to perceived lethal danger in less than two seconds. But, we are not cops, special operators, nor super heroes. We are just responsible men and women who train for the eventuality.
And hope it never happens.
No, the above photo isn’t she. She was, uh, more endowed. (and a redhead). And while she was known to carry a concealed weapon, it usually wasn’t a .38 snub. It was one of those truncated Kimber .45s, in a belly-band, right below the, uh, area pictured above. Presentation was ‘between’.
This takes me back to the book Stopping Power, wherein Marshall and Sanow present numerous examples of police and civilians utilizing firearms against assailants. In teaching my students, I used to refer to the book as ‘bedtime stories’. One story had a female sheriff’s deputy rushing to exit the women’s room to back up her partner, going into full-on-Weaver, and engaging the threat. Without having properly fastened her pants. The back up cops told her doing so was a helluva diversion!
Obviously, the woman above (or Roberta) would have accomplished the same thing.
Hey, I’m all about women carrying, and carrying something effective and discrete. The presentation may lose some discretion, but, so be it!
And I saw this photo on a couple other blogs and thought, “Hey, Roberta! And Rule Five.”FTC – neither Flashbang, Kimber, Marshall nor Sanow gave me anything. Roberta did for a few years, then we parted company. No money changed hands.
h/t From The Caer, Breitbart
Good thing!. Tactically, he sucked. and with regard to his ‘technique’…
Well, THAT sucked, too! Cup and saucer? SERIOUSLY?
Regardless, go see Mr. Michalowski’s essay at the link above. We need to keep training, especially because we are NOT finely-tuned spec-ops guys.
And we know better.
My buddy KevinC of Misfires and Lights Strikes postulates the above.
Being ‘old-school’, I was skeptical. I’ve carried and shot for too many years from The Book of Col. Cooper (low ready, up into Weaver) to be easily convinced.
You should go to the link above and watch the accompanying short video. My only caveat is I still prefer Weaver over Isosceles, but I do see valid reasons for ‘High Ready’. This doesn’t mean there are not sometimes reasons to use ‘Low’, or even ‘Sul’!
However, just like the adjustment I made from tap, rack, bang to tap, rack, assess, pistolcraft is continuing to evolve.
Now if these young whippersnappers would just carry a caliber beginning with 4. Or a shotgun.
It’s a comment on unsafe pistol presentation.
First we had TV and the movies borrowing an Israeli technique of holding the pistol sideways (and adopted by gangstas and the great unwashed, nationwide), which is finally losing it’s appeal – now, everyone in Hollywood seems to be using the cavalry presentation, with and without holsters (!)
When done properly, it can be done in relative safety. But it’s slow, and, at least on TV is rarely done correctly.
And, it doesn’t help when well-known holster manufacturers reinforce poor technique, in an effort to push more leather.
The point being, unless one draws correctly, one crosses oneself with the muzzle. And class, we all know that violates which Rule? (if not, see the right sidebar).
AND, with the advent of smaller and shorter pistols in better calibers, even using a standard strong-side presentation into Weaver or Isosceles could have the student preparing to shoot themselves in the weak hand, making it even weaker.
DON’T cross yourself! Remember the Four Rules.
I got to go to a new indoor shooting range yesterday! Huzzah!
The range is called C2 Tactical (seriously?) and isn’t far from my house. It’s affiliated with the Caswell Shooting Range in neighboring Mesa Arizona.
First impressions: It was busy, but, after all it was a Saturday. Lots of cool stuff in the store: handguns, rifles, knives, suppressors (!) They even rent ARs with a can attached, and a Thompson Submachine Gun! No, I didn’t ask the prices. Well staffed, mostly young, pretty people. Armed. The rangemasters (yes, that’s plural) in the handgun range (there’s also a rifle range) were attentive, friendly and polite. There wasn’t much of a space on which to place multiple pistols, revolvers and ammunition, though. The shooting bench was pretty spartan (see photo above). On the good side, the electronic control to move the targets to-and-fro was pretty high-tech. Punch in the distance, hit enter, and off she flies! It’s programmable, somehow. (I’m guessing for advancing targets during training or competition). They make a big deal on promoting ‘the most advanced ventilation system available’, as well as their air conditioning. Unfortunately with the onset of the Arizona monsoon, the humidity’s up and the range still resembled a sauna, albeit a cooler one. My roommate, who already has breathing issues, asked to leave early; the environment made it difficult for her to breathe.
We did enjoy the short time spent there, overall. The store seems well-stocked, including women’s purses from Galco and Gun Totin’ Mamas.
We will return, during the week, soon (?), when it’s less crowded and hopefully less humid.
I know a guy who works in a gun store. He’s worked there many years, sold many guns, and carries. He’s punched many paper targets, and collected many firearms. He’s especially fond of Browning High Powers and Vietnamese food. And he’s a really good guy, honest to a fault and direct. I like him alot.
But, I don’t have any idea how much actual practical firearms training he’s had, or if he’s even considered mindset.
One day a few years back, he walked up the stripmall from the gun store to the liquor store at the end. The guys stop in there often for sodas and goodies. It’s owned (or was) by an Iraqi who loves Americans – he and his family escaped one of Chemical Ali’s purges and just got out with their lives.
My friend entered the store, and there were two guys at the register. Holding guns on the clerk. One turned to face him. He told me time stops – I’m certain it does.
Then, the guy shot my friend in the face. And they escaped unharmed. Last I heard they remain ‘at large’.
The good news is it was a single .410 shotgun round, and it struck him square on the chin. Lower, and his trachea and carotid arteries might have been hit. Higher, his eyes. The shot hit him square on the chin and spread like a Y up his jaw.
He never even cleared leather. And he continues to pick shot out of his face on a regular basis. And it’s been years. He knows how fortunate he is.
The point is mindset. Do YOU have it? Have you, as a lawful-firearms-carrying-citizen already made the decision you are going to survive and engage, to stop the bad guys?
To take a life if necessary?
When the bad guys turn and face you it
might will be too late to start mulling over that all-important decision.
Decide right now. Be pro-active. Then practice, drill, and remember your moral commitment.
Set your mind in advance. The next guys might have better aim.