Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Training: Practice, Practice, Practice! But Do It Right

It’s been a little more than six years since two officers were shot in a dramatic gunfight in a trailer park in Enon, Ohio

“January 01, 2011
ENON, Ohio – A sheriff's deputy investigating a report of gunfire at a trailer park was shot dead Saturday, and the shooting suspect was killed after a gun battle with police, authorities said. A police officer was wounded.”

This particular gunfight was different because there was a photographer on scene taking photos as the shooting started. There is a picture of one of the officers being shot and falling to the ground.
Bullets usually don’t make people fall. They don’t knock people down or off of their feet. Physics are still a natural law. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If a bullet had enough power to knock someone over, the recoil would knock the shooter down too.
Why does someone fall down when they are shot? Maybe the bullet hits something that is part of the standing process like a leg or hip bone. Maybe the bullet hit something vital to life such as the heart or brain. That can “turn off” someone. But it must be a precise shot. Most shots are not. Often surprise can overwhelm a body. Sometimes people fall because that’s what they’ve been subconsciously programmed to do after seeing people fall in countless movie gunfights. It doesn’t really matter but know that you may go down if you are hit in a gunfight, even if you were just grazed. You need to be able to continue in the fight from where ever you end up. You or others may be dependent on you being able to stay in the fight. So what does this mean to you? You’re not in the military. You’re not in law enforcement. Unless of course you are. Most of us are not, but are just civilian concealed carry holders. You can train like you may have to fight. If you were on the ground could you draw your weapon? Maybe you need to reevaluate how you carry.

Here are some ideas.
Make your carry weapon safe (unloaded) and holster it. Can you draw (preferably without muzzling yourself):

From the standing position?

From a kneeling position? One knee? The other knee? Both knees down?

Sitting on the ground?

Laying on your side? Both sides?

Laying on your back?

Laying on your stomach?

Give each of these positions a try with your unloaded gun. Then try to draw from each position using your dominant hand only. Finally, give it a try with your weak hand only.

If you can’t draw your weapon with either hand from any position you may find yourself in, I would submit that your carry location is a fail.

When I go to the range I get crazy looks from others there because I shoot from many positions. It kind of looks funny as I lie on my back or side, shoot around benches or over them. It really doesn’t take a lot of work, just different work.
Commit to practicing the way you imagine you will fight. Seldom will you have to opportunity to take a weaver stance, make a perfect two handed grip, and shoot straight at a target in the field. In the military we practiced shooting from several positions. There was a reason for that. The military knew that the perfect, optimal position would probably never come along in a combat situation. I feel the same way about concealed carry. Seldom will you shoot the traditional way.

You can make the difference with your training. You don’t need to practice for hours a day. I think less than an hour a week doing a routine training course will give you what you need. First learn the proper way to shoot. Then train like you fight. Also remember that:
“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”
Training is a very important part of carrying a gun. Please do not think you will rise to the occasion. You will rise to your training.

Semper Paratus
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