Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Honest Shooting: Reality and Training

I just wrote about this. Yesterday I posted an article “Distance Is Your Friend: The 21 Foot “Rule””. I spoke about training and about being shot.
Before I go on let me be clear that I hope Pastor Tim Remington completely recovers from his horrible shooting and I am grateful his attacker was caught. I don’t know the reason for this attack, but hope it was just the work of a troubled vet that I hope gets the help he needs.
Having said that, there are some thing we can learn from this tragedy.

This incident did not happen in a dark alley somewhere at 3 AM. It happened in broad daylight (about 2PM) in the parking lot of Pastor Tim’s church.
We learn that it doesn’t matter where, or what time, this can happen anywhere, anytime. As far as security at Church, statistically these happen before, after meetings and usually in hallways, offices, and parking lots. Without referring to the above incident I would say that situational awareness often comes into play. All of us should be more aware of what is going on around us. Having heads up doesn’t stop any attack, but usually the victim may see it coming or see it developing and avoid it altogether.

We also learn that handgun rounds, and even rifle rounds under the right conditions, can be ineffective. We talk about “stopping power” of rounds all the time. This is a fallacy and shot placement is most important. Thankfully, Pastor Tim was shot 6 times but was not hit anywhere vital. He was even shot in the head and as of this writing is in the hospital in fair condition. This is miraculous considering he was shot at point blank range. This is more common than has been reported.
Because of this, our training should be better balanced in accuracy and tactical.

Those who train for self-defense can over estimate their gear (gun, ammo, sights) and their ability. The attacker above was a former Marine so he had weapons training. He was also educated with a degree in biochemistry. This is proof that we must train better and become better at recognizing problems so that we can avoid them, but be good enough if we can’t. Pastor Tim’s assailant was over confident and thought he couldn’t miss. Also, I think divine intervention came into play and he was blessed. Others are not as fortunate. (See blog 5/28/2015, How To Achieve Security At Church)

Shot placement matters. Pistol rounds all suck. Some suck less than others. And no matter what you're shooting, the effectiveness is going to be 95% placement and 5% caliber.

Skulls are harder than you think and vary greatly. One of the rounds struck Pastor Tim in the head. His skull stopped it. Thank goodness. There are many stories of those who have been shot in the helmet in combat. Sometimes the bullet penetrates the helmet and skin, hits the skull, follows the contour of their skull under the skin to the back of their head, and exits through the skin on the back of the skull and through the helmet. It’s happened before.

It has been said that “Owning a guitar doesn’t make you a musician” and that is true of a firearm. Do not be fooled into your vision of your untested abilities. There are times I go to the range and feel like I’m ready to tear up targets and that’s the day I can hardly hit the darn thing! Being honest about your abilities, going to the range and proving to yourself that you can hit the broad side of a B27 target, is most important. If you evaluate yourself honestly you may find that a change is in order. If you are not going to an actual range at least twice a month (and I KNOW this is way too little for me!) then you’re skills are severely diminished. I’m sorry. Unless you are a sponsored competitor, you will need to practice often. I know that competitors practice often. I also know that I can see a difference if I miss a week of shooting at the range. Don’t under estimate the importance of dry firing daily. I do and I think everyone should dry fire.

I hope that Pastor Tim is recovering well and his family is comforted at this difficult time. They are in our prayers. I also hope we can all learn from this horrible event.

Semper Paratus
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