Thursday, December 15, 2016

Turn Out The Lights And Train

Many if not all of the situations you run into as a concealed carrier that you may think about drawing your gun will be low-light situations. How do I know this? By looking at reports of those who had to defend themselves. Many are in a low-light time of day or place. That would mean that a flashlight should be in your EDC but that is a different article.
I believe we as concealed carriers should develop the skills necessary for effectively employing a semi-automatic pistol during a shooting confrontation in other than daylight conditions.
To do this this you should be able to identify or show:

Range safety
Different sources of light
How to adapt to low-light
Low-light threat identification

Light: Controlled or non-controlled

Controlled light is light under your control. A weapon light, flashlight, building or vehicle lights you have control over.

Non-controlled ambient light

Structure lighting, street, traffic, parking, or security lighting, moon light, any light you have no control of.

Ideas to help in low-light situations

Always have a light with you. As any police officer knows, you have to see. You will also be surprised how often a flashlight will be used in non-defensive activities.

The human eye requires as much as 30-45 minutes to adjust to darkness, therefore you can plan ahead!
Avoid looking unnecessarily at light sources.
Light sources can be detrimental to the Shooter by silhouetting their position, avoid backlighting yourself with any other source.
A decrease in the rate of dark adaptation and the degree of night vision capacity will occur with prolonged, repeated exposure to bright sunlight.
Remove sunglasses prior to entering dark area or when entering an enclosed darkened structure or vessel from the normal lighting conditions
Receive annual eye exams
Do not wear permanent tint or lenses that gradually change color density when out of bright light. Instead wear clip-on or glasses that cover your prescription glasses.
Smoking will impair an individual’s degree of night vision capacity by about 20%.
As light level decreases, color perception also decreases. Light and Dark colors at night can be distinguished only by the intensity of reflected light (Human eye will identify shades of gray).
Perception of fine detail is impossible in low-light.
ID of objects in low-light is based on perceiving general contours and outlines, not on small distinguishing features.
Depth Perception is impaired
Thus, a person’s ability to ID subjects and objects (weapons/threats) is impaired.

Target Identification

In a low-light situation, do not stare at objects, scan with your eyes. Use your peripheral vision and look “around” objects” instead of staring directly at them. This will reduce the effects of the “Night time Blind Spot”.

Figure 8 Method. By scanning in a horizontal figure 8 you increase your ability to identify threats and pick up on movement.

Shooting accurately in low-light conditions while using lights and lasers is an advanced skill and must be practiced if you have any hope of doing it under stress. The twisted irony is that the vast majority of firearm training is conducted when the light is best. Most ranges are closed during foul weather and at night. Nearly all public and private ranges have strict rules about shooting after sunset, and few police departments train in darkness. For those that do, it is normally for annual qualification and not a regular event. If you are serious about defending your life with a firearm, seek out realistic training and work at putting this type training in your dry fire and live fire practice.

Semper Paratus
Check 6