Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Minimum Standards Across the State

May you live in interesting times.  Traditional Jewish Curse

Every day is an adventure.  I had one the other day.  

It was an ordinary IDPA match.  It’s been a while since I shot a classic IDPA match, even longer since I designed stages for one.  That made me the Match Director and one of the squad leaders.  I also got to wash all the bottles afterwards.

Most shooters come to these matches with different skill sets.  We try to keep it light and friendly, but impart the tribal knowledge of the IDPA community.

Now every shooter starts somewhere.  I have not yet met anyone who was born with the ability to do a slide-lock reload or pie a corner.  Somebody had to show each of us the skills needed to shoot an IDPA match.

Seldom do I meet a shooter so sorely lacking skills.

Which skills?  Most of them.  The shooter didn’t know how to load or unload the gun, how the safety de-cocker worked, how the gun worked, how to hold the gun , much less hit a target 10 yards away.  I don’t mean headshots.  I mean unable to hit the cardboard. 

It was a long day and I can only be thankful my fellow squad members stepped up and helped keep the shooters safe.

Do you want to hear the scary part?  I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.

The shooter has taken a class and holds a valid Ohio CCW.

The shooter, I suspect, attended a puppy mill CCW class.  You’ve read about puppy mills.  The owners breed puppies with no regard to the dogs' health, just turning out one living pile of cash after another.  They have no regard for your success with the dog.  Defective dog?  No problem, they’ll trashcan it and give you another fungible puppy.  

There are CCW trainers out there just like that.  Even worse are the pond scums who will sell you the certificate sans training.

In Ohio there is a movement to modify the current CCW law.  Backers want to eliminate the training requirement, eliminate the alcohol-firearms prohibition, wash out background checks and create a free “carry state” where everyone who can own a firearm and carry concealed.

This is nonsense!  Utter balderdash!  Complete road apples.
More importantly, it’s playing into the anti-gun crowd's hands.  As sure as I’m writing this, it is only a matter of time before some poorly trained licensee will attempt to defend themselves and slaughter a handful of innocent bystanders leaving the criminal unharmed. 

These results will be used as leverage to strip our right to carry from us.

Say it isn’t so Sammy!  

That damn near happened to the NYPD the other day.  The two officers responding to the execution of Steven Ercolino by Jeffery T. Johnson fired 16 rounds, stopping Jeffery T. Johnson and injuring 9 innocent bystanders.  I like the police.  I couldn’t do their job and I am grateful they can.

Video note:  I’m not absolutely sure, it appears one officer was firing strong hand only.  It happens, so don’t you think you should add that to your practice routine?

It’s only by the grace of God that the wounded were not killed.  It’s a good thing NYPD has the city covering them in addition to a tremendous team of spin doctors.

I know you don’t believe me, but I have seen the future during the match with the clueless shooter.  Even now I’m reading about 600 licensees in central Ohio who bought their certificates without attending any training.

We should be pushing for a state-required minimum course content that will fit into the current 12 hour required time slot and course of fire on the range that each student must complete.

I want to do away with training that consists of shooting 5 powerless .22 caliber rounds into a bale of straw.  I want to eliminate any requirement that can be met by shooting 5 times and then watching 30 other shooters fire 5 times. 

Let’s eliminate CCW training based on watching hours of video, telling war stories, and a 30-minute wrap-up of the Attorney General’s almost useless booklet.

This is how we protect the Second Amendment. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Save the Princess!

We all have our Dark Knight fantasies.  Even before CCW was legal in Ohio or in your state, it wasn’t uncommon to hope that we would somehow get involved and save the “princess.”  It’s a common game and story ploy.  We save the victim, they are grateful, the papers get hold of it, cue your ticker tape parade ….

man in black assult a woman in a dark alley
We know what's happening here, right?    Or do we?

The trouble is we don’t know who’s who when we pull up on the scene.  We make assumptions and we could get the following:

PLAINFIELD, N.J. (AP) — Police say a thief got away after two good Samaritans grabbed the wrong person (my emphasis) on a northern New Jersey street.
The Samaritans were driving down a street in Plainfield when they saw what appeared to be a man assaulting a woman early Monday.

But it turns out the man was walking down the street when he said the woman robbed him of about $400 in cash and a gold chain.

Public Safety Director Martin Hellwig tells the Courier News of Bridgewater (http://mycj.co/PA5muX ) the suspect ran off when the passing motorists intervened.

Investigators are using videotape to try to identify the suspect.
Information from: Courier News (Bridgewater, N.J.) , http://www.mycentraljersey.com


CCW means there is always a gun present.  Yours.  Make a mistake and what was an embarrassing moment becomes ruined lives and jail time.

But ... how could I not get involved?  I asked myself that when I decided to carry. 

No simple answer will suffice.  Here are some guiding principles. 

No visible weapon:
I will take cover as best as possible and make my weapon available for self-defense.  Typically I’ll establish a grip on the weapon for a possible draw.  I’ll call the police and tell actors that the police have been called and are on the way. 

Visible weapon:
I take cover as best as possible and draw my weapon for self-defense.  I’ll call the police (911)  if I have the time and start shouting “Police! Drop the weapon! Someone call the police!” 

There are three possible responses.  Two are almost cookbook in nature.

One: Criminal runs away.  I wave bye-bye and give the police the best descriptions I can.

Two: Criminal assaults me.  I defend myself.  You know what that entails and what the aftermath looks like.

Three: Criminal ignores me and continues to assault the victim.  This is the tough call.  Me?  I’m still giving this a lot of thought.  But, even a victim who has turned the tables on assailant does not have the right to take life and needs to stop when the lethal threat has ended.  If they continue, they become the aggressor.

I told you it wasn’t easy.

So far, my best answer because I don’t truly know what’s happening, is I do nothing but verbal intervention. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Accidental Backstop

On average, I spend at least an hour a week practicing my firearms skills.  This isn’t bragging; I see range time and shooting matches as part of my training goals.  I’m very pro-training.  I see safe gun handling and good shooting skills the duty of every armed citizen.

And then along comes another orifice that just jams his pistol in a pocket and goes out the door.  I’m not saying his story is anything but true, but the vast majority of modern handguns are drop safe.  They apparently are not idiot proof.

From the Rapid city Journal:
Man accidentally shoots self in Nevada theater
SPARKS, Nev. | Police say a man accidentally shot himself in the buttocks at a Nevada movie theater during a showing of "The Bourne Legacy."

Police in Sparks, Nev., say the 56-year-old man's injuries are not life-threatening and no others were hurt.
Authorities say the man had a permit to carry a concealed firearm. The man told officers the gun fell from his pocket Tuesday night as he was adjusting himself in the seat and that it discharged when it dropped to the floor.

Authorities say the case will be sent to the city attorney for possible charges.
The incident comes less than a month after a shooting at a suburban Denver theater that left 12 dead and 58 injured.

Just more proof the gene pool needs a little bleach in it.  At least he used himself as a backstop.