Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thoughts For New Firearms Owners

Points to ponder from Mrs Mom

Before I dive into today's post, I want to take a moment to express our deep condolences to those affected by the incident in Aurora CO. There are no words to express the sorrow for your losses. Prayers continue from our small corner of the world to you and yours.

Now to the post.

The fall out from what happened in the theater is continuing. I fear that this will continue for quite a long time and I also feel that there are elements that we the American Joe Blow Public will never know of.

Part of the fall out is the increased desire in people to carry a firearm. Long time readers here know I am an NRA Certified Instructor. You know I train and shoot religiously, carry everywhere, and firmly- let me repeat- *F-I-R-M-L-Y* believe in the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution. While I applaud each and everyone who does choose to carry, I wish to offer something to think about as well.

The common sentiment is that one round would have stopped the chaos. While theoretically this is true- one well placed round would surely have stopped the crimes being committed (ie: Kill that head the a$$ will follow)- how many people have the necessary skill to Make.That.Shot? Trained military snipers- yes. Average Joe Citizen with a sweet 9mm or a .45? Not very many.

I believe- and I am sure there are many who will argue with me on this- that should you find yourself in a situation such as this your primary responsibility is NOT to take out the Bad Guy but to get yourself and your loved ones to safety. To SURVIVE.

Why is this?

Let's look at a couple of tidbits of information.
- It is a dark environment
- There is smoke in the air, obstructing your sight line
- Your heart will be racing as adrenaline levels skyrocket through your body
- Any ability you have to make a shot in those circumstances will be hugely compromised.

Let me repeat-


Anytime your body is placed under stress like this, your ability to find and hit your target drops incredibly, drastically. Ask any police officer- who has undergone training to deal with stressful situations- what his shot placement looks like and most likely they'll tell you it sucks. (That is, if they are HONEST they'll tell you that.)

Your job starts the second you leave your home. The instant you walk into ANY situation, you need to be aware and alert at all times. Know what is going on around you. Look around, identify exits. Learn the difference between cover and conceal, and where you can hunker down. If something looks or feels WRONG, then it probably IS WRONG. 

Would a citizen carrying a gun in that theater have made a difference? Hard to say. It could have made it worse, as that was a crowded, chaotic situation and any shot fired may well have hit an innocent person and NOT the intended target.

I encourage everyone who is considering a license for a firearm with the intention to carry to do so- but even MORE so I encourage you to train train train train train, and then when you think you can't possibly do it again you train some more. Training does not just involve pulling the trigger- oh no. Training involves much more than that. Practice situational awareness ALL the time. Identify possible threats, and what your plan of action will be. Identify exit points. Study with as many trained shooters as you can, and learn from them. But please. Please Please PLEASE do not purchase and carry a firearm and think that just because you HAVE it, you can save the world.  Your firearm is your PLAN B. Your PLAN A is your BRAIN. Train. Your. Brain.

Listen to your gut.

Be ready to act.

Be prepared for anything, at any time.

Use your PLAN A.

Stay safe and aware out there folks.

This post was also on Oh HorseFeathers. It has brought about a couple of interesting comments, such as if a business bans firearms, are gun owners expected to leave their gun at home, and one suggestion for mandatory training. Now the training issue is a bit of a hot button topic for another day-- but the type of training the situation in CO needed went well above and beyond the basics. And as to gun free zones.. well.. if the business owner wishes to establish such an area, thats all well and good. If my firearm is not welcome, then neither am I. I will not drop a piece in my ability to defend myself and my sons to patronize your establishment with my hard earned money. There are plenty of firearm friendly businesses out there that I'm happy to support.


Anonymous said...

Very well written. Situational Awareness is critical to survival. My fear in the knee jerk reaction of people who suddenly want to carry is that you must make the decision to shoot before you ever walk out of the house. You need to know you can pull the trigger if you have to, and when confronted with a threat is not the time to make that decision. A wise person once said when you pull the trigger, two lives are changed forever. This is not a decision to be made lightly.

Momma Fargo said...

Great post! I also send prayers out to Aurora, CO.

Double Tap said...

Thanks - good post and you are on target when stating that head shots are not easy task. Heads are small and bob up and down. Pelvic girdle shots are the ones I recommend to new shooters. Deosn't move as much, bigger, and a good chance for a bleed out...but not the point of your post. Yes, survival is your first goal. Phone rang all weekend for people wanting to get into the next class.