The Shooting Center Newsletter Twelfth Edition February 2019
A Tactical Exercise Where
The Targets Shoot Back!
Defensive Tips For
Dreaded Slide Bite
Feb. 23: Couples Team Tactics -- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Taught by Assault Counter Tactics, this course teaches how to work in tandem with another person. Perfect way to bond with your Valentine! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
March 2: Basic Defensive Pistol - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. $65 at the door (cash or check only, please), with Shooting Straight Radio Host Royce Bartlett as lead instructor. This class is for those who have never had training beyond the concealed carry class. Bring a carry pistol, carry holster, spare magazine carrier, 200 rounds of ammo, eye/ear protection, close-toed shoes, and a will to learn. Great confidence builder.
March 3: Handgun Fundamentals & Concealed Carry - Perfect Carry Class for beginners, lapsed shooters, or those wishing to get more detail on the mechanics of shooting and selecting firearms. Taught by author of "The Handgun Guide for Women." 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. $50 - To sign up, click here.
March 9: Florida Concealed Carry Weapons Class -
Focuses on the legal aspects of concealed carry and ends with range qualification. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. $40 - sign up at email@example.com
March 13: Handgun Refresher Class for Seniors (age 50 plus ) presented by National Association of Chiefs of Police. Limit 10. The class is specifically geared toward reacquainting seniors with gun handling (or introducing them to firearms for the first time!) Instruction covers basics of firearms use but also challenges that come with age. Class will discuss age-friendly firearms and related equipment. Other helpful security info will be provided as well. NOT a CCW class. $30 per person. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sign up here.
Schedule for APHF Women's Shooting Squad
Monday, February 25: Shotgun night
Wednesday, February 27: Strong hand/Weak hand/Clearing Malfunctions
Find out more by calling Paula Longcore at 321-890-4661 or email plongcore717@gmail .com.
April 20: Basic Defensive Pistol 2 - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. $75 at the door (cash or check only, please), with Shooting Straight Radio Host Royce Bartlett as lead instructor. This is advanced defensive pistol instruction, and is the best class to take after the Basic Defensive Pistol class. Bring carry handgun, eye/ear protection, 200 rounds, holster, spare magazine(s).
To find out more about these classes or to find other classes offered at The Shooting Center, click here.
6350 Horizon Drive Titusville, FL 32780
Open: Tues-Fri: 12 to 8 p.m. Sat & Sun - 12 to 6 p.m.
Upcoming Classes at The Shooting Center
By Gary Weeks
Tactical Training With
Air Soft Pistols/Rifles
By Gretchen Laiuppa
Recently, the Tactical/Practical (Tac Prac), that’s offered every Friday at the American Police Hall of Fame (APHF) Shooting Center, held a unique training session in lieu of its normal Tac Prac set-up.
The goal of the simulation was to engage photographic targets (bad guys with guns) using a “Next Level SIRT” laser training pistol and shooting from hard cover,
utilizing the “pieing technique”. Down range, behind the photographic targets, instructors waited with "Airsoft" guns to provide a realistic "interactive" encounter.
Airsoft is a competitive team shooting sport in which participants shoot opponents with round, plastic projectiles launched via replica weapons called Airsoft pistols.
The guns used in our exercise were electric and gas powered. The velocity of the projectiles is about 300-400 feet per second, fast enough to know you’ve been hit. The object of the training was to engage the paper targets without exposing too much of yourself so you couldn’t be shot. The instructors monitored participants' tactics, and, if they exposed too much of themselves, the Participant was shot with the Airsoft plastic B-Bs. Of course, American Police Hall of Fame (APHF) Shooting Center instructors ensured that safety was paramount for the participant by fully protecting him/her from the plastic B-Bs by donning a full face mask capable of absorbing any Airsoft impact, a towel wrapped around their neck, long sleeve shirt and/or jacket, long pants and gloves. In addition, the Instructors would only shoot the Participant from the neck down and the participant would never engage any “live” threat (the instructors), only paper targets. The instructors were merely there to keep participants honest in their “pieing” technique.
A little background would be helpful: The Tactical/Practical was started with the intent of allowing everyday folks -- those with and without the benefit of prior training -- the opportunity to experience a realistic defensive situation, drawing from a holster and firing, moving safely with a loaded firearm through a course-of-fire, shooting at moving targets, shooting in the dark using a mounted tactical light or hand-held flashlight and employing proper light management, shooting with the non-dominant hand, both supported or unsupported (i.e. one handed or two handed), shooting while moving, learning to shoot from cover properly...and doing ALL of this in a safe manner (muzzle pointed in a safe direction, finger off the trigger when sights are not on target).
The important aspect of all these activities is to use your mind to discern between threats and non-threats, utilizing situational awareness. These activities, through repetition, can help establish muscle memory so when a real-life threat occurs, action is taken without thinking about it; you are creating a reflex action.
These reflex actions become paramount when an individual experiences a traumatic event in which adrenaline is released into the body, causing the person to experience extreme stress, auditory exclusion and eye sight tunnel vision. The Tac Prac simulations help individuals develop stress inoculation by combating these physiological effects.
So what happened with our recent Airsoft exercise?
Almost all the participants had shot the Tactical/Practical prior to this exercise. Those with Tac Prac experience were well aware of shooting from cover properly and how to “pie” around corners. Those with no experience were “coached” on how to proceed.
I was pleasantly surprised when the first four shooters went through the course without being fired upon by any of the Instructors down range which meant they had successfully shot the targets utilizing proper cover and exposing little, if any, of themselves. There were many others too that navigated through the “shoot house” unblemished.
There were, however, some participants who encountered reminders (Airsoft BBs) that they were exposing too much of themselves or outright wandered into a space not properly “cleared”. They soon realized their mistake. After each participant completed the exercise they were “debriefed” by the Range Officer who had run them through the course, as well as by the instructors down range who observed the participant's technique or tactic, each of whom explained what was done well or what could be improved.
Upon being asked about the exercise and its value, participants were overwhelm- ingly positive, with most of them saying they wished it could have been longer or had more targets.
To expedite future training sessions for civilians, and to perhaps integrate the Airsoft training into our Law Enforcement programming, the National Association of Chiefs of Police is preparing a grant request that would allow us to purchase Airsoft equipment in order to refine this exercise and offer it regularly under our safety training auspices. If you would like to donate to this cause or sponsor the equipment, please email Tarae@aphf.org.
In the meantime, our standard Tac Prac will resume on Fridays, starting at 2 p.m. So, if you’re interested in seeing what this valuable learning tool is all about -- with some of the best people you could hope to meet -- please come join us and experience the Friday Tac Prac.
Gary Weeks is a certified NRA Pistol Instructor, Assistant Range Officer at the Shooting Center, local competition shooter in 3-Gun and Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) and 8 year Tac Prac Team member. Special thanks to Bob and Kathy Fowler, Lynn Siegel, Don Shehane and Rob Thompson who support the Tac Prac each week, Paul Pawela and James Walker who generously donated to the Airsoft event and Eric Roessler, mastermind behind the Tac Prac courses of fire -- and to the shooters without whom there would be no Tac Prac. And Brent Shepherd, CFO, who has enabled and supported the Tac Prac Team to grow into what it is today.
Range officer Bob Fowler, and "friend," greeted shooters as they pied the tactical course Friday.
"Each participant was debriefed by the Range Officer and by the instructors, each of whom explained what was done well and what could be improved..."
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By Paul Pawela
In his last film, The Shootist, John Wayne plays a famous western gun fighter named John Bernard Books whose reputation as a deadly gunfighter was legend. There is a very famous quote from that movie that is oft-quoted by many modern tactical trainers...including myself.
John Wayne’s character JB Books was giving shooting lessons to a young man named Gillom Rogers (played by a young Ron Howard). During the lesson young Gillom shoots a target almost as well as JB Books and asks, “Mr. Books, how is it you’ve killed so many men? My spread wasn’t much bigger than yours?”
Wayne, as JB Books responds "First of all,friend, there’s no one up there shooting back at you. Second, Sometimes it isn't being fast that counts, or even accurate; but willing. Most men will draw a breath or blink an eye before they shoot. I won't.”
So what’s the point? Of late, I have seen too many speed shooters influence the shooting community, because shooting real fast equals shooting lots of rounds, which is lots of fun. However, my two cents is that the primary priority in owning a gun is safety first, followed by technical and tactical proficiency when carrying your gun in a defensive concealed carry position.
And if you're practicing shooting real fast and you miss during some type of range-based speed match, you may receive a point penalty. In the real world, however, a miss could make the difference between life and death or a criminal/civil charge. I guarantee you, that is absolutely no fun whatsoever!
In his book Combat Shooting Massad Ayoob says , “A conflict involving lethal force is, by definition, a near death experience for the survivor”. Anything at all sound fun about that?
So lets look at the who, what, when and where, regarding potential self-defense encounters for a concealed carry license holder:
Who is the threat? Young male, between 18-35, prior history of arrest (75%) , prior history of incarceration (30%), prior offenses as a juvenile, with early onset, significant and early association with peers who, themselves, have criminal history, early exposure to violence, especially weapons violence.
The What : Three common criminal assault paradigms (i.e. how will the encounter unfold):
1. Close range
2. More than one assailant
3. The presence of a weapon
The Where – The number one location (for a self-defense encounter) is in or around the automobile (15 feet)
The How: Civilian encounters average at contact distance of 3, 7, 15, 17 and 22 yards (with the rule of thumb being 3 shots in 3 seconds at 3 yards); average number of shots 3.8, although some incidents required only 1 shot to stop the assault, while others took 8-12.
In the book "Straight Talk on Armed Defense: what the experts want you to know” noted national gun trainer/writer Tom Givens says this about the difference between competitive shooting and personal defense, “We see ready positions in competitive shooting that muzzle everything downrange, all the time. In many shooting sports there are penalties for shooting non-threat targets, but not for muzzling them. On the street, muzzling innocents can get you charged with various felonies, from reckless endangerment to aggravated assault, depending on the jurisdiction. Even if you are acquitted, you've lost. Attorneys, bondsman, and so forth are not free. We see gun handling that would facilitate getting disarmed in the real world, but not on a shooting range. We also see highly specialized guns and holsters that could not be used on the street. Finally, the major problem with competitive shooting is a preoccupation with inconsequential increments of time. Lost time measured in scant hundredths of a second mean nothing in a fight, but accumulate and become significant in a match with 10-12 stages. For self-defense, we want the most robust techniques, meaning they work reliably over a broad range of circumstances and under optimal conditions.”
A good way to achieve "robust techniques" is by taking tactical classes or engaging in simulated self-defense situations such as the Tactical Practical match each Friday at the American Police Hall of Fame. The organizers of this weekly tactical course have gone back to the roots of defending yourself in a high stress situation.
Two weeks ago, a special Tac/Prac course was run with participants using Laser Sirt guns, while range officers posed as threats, firing airsoft guns at those who focused too much on speeding through the course (and missed some of the threats) or did not properly, tactically pie around corners.
Yes, there were some ouch moments and mild boo-boos, but, overall, what the match did, is it slowed down the speed demons and gave them some sense of reality regarding all the factors that play into a personal defense situation and the importance of being fast enough to the hit the target but deliberate enough to percieve ALL of the threats.
For those who worship the Speed Gods of Guns Shooting, that is all well and good but I can document at least two Grand Masters in the shooting world who did not fare so well in real world shootouts.
For me, I will continue to listen to people who have been in actual gun fights and have also won in the courts, as well, because, as I stated before, it’s all fun and games until the real shooting starts!
Paul Pawela is Director of Law Enforcement Training at The American Police Hall of Fame.
Engaging The Threat
...Versus Shooting For Speed And Points
'Slicing the pie' definition
Slicing the pie, or "pie-ing," is a method of looking around corners and obstacles while presenting the smallest possible target. It is a dynamic movement technique designed to minimize exposure around cover and maximize the tactical advantage for the individual.
By Brian C. Smith
By Stanton Olsen
Preventing Slide Bite
What does the term “slide bite” mean and how does it happen during pistol shooting?
-- Albert G.
Slide bite occurs from an improper grip when firing a semi-automatic pistol. Unfortunately, this is common among handgun shooters that transition from the revolver to the semi-automatic pistol and with novice shooters who have very little experience.
Although their grips look similar, there are some modifications necessary in the pistol grip to prevent this injury. The common revolver grip is where the shooter’s thumb of the support hand crosses over behind the hammer of the revolver., as shown in photo 2. Ideally, the pistol grip is when both thumbs are on the same side of the gun, as shown in photos 3 and 4.
Slide bite occurs primarily when the shooter performs the revolver style grip on a semi-automatic pistol while shooting.
Although both the revolver and pistol handguns are built to fire ammunition, both guns function differently to expel a spent ammunition casing. The semi-automatic pistol has more moving parts than the revolver.
To better explain this how this mishap occurs, imagine a right-handed shooter gripping the pistol with his/her right hand. The left (support) hand grips from the opposite side with left thumb crossing over the back of the pistol on top of the web of the right hand, similar to the grip you see on a revolver in photo 2. When the pistol is fired, the slide of the pistol retracts to the rear caused by the blowback recoil, which extracts the spent casing and chambers a fresh live round from the magazine. The injury occurs from the metal slide moving rapidly backward and forward, making contact with the flesh of the support hand thumb, which is positioned in the path of the slide. The injury of a slide bite is usually two parallel, evenly spaced lacerations on top of the support thumb (as pictured in photo 1) or across the thumb web, which may take several sutures to medically treat.
As a law enforcement firearms trainer for 32 years and a concealed carry instructor, I have had several students report to class with the perceived notion that the revolver grip was the primary grip to fire their pistol. No matter what instructions or warnings I delivered, some of the shooters instinctively revert back to the revolver grip and experience the notorious slide bite injury. After experiencing their first slide bite injury, shooters rarely make that same mistake twice!
I would encourage any new shooter to seek professional training when you acquire a new pistol. For the experienced shooter it is recommended to continually train and seek advice from the professionals on updated procedures or current trends.
Brian Smith be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook at “Metropolitan Police Self-Defense Institute. He is VP of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
The Pro Shop at the American Police Hall of Fame is undergoing some changes that include new staffers with various specialty areas so shoppers can secure expert guidance as they choose from guns, ammunition and accessories. Whether you are male or female, military, civilian or law enforcement, a concealed carrier or a target shooter, someone in the Pro Shop will speak your language! The Pro Shop is open Noon-7 p.m. Tues-Fri and Noon-6 p.m. on Saturday. New staff includes:
Gretchen Laiuppa: Gretchen is an Assistant Range Master with 8 years of shooting experience. She is an NRA Basic Pistol Instructor and Chief Range Safety Officer. She is bilingual (English/Spanish) and her passion is to help ladies participate in shooting sports and enhance their shooting skills.
Paula Longcore: Paula has been involved in firearms for 17 years and is a competitive shooter. Like Gretchen, Paula brings a woman's perspective to the shooting sports and to the selection of appropriate Pro Shop merchandise for female shooters. She is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and has a passion for getting young people involved in shooting sports.
Paul Pawela: Paul has over 30 combined years of military and law enforcement service. He is a certified NRA police firearms instructor and a member of the International Close Combat Association. Paul is a published author of over 50 articles in more than ten gun and self- defense magazines. Paul is Director of Law Enforcement Training for the National Association of Chiefs of Police and the owner of Assault Counter Tactics, a self-defense training company.
Gary Weeks: Gary is an NRA certified pistol instructor and Assistant Range Master. He coordinates the "Tactical/Practical" match shot each Friday at the Shooting Center and he has been involved with it since 2011. His interests include competition shooting in 3-Gun, Action Steel and any competition allowing Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC). Helping others with shooting, promoting firearm safety and growing the shooting sports are his passions.
New Faces, Experiences At The Pro Shop
Civilians, to register for the compelling June 14 presentation,
please click HERE. Law Enforcement, email Tarae@aphf.org.
After the Fight:
Know The Law
By John Falldorf
Home on the Range is published monthly by The Shooting Center and Pro Shop at The American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, 6350 Horizon Drive, Titusville, FL 32780.
The publication is exclusively digitally delivered to over 20,000 readers each month, and there is no cost for a subscription. To receive a monthly copy, please email Tarae@aphf.org.
Barry Shepherd / Brent Shepherd.......................Executive Editor
Tara Dixon Engel....................................................Managing Editor
Note: To have an article considered for publication, please submit to Tarae@aphf.org. Content will be edited for space and editorial considerations. Photos are encouraged. Article content can include: How-to pieces, equipment reviews, interviews, first-person training stories, event coverage and more. Content may encompass events and activities anywhere in the Brevard County region and is not limited to those activities taking place at The Shooting Center (although such activities do take priority). You may contact the editor by phone at 321-264-0911 Ext. 133.
Having taught both law enforcement and civilians about firearms use and the law since 1985, I am a sucker for great resources that educate the public and help keep everyone safe ...and out of jail.
The last four years of teaching Concealed Carry techniques and legalities here in Florida, I have addressed question after question from students on the fine points of Florida law as it applies to an actual shooting. Questions always come up regarding what the law says and it’s current interpretation by the Courts.
While I pride myself on a pretty solid understanding of firearms law, as it applies to both civilians and law enforcement, I also know that it can be time consuming to research definitive legal answers on specific firearms statutes...until now. Florida Firearms Law, Use & Ownership (Ninth Edition) author Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq. cuts through all the legalease so that (to steal a popular insurance tagline) "even a caveman can understand it" and can carry his club legally concealed. Gutmacher has over 40 years of experience as a criminal trial attorney as well being a prosecutor, police legal advisor, civil police liability attorney (plaintiff and defense), NRA certified firearms instructor, criminal defense attorney with over 200 jury trials under his belt and 2nd Amendment advocate. Whew! That's plenty of "street cred."
I had the privilege of meeting Jon in person at The Big Pro Gun Rally held in Tallahassee, FL last summer. He is larger than life and extremely passionate about supporting the United States Constitution and topical 2nd Amendment issues. Jon has an unique grasp of our current social and political climate, a true patriot in our times.
But the book itself is critically important for individuals who carry concealed in the state of Florida. It covers and explains in concise detail what is permitted, what is not, and the gray areas in-between (areas where there is no case law and are yet to be interpreted). Gutmacher, in a humorous and easy-going style, explains the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights and, specifically, the Second Amendment.
He amplifies various court cases and case law that shapes our current social environment. The book covers various topics along with answers to questions that are frequently brought up in concealed carry classrooms across the state. Such topics include: the purchase, sale & possession of firearms; what happens when you are denied a firearm purchase?; understanding your rights and limitations while possessing a Florida Concealed Weapons License (this section alone is worth the price of the book…because ignorance of the law is no defense); what to do if stopped or arrested; all firearm and weapon laws including NFA (an eye-opening section for all firearm owners), insurance and civil issues, and the laws of nearby Alabama and Georgia. The author also offers a free update to the book every year through his web site www.FloridaFirearmsLaw.com.
This book and others are available for sale in our Pro Shop here at the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum. It may very well save both your life and your exposure to civil liabilities. I highly recommend the book, not only as an enjoyable read but as a material reference source. I continue to reread it in hopes of providing valuable information to my students on how to stay in the fight long after the shooting has ended.
John Falldorf is a retired Deputy, former law enforcement trainer and gun shop manager.
Have you Tried it?
STUDENTS & TEACHERS
This is a truly unique ONLINE
CLASS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
for Firearms Instructors, AND
for students who want to be
able to find the perfect class
or instructor in advance!
Check it out at: www.shootingclasses.com.
There's nothing else like it!
After range time, the wolves usually gather for lunch with their caretakers.
This rare species of Gray Wolf travels in a pack of roughly 35 men and women from the Indian River Colony Club community of Melbourne, Florida. Most served in the USA military, and average about age 77. They sport gray manes (well, mostly) and have the distinction of sharing an odd assortment of disabilities and physical repairs. These range from arthritis, cataract surgery, knee and shoulder joint replacements, braces, pacemakers and stints. Yes, and they consider canes a fashion accessory.
Constantly training, many Gray Wolves congregate on Fridays in Titusville at The American Police Hall of Fame to practice defensive shooting in a course of fire known as “Tactical/Practical”.
Starting this course two years ago, the Grays typically finished last among the mostly younger-than-65 field of shooters. The second 12-week winter session just finished, however, with the Grays placing seven shooters in the top 25 and one shooter ranking 12th! Most remarkable, the best Gray shooter is blind in one eye! Another kicker is the group's 95-year oldest Gray, a West Point Grad who was on the West Point Pistol Team, and still an excellent shot! So much for being old and having a disability!
Gary Weeks, head honcho of APHF’s “Tactical/Practical” stated, “I’m really proud of the Gray Wolves progress. Their shooting patterns dramatically improved over the past two seasons...these guys and gals can really shoot!”
The Wolves can also train further south in the county at The Frog Bones Family Shooting Center in Melbourne and, on weekends, at Titusville and Port Malabar Rifle and Pistol Clubs, shooting IDPA and US Steel courses.
The Gray Wolves' motto is...”it is never too late to start pistol shooting and learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones”. Want to start a Gray Wolf pack in your community? Contact Alpha Gray Wolf Dave Wallace at email@example.com.
Learn about defending yourself,
in spite of physical limitations...
and refresh your firearms skills
(or learn new ones!)
At the monthly
Senior Handgun Refresher.
Senior Shooters Improving Their Tactical Skills & Gun Savvy
Report From The Grey Wolves
2nd Wednesday from 9 am-1 pm
at The Shooting Center.
To sign up, click HERE.
Next Refresher, MARCH 13!
By "Salesperson X"
By Gib Boyer
On August 22, 1985, I became a human pinball in traffic, courtesy of a motorcycle accident that left me with a spinal trauma.
It was a week before my 18th birthday and my birthday "gift" was an 11+ hour surgery that, thankfully, gave me the ability to use my body from the belly button down. Not a bad gift, huh?
I did fairly well after about a year of recovery, but my plans to serve in the US military came to an abrupt end. I found myself looking for new ways to use the training and skills I had developed through attending a military academy, shooting competitively in a variety of disciplines, and spending long hours in the woods and wetlands as a child.
I threw myself into the firearms trade and attended every school I possibly could and had the added blessing of a great mentor, with whom I attended the Lassen Gunsmith program at Lassen College. Eventually, I healed well enough to attend The Lethal Force Institute, as well as some of the Gunsite classes such as Advanced Tactical Handgun, Shotgun, Rifle etc. and every factory armorers or onsite manufactures opportunity and trade show I could visit or participate in. I also did what I could to help law enforcement agencies and manufactures get the best gear they could to keep us and them safe. Additionally, I earned a nursing degree and worked for five years in the operating room, but now I’m dealing with declining physical health courtesy of my accident, and the wear and tear that aging brings to the table. My list of physical limitations is pretty long, and getting longer by the day, but I still work to stay proficient in shooting and defending myself and my family.
The truth is that physical limitations can be pretty obvious, as my mobility issues are, presenting us as an easy ‘target’ for those who prey on people for a living. Like it or not, those limitations prompt predators to see us as weak and vunlerable. I’ve reached a point where I do get offered -- and need -- assistance from time to time with common tasks. I have found that the bulk of people in Brevard County and elsewhere are wonderful...and it is humbling to have them do little and big things for me with a smile. Some days, "thanks" just doesn't seem to cover it!
But my dilemma -- and the dilemma of anyone who must depend on "the kindness of strangers" -- is how do you know who is good and who is bad?
While it is often impossible to know for certain, you can help stack the deck in your favor by being observant and keying off physical cues: if someone is looking around alot, their body posture seems tense, their eyes are darting, they are walking toward you with purpose, face lowered or obscured by a hoodie, or you hear an engine running in the background and ‘it just doesn’t feel right,’ you need to immediately maintain distance and 'go defensive'.
This DOES NOT mean break leather and re-enact a movie shootout but, rather, you should, if possible, move to somewhere visible to onlookers or re-enter your vehicle if it is near-by. LOCK UP/ START IT and cover your weapon. DO NOT take your eyes off the person/threat and scan for additional threats (bad guys often travel in pairs or groups).
Even in a non-urgent situation, you should always be scanning your surroundings...put your head on a swivel. You’re looking for threats as well as places to take cover or escape. A major grocery store I frequent has plenty of places to shelter and take cover. It also has plenty of people. Get vocal and ask from help. Do not be afraid to ask for an escort from the store or business, especially when it is dark...and did you know you can even call law enforcement for an escort? Do not dial 911 for such a request, but contact your closest precinct. If time permits, call in advance and ask what the procedure is. I truly understand and appreciate how much a deputy or officer has to do but, they would much rather spend 5 minutes to get you safely home versus hours spent cleaning up the mess and details of your assault.
When it comes to selecting a weapon that you can utilize despite your physical limitations, gun shop personnel are used to hearing the common question "what gun is best for (fill in the blank)?" Bear in mind that there is NO perfect gun, pepper spray, taser etc. But there are plenty of carry/duty quality options to choose from.
My advice is to pick the gun that has the largest caliber you are competent with and an action that you can use both comfortably and efficiently. Semi-auto or revolver both work and are great choices., but each model has its own strengths and weaknesses...it is always best to select a gun that magnifies your own strengths and minimizes your weaknesses. That may mean trying several before you buy.
Find a gun shop that will take the time to answer your questions and help you make the right decision.
My physical issues are with my lower extremities, and a wheelchair is likely in my future. Matching a personal defense weapon with a wheelchair means examining control and retention issues. It's really no different than the considerations an able-bodied person must make -- where will you place the gun, how will you access it, and can you prevent others from accessing it first? This is part of the responsibility you must accept. Remember, too, that these days there are companies out there who specifically build holsters and related devices for wheelchair concealed carry. One such company is located in Grants Pass, OR and can be reached through this URL: http://scotworksllc.com/.
Basic safety and gun handling are the same, no matter your physical limitations. Take a reputable class and build your skills from there. Find good mentors and learn to adapt. When I shoot, I must brace my body against the range benches or roof supports, unless I am shooting from a sitting position. This may sound like a disadvantage but I’m actually training to barricade shoot each time. This could be preparing me for an encounter at the vegetable case in a grocery store, the columns outside the store, a car in the parking lot, etc. This also goes back to being aware of your surroundings and identifying potential cover and concealment wherever you are. It’s not hard or weird to be aware of your surroundings. People with bad intentions will find much easier targets among those who are distracted and not paying attention to the world around them. Also, if you are alert and aware, even if your mobility if limited, the bad guys may decide to pass you by, simply because you appear willing to put up a fight.
Aside from being a great defensive tool, guns are fun for poking holes in soda cans and targets, and the gun community is very welcoming and encouraging. A gun doesn’t care if you're male, female, young or old, or if you have disabilities. Maintaining your skills doesn’t have to be about going to special classes, although these are very important to understanding form, equipment and improved techniques. But getting out on the range and testing your skill is most important of all.
Despite your physical limitations, you CAN protect yourself and your loved ones. You must, of course, pick your battles carefully and, above all, avoid placing yourself in a dangerous situation in the first place.
Gib Boyer is a regular at The Shooting Center and he and his son Jimmy can often be found shooting together in the Saturday youth league.
Are you familiar with the NRA's Adaptive Shooting program? If you are disabled and a shooter, this program is geared toward your needs.
According to the most current census data, there are approximately 74 million individuals in America that identify as disabled. This population is growing as the Baby Boomer generation ages and as injured soldiers return from overseas.
As a group, they are generally under-represented in the shooting sports, personal protection and hunting communities. The NRA seeks to increase access and participation in shooting activities for people with disabilities through specialized techniques and technologies that are safe and unique to each individual.
To find out more, click HERE.
Last month, the museum hosted several heroes, as authors/police officers James ‘JT' Taman and David Shearman were on hand to sign their new book "Outside the Wire in Blue" which chronicles a little-known DOD program that used civilian law enforcement tactics and trainers to combat the insurgency in Fallujah. This compelling story is available in our gift shop, and will further underscore the courage and sacrifice of our men and women of the badge.
Officers Shearman and Taman enjoyed a visit with Radio Host Royce Bartlett (right) and later appeared on his Shooting Straight radio show on WMMB-AM.