The Shooting Center Newsletter Third Edition June 2018
Show Your Support
Make the Trip to Tallahassee
for July 28 BIG PRO GUN Rally
The Art of Dry Fire
Training for the Real Thing
Special offer on Vertx Pants
Check Out our Pro Shop for Special Deals
On the Range with
"Boon" and "Tanto"
June 24: MAN CAMP offered by Assault Counter Tactics. An intense advanced shooting camp. The class is divided into two parts: Live fire on the range, including multiple opponents, shooting on the move in all directions, low-light and no light shooting, recovering a wounded person while shooting, back up gun and other nefarious shooting stuff. Dress like you're a concealed carrier not a contract operator going down range! Minimum 400 rounds hand gun, 200 rifle rounds. The other part of the class is "Shoot /No Shoot" scenarios using man-marking rounds and blanks. All will be filmed for courtroom purposes. The cost of the course $125 - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. sign up here: email@example.com -- (Don't worry ladies...stay tuned to this section of Home on the Range for "Wo-man Camp" later this summer!)
June 28: Realtor Safety Class -- 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This class is for any and all realtors who wish to be better prepared to avoid, and/or defend themselves against, those who prey upon agents in their chosen profession. First portion of the class (9-12 p.m.) is taught BY realtors FOR realtors, and counts as 3 Florida CEU credits. The second portion (from 1 p.m. to 4:30) is defensive firearms training for all realtors who carry firearms for their personal defense. This portion of the class is taught by Defensive Pistol Instructor, and host of Shooting Straight Radio Show, Royce Bartlett. Cost is $60 per person at the door, cash or check. To sign up, please go to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RTBA Facebook page, here. Or contact Royce Bartlett: 321-288-2699, Lindsey Pike: 321-258-3398 or Paige Lane: 321-626-0889.
July 1: Handgun Fundamentals & Concealed Carry Course - Perfect for beginners, lapsed shooters, or those wishing to try out several different types of handguns. Taught by author of "The Handgun Guide for Women."
Basics of shooting and handgun selection, Florida concealed carry laws, and hands-on grip, stance, slide racking, trigger pull and more! Yes, you can qualify for your concealed carry license at this class! 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. $50 - To sign up, click here.
July 7: Florida Concealed Carry Weapons Class - 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. $40 - sign up at shooting-center.org.
July 14: CCW 1 Advanced Pistol Class offered by RTBA and taught by Shooting Straight radio host Royce Bartlett - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $75 - To sign up, please go to email@example.com or go to RTBA Facebook page, here.
July 28: CCW 2 Advanced Pistol Class offered by RTBA and taught by Shooting Straight radio host Royce Bartlett - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $100 - To sign up, please go to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RTBA Facebook page, here.
To find out more about these classes or to find other
classes offered at The Shooting Center, click here.
Check us out on www.Shooting-Center.org
The Shooting Center is at:
6350 Horizon Drive Titusville, FL 32780
Open: Tues-Fri: 12 to 8 p.m. Sat & Sun - 12 to 6 p.m.
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Upcoming Classes at The Shooting Center
2A Supporters Urged to Turn Out at 'Big Pro Gun Rally' in Tallahassee, July 28
In response to recent anti-gun laws enacted by the Florida Legislature, and the media attention given to the anti-gun left, a grass roots movement is promising 'the largest pro-gun rally in the history of Florida' on the back steps of the Old Capitol in Tallahassee, on July 28, 2018.
The “Big Pro Gun Rally” will begin at 2 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol Courtyard, with national and local speakers and a peaceful display of support for our Second Amendment rights. Organizer Jon Gutmacher -- you may recognize his name as the author of “Florida Firearms – Law, Use & Ownership” -- says this is an opportunity to put some weight behind your words.
“We all talk about how unfair we’re portrayed by the media. We all complain how the anti-gun left is so successful in putting together rallies with tens of thousands - and we piddle along with a few hundred in sporadic instances,” he says. “We vow we will ‘fight’ to keep our guns – but usually the most any of us do is run our mouth, and nothing more.”
Attorney Gutmacher is considered the leading legal authority on firearm, weapon, and self-defense issues in Florida. He points out that pro-second amendment advocates are often ashamed “that our primary organizations cannot work together and put on a major rally in D.C., one that would put the anti-gunners to shame. But, the truth is – we don’t seem to have the same resolve, money, or resources that the anti-gun left has. Their supporters are billionaires who throw over $100 million a year into the anti-gun movement. Incredible,” he says. “They buy experts. They buy politicians. They spread lies. They fail to understand basic concepts in constitutional law. They fail to understand how important the Second Amendment is to their freedom, fighting crime, and self-defense.”
He notes that gun control advocates have fallen into what he calls “The Great Deception’…that guns are the enemy, the culprit, the cause – whereas – the truth is, that by focusing on guns, they have avoided
the very thing they want most – finding meaningful solutions for stopping and dealing with violence in an effective way.”
Gutmacher wants to coordinate Florida’s pro-gun forces in a way that sends a message to those who would attempt to violate the Constitution and dismantle our right to bear arms.
“This rally will tell them…the State, the Nation, and the World – that gun owners, at least Florida gun owners, are not a fading breed. We stand strong, we stand united, and we are a political force to be reckoned with,” he says. “And we will show up – one month before the Florida primaries – to prove it."
He urges Florida gun owners to make the trip to Tallahassee and help make the rally a resounding success, or run the risk that it will be “a laughing stock failure for the anti-gun left to revel in.”
For more information on the rally, go to www.thebigprogunrally.com or contact Gutmacher at Gutlaw@gmail.com. The organizer says he hopes to see busloads of second amendment supporters at the event. He adds that charter buses average $1,500 to $2,200 per coach, round trip, depending on dis- tance. He recommends chartering a bus, and having a sign-up sheet for customers and students, with each person paying a proportion of the bus cost – usually $27-44 per person, if the cost is not offset.
The Shooting Center at the American Police Hall of Fame will open the doors of its large training room on the morning of July 28, 2018 at 7 a.m. to serve coffee and doughnuts to those Brevard County residents who wish to caravan up to the rally. For more information, contact Tarae@aphf.org.
“This is a choice of will,” Gutmacher says. “…To survive, to preserve the Second Amendment, to show everyone that we will stand up for what we believe. Failure is not an option.”
...Shall NOT Be Infringed
By Eric Roessler
Dryfire is the act of going through all the motions of gripping, drawing, aiming and firing a firearm with the firearm unloaded.
It’s widely regarded as an inexpensive way to practice shooting in the home, anytime.
Like any kind of practice, the skills acquired depend on the quality of the practice. Repetitive practice reinforces and “seals in” motor skills. Therefore, it’s crucially important to ensure the repetitions are performed as perfectly as possible.
First and foremost, dryfire is an exercise in attention, perception and mental focus. Performance follows perception. If you don’t perceive what you’re doing in detail, you can’t make corrections. It’s not about consciously making things happen in your practice, it’s about consciously observing what happens in your practice in ever greater detail.
If you get physically tired, if your grip or eyes become fatigued or your attention wavers, STOP PRACTICING! Dryfire is not pushups. Take a five or ten minute break and return to practice. You can’t “push through” the fatigue. Five minutes of quality practice are more constructive than thirty minutes of sloppy tired repetition.
To begin, ensure that your pistol is UNLOADED. Find a section of well-lit, light colored wall. Form your absolute best grip on the pistol and get as close to a perfect sight picture as possible on the wall. Don’t worry about any sort of aiming reference, just concentrate on the top of the front sight being even with the top of the rear sight, and equal light on either side of the front sight in the rear sight notch. And, once again, make SURE your gun in unloaded!
I’m not going to begin to try to explain the elem- ents of a perfect grip or sight picture because, A) attempting to do so textually is futile and B) your perfect grip will be different than my perfect grip. There are, literally, countless Youtube videos on the subject. I personally recommend this one by Robert Vogel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45QhpvY9LZc
and this one by Rob Leatham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li0rGtXh23I
Once you’ve established your perfect grip and sight picture, cock the hammer or reset the striker of your pistol and begin squeezing and releasing the trigger just short of a trigger break. Not fast, but rhythmically. Don’t worry if you accidentally drop the hammer/striker, just reset and continue squeezing and releasing. I call these “trigger pulses.” While doing so, pay very close attention to:
Your sight picture. The front sight shouldn’t dip, or move side-to-side while you squeeze the trigger. Your sights are your most important source of information and feedback on your practice. Your sights will tell you if your adjustment and corrections are working...and how well.
Your grip. Your grip shouldn’t loosen, tighten, or squeeze along with your trigger finger. As much of your hand should be in as much contact with as much of the pistol grip as possible, with equal pressure all around. Your wrists should be locked so that the pistol muzzle can’t drop or waggle side to side.
Your trigger finger. The point of contact between your trigger finger and the trigger should be squeezing straight back, not curling in toward your shooting hand palm.
Tension in your body, especially the shoulders. The only tension should be in your hands gripping the pistol. Your shoulders should be down and relaxed. Your neck should be natural and your breathing should be free and easy.
Once you feel comfortable with the grip you’ve built and your ability to pulse the trigger without disturbing your sight picture, progress to breaking the trigger a few pulses into the exercise.
Resist the impulse to pull the trigger differently than when you were pulsing it when you intend to break. When you’re doing that comfortably and consistently, progress to breaking the trigger with no pulses. Recock/reset and repeat. As you progress, continue to pay attention to all the aforementioned points.
Pay attention to how everything feels. Shooting is tactile. The only visual component is the sight picture on the target. Don’t worry about how the grip looks, memorize how it feels.
As you practice and your ability to feel what you’re doing in detail improves, you’ll notice little things that seem to result in steadier sights or a better grip. A little extra tension between your shooting hand and your support hand or a feeling of greater pressure between the web of your hand and the backstrap. You will think, “Ah-hah! I’ve discovered the secret! If I can come back to this, I can have a better grip every time!”
Don’t get hung up on those things. They’re mile markers on the road, but they're not destinations. Your shooting will never stop evolving and changing and how you achieve good shooting won’t remain exactly the same, ever.
This exercise is the nucleus of your dryfire training. This is the goal of every dryfire repetition: a perfect grip and trigger break, every time.
Next month: we’ll examine how to practice the draw stroke and introduce use of the par timer to push your speed to the limit and beyond.
...And Dryfiring is Great Practice!
Donate Today by texting the word 'Police' to 91999 on your cell!
By Paul Pawela
The American Police Hall of Fame has served as the backdrop for numerous celebrity firearms training sessions over the years.
National trainers who have graced our classrooms with their presence include Special Forces/ Ranger Hall of Famer Gary ONeal , Ranger Hall of Famer Max Mullen, Ex DELTA Force operator Dale Comstock, SOCOM tactical trainer EJ Owens, Ranger/ Black Hawk Down commander Col. Danny McKnight, National Police Trainer Wes Doss, National Police Trainer Dave Young, as well as American Warrior, International Close Combat Instructors Association, Reality Based Training and many others.
Now, add to the list eight-time MMA World Champion Shannon Ritch, who visited the facility's annual Police Memorial ceremony and stayed to conduct a special training session on Saturday, May 19.
Many do not know Shannon has an extensive back ground in firearms, as he was an infantry solider in addition to a corrections officer who served on a special response team. Even more impressive, he served as a Federal Personal Protection Agent, body-guarding some of America's top government dignitaries in dangerous places.
His service deploying to troubled parts of the world helped to launch him into Brazilian jiu-jitsu and, later, into his dynamic career in mixed martial arts. He still trains military personnel in mixed martial arts and is a mainstay at the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
Shannon’s colorful life and career prompted HBO to build a documentary around him. Both HBO and Shannon decided the American Police Hall of Fame was an excellent back drop for filming.
The timing could not have been more perfect as the filming of Shannon’s documentary coincided with Police Memorial week (May 13-19, 2018).
HBO Producer Mike Petrone and Shannon got to mingle with some of our nation's finest law enforce- ment officers in addition to interacting with the family survivors of officers lost in the line of duty.
The next day, Shannon was back at the Hall of Fame where he taught a Close Quarter Confrontation course that encompassed close quarter shooting, hand-to-hand combat, handgun takeaway’s and ground fighting, all of which was documented by the HBO filmmakers.
The class taught by Shannon was first rate, and who would expect anything less from a man who has been World Champion so many different times and has experience in so many different areas of personal defense? What the students of the CQC course were so amazed about is how down-to-earth Shannon was in his approach to training.
He is not only a world champion, but he is world class in everything he does and we at the American Police Hall Of Fame were proud to host him!
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Hand-to-Hand to Hall of Fame
"If one system goes down, whether it’s a knife
or a gun, you’re left
with your hands."
-- Paul Pawela
Paul Pawela, Director of Law Enforce- ment Training at The Shooting Center, was recently notified that he will receive a lifetime achievement award and be inducted into The Universal Martial Arts Hall of Fame (UMAHoF) on August 16 in Houston, TX.
Pawela, who is known for his firearms training and expertise, is no less a star in the martial arts arena, where he has been training and refining his skill for 45 years. He retired from the 10th Special Forces Group of the United States Army and was designated a SOCOM hand-to-hand combat instructor. He has previously been recognized by the International Close Combat Instructors Association and the World Head of Family Sokeship Council.
For Pawela, there is very little separation between firearms tactics and hand-to-hand combat or martial arts.
“They’re never really separate,” he says. “If one system goes down, whether a knife or a gun, you’re left with your hands.”
It was a lesson learned at the knee of his father, Marion, a World War II veteran of the 82nd Airborne, whose Army pedigree included four combat jumps and an injury at the Battle of the Bulge.
“My dad had several altercations where he had to fight without a gun. He told me there was nothing pretty or fancy about it…it came down to his life or the other guy’s, and he made up his mind it was gonna be the other guy’s,” Pawela recalled. “That really had an impact on me…and that was around the time that Bruce Lee was rising to national prominence in the martial arts.”
As fate would have it, Pawela found himself training with many of Lee’s most prominent students. “In the intervening years I’ve had the great fortune to train with just about every rock star martial artist who has come on the scene,” Pawela noted.
He calls this latest award from UMAHoF, “overwhelming…it’s really a culmination of everything I’ve done in my career.”
And that’s quite a lot…
Pawela credits martial arts with helping him become one of only a few hand-to-hand combat instructors for American special forces. Later on, it led him into a career as an International Police Defensive Tactics Instructor. In that capacity he has trained students in Korea, Okinawa, Japan, Russia, England, Romania, Canada, and Poland, and was one of only two Americans ever invited to train Nigerian police.
Even today, the martial arts continue to play a prominent role in Pawela’s classes at the American Police Hall of Fame and through his own company, Assault Counter Tactics.
Pawela’s students learn not only how to handle a firearm but how to handle themselves when a firearm is no longer available. “It could mean the difference between life and death,” he says.
The Orlando resident will trek to Houston in August to be honored, but he views the experience as an opportunity to pay tribute to another inspirational fighter in his life.
“I told my daughter Angel that I wanted to dedicate the award to her,” Pawela says, in an uncharacteristically hushed tone. “She almost died giving birth to her fourth child, who did not survive, and, later on, she gave birth again, this time to a special needs child. She’s a greater fighter than I’ll ever be, so as far as I am concerned, this recognition is hers…”
Dave "Boon" Benton, at left, and Kris "Tanto" Paronto, right, work with lady shooters to improve their accuracy.
If you want to master proper and safe gun handling techniques, it’s always best to learn from those whose shooting skills have been tempered under fire. Seek out highly skilled law enforcement and military operatives, individuals who understand the role that firearms play in preserving freedom and saving lives.
Kris “Tanto” Paronto and Dave “Boon” Benton, definitely understand that role…perhaps better than most.
The duo – Paronto, a former Army Ranger and, Benton, a Marine veteran and ex-sniper -- were security contractors in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012 when Americans stationed in the region came under intense assault by the militant Islamic group, Ansar Al Sharia.
For 13 hours, Paronto, Benton and four other contractors put their lives on the line repelling attacks admid hellish machine gun, mortar and rocket fire. In the end, more than 20 Americans survived, although the attackers killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. The repercussions of that night continue to reverberate and reshape our American political landscape. The fallout also thrust Paronto, Benton and their associates into the popular culture arena when they co-authored a book that set the record straight, disputing prevailing political excuses as to why Americans in Benghazi were not better protected and supported.
Against that backdrop, and having met both Paronto and Benton at the recent NRA convention, I enthus- iastically signed up for an all-day, ladies-only shooting class held at a Palm Bay outdoor range the Friday before Memorial Day.
Having trained with a number of law enforcement and military instructors, I wondered how these two “celebrity” trainers would stack up, especially guiding a diverse group of women whose comfort level with guns ranged from considerable to zilch. Would these guys play the machismo card and attempt to dazzle or demean us with their superior skills (sadly, I’ve sat through such classes)? Would they be able to effectively translate their wealth of experience and knowledge into an estrogen-rich environment?
I shouldn’t have worried. The training was top notch and the “dynamic duo” kept even the most basic information both entertaining and memorable.
At the outset, Benton cautioned that there was little formality in their presentation…and anyone who arrived with that expectation clearly hadn’t done their homework on the instructors. I was struck by how accurately the film “13 Hours” captured their personalities…the laid-back, almost Zen-like Benton and the frenetic Paronto, serving up his comment- ary with a side of snark. And yet, somehow, it works.
“It’s one of the best teaching teams I’ve ever seen,” one student noted half way through the class.
Students listened intently as Benton explained, “there’s no secret sauce to shooting. Shooting is just shooting. You have to master good hand position and shooting stance, but mostly you just need to practice on your own. We’ll give you the tools and teach you the basics…and the basics don’t change… but if you buy a gun and never practice with it, our training is pointless.”
The duo stressed the importance of proper gear. “If a gun doesn’t fit your hand, you need to look for something different,” Benton said, “no matter who recommended it or how expensive it is.”
The instructors strongly advised sticking with a larger frame and a “battle tested” brand. Sig, Beretta, Glock, FN or Smith & Wesson all got the thumbs up, but Benton urged the ladies – and anyone else, for that matter -- to steer clear of “small guns that are easy to carry…but hard to shoot.”
Prior to placing the class of eight on the range, the duo launched into their “four rules of gun safety.” While the rules bore some resemblance to standard NRA guidelines, they also reflected insights gained through hard-won experience.
“Rule # 1 is ‘know the status of any weapon system that you’re using or that’s in your environment,’” Benton said. “This means, know where it is, know its condition is, know whether it’s loaded, etc. at all times.”
Rule #2 reflected the standard “keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot” admonition, only the “Boon and Tanto version” urged students to keep the finger indexed along the frame with enough tension that it can’t absently slip into the trigger guard.
For Rule #3, the instructors built on the “know your target and what lies beyond” decree by explaining that keeping your muzzle pointed down range isn’t always the right rule -- what if someone is down range adjusting a target? -- just as keeping the muzzle pointed up or down may not be safe, depending on your surroundings.
“Our rule is pretty simple,” Paronto said. “‘The muzzle needs to be where it needs to be when it needs to be there.’ And where it needs to be is situationally dependent. On a hot range, yeah, point it down range…but, at Walmart, you have to know what’s behind or beside the threat. Same if you’re in your own house; you need to know who is behind the walls (because bullets can penetrate most walls). It’s some- thing you have to be aware of.”
“Positively identify your target and then pay attention to what is around it…above it, below it and beside it,” Benton added.
Finally, the instructors told students that “if a gun is not on your person or being used, it must be secured.” And, once again, the rule is situationally dependent, with “secured” having different meanings depending on who you are and how you use your firearm.
After a lesson in pistol mechanics, our merry band of marksmen (okay, marks- women) set off for the near-by range.
On the Range
It was there that Boon and Tanto demonstrated not only their teaching skills but their leadership expertise, as well.
Both instructors comfortably joked with students and maintained a casual atmosphere, while staying visibly alert and deftly juggling varying levels of skill and ease. The tentative shooters received patient instruction that quickly moved them from awk- wardly nicking the edges of the target to neatly pinning each shot into a two or three inch circle. Those with more experience were pushed a bit harder, and were able to refine their technique because of it.
Although each student had her own reasons for taking the class, they were unanimous in their praise for the instructors. “My boyfriend has taken classes from Boon and Tanto and he insisted that I sign up for this,” said Arielle Benson. “I dragged my feet at first but he kept on me. I am so glad he did…I’ve had my concealed carry license for a year but I just never felt comfortable carrying. I feel so much better now, like I have the knowledge and confidence to carry and to visit the range on my own.”
For Vicki Orndorf, it was an opportunity to test her skills with a holster. “I routinely practice pulling my gun from my purse, but I almost never work with a holster,” she said. “My husband is former law enforce- ment and he’s always practicing and testing his skill. I’ve realized that I need to do the same.”
Amy Heslep loved the interaction between Boon and Tanto and felt that she emerged from the six-hour class, “better able to responsibly carry and be prepared for any real world situation I might face.”
But, for Sarah Adams, who made the trip from Tampa for the class, it was more than an opportunity to learn from the heroes of Benghazi, it was a chance to trade quips with old friends. “It’s just the second time I’ve trained with Boon, but I’ve known them both as friends for years,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to see their professional side. I’m impressed that they are so good at explaining things and really engaging with the students.”
One student, Cynthia Heffron of Del Ray Beach, not only took the all-female class but signed up for the next two days, as well, focusing on advanced shooting skills, shooting from cover, shooting on the move, ARs, pistols, and more.
“Those classes were more advanced, yet they still went over the basics several times as they did in the women’s course,” she noted. “They treated men and women the same. The first day, I had one other lady in the course and, on day two, I was the only chick! Of course I was the least experienced -- never shot an AR -- and we had a class of very experienced men. Even with that, I felt totally comfortable. I was treated no differently by Tanto and Boon or the other class members. They were all totally respectful and supportive and it was simply an amazing class!”
Cross Section of Students
When asked about the difference between training experienced shooters versus newbies, both instructors said they were comfortable in either scenario.
“They’re two different audiences…not better or worse, just different,” Benton explains. “But we get a real cross section of people in all of our classes. You might have a SWAT cop shooting right next to a 75-year-old grandma.”
“Of course we’ve trained military and law enforcement, embedded personnel and contractors through the years, but it’s also nice to work with novices and help them get comfortable with shooting. Plus, it’s really nice to not get the attitude you sometimes get from more experienced shooters,” Paronto grinned.
And, despite the political firestorm associated with their Benghazi experience, Paronto stressed that there is nothing political about their classes.
“We don’t care if you’re male, female, democrat, republican, we’re not here to preach to you. We’re here to teach you how to be a better shooter,” he said, adding, “I’m outspoken about issues when I need to be, but not here on the range.”
But the instructors do mix current events and training when it comes to one headline topic. “If you’re a teacher or an administrator who wants to be able to protect our children, please let us know and we’ll take care of your training fee,” Paronto said emphatically. “There is nothing more important than protecting children.”
If your interest is piqued and you want to know about upcoming classes across the country, you can find out more at battlelinetactical.com or kristantoparonto.com. Also, stay tuned to this publication, as we work to bring the duo here for a training session.
By Tara Dixon Engel
"There’s no secret
sauce to shooting. Shooting is
just shooting. You have to master good hand position
and shooting stance, but mostly you just need to practice..."
- Dave 'Boon' Benton
Lessons Learned Under Fire
Scroll to Page 14
On May 18, the American Police Hall of Fame held its annual Police Week Memorial Service, honoring those who have fallen in the line of duty. Over 500 family survivors from across the country signed up to participate in the ceremony and to attend Saturday's "Blue at the Zoo" event at the Brevard Zoo. Although weather threatened the Memorial service, it held off long enough for a successful conclusion. Next day, survivor families enjoyed a wet, but very fun, day at the Brevard Zoo. If you'd like to support The American Police Hall of Fame's compassionate programs, please click HERE to donate or text "Police" to 91999 on your cell.
Honoring The Fallen...
Empowering Women Through Training
Editor's Note: If you thought the American Police Hall of Fame/Shooting Center just supported law enforcement and civilian training in Florida, you'd be wrong! We offer outreach across the country such as this class taught by board president and long-time law enforcement officer Brian Smith.
By Brian C. Smith
May 6, 2018, was an exciting event for many of the students who attended a handgun class created just for women. The eight hour course was titled: Basic Pistol Fundamentals for Police Wives. Although the title appears restrictive to a select few, the class was also open to firefighter’s wives. Fourteen women participated in this course of instruction that began with basics classroom principles of firearms safety, dry-fire handling, along with grip and stance. After the classroom segment on basic handgun fundamentals, the class then moved to the “Compound Gun Repair & Range” in Crete, Illinois.
Being aware that the class consisted of women with varied shooting skills and experience, the live-fire range segment began with basic remedial instructions to minimize the anxiety of brand new shooters.
As the women became more comfortable with their handguns on the range, drills became more challenging, including such activities as shooting on the move, moving targets, and timed fire. This eight hour class required each attendee to bring approx- imately two hundred rounds of ammunition and a bag lunch. They spent roughly two hours in the classroom and five hours on the range; engaging in a variety of shooting drills designed and geared toward preparing an armed citizen with skills to survive an armed confrontation.
The course is taught by the staff of the Metropolitan Police Self-Defense Institute (MPSDI) of Chicago Heights, who volunteer their time annually to participate in this public service program. This program was created in 2010, and hosts up to three classes of this type annually. This program was recognized by the National Rifle Association on two occasions where MPSDI.was pre- sented the 2012 and 2013 “Public Service” award at the NRA’s fall Board of Directors meeting in Arlington, VA. The American Police Hall of Fame and the National Association of Chiefs of Police has also supported and spon- sored this program for many years.
Each participant who successfully passes the course, receives an NRA Basic Pistol certification, which is suitable to apply eight hours towards the required 16 hours for an Illinois Concealed Carry License. The next scheduled class of this type is 8 July, 2018. Women who are interested can visit the website at mpsdichicago.com and register. Also, videos of previous classes are available to view on the Metropolitan Police Self- Defense Institute business Facebook page.
Chief Smith will offer a monthly personal defense and firearms column in Home On The Range. If you have a question you would like him to tackle, contact him at email@example.com.