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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Practice does not make perfect!

Practice does not make perfect!

I work full time as a local Police Officer and we are in the middle of annual firearms training and qualification, and this brings a few things to mind in regards to range habits, practice, and general shooting shenanigans.

I'm not a rich man, so I don't have an unlimited budget to buy ammo to practice. My department, like every other state and local entity, is also facing budgetary restraints. We don't have ammo to waist. I have even less time to waist. Between full time work, starting a small business, 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 wife, details and everything else I have barely any free time. Why the hell would I want to waist time and ammo bump-firing my AR for a U-Tube video!?!

Before you answer, think of this:

As a Sheepdog, be it LEO, Military, or CCW, I am a gunfighter. This is a commitment I have made to myself, my family, and my community at a minimum. For some the commitment extends to the public at large as a government agent/representative. With that commitment comes several responsibilities and liabilities. Most of us don't train enough. Me included. Why do I want to spend time and ammo building bad habits and possibly negatively effecting my credibility as a responsible gun owner? So I can get a few hits in the web?

Everything you do on the range is training. If you carry a gun for a living or as a lifestyle you can't afford to eff off on the range. With every pull of the trigger you are building habits. Are you building good ones that will save you or someone else in a violent encounter or are you collecting cool points?

And what about civil and criminal liabilities? I'm not saying you can go to jail for bump-firing (even though....). I am saying that that video on U-Tube is not going to help you on the witness stand. What is the (anti-gun?) jury going to see?

Plaintiff's Attorney: Mr. Doe, would you call yourself a “responsible gun owner”?

Roll U-Tube bump-fire video

Believe it or not, you don't have to bump-fire and run around the range like Rambo on a meth binge to have a good time on the range. In fact, if you can do crazy shit like that on the range you should also be able to work on some basic skills that all Sheepdogs should practice. Here are a few examples:

1.Drawing from your CCW/Duty rig and delivering rounds on target as quickly and accurately as possible.
2.Transition from long gun to pistol.
3.Malfunction drills.
4.Shooting on the move.
5.Shooting from/around cover (Stress Positions).
6.Support side/one hand drills.

The reality of the whole thing is this:

Most gun owners ARE NOT Sheepdogs, they are well armed sheep. Most cops and military people are not “gun guys”. I have been a cop for going on 10 years and can count the number of “gun guy” cops I know on one hand. I spent 7 years selling firearms in a retail store to sheep that wanted guns. They wanted to “feel safe” so they bought a Smith and Wesson 442 and got a CCW permit. Most have probably never shot anything more than the prescribed course of fire to get the CCW permit. Others have played Sheepdog because they had money and a mid-life crisis. They went to Thunder Ranch or took a few Magpul Dynamics classes. They only tote Ed Brown 1911's and JP Rifles. They sport all the latest and greatest gear and even talk the talk. But when the shit gets real the Sheepdogs are changing mags and these guys are shitting their Underarmor.

As a Leader of Marines, Law Enforcement Trainer, and Sheepdog I pick up and carry a firearm with one purpose. That is to potentially take a life in defense of myself or others. PERIOD. If you don't want to or don't think you can, don't leave the house with it. I get dressed for duty every day with the same little ritual. I go in the back room, which just happens to be the “gun room”, and get dressed. In silence, with my only company usually my little buddy Wicket the Pomeranian, I visually inspect my uniform. I reflect on the sacrifices I have made to have the honor to wear that uniform and those that have paid the price of blood while wearing ones like it. Next I strap on my vest and back up gun. Its my Po-Po American Express- I don't got 10-8 without it. I finish getting dressed and grab my gun belt. As I strap it on I remind myself that this could be the day I have to fight for my life. I may have to take a life to save a Brother in Blue or a total stranger. I may get injured, I may bleed. As I finish up and get ready to leave the house I draw from the holster a few times, just to make sure everything is good to go. I walk out of the door ready and willing to pull the trigger if I have to. I have the training, confidence, and gear that make me a Sheepdog. Although I have not trained enough, I have built muscle memory and good habits through the training I have had. But that is not all I have. Most importantly I have accepted my roll as a protector of the flock. A creature more similar in nature to the wolf than the sheep, with one major and vital difference; Love of the sheep. I am a wolf that preys upon wolves.

So go back to the question.......

Why the hell would I want to waist time and ammo bump-firing my AR for a U-Tube video!?!

I don't and won't. I have to much on the line. I have a commitment to uphold.

Practice does not make perfect. Perfect Practice does makes perfect.

And you can never get enough training. There is always room for improvement. Never stop learning.

Amateurs train until they get it right. Professionals train until they get it wrong.

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