Monday, December 20, 2010
First Firearms Class
My first class was all about proper terminology, handling, and feeling comfortable around weapons.
I learned how to load a semi automatic pistol and why using the bolt is so important. Turns out, you have to pull the slide back to load a round into the chamber from the clip, if a round is not already there. Otherwise it won't fire, even if you pull the trigger.
Of course, the finger never goes near the trigger, but remains outside the trigger guard for safety. Its important to maintain a routine when handling guns, whether loaded or unloaded, so there is never a mistake. We always handle them as though they are loaded, having complete control of where the muzzle is pointed.
A precaution built into the semi automatic is the safety. My instructor told of the incident in combat where his buddy thought he was firing his weapon, but because the safety was on, nothing was being discharged.
A safety can get you killed, if used improperly.
We practiced home invasion scenarios where by being in the right place at the right time will increase odds of a favorable outcome. Namely, you live. This involves never standing directly in front of the door that is being breached.
Standing off to the side, in a darkened room, with a clear view of the pending invader is crucial.
These sorts of scenarios can be frightening, the more real, the more valuable.
While hiking my long trails, the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, Colorado, etc, I remember being warned time and time again, Never never never run from a bear. Never. When the time came that bears were in my path, and I found myself in direct confrontation, I remembered this warning.
In the wilderness, national parks, or in camp, the skills I learned prevented humans and bears from resorting to deadly force. A peaceful outcome was the result.
The weapons I handled seemed heavy, deadly, menacing. I respect them and hope to never use them in a life or death situation.
Target practicing is fun, I'm told, and that is on the schedule.
Knowledge is power.
Power gives confidence.