Monday, April 24, 2006

Handgun Training

I'm no dummy. I have an idea of how a gun works. I've had experience using rifles before, and a little experience with handguns (a LONG time ago). I felt that if I was in a situation that warrented it, and I had the means, I'd be able to successfully opperate a handgun if necessary. Well, I was wrong.

I used to think that using a handgun was simple. You aim it, you pull the trigger smoothly, and you hit your target. Well it's a bit more involved than that.

I went to the training with an open mind, and hoped to learn something. The first part of the class was pretty basic discription of the gun, and how its parts work; stuff I knew. The second was a video that (while old) was actually pretty helpful introducing us to firearms. Then they brought out some handguns to look at and handle. I became uncomfortable at this stage, as it seemed dangerous to me to handle guns, bullets or no. Obviously this was silly, but I never knew I felt that way. I blame growing up in Californian society for teachimg me that guns are dangerous, and are only for shooting other people. I say that jokingly, but I'm really not joking...

They described the different types of actions on the guns, and the different safeties on each one. They also explained the "safety triangle," hear me out... the triangle is comprised of three things; a human (an operator), the gun, and the ammunition. If the three of these things are together, there is a possibility of danger. Take any of these things out, by moving the ammunition to another room, or locking the gun and ammo in a safe, and there is safety. Simple and effective.

When we came to the firing practice we went over all the motions you need to go through to hit a target. I thought it was silly, because all you had to do was point, and pull the trigger. I listened to all the things this championship shooter had to say, then fired 10 rounds at the small dot target at about 10 yards. I couldn't believe that I had missed that dot so terribly! It was abundantly clear to me that should I have been called upon to use a handgun in protection of my life or the lives of others prior to that day, I would have failed. miserably if you factor in the adrenaline that would, no doubt, be at play in such an incident...

This was not a good feeling to have.

As I continued firing off more rounds, I became more comfortable operating the handgun (glock 19), and became more accurate. When the instructor came around and reminded me of some of the tips he gave, I was suprised how positively it affected my aim. The day was just full of suprises...

Well, to sum it up; you don't know what you don't know, until you know... Now I know. "And knowing is half the battle! GI Joooooe!"

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