Schools, Schools, Schools

Today in America it seems that there are firearms instructors everywhere so the question one always asks is who is the best. Well that is clearly a subjective opinion and perhaps has as much to do with ambiance as does a fine restaurant. Also it is hard to make a comparison of training if you’ve only been to one place.

I try to go annually with the hopes I will learn something new I can share with my students and I encourage people to take training annually and to take it with different schools/instructors but often picking an instructor is difficult because you don’t know what you are looking for. I wrote a short article on that awhile ago, 7 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Firearms Instructor.  You have to keep in mind that today there are no barriers to entry in the instruction business, any  person can go hang out a shingle and are now a real-life firearm instructor.

Having been to some of these I have my favorite and there is one in particular I really, really want to attend but in the end my questions are; what do I hope to gain from the particular school.

Some of the High Level Training schools in the USA
Gunsites
I.C.E. Training
Lethal Force Institute
Liberty Firearms Training
Rogers Shooting School
Sig Sauer Academy
Suarez International
Thunder Ranch
U.S. Shooting Academy
Vickers Tactical

Sig-Sauer-Academy[1]My favorite of all time . . . Sig Sauer Academy. Outstanding facility, outstanding instructors and curriculum

School I most want to attend . . . . Rogers Shooting School.


My questions . . . have you attended one or more of these? Which ones? What do you feel you got out of it? Would you recommend it to your loved ones? Would you go back? Which one do you have the most interest in attending? and Why?

Liberty Firearms Training


 

What is the perfect gun for your EDC?

What is your first decision factor in choosing a Concealed Handgun?

What is your first consideration when selecting a concealed carry handgun?
Weight
Length
Thickness
Caliber
Reliability
Popularity
Price
Action type
Trigger Reach

Poll Maker

Liberty Firearms Training


 

I Need To Practice

There are many moving parts involved when you carry a gun and guess what; they all need to be practiced to some degree so you have them committed to your sub-conscious memory. We all love to shoot, fast and furious . . . pop, pop, pop. But carrying a gun encompasses so much more than rapid fire and that is where the rubber fails to meet the road.

Moving Off the Line

Throughout the year I have students coming back to renew their CCW and I always get excited because I have not seen them in two years and I’m really looking forward to teaching them something new that could potentially save their life. Unfortunately far too often many have not fired their gun in two years. I don’t always call BS on them because I like these people but let’s get real, I’m a full time instructor and it is very easy to see who is practiced and who is clueless. Keep telling me some story about how often you’ve practiced the last two years and at some point I’m gonna call BS.

At LFT we provide an High Level training experience, you have the instructors full attention and he is making certain you get it and that you are stretched in your ability. When you finish with your class you have been inundated with the various pieces you as a civilian would need to use to save your life or another’s should you get caught flat footed by an armed assailant. What comes next is up to you.

What did I learn? Well I learned how to avoid a violent confrontation and for the most part I already practice in real life good situational awareness. I learned how to get my gun out quickly from concealment and engage quickly and effectively an armed assailant. I learned how to use cover effectively. I learned how to place accurate rounds on the threat while moving away and creating distance from the assailant. I learned how to place accurate rounds fast and furious in a reactive manner. NOW all I need to do is commit all of these things to my subconscious memory so if I need them it will just happen BUT I do not have a place to shoot like I was trained.

In practice there is the Fundamentals of Marksmanship that must be practiced regularly in order to keep those skills in memory. Those are a reasonably stable stance, a solid grip on the gun, perfect trigger control, accurate sight picture and consistent follow through. This requires going to a range, any range and putting rounds down range effectively regardless of distance because all I am really doing is programming my mind to work the trigger correctly regardless of what else is going on around me. This is the fun part of puzzle, I get to go BANG! But I must keep in mind that if I practice crap like jumping off the trigger, failing to do a correct reset and finding my follow up sight picture all I am accomplishing is crap, essentially becoming a crap master.

Fundamentals

So how do I practice all of these other pieces? I do them at home. Obviously we do not practice with live ammunition at home equally we do not practice from a concealed holster at the range.

We have to be able to access and get the gun out fast and what better place than in front of mirror to see if we can beat the guy in the mirror.

What about moving away from the target while drawing and firing? This can be done equally at home with an empty gun. We use the the LASR software and the Laser Ammo, just slightly more in cost than a 1,000 rounds of handgun ammunition AND we can do it on our own schedule. If you carry a DAO there are triggers available that easily slide into your Glock that will allow you to rapid fire without needing to cycle the slide.

In essence, there is no reason you cannot maintain your skill set regardless of which range you have available. If you want it, you can get it done.

Liberty Firearms Training


 

The Defensive Use of Guns and Training

Before discussing the use of guns in self-defense it is important to try and put things into perspective. There are 300,000,000 guns in America owned by some 100,000,000 million plus law abiding citizens and despite would some would think, you will never be able to eliminate that and this means bad people will always have access to guns.

It is important to note that for many in the media today they honestly believe that guns can be eliminated and that only law enforcement and military should have ACCESS to guns. This ideological position inevitably leads to a bias in the news reporting.  What this means to you is when you hear about someone being sued by the criminals family that this is a statistical anomaly, it just never happens. When you hear on the news about someone killing a large number of children in a school that it is a statistical anomaly, it just does not happen. These fear tactics are intentionally put out to the public to foster fear of the gun in the hopes of legislation that will restrict a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. Pretty much anything you hear in the news about guns will be slanted in a gun negative manner, which is a statistical certainty. Not to start a debate in this post but, the Second Amendment is the shortest in terms of words, is the clearest written with no ambiguity AND is the Second only after the First for a very specific reason.

Depending on your sources, the governments or independent investigation there are somewhere between 110,000 to 2,000,000 plus defensive use of guns (DUGs) in the USA annually. Since there is such a large disparity in those numbers please consider the sources, one is a government study, one is by a professor who is arguably a 2nd Amendment supporter. So, for the sake of argument let’s split the difference and say there are 1.1 million DUGs annually. In those numbers the people who would talk about their experience state that they believe the gun saved their lives. These are significant numbers when you consider the criminal use of guns, so I believe the argument that guns save lives is valid and easily proven.

Given the millions of DUGs you have to wonder why there are no criminals left standing. The reason is simply this, criminals fear citizens with guns more than they fear Law Enforcement or the Court system which of course could lead to the debate that the latter two entities have failed to stop crime. The reality of this numbers is however much simpler to explain and understand. Criminals are easily defeated psychologically.

In 92% to 98% of the times a citizen presents a gun, armed or not the predator often screams in fear and runs away. This is a great thing, it means that criminals can easily be stopped statistically speaking. This is a bad thing however because it means that many Americans falsely believe the gun to be a magic talisman against evil, that you merely show your gun and the criminals quiver in fear. Subsequently the majority of American gun owners do not feel the necessity of taking training and practice in the defensive use of a gun (please note Range Shooting is marksmanship practice, not defensive use practice).

The hardest number to find is the actual number of times a citizens fires their gun in self-defense. Records of these are not kept or at least not compiled in a manner accessible. In 2010 there were 326 deaths from the justified use of a gun in self-defense. This does not mean that people were prosecuted, it does not mean that is how many times guns were fired, it simply means that is how many aggressors were shot and succumbed to their wounds. By simple extrapolation you can see that there had to be MANY more times that shots were fired. When the shots were fired did the wound stop the aggressor or did the aggressor give up psychologically?

In the 2% to 8% of the time the aggressor fails to flee when a victim presents a gun the victim is going to have to shoot. At some point one of two things will quickly happen, a violent gunfight will ensue to the end of one of the other participants, or the aggressor gives up and runs. We just have no way of knowing the numbers but it is easy to draw the correlation between miles driven and the rate of lethal accidents. The odds of you having to shoot are very similar to the odds of you having a fatal injury accident in your life.

In those instances when you do have to shoot and the aggressor does not run in fear after you fire the gun what is going to happen next? You are going to have to shoot until the aggressor is defeated physiologically; meaning until he is paralyzed by a hit to the Central Nervous System or he loses oxygenated blood to the brain. How many rounds does it take to stop this type of aggressor? This is what we call the determined adversary. Who knows; which of course makes magazine size restrictions one of the most ridiculous laws in this country.

In our training programs we focus on the aggressor who will have to be stopped physiologically and the analogy we draw to emphasize the importance of that type of training is like not putting your seatbelt on in the morning after deciding today you will not be injured in a traffic accident. We emphasize the importance of being able to shoot very fast with an acceptable degree of accuracy while moving. It requires someone to teach you the skills and it requires you to practice regularly to maintain on a subconscious level those skills. DSC00234

If you believe you do not need these skills I would offer up the test, you are good driver therefore quit wearing your seatbelt. I kind of doubt anyone would stop wearing their seatbelt, I just cannot grasp why a gun owner would choose to not take training and practice.

Liberty Firearms Training