Monday, January 05, 2015

Respect The Gun

The hardest hardest lesson to teach "new shooters" is to RESPECT THE GUN.

When I teach people how to safely compete in IPSC matches, there all-too-frequent moments when the class members get distracted by secondary considerations, and seem to forget that they have a gun in their hand.   The muzzle of their gun may end up pointing in any direction, and they are unaware of just WHERE it is pointing.

Many people who attend gun safety classes consider themselves to be skilled, experienced  gun persons with good judgement.  They are often wrong in their self assessment.   They are not adept at "multi-tasking", which includes the ability to hold a loaded gun in one hand while fishing for a reload-magazine.

The most important lesson for them to learn is that they are holding a deadly weapon, and they alone are responsible for handling it safely; any other consideration is secondary

When they forget this lesson, their troubles multiply instantly.

When does this happen? 

  • When they are trying to load, unload, or reload their pistol
  • When the shooting experience is over and they think that retrieving their dropped magazine (or expelled live round!) instead of holstered pistol

When students focus on fishing a magazine out of a belt carrier, they sometimes forget that they have a pistol in their hand.

When they are finished with stage, and have dropped a magazine, on the command "If clear, hammer down, holster" they don't holster; instead, they reach for the magazine laying on the ground before them, and as often as not they end up sweeping themselves.

And if they have a crappy, inadequate holster, sometimes they can't get the pistol holstered correctly, so they use both hands.  Who knows whether they place their off-hand in front of the muzzle?  They don't, but I do .. and they have just failed the exercise.

This is in a class, where they have been warned.  Who knows what they will do when they actually need to use their pistol in a match?

Or in a real-life situation?

I have seen students finish a stage, and on the HOLSTER command reach for his expended magazine (on the ground) and thus sweep himself.

I have seen a student attempting to MAKE READY at the beginning of the stage having difficulties extracting her starter-magazine from the carrier; after several attempts to access the magazine with one hand, she resorted to using both hands.  Unfortunately, she had already drawn her pistol so she ended up pointing the pistol past the 180-degree 'safe' zone.  (I have no idea how she thought she could improve accessing her magazine with a hand which was already fully occupied by a pistol .. albeit it was not yet loaded; she hadn't got that far, yet.)

So much for students in a gun-safety class.

Unfortunately, even 'experienced' and 'trained' Law Enforcement Officers seem to find it difficult to remember the Prime Directive:

When you have a gun in your possession, that IS the most important consideration.  Don't touch it without a good reason!

Reholster without looking? Grab for a falling gun? | Cornered Cat:
January 5, 2015

So here’s a surveillance video of an off-duty cop in an elevator, talking to his wife. Apparently, the gun riding in his holster just behind his right hip felt uncomfortable to him, so he took advantage of a private moment inside the elevator to adjust the way the gun was riding.
In this video, the officer fumbles one-handed with his gun.The gun goes off, the bullet bounces against the elevator door (STRONG DOOR!) and ends up in his stomach.


(Go to the Cornered Cat article to watch the video ... it's "A Teaching Moment".)

Perhaps this cop's mission in life is to serve as an example for the others.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. What you are doing is important and necessary.