Saturday, September 14, 2013

ARPC Match; September, 2013

The 2013 IPSC season is winding down in Oregon ... kind of ... but you couldn't tell it by the September match at Albany.  There were 66 competitors at the match.  For reasons too complex and boring to go into, I didn't compete but I did show up toward the end of the match to watch a couple of people shoot.  Also, I had a half-dozen people in the last couple of month's "Introduction to USPSA" class who I had hoped will complete their certification, and I wanted to see how they did.

In the actual event, only 2 of the recent class participants actually competed.  Note that this is the final phase of Certification Training; each participant must complete a scheduled match without incurring a Match Disqualification (violation of a Safety Rule) before the training is deemed to have been successfully completed.

The two class members were "Hodgins" (because he looks so much like the Bug&Slime Guy on the television show"BONES") and his partner, Kelsey.  A young couple, they were typical of the people who show up for class:  enthusiastic, gun-savvy, and with great gun-handling skills.  (More on this later.)  I didn't get to watch "Hodgins" shoot, but Kelsey looked like she had been doing IPSC matches for years on the one stage I witnessed.   It was a six-target stage with movement between shooting positions ... looked like a Classifier, although I can't name it right now.   Her last two shots were snake-eye A-zone hits, and she wasn't wasting a lot of time;  she was focusing on accuracy, which is exactly what she was suppose to be doing.    I was impressed by her no-nonsense "Get It Done" attitude.  No nervousness,  just having fun and being safe.  The accuracy was a pleasant bonus.  (She seemed more nervous during the class than at the match!)

Funny Stories:
No-Shoot Targets are Penalty Targets.  We all know that they are introduced into a stage design in order to force the competitors to tighten up on their accuracy.  Almost invariably, the no-shoots (or "WHITE targets ... the backside of IPSC targets are colored white, as opposed to the 'shoot targets' which are brown in color found on the front side) are strategically placed so they they overlay at least a portion of one or more 'shoot targets'.

This confuses and confounds many of us 'average shooters' because we have to slow WAY down to focus on accuracy.  The better shooters shrug it off, because they ALWAYS shoot accurately.  In fact, at this club the top shooter is often Gene, with second place being the real race.  There are a half-dozen very good shooters (usually Master class) who really have to fight it out amongst them.  This race is complicated by the division in which they choose to compete at any given match.  A few stick with Open gun, while a few have chosen the more 'challenging' divisions; on example was Bill the Elder who chose to compete in Single-Stack Division shooting a 9mm (Minor Power) pistol.  No surprise that Bill won Single-Stack, because he is just that good.

But in this case, Trevor -- who is always working hard at everything he does -- allowed himself to get distracted by the White Target on one side of his final stage.  He ended up with a "D-hit" and a Miss, but as he told me later "... at least I didn't get a No-Shoot!"

That was sufficient to put him down a slot; Yawn got 2nd Place and predictably Gene won the match "overall".

On the other hand, my old friend Whitefish (so nicknamed for his penchant of selecting white-target-seeking bullets) actually shot a clean match!  No misses, no penalties!  It's not QUITE as unusual for him to shoot a clean match than it is for me, but rare enough that it's worthy of notice.

Unfortunately, he did have on single little .... incident.

You know those new magnetic magazine carriers which are guaranteed not to drop a mag until you SLIDE it off the surface?  He had positioned one on his gear belt a bit too close to his holster.  Apparently, it had not occurred to him that this was problematic, until he drew on one stage and caught the muzzle-brake (or forward end of the slide ... not clear in the telling) on the magnet.  He tugged and tugged, he could tell that he had cleared the holster, but he could not raise the pistol!

Finally, he looked down and saw that it was stuck on the magnet.  It was no great chore to then 'slide' the gun off the magnet and commence shooting, but he lost several seconds of stage time trying to resolve the UNIQUE problem.

When he told me this story after the match, I asked him to please photograph his equipment belt when he got home and send me the photo.  He demurred, saying: "I moved the magnet to the back of my belt, and that's where it's going to stay!"

Then he and I and Mike the Revolver Guy swapped stories about using race-gun holsters and failing to unlock the gun before drawing.  Think: grown men swearing while pulling their holsters (and underwear) toward their armpits.  No, it's not a pretty picture.

Gun-Handling Skills:
At the pre-match "Introduction to USPSA"class conducted the weekend preceding the class, there was one young woman who had a very limited amount of experience with shooting, especially with a pistol.  She participated in the Classroom Discussion and demonstrated a good understanding of the rules and procedures, but Classroom work is all intellectual; it doesn't test actually physical skills, nor does it necessarily lead to safe shooting practices.

Due to limitations of time and resources, there was no way she could be incorporated into the class without taking away from the other participants, all of whom were experienced   So she graciously sat through the entire 3-hour class while waiting for her friends to finish ... including the guy who owned the car that was going to take her home.

I advised them then to register her into the "Basic Handgun" class offered by the club on a monthly basis.  And for myself, I will alter my 'boilerplate' instructions to New Students to emphasize that the "Introduction to USPSA" is an ADVANCED class, and only open to participants who have sufficient experience and expertise to meet the minimum requirements.

Until a while ago, I had expected that the applicants for the class would go through the Discipline Director first, and he would ascertain their experience and qualification.   Essentially, he would question the people who wished to take the class, and if they were not qualified he would direct them toward the training which more accurately built their skill-sets.  The club has re-organized, and we haven't got all of the "vetting process" resolved.  Since this young woman was an adolescent (17) I had required that she be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian .. and so she was.  I explained to her and her attendant parent that I could not allow a tyro to participate in the Live Fire Exercise, so she was relegated to the Peanut Gallery while she watched others (including her drive) shoot.

No, IPSC is not a Spectator Sport.  She was very patient, but had it been me I would have been quietly fuming.  She had to watch everybody else have fun shooting, and she didn't even get to gear up!

This business of training shooters is an iterative process, and often the instructors learn as much as do the students.  For every potential student (those who express an interest by the process of contacting me to register for the class) I send a several-page "Boilerplate".  This supposedly covers all the questions and requirements which may be helpful to the students.

Unfortunately, I have not yet thought to revise it to specify that the class was available only to "EXPERIENCED" pistol shooters.   Nor have I identified the class as an "ADVANCED CLASS".

I shall revise the Boilerplate to emphasize that requirement, and I do hope that this will serve to avoid disappointment to future attendees.

There's always something that can be improved in every course of instruction.  The trick is to identify it before discovering that one has just disenchanting a prospective Competitor,

Thursday, September 12, 2013

911 Blogmeat ( a little late, I know)

I'm still mad as hell!

Volunteerism ... not my job.

Good for you (voting out the leftests)  Bad for you (flooding)
Is there a connection?  I hope not.  God IS on 'our side'.  I know, because He told me so!
God controls floods, and we can do little about it;  
Citizens control Government.  Learn this, shady left-leaning power-mad bottom-feeding arrogant politicians!

The historic Colorado recall election that resulted this week in two Democratic lawmakers being ousted from office was seen by many as a rebuke to their support of gun control legislation. The head of the Democratic Party had a different take. 
"This was voter suppression, pure and simple," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement. 
Schultz claimed the elections in Colorado on Tuesday "were defined by the vast array of obstacles that special interests threw in the way of voters for the purpose of reversing the will of the legislature and the people."
But Republicans says that's nonsense. And they sharply dispute the claim that if more people were able to vote, the Democrats would have survived the recall. 
Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer tweeted: “Dems lose BOTH seats in CO..  cue@DWStweets sore loser rhetoric" -- a reference to Schultz' comments. 
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler's office also questioned Schultz' argument. 
"When you look at the results of this recall election, when more people showed up, Democrats got crushed," he told Politico. "So why she has any credibility whatsoever just blows me away when she says stuff that's just completely contradicted by facts on the ground." 
On Tuesday, voters in Colorado successfully recalled Senate President John Morse, by 51 percent to 49 percent, and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueble, Colo., by 56 percent to 44 percent.

Okay, it's clear that Democrats are more interested in form than in substance.  Or, stated another way ... they don't care if they support the will of the public,  all they want to do is to RULE, and they're willing to risk their careers in the mad pursuit of power!

(Of course, Republican Politicians are no better.)

" ...the vast array of obstacles that special interests threw in the way of voters for the purpose of reversing the will of the legislature and the people."?
Perhaps Colorado requires the voters provide proof of Citizenship and Identity"?
 Well, yes, I agree; that would provide a major obstacle for 'many"
 would-be voters in Colorado.

For a candid view from a Colorado resident, check out the entirely unbiased comments of Michael Bane: