Monday, April 16, 2012

The Reality of Defense

We spend a lot of time practicing with our firearms. We also spend time thinking about tragic circumstances when we might have to use that training. It's been said that for one split, rare and tragic instance, your training may be the most important thing you've ever learned. Law-abiding people who choose to go about life armed, do so not out of malice or bravado, but out of a sense of awareness and preparedness. Each day as I open my eyes and thank God for another day, I also ask that I do not have to use my weapon this day. Each night as I complete my prayers I thank God that once again, that piece of metal did nothing more than add weight to my belt, and some wear to my pants.

All gun owners must keep foremost in their minds when you carry a gun, every encounter you have with another person is an "armed encounter." That's why we hope avoid any situation where we even show the weapon.

It's a fact that the eventuality we prepare for, yet hope against, involves a human life. A recent training session helped to bring that home. Training partner Padre brought along a new target he had recently acquired, the Tac-Man target. This 3-D target can be dressed with shirt, hat, even sunglasses, to give a realistic defensive shooting target. While some may consider this morbid, and in fact some ranges prohibit even paper targets that depict humans, this sort of target offers much more than the typical paper target printed with circles. The "center of mass" is not explicitly shown. There's no red dot to aim for. No point values are listed. But it goes beyond that. Even though this target is plastic and stationary, it looks like a person. I can assure you when you are standing face to face with it, and draw your gun and start firing, a civilized brain will send out a signal of second thoughts.

I enjoy shooting for fun and relaxation, but I also shoot to prepare for the unlikely. Adding just a hint of reality to the mix reminds me of why I pray as I do.


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