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What one thing would you tell a civilian?

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#1 SacRyan

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 10:44 AM

I'm a firearms instructor when I'm not "paying the bills" at my computer security job. The school I'm with is one of the largest institutions for CIVILIANS in the US. (I'm not here to advertise search Pahrump Shooting School if you're interested.)

Bear in mind, these students are already in a class designed to teach them the fundamentals of carrying a pistol day in and day out, we even deliver lectures on shitting with a pistol on your belt and not being "that guy". They learn safety, malfunction clearances, shooting basics, presentation from an OWB holster but under concealment. And do all of this under time pressure if they think they can. (about 95% of every class attempts time pressure) As well as conversations about the use of deadly force, color code of mental awareness, and criminal and civil liability following a shooting. Most are really there to learn; I started my quest to be an instructor after a little ol' grandma from florida showed up with her brand new (never fired) G17. Hubby still traveled and she was gonna be damned to be caught unarmed and under trained alone at home. (She has been taking courses at the school for several years and has brought friends too!)

Given that background, if you had 60 seconds to stand in front of a class of 40 twice a week, what one or two things would you tell them to make them better?

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#2 DStevenson

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 12:16 PM

PRACTICE!
Go to the range (indoor or outdoor) as often as you physically and financially can. Practice your draw, practice your trigger pull, practice sight alignment and sight picture.
Practice until you are sick of it then practice something new. Practice shooting using your off hand, practice putting the weapon into battery using your belt or pocket. Practice off camber shooting, practice out of balance shooting, PRACTICE!
Practice reloads, practice dry firing, practice dry firing looking into a mirror and seeing your forward post not your target... P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E!
Take classes that help you practice your skills, take classes that help you expand your skills take classes that COULD save your life.

That and eat a healthy breakfast.
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#3 CENTCOMSurvivor

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 12:33 PM

Having the mindset to meet violence with violence and doing mental rehearsals. I constantly mentally rehearse and I think its one of best things you can do in between actual range time.
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#4 thinbluelion

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 02:48 PM

Absolutely agree with mental rehersals. I've been a cop over a decade and I still do this every single day. Let them know the brain cannot tell the difference between mental rehersal and real life. It is a great way to build reflexive actions.

Edited by thinbluelion, 27 September 2013 - 02:48 PM.


#5 CalicoJack

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 10:42 PM

Practice, practice, practice. Dry fire practice, mag reload practice. Keep an alert state of mind. Also agree with mental rehearsals. Be wary of those who are just wannabe mall cops and those who actually the heart and drive to protect their loved ones.

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#6 mangeface

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 04:48 AM

To build on what CalicoJack said, don't go out trying to be a wannabe mall cop. Don't go out trying to find trouble.

"I may walk among the sheep...but make no mistake, I am the sheepdog."
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#7 Jersey0311

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:25 PM

Invest in quality gear! They've already spent hundreds of dollars on a gun. We've all seen that asshole that rocks that POS nylon "holster" that the gun shop commando sold them. Get a good holster and a belt that is actually designed to support the weight of a handgun.

Also I'm HUGE on weapon lights AND carrying a handheld light. Low light training/tactics is HUGE, especially for these people who plan on using their firearms as home defense guns. Every handgun should have a light if it can accomodate one, IMO. But with that comes the responsibility to TRAIN with the light and a handheld as well. Slapping a light on a gun doesn't mean you now have low light training. They can hurt you just as quick as they'll help if you don't know what you're doing.

And get some sort of TCCC training. If you know how to make holes, you better be able to plug them too. Doesn't matter if they already have a medical background. If they were to have to render care after they used their firearm, it isn't the same as it is when they're working. Priorities differ. MARCH instead of ABCs, etc. Totally different ballgame.

NAEMT has courses all over the country. You don't need to be an EMT or have any medical training to attend.

Next to training in the use of their individual weapon system, the training that military personnel value the most is the medical training. Sometimes you gotta take a life to save one. And when it's time to save one, you better have your shit together. TCCC teaches that.

Edited by Jersey0311, 28 September 2013 - 03:30 PM.

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#8 Armitage12

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:31 PM

If I were a civilian taking such a class, I think I'd want to hear from the officer how to -talk- to an officer if there was interaction, like traffic stop, random encounter, or officer responding to a request for assistance. When do you say you are carrying, in what situations does the officer want to know, and what is the right way to speak and act so as not to create an awkward or misunderstanding situation? Maybe this is covered (I haven't taken the CCW course here in Ohio yet) but I have observed ordinary situations where trying to be too helpful or forthcoming creates awkward misunderstandings and would think the stakes are higher if there's a firearm involved.

#9 thinbluelion

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:26 AM

Armitage 12, usually if I stop someone who is carrying concealed they simply hand me their CHL with their ID. I then simply ask if they are carrying (and chew them out if they are not) and ask where it is. Other than that I treat it no different than any other encounter...other than talking about guns with them :) If you are stopped as a pedestrian I would immediately, calmly, and politety state " excuse me Officer, but I just want to let you know I have a concealed carry license and my gun is on my right hip(or wherever.)" Concealed carry is very common in Texas and I personally don't know of any officer that has an issue with it, can't speak for less gun friendly states though."

#10 SacRyan

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:07 PM

I really appreciate all the feedback -

Armitage12 - We actually have a classroom lecture on the subject where we demonstrate a felony stop, talk about dealing with LEOs after a shooting incident, and about general traffic stops. What ThinBlueLion says (handing over the permit with your DL during the stop) is our typical advice.

Jersey0311 - We reference those 'holsters' as OvenMitts on the range and usually encourage students with them to try out some of the kydex rental gear. Not to say that Kydex is an end all be all - just a step up from the oven mit. (Ever tried to reholster one without muzzling the support hand our your hip to hold it open?)

Thanks again to all - encourage everyone to keep them coming.

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