Here’s something you never see on the firing line at your local gun range: someone holding their phone. A book (remember them?). A bag of groceries. Anything other than a gun or a gun magazine. They face the target, empty-handed, then draw their gun. Done. And yet . . . how many times do you walk down the street with empty hands? Show me a family man or woman ambling around town without some sort of shopping or baby bag or something and I’ll show you a parental unit that got out of the car less than ten minutes previous. Show me a twenty-something who isn’t yakking or texting with a smart phone and I’ll show you someone who needs to get a life. I mean, seriously. To be fully prepared to draw your weapon you need to be ready to drop whatever’s in your hands. As the rabbi (a.k.a., David Kenik) says . . .
Letting go is hard to do. “It’s not instinctive,” the rabbi opines. “We’re taught our whole lives to hold onto things . . . Imagine someone driving with a drink who has to swerve or break suddenly. Do they drop the drink? No. They do not. But if you’re facing a deadly threat, you need to free your hands before you can draw your gun safely and effectively.”
If you take the “train as you mean to fight” mantra seriously, you need to take a bunch of beanbags to the range. Hold them in your hands, drop them (preferably on someone else’s command) and then draw your weapon and fire. Practice filling and emptying both left and right hands separately and at the same time.
Beanbags don’t roll around underfoot, scare other shooters on the line or require a lot of clean-up time. If, however, you have access to an understanding outdoor range, take an object that does break. Preferably something that’s at least somewhat valuable. That way you’ll train your brain to re-prioritize, so that the gun gets first dibs on your time and attention.
By the same token, take a glass or mug of something, as well. Drop it, let the liquid splash onto your pants (trousers for our UK friends), draw and fire (or, as yesterday, not). Again, you need to train your subconscious mind to “allow” you to do something it generally prohibits. Connecting dropping, splashing and drawing your gun in your mind will give you access to that pattern when you might really need it.
Op fam. Operational familiarity. When it comes to firearms training for real life self-defense scenarios, there’s nothing like it. We’ll get into Airsoft drills soon.
[NB: I know the milk in this video isn’t hot. But it might be warm. Or is that just wishful thinking by an old man?]