Wait…first there’s a reasonable column about guns in the Washington Post and then CNN runs a piece that shows responsible parents and adults teaching kids as young as five how to shoot safely? On the same day? What kind of upside down, bizarro-world is this we’ve happened upon? Best segment from the CNN vid: interviewer Gary Tuchman asks Okeechobee Shooting Sports owner Jeff Wait if there isn’t something inherently dangerous in a tyke pulling the trigger on a firearm. It was probably a question he hoped would be a gotcha moment. Wait’s answer: “It’s only as dangerous as the person that’s doing it with them.” So…good training techniques and rigorous attention to safety mean a good time is had by all. Who knew?
The sturm und drang has been flowing freely since Charles Vacca met an untimely end earlier this week after allowing a 9-year-old girl to fire an Uzi with the giggle switch engaged. Reactions have fallen somewhere on the spectrum between ‘you deserve to be dead, you moron‘ to ‘all gun owners should be imprisoned and their children taken away.’ But taking a more measured view of the value of teaching children to shoot is Dan Baum, author of Gun Guys: A Road Trip. He’s out with a piece at time.com today, ‘Letting Kids Shoot Guns is Good for Them,” in which he extolls the virtues and benefits of teaching kids to shoot . . .
Shooting instructor Charles Vacca apparently didn’t read the news much. If he had, he might have known about the tragic case of a Massachusetts 8-year-old boy, Christopher Bizilj, who lost control of an Uzi back in 2008 and shot himself in the head. The boy was simply too small to control the little sub gun’s full-auto muzzle climb. Vacca was showing a 9-year-old girl how to shoot the same type of gun in Lake Havasu City, Arizona yesterday. When he told the little girl to pull the trigger, the gun climbed uncontrollably, shooting Vacca in the head. The video above stops just before Vacca is struck. . . .
Those of you concerned about the Internal Revenue Service’s information processing and archiving practices should probably be just as worried – if not more so – about the training of their agents who carry firearms. As cnsnews.com relates, “Special agents at the IRS accidentally shot their firearms 11 times between 2009 and 2011, and at least three of the cases ‘may have resulted in property damage or personal injury.’ Agents actually fired their guns accidently (sic) more often than they intentionally fired them in the field, according to an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).” It’s been said that the power to tax is the power to destroy. It seems that our friends, the revenoors, are doing their best to demonstrate the truth in that old adage.
Team FN champion shooter Dave Sevigny disagrees with trainers who insist that focusing on your front sight (i.e. putting it on the target) is the be-all, end-all for accurate shooting. Dave reckons that shooters should vary both the speed at which they shoot and their sight picture depending on the distance to the target. Close-in quick shots? Blurry sight picture. Distance shot? Look for the gap on either side of the front sight. Practice both sight pictures so you have both available. (There is a third picture but if he told you he’d have to kill you.) The trick . . .
A lot of SPEC-OPs guys are high-ready types. But there’s high ready and there’s you-must-be-high ready. I believe this is an example of the latter. But what do I know? I don’t own a single knee-pad. Yet.
Last week SIG SAUER gave both Tyler and myself a crash course in using firearms in CQB situations. Using some UTM training rounds and some of SIG’s firearms, we spend a good part of the day endlessly clearing rooms under the direction of the SIG SAUER Academy’s instructors — the same guys that teach this stuff to SWAT teams and military units on a regular basis. We weren’t anything even resembling what you would call good at it, but we got the basics and I figured some of you armchair operators might be interested in what we learned . . .
I didn’t want to go into the maze. The last time I’d entered Patriot Protection’s simulated house a simulated homeowner shot me with simulated ammunition that really, really hurt. By that point, I knew the training ground’s layout well enough. I also knew the chances of adding to my collection of painful welts and bloody dings during the room clearance drill was extremely high. The pretend bad guy was an experienced role player, skilled marksman and high-level tactician. He knew what I was likely to do better than I did. Even in the dark. Especially in the dark. Yes, there is that . . .
By John Perkins and Ari Kandel
In the main, firearms training is little more than target shooting. More “advanced” courses teach students to “get off the X” and “find cover and concealment.” They offer courses on “firearms retention” and “close quarters combat.” Some add stress to try and simulate a “real” attack. But most firearms training fails to take account of a simple, inescapable fact: once a violent attack begins, it’s bound to be a full-contact, hands-on fight, quite possibly to the death. Situational awareness, shooting stance, trigger control, muzzle discipline – when push comes to shove, none of those is going to cut it when the fighting gets up-close-and-personal. Which it will . . .
Evolve’s M.O. is promoting safe, responsible gun ownership while employing a more arch sensibility than, say, the NSSF’s Project Childsafe or the NRA’s Eddie Eagle programs. Not that there’s anything wrong with those more staid, traditional approaches. As Evolve’s Rebecca Bond says, there’s room in the safety advocacy universe for all kinds of strategies. Each one has the potential to reach a different constituency. You may remember their inaugural Don’t Be a Dumbass effort that garnered attention and some comment. This time out, Evolve’s coming at the topic of safe gun storage in a way that might appeal to people like Amanda Marcotte. Press release after the jump . . . Continue Reading
In the summer of 1996, when I was going into eighth grade, a buddy who was a few years older showed me his newest toy. It was amazing, it was brand new to the market and it was mind-bogglingly fun for a teenage boy: a laser pointer. I begged my parents for one and they eventually broke down and let me buy the pen-shaped gadget with my own cash. The cheap models available as a cat toy for less than $5 now cost me something like $60 back then. It didn’t matter though, because the ridiculous adolescent thrill of casting a brilliant red disk on the neighbors’ houses made it all worth it . . .
By Jay D.
Some friends and I recently took a trip to the desert to go shooting. In our group were two women with little to no experience with guns. After observing what worked and what did not work for them, I have several tips to help us teach effectively and make the whole experience more enjoyable. The following tips apply especially to women and young shooters but are helpful for introducing firearms to anyone . . .