Survival-Pax Blog: Labor Day - Importance of Firearms Training

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day - Importance of Firearms Training

Fishing is one of my favorite things to do while camping.
I hope that all of you had a great Labor Day. I know that my friends, my family and I sure did.

I spent my weekend camping. The weather was uncooperative, with rain showers that blew past every few hours. Overall, it was pretty cold for this time of year, but we still made use of the time to the best of our ability.

I went fishing, sat by the campfire, but also did something that I don't normally get to do very often: Firearms Training.

Firearms for Defense?

Before I go any further, I wanted to give you some foundation for the rest of the article.

I know that to someone not familiar with firearms, as I once was only a few short years ago, seeing such training images with all those "scary guns" may be a little unnerving. I fully understand that.

I do plan on making future Survival-Pax Blog posts and even videos on the subject, but for now, if I'm about to write about firearms, I feel that I first need to explain myself.

Why should you use a gun for self defense?

That's a question that I hear very often. Let me answer that with a few questions of my own.

How important is your life? Is your life kinda important, somewhat important or very important? Your life arguably is the most important thing that you have. Living gives you the ability to do anything. It is the foundation of all that you are and have. Without life, you do not exist.

I guess that makes your life pretty important then, doesn't it?

Having a firearm, and the ability to use one,
makes for a very effective self defensive option.
Understanding that your life is arguably your most important possession, shouldn't you take very strong measures to defend it? The fact that your life is very important dictates the scale in which you should defend it.

Also understanding that there is nothing better than a gun for effectively defending your life while minimizing innocent casualties, a firearm is the perfect tool for self-defense or for the defense of others.

If you don't believe that life is worth defending, then I guess you can save yourself the time and stop reading this post right now because you probably won't appreciate the rest of it.

Just call 911 and the police will come and save you.

That's another one that I hear very often. I'll make this response short in saying that, in life or death situations, time always runs out far too quickly. You may only have seconds to react to an immediate threat. In those few seconds, only you can react quickly enough to defend your life. It is physically impossible to have a police officer on call to protect you and your family at all times. That is, unless you are a politician, movie star or other person of influence with body guards on duty 24/7.

For the rest of us, we need to be able to defend our lives. That means having the mindset to do so, the skills necessary and the tools required to do the job. It is all part of being prepared.

Alright, back to my weekend.

While I do try and make a trip to the local indoor shooting range every month or so, there is nothing like being outdoors in an unsupervised setting, where there is no range officer to tell you not to rapid fire or not to move while shooting. I fully understand that these safety considerations need to be taken at a public range, but these rules do hinder the type of training that can be done.

This steel plate from Action Target is an excellent training aid. 
A couple of times a year, I drive to a location off in the middle of nowhere, where I can train myself, along with others, the valuable skills that are necessary to effectively use a firearm for self defense.

Let's face it, an attacker doesn't look like a paper bullseye and you won't exactly be standing in perfect shooting position when using a firearm for self defense. Knowing this, your training also needs to be appropriate in order to more closely approximate a defensive encounter; one in which your life or the life of your family/friends/neighbors will be in jeopardy.

Not going into any real specifics, we made use of cardboard silhouette targets, along with shooting steel plates. For those who haven't shot steel before, I highly recommend trying it out. There is literally nothing better that I have found for improving your shooting skills. While they might be a bit pricey, I recommend checking out the Evil Roy Line of portable steel targets from Action Target.

A shooting barricade forces you to assume unconventional
shooting positions not normally trained with otherwise.
We also made use of a home-made shooting barricade. What I learned from shooting from behind a barricade is that it is a lot harder (and more fun) than it looks. It forces you to assume shooting postures that you otherwise would not go into, in order to shoot through the barricade. A shooting barricade is an excellent training aid.

Apart from camping, my goal for this last weekend was to help teach my friends firearm manipulation and shooting skills, along with furthering my own skills. I'd say that we more or less accomplished that goal and had a very fun time doing it.

Check out the Survival-Pax Facebook Page to see the photo album from the weekend's adventures.

Take care!

Simon - Survival-Pax Team Member

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