ISRA Thursday Bulletin - January 2, 2020

by Richard Pearson

For years, we have been reminding everyone that when things go bad you have between three to five seconds to respond.  The shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ proves the point.  The shooter was dead in six seconds.  Still, he was able to kill two people.  Nevertheless, many people were saved by the quick response of the volunteer security guards.  In such situations you have to be accurate and decisive.

The question is how do you get to be accurate and decisive?  I have witnessed many people practicing speed shooting at various ranges.  The problem is this: speed without accuracy is worthless.  You can’t miss fast enough to save yourself or someone else’s life; just like you can’t miss fast enough to win a competition.  In my opinion, when you practice you have to practice good marksmanship first.  The fundamentals of stance, grip, sight alignment, trigger pull and follow through still must be correctly practiced or you will never achieve accuracy with speed.  When you do practice the fundamentals, you can’t be sloppy about any one of them.  There are those who always just practice sight alignment but success will be limited unless you can put all the fundamentals together consistently.   

One way to approach a practice session is to break apart the fundamentals and practice, emphasizing one over the rest.  I didn’t say forget the rest.  For example, grip is often one of the most forgotten fundamentals.  So how do you practice grip? One way I like to practice is to set up a shooting table and lay the firearm on the table.  Pick up the firearm and establish your grip and fire one careful shot.  Then lay the firearm down and do it again.  Do it fifty times, always the same way until you can always grip the firearm the same way.  When doing these drills, I never load more than five rounds in a magazine or cylinder.  The reason is that it slows you down so you spend more time examining and studying the fundamental you are practicing.  Why did I pick grip for this example?  Because in most close self-defense distances, grip is combined with trigger pull; this is where your accuracy comes from.  You may not be able to get in a stance, see your sights or anything else.  I don’t want to mislead you; the further away from your target the importance of the fundamentals change, but none of them can be forgotten or ignored.  You want to become an excellent shot at distance.  Distance is your friend and if you are a good shot at distance, you have the advantage.  Escape is more likely.  Practicing fundamentals is something you always have to do and you must dedicate time to do them.  Not practicing fundamentals is why many experienced shooters get sloppy.

Of course, you want to learn to shoot both fast and accurately, and I understand that.  So do one-shot drills, two shot drills, three shot drills and go on from there to multiple targets.  Then enter some type of competition.  League shooting is a really good next step, followed by formal competitions.  This will teach you to shoot under pressure.  It will not be the same pressure you will feel when in a bad situation, but it will help you be ready should you be unfortunate enough to get into a real situation.  The other thing that leagues and competitions do is that they teach you to clear malfunctions under pressure when you least expect them.  Repeated drills and competitions help you learn to be decisive and develop combat mindset.  The same is true for magazine changes and a variety of other skills that all go along with shooting.  Taking classes to learn the proper way is important but skills must become second nature to you.  Skills are perishable and must be repeated often.  Skills must become second nature to you.  In a bad situation you don’t have time to think about how to do different skills, you must simply do them.  Remember, you have three to five seconds. As Wyatt Earp said, take your time but hurry.

Every once in a while, someone says something I wish I had said.  In this case David Codrea aptly described the cause of so many Chicago shootings as being done by feral thugs.  That term is exactly correct.  These people freely roam the streets of Chicago causing havoc like feral hogs do in the timbers and forests downstate.

In my view, both the City of Chicago and Cook County blame everything and everybody but themselves. When the police arrest these feral thugs, they are out of jail before the arresting officer can get their paperwork done.   One of the ways the City of Chicago and Cook County deals with their criminals is that they export them to the cities, villages and towns downstate and into Indiana.  Every citizen and public official should be aware of this problem.

The ISRA has released a statement regarding the new cannabis law.  This is a general statement.  We don’t yet know all the ramifications of this law.  Only the test of time will tell.

Cannabis is federally prohibited.  The Illinois law applies only to Illinois.  If you cross the state line with firearms and cannabis, that is a federal offense and prohibited in other states.  If you are caught crossing the state line, you are headed for big trouble.

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Author: ISRA Staff

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