I know I have been abandoning this blog for a few days but that was because I was spending some quality time with about 70 other gun owners taking responsibility for their own training and safety.
The event was the 3rd annual Central Florida Tactical Conference and it was a sellout crowd. The event, organized by Jim Clark of High Point Training, was held with all volunteer labor and 100% of the net proceeds will go to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. It was estimated that at least $5,000 was raised for the Wounded Warriors.
The attendees were a mix of new and seasoned shooters all eager to learn new skills; it was great to see a number of new shooters among the familiar faces taking responsibility for their own training. The entire conference was a “hot” range meaning everyone’s gun was loaded at all times and everyone knew the rules for gun handling and everyone was responsible for safety. Nobody got hurt, nobody broke the rules and nobody had to be asked to leave for doing something stupid.
The event was a mixture of Hands-on, lecture and competition. There was a very challenging match which consisted of the “old Federal Air Marshall’s” qualification course which way a very challenging test of shooting speed and accuracy, if you didn’t make the allotted times you weren’t even in the running for the prize.
The other half of the match was a simple course of a seven target array that you had to shoot from the ground, then kneeling, then standing after a simulated fight where you are knocked to the ground. Easy? Not so much. I learned that my pistol may jam when I shoot it almost upside –down.
The shooting instruction was conducted by nationally known trainers.
Andy Stanford taught “Tactical Dynamics” which included 360 degree gun handling and the Wyatt Protocol which is to “fight, see if you need to fight any more, see if you need to fight anyone else, and then prepare to fight again.” He placed a lot of emphasis on avoidance of trouble, quoting John Farnam “don’t go stupid places with stupid people doing stupid things” good advice for all of us.
John Strayer taught “Techniques for the Defensive Revolver” Which included the advantages of the revolver versus the semi-auto as a backup weapon, proper grip, trigger control, reloading and drawing the backup revolver. Many of the participants were surprised to find out how much more difficult it was to shoot those small revolvers (the loaner guns were “J frames”). Quite a few participants were first time revolver shooters and more than one man came up to me later and remarked on how difficult it was and how they could not believe how many gun shop employees recommended this type of gun for women.
Shannon Smith presented “Fast Accurate Shooting Techniques” This included a lecture on the benefits of competition shooting for the armed citizen and a live fire demonstration by Shannon. Then there was instruction and practical exercises on Fast Accurate Shooting Techniques which involved a lot of discussion of grip, stance, sight picture, and trigger squeeze, followed by live fire drills. The interesting thing in my group was he asked how many people carried a “full size” gun on a daily basis and the only hands raises were my own, my female friend and one guy out of about 15 people in the group.
The non-shooting portions of the weekend included Dr. Barry Garcia teaching “Tactical Medicine,” a SWAT medic, who covered emergency first aid for gunshot wounds and other serious injuries that may be encountered on the range or on the street.
Phil Peplinski taught jand-to-hand self-defense, up close and personal, what to do if you are attacked on the street, and how to defend yourself from an attack with a knife, using improvised weapons for defense and how to retain your own weapon in a struggle.
What types of physio-psychological effects one may experience during and after a violent encounter was covered by Massad Ayoob . Some of the topics covered were what types of body alarm reactions and altered perspectives that may occur during a violent encounter as well as what one may experience in the aftermath of such an encounter.
So, in summary, it was two beautiful days in the central Florida sun with armed citizens taking responsibility for their own training, their own safety and the safety of others, raising money for a good cause, now that’s Common Sense!