Thursday, May 31, 2007

Practicing For a Day I Hope Never Comes

The day after the Virginia Tech shootings I went to the range and, for the first time in my life, bought a "human" target, a police training "thug" target like the one pictured. After practicing on regular pistol targets, I "qualified" by firing 50 rounds. I used magazines with 10 rounds each, and did all double-taps at about 21 ft. I had 13 misses, mostly "hits" outside the gray scoring area. Two or three were outside the target area, but still on the paper. I assume all the misses were the second shot from double-taps. A "double-tap", by the way, is two shots fired in quick succession, followed by a momentary pause to assess the effect, if any, on the target. A week or so later I went back, got another "thug" target, and "requalified", this time with 50 rounds fired at about one-second intervals, no double-taps. The picture is of that target. I had one miss that was on the target but outside the scoring area. My intention is to go back at least on a monthly basis and try to get better with double-taps.

Prior to the shootings at Trolley Square in Salt Lake, I’m sure a lot of people in Utah were comfortable with the assumption that something like that couldn’t happen here. The week after the Trolley Square massacre applications for concealed firearm permits quadrupled at the Utah BCI.

I hope and pray the day never comes when I’m faced with a situation like the students and faculty were at Virginia Tech or the shoppers at Trolley Square. I can’t say with absolute certainty that I’m totally prepared to take a human life in defense of myself or loved ones, but on the other hand, I’m never going to be ready to crawl under a table and beg for my life.

How about you?

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