Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reality Bites

Two things make me want to pull my remaining hair out when it comes to firearms training. #1- Training to snatch a pistol from an assailant's hands. #2- Training to clear your house when you hear a noise at night or to confront an intruder. These things are absurd and will probably kill you, but they are a neat "hook" to get people into martial arts and firearms schools. Now sit back while I blow off some steam.

First, the Jackie Chan pistol-takeaway. There are dozens of different schools and techniques, but they pretty much all involve you taking a pistol from an attacker. The thought is that if an attacker gets too close, it would afford you the opportunity to disarm them. Well, I agree with the principle that you should go out fighting, but this is an absolute last-ditch effort and a motivated attacker isn't going to let loose of that gun. You should  accept the fact that you're getting shot in the effort, whether it works or not. Don't believe me? Buy an airsoft pistol and have a friend point it at you (wear appropriate protective gear) and try to take it from them. I would bet you get shot 80 or 90% of the time and the gun goes off every time--regardless of outcome. The pistol-takeaway is a neat trick, but I would spend most of my time training for something else and doing my best to avoid this situation. Those of you out there who are not spies or convenience store clerks will probably not have to worry about this scenario. Ever. 

Second, clearing your house. Let me start by saying that at this point I've been in the infantry for over nine years. I've done two deployments to Eastern Trashcanistan, and served as both team and squad leader for real-life operations where we had to clear houses. If you get online and download a Warrior Task Manual, you will find that the task "Enter and Clear a Room" is listed as a fire-team level task. That means that you never clear a room with less than three people. Clearing a house is generally a platoon level task at least. That means to clear your house properly, you need about 27 people. Granted, part of that platoon will be providing support from outside, but no less than 15 would be assigned as entry teams. 

My advice is to have a plan for things that go "bump" in the night, and that plan is to hold one room with everyone inside while one adult holds a gun on the(locked) door and another dials 9-1-1. Again, if you want to test my logic, buy a pair of airsoft pistols and try your luck against a buddy. My suggestion is to tell your friend (the "invader") to pick a spot and stay there. I think you will be surprised how hard it is to clear a room even against a static target. 

That said, I don't think it's silly to learn how to clear rooms. It's really fun and a buddy and I bought .22LR clones of classic "tactical" weapons just so we can relive our glory days without being shot. Learning to clear rooms is great and you should always seek more training if you want it, but don't let it go to your head. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. 

Well, thanks for tuning in for my little rant. I'm heading to the family farm for the weekend. Probably going to play with the MP-5 while I'm there. Maybe that will generate a new post. Maybe not. Keep your stick on the ice!

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