Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Just A Shot In The Dark
It's been a while since I had a good "that's not training" rant. Low and behold, this morning Everyday No Days Off had an article about a former Spetsnaz instructor shooting his fellow instructor at a range in Texas. Three times(!).
Without wishing to get personal, I'd like to beat this issue to death. The problem here is the total lack of target identification. From what I grasp of the story, students were led through a low-light or no-light shoot house to engage targets without the use of NODs or lights. While one can see the utility in training for the worst of all scenarios, one should also recognize the importance of knowing what you are shooting and why.
One of the neat things the Army started doing during the train-up for my last tour was asking everyone who fired a weapon during a CQB range "what did you shoot and why did you shoot?". The core of defensive (or offensive!) shooting is knowing what you are about to destroy. Is it the target you put up an hour ago, or is it your co-instructor standing in front of the target? Is it a burglar or your teenage son sneaking back in from a party? You HAVE to know the answer to those questions before you fire. Period!
There is a new fad with younger trainers wherein common sense safety measures are overlooked because "safety is for pussies". Well, after surviving a number of complex ambushes, I am a huge pussy. I will not fire at shadows, noises, or into an unsafe backstop. If I cannot positively identify what my bullet is about to enter, I won't shoot.
No matter how high-speed your instructor may have been, you shouldn't shoot blind. If you feel a drill or an action is unsafe, then use your judgement and decline to do it. Firearms training is inherently dangerous. Probably more dangerous than golf or bowling even. There's no reason to make it any more dangerous by doing ridiculous drills.