Friday, December 08, 2006

Firearms Training and the Militia

I've been kicking it around for a few weeks and I came to a conclusion. I don't know how to use my weapon. That is actually hard for me to say as I have been shooting and hunting for pretty much as long as I can remember.

In Boy Scouts when I was about 12 I could put 5 shots in the same hole at 20 yards with a BB gun and 50 yards with a .22, both with 0 wind. At longer ranges I could hit the center of the target, scoreable areas, or in the black depending on ranges. Older and using bigger bore I have never "missed" a deer or an elk. Sure I may have missed a few individual shots but my followups have hit. I've always dropped a deer or elk on the first "hit" shot. I've not had to do the tracking thing.

I'm not a horrible shot, however these are stationary targets with plenty of time to line up and think about a shot. There have been a few times that I pulled an impressive "hit" out of my posterior, for example dropping an elk on a lateral full run at ~150 yards with an opposite crosswind, while I was standing. Again though, I saw the elk coming and just waited for a good shot when it got out of the trees and into the open.

Operational wise you could put pretty much any modern firearm in my hands and I can load it, chamber a round, take the safety off, and fire it. I will most likely hit the black of a standard size target at 100 yards with a rifle on the first shot as long as the gun is mostly sighted in, second shot I'm going to be able to compensate and hit as long as I know where the first shot went. I'll hit center area within 5 shots with an unfamiliar rifle.

I am neither bragging nor disparaging my shooting skills. These are measured hits that I know I am capable of. Good or bad this is my measurable skill level with target ranges I have shot at, I might be better I don't know because I have not had the opportunity to test myself.

Any gun I own I can dismantle, clean, and reassemble. My "arsenal" consists of your typical Idaho outdoorsman that hunts and fishes. 12 and 20 gauge in pump action, semi-auto .22 long rifle that is just fun to shoot, 30-06, and a pump action .270. The only "assault rifle" I own is a Norinco SKS that I got for free as rent collateral. The guy didn't pay and I got his SKS.

That is where my knowledge of firearms ends. I know how to line up a target, and I know how to operate my firearms safely. Besides self taught trial and error practice on the range, the only real "training" I have had was part of Boy Scouts in Rifle and Shotgun merit badges and a brief section of Hunter's Education which covers a broad range of topics and gun safety is only a small portion.

However in a defense or tactical situation I am sorely unequipped and unknowledgable. You cannot say something like "excuse me could you please stand still at 50 yards for about 5 seconds will I line up this shot?". Not going to happen. Against time in a stress situation forget about it. I may as well not even have a gun would be my bet.

How about longer then 100 yards? I could use the same knowledge and probably hit at 200, 300 yards, but probably not consecutively nor competently. The other problem is that while I could confidently shoot pretty much any small arms I have, I probably could not competently join a few other people in a squad holding a line or securing an area.

At this point many are thinking join the military, join the police, they will teach you what you are looking for. Military nor police training is what I am looking for. If the military or police is doing the teaching that is fine, but I have no intention or ability to join either at this point in time in my life. Ten years ago that was an option. If drafted to serve and protect the nation on it's own soil I would gladly accept my duty. I prefer to remain a civilian right now and let men and women far better then me join military and police forces.

The point of the 2nd Amendment is not for hunting and target/trap shooting. The point of being a militia member (all able bodied people) is worthless if you do not have proper training.

The point of this post is to discuss ways to get proper training without joining the military and without dropping huge amounts of money for a training institute that is not in your area. Options of joining or forming a militia can also be considered, the caviet here is that "Militia" has a bad connotation in the media thanks to seperatists in Idaho and other areas.

I know I am a member of the militia, but I am not a member of a militia, and frankly as of late I find that more and more disconcerting, but the options that I know about for being a member of a militia do not seem that attractive. I live in Boise, Idaho so for me to say "I am a member of the militia" or that I am thinking about joining one instantly makes people think I am a white seperatist plotting to overthrow the zionist government. Far from it. If I were to join a "militia" group it would be more along the lines of a neighborhood watch (regular law abiding citizens) that trains together regularly or the citizen security groups found in the Dragon's Fury books by Jeff Head (modern day Minute Men).

The recent headlines about yet another 2nd amendment case going to court is just complete coincidence with this post. This is more about questioning this portion of my family's long term preparedness and security plans.

I went through all the background as I think there might be several people out there with the same predicament and thoughts so wanted people reading this to see where I was coming from.


Anonymous said...

There are a number of good options for private or class weapons training nationwide, and even locally. Many of these are open to civilians. Have you considered this approach?


Domandred said...

Thanks for the comment. That post was from 2006 and one of my first posts. Since that post I have actually scheduled and paid for a 4-day training session at Front Sight Firearms for later this year. I was going to go last year but instead stayed home as my wife was pregnant expecting our first child.

I still haven't decided which to take, handgun, rifle, or shotgun but am leaning towards handgun as that is the one I have the least experience with. Eventually I'll have a blog post about my experience there.