July 29th, 2010 12:06 AM
A few thoughts for NEW CCW shooters/citizens...
Many of you who send me emails are new shooters. That makes me smile, because you're obviously open minded and willing to learn and you're taking advantage of decent podcasts and forums geared towards shooting and self defense. So I like it when a new shooter contacts me. So I thought I would put together a few thoughts for you to consider, because just like you, I was a new handgun shooter less than 6 years ago. So here's how it all started for me.
I was (and still am) primarily in the business of home security and home automation. So needless to say, home invasions and burglaries were at the top of my list of worries. So this was a natural thing for me to be concerned about, so thatís what I wanted to improve upon first. So my choice of starting with home security seemed to make the most sense area in which I live, is part of the 8th largest metropolitan area in America! So the scenario of living in the large city where I live (Dallas/Ft. Worth) got me motivated. Now, what Iím about to tell you right now, Iíve said quite a few times in previous shows, but I continually get emails about this. Thatís OK, because few people listen to every show I do. So this is what I did, because this is what the home security industry has taught me. I began by inspecting and performing routine maintenance on the locks of both my doors and windows. My home has an alarm system, so I called my monitoring company and tested my system about 5 different ways to make sure it worked like I wanted it too. I also check into how the system actually functioned. Then, I started thinking that Like most alarm systems it simply sends a signal along the phone line, making it easy enough for a burglar to either cut the phone line or knock out power and enter more easily. So I spent the money on a cellular GSM back up system and a larger battery back up system. After that, I bought some extra noise making sensors and installed them on the doors and a few select windows. I also purchased a couple of glass break sensors. Now, this is kind of low tech, but it work and usually affordable. I also changed out all of the locking hardware to heavy duty hardware and used 3 inch screws so that they went all the way into the 2X4 door frame, making it much harder for the doors to be kicked in. I also added security motion lights on both sides and the back of my home. While the system isn't foolproof it is much more secure than it was before I started and all with relatively minimal effort.
Now for the gun stuff...
In addition to preparing my house for the break-in or home invasion scenario I also recognized I might need something more than a rusty old 20 gauge shotgun which was all I owned at that time. So I obtained my first handgun, a Sig P226 9mm. I kept that gun on the nightstand in a push button safe bolted to the top of the nightstand. In the house we lived in at that time, we had a HUGE walk in closet and it was easy for me and my wife and my son to hole up in there if necessary. I also purchased 200 rounds of 9mm ammo and another 50 rounds of 00Buck shotgun shells. Enough to get by until I could afford more so I could start practicing more.
I also recognized that having guns didn't mean I knew how to use them, and so I signed up for an IDPA defensive pistol match and a new shooter instruction course before the match started. I also bartered with the shooting instructor for some private lessons because I couldn't afford to pay his fee. He didnít have a home alarm system, so guess what? We made a trade. SeeÖbartering works very well ---even these days. From that I learned some basic gun handling skills, enough to get me through a few pistol competition matches. It was IDPA, so it taught me good basic guns skill, but the class taught me about moving and shooting, shooting indoors including tactical movement, and shooting from different positions like the driver's position in a vehicle, kneeling, sitting, etc. The cost of each match was only $15 and that was something I could afford at that point. It gave me my first boost of confidence that I could actually use the gun to protect myself and my family if I had too. With one scenario off the list I could already sleep better at night, and despite the distance still to go on my road to preparedness, the first step was done.
Then I had to build my confidence, so my next step was a Defensive Pistol Course by Suarez International. This introduced me to the combatives and the more realistic self defense scenarios.
The more I got into self defense with a gun, the more I realized that my mind was also going to play a huge role in my ability to use my gun. So I did something stupid...I bought another gun. Yeah, it was stupid, I should have used that money to take another course and buy more ammo, but I didn't. Anyway, the Kimber 1911 I bought at that time was FUN. So, I connected with the FUN side of shooting again. And new shoooters, please keep this fun! Don't take it too seriously. What I mean is practice hard, train hard and become a student but remember to have fun along the way or you'll quit doing it.
Then I added another expensive Kimber to the collection, then an AK, then another shotgun, then a mousegun, then....I don't even want to talk about the rest. Cheesy
Now I've come full circle, buying guns is not as important to me anymore as it once was, now I'm committed to training my mind, and using the gun as effectively as I can if I need too.
And that brings up my next point...I don't ever WANT to use it.
So for you new shooters out there, get enrolled in your first course as soon as you can, stock up on ammo, don't buy another gun...please! Listen to my shows on survival and on guns and turn your ipod or .mp3 player into a portable classroom. Frequent forums like this one and turn your computer into a College Level Survival Education. Also set up a "range schedule." That's a schedule where you carve time out of your life to go the "range." Book a date with the shooting range and don't stand them up. Get out there and shoot!
Hope this helps some of you just getting started.
Shoot straight and shoot safe,
July 29th, 2010 03:00 AM
+1 on keeping it fun. It's always good to be able to get new shooters to enjoy it.
Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME
Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.
July 29th, 2010 07:19 AM
Pretty coincidental. My first HD pistol was a P226, then came a couple Kimbers, an AK, a couple others, and now I feel like I have an adequate collection - for the time being. Just like this guy.
Last edited by MadMac; July 29th, 2010 at 07:13 PM.
July 29th, 2010 02:34 PM
That is a strange coincidence. But the again, those are quite popular guns!
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