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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Phoenix, Arizona

    Default For The New Shooter

    I liked Shawn's post for the newbie so much I dredged up one of my oldies from 2011:

    Stop Being Afraid of Your Gun

    The more I train people and train with people the more I notice how many are afraid of their own firearm. I find I keep running into folks who coddle their gun like they think they are going to break it or handle it like itĎs going to bite them and I find it to be a strange phenomenon that inhibits positive control of the firearm.

    I find this phenomenon to be more prevalent in hand guns than in rifles or shotguns. So the only causes I can figure are two, proximity to the muzzle and overall size of the firearm. I see people cautious of over-hand racking of the slide, riding the slide, rapid fire, loading, reloading, malfunction drills, and draw stroke. To me a firearm is no more dangerous than a blender, toaster or automobile and I find myself wondering at the caution used in itís manipulation. A firearm is a mechanical device with a predictable result and is no more dangerous than a blender. As long as you are operating a blender as intended it wonít hurt you. The same goes for a handgun, if you donít put your hand inside a toaster it wonít burn you. If you donít put something you care about in front of a firearm it wonít hurt it.

    Firearms are made of highly durable metals and polymers that for all intensive purposes are designed to contain and direct an explosion. The handgun is designed to take use, abuse, and manual manipulation that comes from decades of ownership. Do you believe that you can do more damage in manipulation than from normal functioning? Do you not swing a hammer for fear of dropping it? Do you not use a blender for fear that you will put your hand inside at the same time you press the button? The caution I see isnít from the lack of manual dexterity or strength involved in properly functioning the handgun, itís a mental block caused by years of conditioning making a gun seem evil or inherently dangerous. If you buy into this mode of thinking youíve allowed a 2lb. inanimate object make you itís bitch and youíll need to become more familiar with the use and operation of the proper tool for the job.

    So how do you get more familiar with the handgun? Well lets look at the way you learned to move a 2500lb hunk of steel without killing yourself or others. What are some of the things in the process of learning to drive that you went through?

    1. Desire: You had the desire for the final result of being fully functional behind the wheel

    2. Observation: You watched a qualified driver function the vehicle

    3. Reading: You educated yourself in the operation of the vehicle an the rules and laws governing itís use

    4. Introduction: A family member took you out and let you handle their vehicle under their supervision.

    5. Instruction: You took a drivers education class where you gained, under direct tutelage, the basic skills needed to function your vehicle without breaking the law, hurting yourself, or hurting someone else. You also learned about common maintenance procedures to keep your vehicle running strong.

    6. Testing: You took written and physical testing so you could demonstrate that you had a practical, working knowledge of the functioning of that vehicle.

    7. Practice: You put in hours upon hours driving under supervision with a constant stream of input from your coach to fine tune your ability.

    8. Exercise: You took the keys from Pops and began driving on your own. You developed from the point of 10 and 2 and consciously checking your gauges, mirrors and windows, to the point that you can drink your cup of coffee, change the station on the radio and talk on the cell phone all while operating the vehicle. You have ingrained that the vehicle is under your control and will do what you want it too.

    So riddle me this Batman, why is working a gun treated so differently from working a car? I will give you two reasons.

    1. The car hasnít been vilified to the public aside from itís evil carbon footprint.
    2. When driving a car you have no ability to skip from step 4 to step 8. There is an established, accepted process.

    When you learned to drive you spent countless hours over just a few months or years learning the process. It was compressed learning and immersion instruction that allowed you to retain the information and the constant application of that process on a daily or weekly basis allowed you to own it. Now youíre an adult learning a new skill with no point of reference other than paint-ball or Playstation. You have learned the fear of hand guns from the media and ďExpertsĒ who fear their own their guns so now what do you do?

    FOLLOW THE PROCESS! Go sign up for some SI classes, set aside the time and money to learn from those that arenít afraid of their gun. Go learn from those that donít treat you like the lowest common denominator. Go associate with those who are at the top of their game and want you to join them at whatever level of competence you wish to achieve. Go participate with groups or training partners to get coaching so you can improve on the content youíve learned in the classes you have under your belt. Finally go practice and make these skills your own and,

    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols


    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    There's also a subset of people who believe that forceful handling of firearms will damage them.

    Well, maybe. I've broken one or two, had one detonate out of battery, and dropped, uh, several. If the gun you've chosen breaks during handling, choose another. Learn to fix what you choose. Remember even a broken gun can be used as a weapon.

    And remember the weapons you were born with.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    355. And a wakeup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Western WA

    I always tell people if they can learn how to drive, they can learn how to use a gun. There are a lot of parallels...and shooting well is actually a hell of lot easier than driving well.
    Brent Yamamoto
    Suarez International Tier 1 Staff Instructor

    Ready, willing, able. Bring it.

    Instagram: karate_at_1200fps

    Upcoming classes:

    Pistol Groundfighting, Kansas
    Pistol Groundfighting, Washington

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Yamamoto View Post
    ...and shooting well is actually a hell of lot easier than driving well.
    As evinced by the number of nincompoops in the South who can't drive worth heck but can actually shoot reasonably well. Some of them make me wonder why they are on the road.

    But my annoyance with poor drivers aside, I just might share this with people who need a few reminders: 1) Handling a pistol well requires practice, just like anything else of any reasonable degree of mechanical complexity, and while it is okay to feel a bit uncomfortable at first, discomfort diminishes only with correct practice; 2) Racking the slide firmly won't hurt the pistol (I was helping my dad teach a young coworker of his how to shoot, and she wasn't racking the slide firmly, concerned she would damage it--I asked, "What happens to the slide every time the pistol fires?" "It [the slide] slams back." "Exactly."); and 3) Remaining scared due to improper or insufficient training only puts you in greater danger.

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