The Everglades Glock Range Day is a unique event for a number of reasons. It’s the only non-GSSF event that Glock’s involved with, and it’s one of the very few events designed to get people used to moving and shooting with their defensive pistols. (Disclaimer: I gave away a bunch of AR stocks I had lying around as prizes, so yes, technically, I was a sponsor. Yay me.).
The event has enough competitive elements to get the hardcore types out and compete against each other (I saw one guy plunk down $100 for a bunch of tickets in a quest to win one of the Glocks offered as a stage prize… not sure if he won one or not…), yet the stages are easy to shoot and the environment is laid-back so people who’ve never shot on the move or competed on a stage aren’t intimidated by the task at hand. There was vendor booths and a DJ and a food truck and door prizes and a good time was had by all.
Honestly, something like this should be an annual event at every range that hosts either a USPSA or an IDPA match. If we want our sport to be accepted and grow, it has to seem acceptable and bring in new people.
It’s not rocket surgery, people.
After the event was over and the booths put away, there was a night time training event where we had a chance to try out some tac lights and night sights options for our firearms.
I got a chance to try out a bunch of new gear in a situation that’s kinda sorta close to a situation where I might need to use it:
Trijicon HDXR Night Sights
REALLY useful in low-light situations where you can see and recognize a target but it’s not total darkness yet, but not so useful in total darkness. If you can’t see your target, don’t shoot at it, but up until that happens, those night sights were really handy.
Streamlight TLR-1 HL
Sha-ZAM. I have this light mounted on the front of my .300BLK pistol, and it easily lit up a target 35 yards away. I’d be very comfortable engaging targets up to 50 yards away with that light, and I like where I’ve got it set up on my pistol.
Streamlight Pro-Tac 1 Rail
Not as bright as the TLR-1, but it did the job mounted on my Kel-Tec SU-16. I was wondering if it tossed out enough light to be useful with a non-illuminated low-power variable optic (a Leupold 1.5-4x), and it does. Useful to know.
Condor Plate Carrier
Not as bulky as I thought it would be. I still need to figure out the best way to store my mags in their pouches (shooting left-handed gets a little weird at times), but I could run my AR pistol with no issues while doing my best Tactical Timmy impersonation.
In a now famous supermarket study only 3% of shoppers purchased jam when confronted with 24 varieties, while 30% purchased when given only 6. Although the 10 fold increase is interesting what fascinates me are the people not exposed by the raw data.
A good number of those 27% approached the jam section with a particular jam in mind. They knew what they wanted and went to purchase. However, the range of alternatives actually placed doubt in their mind. Was their normal choice of jam the best option available? Should they try something new? These questions created enough anxiety to actually stop them purchasing.
“Am I buying the right gun?” freezes up more first-time gun buyers than anything else. They know they don’t know exactly what makes a good first gun, and when faced with dozens and dozens of choices (and probably some really bad advice from gun store clerks), they go into vapor lock, succumb to analysis paralysis and then require extensive hand-holding and guidance in order to make a purchase.
This presents a problem because the margins on guns are so small that if your salesperson has to spend three hours (or more) over the course of a week or more explaining why Gun X is better than Gun Z, bam, there goes your profit margin. Also, as Tam says, you could toss a Gen5 Glock, an M&P, a P320, an FN 509, a Berretta APX, a CZ P10C and any one of a half-dozen or so other guns into a bag, randomly pull one out, and that gun will work just peachy for your typical gun store customer. The fact is, unless you’re talking aftermarket accessories, they’re really isn’t enough feature differentiation these days to make an influence the customer’s buying decision in any meaningful way.
Sell Glocks. Sell 2-3 “not Glocks,” a value brand (Taurus, etc) and maybe a higher-end brand “cachet” brand like the better SIGs and CZs. Repeat this idea up and down the caliber selection ladder and then turn the money you save on inventory (both guns AND accessories) and employee man-hours into making your store more friendly for today’s consumer.
It’s not uncommon for awkward and potentially violent situations to pop up inside a church. For instance, one of the issues that’s happened in a church I’ve attended is where one spouse refuses to quit going to the same church as the other after a nasty divorce, and steps need to be taken that restraining orders are adhered to.
My local megachurch posts an off duty deputy in the narthex, which discourages social predators and rude behavior, but it also means that asocial predators will look at him, and strike elsewhere.
Predators don’t prey on the strong, they seek out and attack the weak. I’m glad that we have a cop in our church lobby, but I’d prefer him to be 300 yards to the east, in the children’s educational wing where my sons are learning about God. That’s where the weakness is, and that’s what needs protecting.
The sanctuary with all us adults? Well, I know there’s at least one well-armed, well-trained individual worshipping in every service I attend.
Will it be enough? I sincerely hope I never have to find out.
Time and time again, I see people in the gun world, people who preach de-escalation as being vital to self-defense, being unwilling or unable to de-escalate personal spats online, leading to butthurt galore and all sorts of unnecessary drama.
If you can’t de-escalate a virtual spat, it brings into question your ability to de-escalate a spat in real life.
At the very least, it gives a prosecutor a little more ammunition to shoot at you in court: “Your Honor, the State would like to enter into evidence the following online exchange to show that the defendant has a temper and was itchin’ to start a fight that evening…”
One of the practical pistol skills I need to work on is moving out of a shooting position faster and moving more rapidly between positions. Coincidentally, this is also darn close to the skill of getting your assets off the X in a defensive situation. The same abilities that may help me get through a stage quicker at a match may one day help me get out of the one of fire just a little bit quicker.
But I hope I never have to find out.
Also, I’m not getting younger, and staying flexible and healthy means a BIG deal when it comes to quality of life as I get older. Might as well start on that now.
The last major match I shot was the USPSA Area 3 Multigun Championship in October, 2014. Now a lot of you are thinking “Yeah, so what, I’ve never shot a major match, ever,” but for me, shooting two major matches each and every year (The Area 2 Desert Classic and the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun) was the norm for over five years. Over the last few years though, I kinda laid off the whole competition scene, for a number of reasons:
- Time. The range wasn’t a half-hour away from me, rather, the closest range to me with sanctioned USPSA and IDPA matches is over an hour away from my house.
- Money. Ammo ain’t free, baby, and I haven’t had my reloading bench setup in over three years.
- Desire. I’ve said it over and over again: I got into the shooting sports not to become Rob Leatham in my middle age, but because I recognized that they are the most-effective way to get used to that “Oh $@*#!” moment that comes before a stressful situation.
- Utility. I’m C Class USPSA, and the skills needed to push me up higher towards B and maybe beyond aren’t necessarily the skills needed to help my family live safer in an unsafe world. Quick movement between shooting ports and fast reloads aren’t exactly in-demand outside of the square range (or are they? More on that tomorrow.), so that hasn’t been a priority for me up until now.
But that’s changing. I volunteered to work (and therefore, shoot as well) the USPSA Area 6 Championship at Okochobee in April of next year. Time to get my dry-fire game on and start shooting some warm-up matches.
This post at Ricochet started off as a diatribe against the idiots who cry out that “weapons of war don’t belong on our streets!,” every time someone is shot with an AR-15 which is, in reality, a rather uncommon occurrence.
However, it turned out to be something more, it turned into a celebration of a simple, honest man, and his simple, honest love for his family.
Turns out I attach more emotions to my guns than I thought I did.
I started off my photo career as a photo assistant, something pretty much everyone does, and within a few months, I was making a full-time living at it, something very few people were able to do in the Phoenix market. I rose to the top because when I was on the job, I made it my priority to make the photographer’s needs my priority, and that meant thinking ahead and having a plan to deal with all the things that might go wrong on the set. Sets that were usually pretty dark, because a ) The setups were usually indoors and b ) You really don’t want stray light sources interfering with your photos.
As such, it’s usually dark inside a photo studio, and that means that if something goes wrong, it’s probably going to have to be diagnosed and fixed in the darkness. I found out really quickly that having a flashlight (in my case, a AA Maglite, which seemed AMAZINGLY bright when I first started out) and a multi-tool (this Gerber, which I still love and adore), a pen (a fine point Sharpie) and some gaffer’s tape (because, just like The Force, it has a light side and a dark side and it binds the universe together) on me at all times was good thing, because stuff can happen when you’re 14 feet up in the air adjusting a light and you may or may not have someone near the grip cart to help you out. You were on your own, and you had to solve the problem in front of you RIGHT NOW with only the tools you had on you.
I honestly think carrying a flashlight on a day in, day out basis is the best starting point we have for getting people used to the idea that they need to prepare for the crap that can happen in their lives. As sure as the sun sets in the west, darkness will happen in our lives. We know this, we accept this, and yet the VAST majority of Americans walk around completely unprepared to deal with it beyond hoping that the streetlights come on each night.
Get people to carry a flashlight everyday. That starts the wheels turning.