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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gunsite 250 Defensive Pistol

I knew I wasn’t a pistolero, but I thought I was a reasonably good handgun shooter. Heck, I even thought I was reasonably good at manipulating a handgun’s controls. I had carried a pistol nearly everyday for 10 years and felt comfortable with it. All those thoughts changed after spending a week at Gunsite in their 250 Defensive Pistol class. I realized I was pretty bad to begin with, but NOW I am reasonably good…

The class involved many lessons from classroom work and videos to live fire shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. At the end of the week, after expending nearly 1,000 rounds of .45ACP out of my Kimber, I gained a true appreciation of what it takes to carry, present, shoot, and manipulate a pistol. Using the material devised by Jeff Cooper as the Modern Technique of the Pistol, I learned all aspects of the draw, focusing on the front sight, the trigger press, the reset, reacquiring your front sight, and the all clear. Through repetition and proper teaching, I surprised myself by how fast and accurately I could draw and shoot. Bottom line, it was fun! But most importantly, it empowered me.

When the class ended on Friday, my wife and I headed to Las Vegas. During the 3.5-hour drive I tried to explain the way I felt. It was very hard for me to put into words then, and still hard today. Many words pop into my mind: empowered, confident, strong, aware, controlled. I just feel like I now have more control over my destiny. I am still no pistolero, but I have the basic training to help ensure that I stay alive for my family and that I can keep my family alive for me. The class is called Defensive Pistol for a reason; it teaches reasonable people how to respond in unreasonable situations.

Thankfully, I live in an area without too many unreasonable people, but in the last year or so, there have been periods of violence even in my small town. Since I will never know where or when a threat may come, I still carry a pistol every day; not because I’m afraid of a possible threat, but because I’m afraid of not being able to handle one if it comes. I guess that’s the main thing I learned from the Gunsite 250 class. I learned that I have the skills, training, and mindset to influence my own destiny. Instead of being a pawn in someone else’s twisted scheme, I can do something to effect the outcome if I choose. Hopefully I’ll never have to use the actual shooting skills, but I always use the mindset skills, and I’ll be ready to use the shooting skills if necessary.