by: Kevin Dukes
So the world is blowing up with all kinds of craziness. Here in America we are a divided nation. A political system devoid of core values. More Americans are getting a free ride as Nancy Pelosi puts it, rather than a hand up. Our politicians complain about the growing problems that they created and they continue to wrack up a national debt which our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will have to pay back. This is for things we did not ask for, do not need and do not want. Crime statistics are rising. Recently in Eldersburg Maryland a small bedroom community outside of Baltimore and Washington DC Metropolitan area a home was invaded. Never in this small community has that happened before. While it may be expected in the crime ridden areas of Bowie and throughout PG County, it was shocking to see this come to this small community of mainly elderly established residents.
We may not be able to change the bigger issues causing these problems in the near term. However, we can take actions and take personal responsibility every day to meet these challenges, to be better prepared. If like me, you believe in a strong America and believe every citizen has the right and the responsibility to protect themselves, their communities and their way of life in the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness then sometimes you need to be prepared for the worst.So on this tenth anniversary of the Washington DC Sniper attacks here are a few thoughts regarding the fundamentals of shooting. Because sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. When that happens you have to already have the mindset to be prepared to defend yourself or a loved one. To feel confident to do this you need to think about it and you'll need to practice. Shooting is a perishable skill that like a garden, needs tending. And like a bike, once learned, its easy to hop on and ride again. Here are 12 skills that once learned are easy to retune with practice.
- Situational Awareness. This is nothing more than your own personal spidy sense. Situational awareness is always being in a state of alert and thinking “What If?”. It becomes part of your thought process as you go about your daily routine. Did you know that you already have this mindset? As a parent, aren't you already looking at things that might harm your child? As a driver, aren't you already looking at what the other guy might do? What if is a powerful tool we already use in our daily activities.
- Mindset. Mindset is nothing more than already knowing what you will do in any given situation. The key to mindset is as you go about your daily activities and as you see something not quite right, 1) you process it, 2) determine your potential courses of action and 3) be prepared, ready, and determined to execute the course of action.
- Platform. This is simply to get you to think about your body position. Laying, Kneeling, sitting, standing, moving... Your platform will affect your stability and accuracy. As you go about your daily routine think about your platforms and how they might affect, help or hinder your ability to shoot, move and communicate.
- Feet. Shoulder width apart. Strong side foot slightly to the rear.
- Knees. Slightly bent and relaxed. They're your body''s natural shock absorbers.
- Hips. Square to the target.
- Grip. High on the backstrap, Fingers overlapping. Trigger off the trigger pointing towards your target. Thumbs crossed (revolver) or doggy style pointing towards your target (semi-automatic)
- Sight Picture/Sight Alignment. Your eyes should be looking at your intended point of impact on your target. Extend your arms towards your target and align your sights to your eyes sight picture.
- Breath Control. Learn the natural rhythm of our breath and take advantage to time your shot during the natural pause after you exhale.
- Trigger Control. This is arguably the most important part of shooting. Make sure you finger is properly positioned on the trigger. Pull the trigger straight back, taking any slack out of the trigger, continue to pull it straight back until the round fires, You should be a little bit surprised when this happens.
- Follow Through. This simply means continue looking through your sights to re-aquire your target and to be ready to shoot again if there is still a threat.
- Repeat until the threat is stopped.