In all the years I’ve been writing about war, crime, and firearms, I’ve yet to hear of a person being assaulted by a piece of paper stapled to a stationary cardboard backer, or a steel plate attached to a post, and yet that is how 99.9% of us train with firearms.

That lack of familiarly with how real human targets move and react to being fired upon has caused people to freeze up or react poorly, and it has gotten countless people killed. The poor survival rates in real-world situations is the reason that both law enforcement and the military have spent billions in recent decades on ever-more-realistic simulators and force-on-force training tools.

A new facility in Plano, Texas is now adapting some of these training tools and methodologies to provide force-on-force scenarios to mimics situations that citizens might encounter.

Brenda Newby let out a warning cry before firing her non-lethal pistol in a Plano warehouse.

Pop, pop. Pop, pop.

In four shots, the intruder was down.

“I couldn’t see anything,” Newby said as her eyes teared up during a staged home invasion. “I just wanted to kick the snot out of him.”

Training that fighter response is the main force behind Patriot Protection, a new defensive training and firearms facility in east Plano for civilians and law enforcement agencies.

“I started this business because the business of firearms is a dangerous business,” said Tim Dodd, owner of Patriot Protection. “Yes, it gets people hurt, but it also saves people.”

The training includes various levels of pistols and rifles classes that take participants beyond shooting at paper targets and place them in real-life scenarios. A Thursday night women’s self-defense class, for example, included attacker and home invasion scenarios. Classes average about three students and cost ranges from $80 to $300 per class.

It was very hard to find confirmation in the article or the accompanying video, but it appears that the facility uses some sort of gas-powered airsoft-type simulated firearms, as opposed to man-marker rounds that use real firearms adapted to fire non-lethal ammunition.

In any event, the real “news” of this story is that they are using these technologies to teach realistic tactics for civilian scenarios and that focus on civilian scenarios is key; I can drive 30 minutes to a nearby facility and learn “SWAT-lite” room clearing techniques, but Patriot Protection’s focus on thwarting home invaders and CCH-type scenarios is much more practical for anything this side of the zombie apocalypse, and I suspect that if it becomes widespread, it is going to save lives.

Let’s hope that his venture is successful, and that it replicated elsewhere.