When Bob first invited me to post at Bearing Arms, I led off with an article entitled “Why Do You Bear Arms?”  In it, I said:

…Closer to the age of 70 than 60, I know or have known people who bear or have borne arms for a variety of reasons. For some it’s to carry out national policy in military service. For some it’s to enforce local, state, or federal laws. For some it’s to put food on the table. For some it’s to participate in this month’s match.

Some claim to do so openly to educate others about the right.

For me and for many others it’s primarily for defense of self, family, and home…

For about two decades, I criss-crossed the nation taking firearms training; in overlapping years I also offered it. I was disappointed to see that much of it actually seems more sought and oriented toward improving scores in monthly IPSC of IDPA matches or in periodic agency “qualifications” than toward the reality of those most likely scenarios that will actually justify the use of deadly force.

I came to regard a great deal of training offered as “range-oriented” and, to the extent that my limited facilities as a part-time instructor allowed, sought to make the training that I offered as street-oriented as practical. Even instructors with the best intentions of training you for real combat are often guilty of “range mentality.” This will generally fall into one of three categories. One category is teaching things certain ways because it is perceived to be safer that way, particularly when training numerous students at a time. Another is a manifestation of the observation by Abraham Maslow, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” In other words, if this is a shooting class, we will assume that every threat is best countered by shooting. A third is the attitude that if it is not practical to create the scenario on the range, we don’t need to worry about it happening on the street.

Each student is at a slightly different point in pivoting to engage threats to the rear. It’s easy to see that the one on the right has followed instructions to visually verify the threat before pivoting, rather than simply assuming that he will find a threat at 6:00. Also note that each student has been provided with a pair of targets with the one on the non-dominant side closer to the ground. This is to make the student lower the muzzle slightly while looking for the second threat, rather than simply assuming that all threats will present from the same height.
Each student is at a slightly different point in pivoting to engage threats to the rear. It’s easy to see that the one on the right has followed instructions to visually verify the threat before pivoting, rather than simply assuming that he will find a threat at 6:00. Also note that each student has been provided with a pair of targets with the one on the non-dominant side closer to the ground. This is to make the student lower the muzzle slightly while looking for the second threat, rather than simply assuming that all threats will present from the same height.

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