gunsite raven
The Gunsite Raven keeps watch over the front gate entering the 2,000 acre shooting school.

Originally founded as the American Pistol Institute in 1976, Gunsite Academy is the first firearms training school in the United States, and remains the gold standard by which all other shooting schools are judged.

Not willing to simply rest on their laurels, Gunsite’s instructor cadre has been hard at work developing new courses to stay on top of the relevant issues in an ever-changing world. One of newest and perhaps the most relevant courses for Bearing Arms readers is the inaugural Defense Against Street Crimes course I’ll be attending March 6-11.

Here’s the course synopsis.

The most common issue a Gunsite graduate may encounter in which they will apply the skills learned at the ranch is a crime against their person or the person of another for whom they accept responsibility.

Response to Street Crimes will prepare the student for violent encounters that happen in areas outside the home.   Incidents such as road rage, the knockout game, armed robbery, sexual assault and violence of all kinds happen every day.   In addition to building upon your basic pistol skills, you will gain the ability to engage multiple targets in crowded environments, learn how to stack resources, handle emergency medical issues and surveillance and counter surveillance techniques.  We will cover the criminal attack cycle, hard pointing, exfiltration and the very important aspect of linking up with law enforcement following the incident.

Taught by career law enforcement officers with decades of experience in dealing with street crimes, the criminals and the victims, this course offers valuable insights into preventing or prevailing a violent crime against your person.

I’m a graduate of both Gunsite’s 250 Defensive Pistol and 350 Intermediate Pistol, which are incredible sound classes focused on the fundamentals of fighting with a pistol. They don’t, however, really show you how criminals think, or how to deal with the problems of having to engage bad guys in crowded environments, or what to do after your defensive gun use is over.

Gunsite instructor Bob Whaley observes a student working the edges of cover in 350 Intermediate Pistol.
Gunsite instructor Bob Whaley observes a student working the edges of cover in 350 Intermediate Pistol.

I’m very excited about this class, because while I excelled in solving the immediate tactical problem during my 350 Pistol class force-on-force encounter—I shot the “bad guy” to the ground with four solid hits—I was completely clueless on the best course of action to follow after pulling the bad guy down. I didn’t know how (or if) I should attempt to render aid to the bad guy or his victim, or if I should wait for EMS to arrive. I didn’t communicate well to those around me to call 911 and accurately convey what was going on to the dispatcher. I didn’t seek out the best nearby cover or find an escape route in case things went from bad to worse.

I clearly have a lot to learn… and Defense Against Street Crimes sounds like it will go a long way towards solving those problem.

The instructor cadre for the inaugural class promises to be a great one. Bob Whaley was an instructor in both my 250 and 350 classes, and is a very gifted teacher. I know of long-time Gunsite training director Dave Starin by reputation. John Hutchison is new to me, but has a very impressive real-world background.

When I checked in yesterday there were still a few seats left in the class, so please join us if you can. I’ve been very fortunate to meet Bearing Arms readers in other classes, and would love to see you there!