My blog is falling through the freaking cracks. Why do I have so much trouble maintaining this thing? I has no clue. I feel like I need one day a week that's themed towards something so I can keep myself going. 8-/ I have so many good intentions. *Le Sigh* Well, it's a new month! Here's hoping I get better.
However, I do have a good story for you! Y'all will never guess what I did last week! I went up to Frontsight with a couple of my sisters to learn about guns! It was fantastic! I haven't had such a fun four days in ages. And I mean ages
Frontsight has been on my list of places to go for quite some time now. This year, my fabulous sister Amy helped me buy a ticket, rent a gun, get ammunition, and gear up for a trip into glorious gun paradise. And it was definitely close to perfect. There is nothing quite like waking up at five thirty A.M., darning yourself with a gun and ammo, and heading out to a range full of targets where everyone around you is as enthusiastic about guns as you are, and are rather down-to-earth, conservative folk with an even head on their shoulders. My kind of people. Mhm. AND THE INSTRUCTORS. Oh my gosh! I thought I would never find a teacher as patient and kind as Mark Williams, or even my Middle School Band teachers, but wow! The Frontsight Instructors went above and beyond the call of duty! They are some of the best guys you will ever meet. Patient, gentle, encouraging, kind, enthusiastic, helpful, sweet - they are literally there to make you feel as comfortable and secure as possible. Like, one of the days I was a little emotional and each of the instructors took time to make sure I was okay and tell me if I needed anything they'd get it for me. These guys were gold. They were such amazing teachers too. They made sure you understood and respected the gun, but they also did everything they could to make sure you enjoyed your classes and had fun shooting.
"There are only three things you have to do on this range. Be Safe. Have Fun. And Hang Loose." - Tom Nott, FS Instructor..
Day One was mostly lectures and lessons on gun safety, and how to handle your weapon well. We all learned the different rules and such like, and the Instructors showed us how to help each other out when it came to being safe and careful on the range. Then the class was split into two Relays. Relay One would come up to the line to practice first, and Relay Two would come up second. When Relay One was on the Line, Relay Two would be behind them at an arm's length. For every one person on the line, there would be a person behind you to coach you on little things; keeping your finger off the trigger, not bending over on the line, no muzzling your neighbor, etc. They were there to help you. And when the Relay's switched the same thing would happen with Relay Two. You got to pick your coach, which was nice. The other nice thing was that having a coach didn't mean the Instructors took backstage. They would still come over and help you as often as they could. Your Coach was mostly just there to make sure you weren't being stupid. Why? Because safety is everyone's responsibility!
On Day One we did a little bit of firing, but not much. That was also the day we learned the different between Firing Drills, and Dry practice drills. And how to safely practice without ammunition and still get good results. Day Two things picked up. We got to review malfunctions your gun could experience and how to fix it, and we also got to do more shooting. They hung up more targets. We did Tactical Reloads and learned about After-Action - surveying the scene after your attacked to make sure no one else is around to harm you. Day One and Two were fun, but Three and Four were absolutely EXCELLENT. We had all sorts of different targets to shoot out, all sorts of firing drills and tactical drills, and the best thing was when we ran a Hot Range. Meaning everyone was walking around with a loaded gun on their hip. Oh my good gravy. That was something exhilarating! Since Concealment was optional, I started to use a light sweater when we did our different drills, and I really quite enjoyed it. It made me feel like I was from a Western. You know, Aggressively throwing back my jacket to get my gun and Shoot You Down.... YAAAAAAAAAAAS.
I really appreciated Frontsight's teaching. They teach respect for the weapon, and the ability to use it if necessary, but their ultimate goal is to avoid it's use if at all possible. And if you have to use it, you shoot to wound, not kill. Killing is your absolute LAST resort. I think that is a good way to train. It teaches your students respect for the weapon, as well as respect for life.
That being said, one of my favorite drills we did was on Day Three, when the instructors took us through a shoot house. The Scenario? You get home late and there are thugs in your house, holding your loved ones hostage. The Police are twenty minutes out. You don't have time to wait and need to take action. You go in to a House Set alone, with an instructor behind you, and shoot the bad guys but not the hostages. Easy, yeah?
Not so much. There is a funny story here. So, all two and a half days we had been doing drills on targets, consisting of Two Shots to the Thoracic cavity. That was literally every drill. And sometimes we'd have a failure to stop, in which case an instructor would shout HEAD and you'd hit the villain in the head. But you always tried to stop him by just wounding him first. Right? That is a good system! We don't just wanna go around killing folks if we can help it. That's bad!! Well, those drills completely left my brain when I walked into the Shoot House. I saw guns and I was like, Take them all out!! And I shot all the bad guys once. In the head. I still don't know why I did that. I guess it just means I need to do a lot more practicing with the shots to the thoracic so I don't do that for reals. No killing if at all possible, Bella! Isn't that what you were learning this whole time?? *headdesk*
Day Four was probably the best day. By that time we had gotten to know most of the people on our Relay, and there was a lot of camaraderie between us. Plus, we were all a little goofy because it was the last day in a long string of hours full of training and we were all a bit tired - especially near the end of the day. we had a competition of sorts, right at the end of the Day. Even the Instructors were joking about more than normal. Right at the beginning of the Day there was a skills test, in which you could earn a Certificate of Achievement, a Graduate, or Distinguished Graduate award. I'm proud to say I was a Distinguished Graduate.
Cheekily keeps the Certificate of Achievement out of sight. No, actually I am proud of my Achievement. I took my time and I shot well. I didn't take the culprit down in under two seconds, but my shots were accurate and clean, and right now that's what matters. I can work on my speed obviously, but the first thing you want to have in a gun fight is accuracy. There is no good in being fast if you always miss. But Anyway. After the test the remainder of the day was basically just there for the students and instructors to have fun. We got special targets where we had to right the name of a loved one on the hostage and shoot the two hostage takers without hitting our loved ones. We got to have targets will pictures of real thugs on them, and that was such fun! We had all these fun, challenging drills, so many that I can't remember all of them properly right now.... Oh! And we got to compete. The Instructors put everyone's name in a basket and shuffled them, and then they'd choose two people at a time and you'd compete against each other. Each person had a hostage and a hostage-taker target, and behind those two 'Dirty Skanks,' that you had to take out. I got to round three on accuracy. I beat a cop!!!! (The cop shot very well. She was a Distinguished Graduate . But I was happy I beat her in the For-Fun Contest.) It was rewarding to see my improvement from Day One to Day Four. Day One one of every three shots was outside the intended target. Day Four I hit a tiny slip of White paper sticking out from a Gray Target, representing Hostage-Taker, and Hostage. I hit that White Paper THREE DIFFERENT TIMES AND DID NOT HIT THE HOSTAGE AND I WAS SO HAPPY!!!!! :-)
Of course, it was really, really sad to leave Frontsight. I got very emotional. We all did. It was hard saying goodbye to the Instructors. It was hard leaving the Range. It was hard returning my gun. It was very hard getting into bed and thinking, I can't train tomorrow. I won't shoot. I won't see any of those fabulous people. I won't see my instructors. It's... It's over.
It felt like that end of a great adventure. It was sad.
It was fun, Frontsight. I'm coming back.
Do any of you like guns? Would you consider taking gun classes? Do you like Self-Defense?
*Swings around cape and leaps off stage*