Especially in DC rush hour traffic.
Two things I’ve learned taking several hundred hours of weapons training:
Your mind is your primary weapon. It should be the first thing engaged and the last thing disengaged in a self-defense situation. Everything else is just a tool.
Advanced firearms handling is mastery of the basics
FNG here (so feel free to take my post as such LOL), but I’d tend to agree more or less overall. My father, as well as the military (Navy and Army Reserves) taught me situational awareness; and that’s something I learned and used long before owning firearms. But that doesn’t necessarily equate to being a weapons expert.
One side note, however - while the military doesn’t make one a weapons expert, I do want to point out that all branches of the military make it VERY obvious that one can NEVER have too much training, so I don’t know that I’d ever say the military encourages the perception of an ‘innate expertise’ on weapons. Despite having plenty of experience, I took a basic pistol course 2 weeks ago because
a) it was cheap
b) it was local
c) you can never have too much training.
Welcome aboard, fun, new guy!
Spent 22 years in the Army as a Combat Engineer, situational awareness is the key, everybody in the military gets this drilled into their head, my head goes on swivel every time I go out the door, driving my vehicle, no matter where I go, my back has to be against the wall and I also look for the closet exit, I also avoid crowds, ie, ball games, concerts and the like, I have had a bad experience with them, drives my wife nuts but she understands.
And depending on where… pay for the meal when you order it, just in case.
Both a security issue, when traveling overseas… and for EMS, when you never know when a call will come in. Both tend to make you pay in case of need to depart in a rapid manner.
Agree on the crowds. Never really liked crowds, but the more I dealt with counter terror, the more I wanted to avoid large potential targets.
I know how you feel; Dad was a Vietnam War vet (he passed on to glory as of January 2019 - brain, stomach and lung cancer), but was largely healthy up till about 2 months before he passed.
Every time we’d go out to eat, we took turns watching the exits and the like. LOL We’d figure out what was worth watching and split 'em up between ourselves.
I was in the military too and was a parts clerk and still had to shoot rifles and be combat ready. I was a combat engineer and also drover a truck with all the spare parts for the motor pool.
Many civilians assume that military service = advanced firearms knowledge. Our job as shooters who interact with the public is to share correct knowledge. Servicemembers get basic firearms training, true - but it is just that, basic. And servicemembers train on the rifle to begin with - and many if not most never carry anything else.
I was fortunate to be a Combat Arms Marine and then a Medic with Army Combat Arms units. I was even more fortunate to be selected to serve as a Small Arms Master Gunner, and be tasked with training Soldiers to employ their rifles, pistols, shotguns, and light, medium, heavy and grenade machineguns. That has served me well as I continue teaching, now as a USCCA, NRA and CCW instructor.
I love it when people turn to me for insights as a soldier, as if that had any real weight.
It’s the old “here’s what people think I do, here’s what I really do” meme.
I have to back up and say that for every Gomer I knew who couldn’t hit a paper target on a calm day, I knew at least one dead shot that could drill an entire magazine into the same tight group while surfing on top of a moving vehicle. Some of them had more training to get them there, and others just seemed naturally talented.
Most service members I knew fell somewhere between those two extremes, but both extremes definitely exist within the armed forces.
You are so right I was told I did not need to take a class for my Conceal carry license because I am retired military…I told them it had been so long since I had handled any kind of weapon, I would not carry my license or buy a weapon until I had fully re-qualified again. I got my permit in August but as of now, I have not found anywhere to go shoot. I have called several places to schedule range time and rental. No one is open in fact they tell me they are using this down time to upgrade their facility. Would like to purchase my weapon but none available to try. I am taking a free Constitution class online and they have a range in Nevada I can use and purchase ammo. They are holding a class there from 13-17 Dec for $99 to become a constitution coach but I cannot go at this time…I love this class and we all need to know our rights and protect them.
…and students for life.
The same goes with cops too. I was in law enforcement for 37 and a half years and cops think they know more than they do. Even after being a Range Master for 7 years, I still had lots to learn. I teach, but I continue to take training classes and I learn new things each time. You just have to find the right trainer and one who continues their own training. You can never learn enough. I hate to say it, but USCCA isn’t the end all. There are other great instructors who are competitors and I’m not talking about NRA. I’m passed learning 1950 techniques. You can contact me at email@example.com for more information. Take my advice or not, that’s fine, but I’m willing to talk.
Schef I’m a retired Air Force Master Sargent, and all thought my military time most of the time I was a airplane mechanic but there was a time in Vietnam I was a forward air controller on the ground calling all sorts of ammo down on the enemy with any US forces needed my assistance, in doing this I learned a lot about all kinds of weapons and how and when to use them, by the way my parents too were antigen. As time went on I kept up my learning of what new firearms where coming out, I settled down to these firearms for my carry in different situations 1. A Thomson Military 45 acp 2. A Browning highpower 9mm, 3 for backup S&W Module 15 Combat Masterpiece, 4 for that long shot Roger Mini-14 chambered in rem.223. I know these are somewhat old but this is what works for me,
Annual Qualification? What is that?
1972 Army Basic - M-16 Marksman Badge
1974 Army West Berlin - M-16 Training
No range time New York Army National Guard
1977 New York Air National Guard - AF Marksmanship Ribbon fro M-16
No range time Texas Air National Guard
1979 AFROTC Summer Camp .38 Training
1981 Air Force .38 Training before going overseas
I come from a family of military men, my dad and 3 of his 5 brothers. I did not sever…THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
Being an expert small arms metal recipient, I still don’t know everything about firearms and am always learning at 53.
My 2 main takeaways from this article are as follows.
Usually, when someone is insecure in life generally, it is difficult for them to ask for help in areas they are lacking and assume others expect them to be proficient in.
Lastly they tend to cover up that insecurity with a profanity facade.
No matter your age, Suck it up! and ask for help, then you will be able to share your knowledge instead of sharing your lack of adult vocabulary therefore becoming less dangerous, coming off a lot less abrasive and a lot more helpful.
I appreciate your honesty. I think people assume every one in the military knows how to shoot a gun…and it’s not true. You can learn the basics…but folks forget people do all kinds of jobs in the service - from administrative to mechanics - to cleaning etc…that’s how it runs. Not everyone is a front line shooter etc. Folks have regular jobs - glad you wanted to learn. Thanks