Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Safety Instructor

Two days ago, the kids next door were hopping fences into the deck of the people who live below us. RPD came out and the kids said they had a toy go back there. Yet the didn't go to get a toy, they were clearly playing in there doing who knows what. RPD came and talked to me and I felt like I got the 5:00 treatment of the day was almost over and instead of doing their jobs, they just let the parents know the neighbors were complaining about their kids and told me that if I have a problem with them hopping the fence that I should tell my landlord to make the fence taller. Sorry, the fence IS tall already. At least tall enough to where someone can tell that it is meant to keep outsiders out. All of this was a week after the cops came out to yell at the kids for trying to break into my friend's car.

The very next day after their second incident with the cops, the kids go back to hopping the fence. I get angry but just stew. Today, I come home and they're doing it again. Finally I go down there and confront them all and ask what they're doing. They tell me they're looking at the plant inside the apartment. Really? Then why are you trying to hop their fence? I tell them that people in our building have seen them running in the area behind the decks that is fenced off and hopping into people's back yards and that if they lose a toy they should knock on the person's door and ask them to get it for them, NOT to break into their back yard. Then I scare them straight...

I tell them I work as a safety instructor who teaches people about personal safety. I tell them how dangerous it is in this neighborhood to be out at their ages (I ask them their ages and they're all 10 years old and younger, mostly between 8 and 10.) I ask repetitively why they are not being watched by their parents and ask if their parents know where they are or what they are doing. I tell them if they play in our driveway, they will get hit by a car if someone drives out and they will get seriously injured or die. I tell them if they play in the street they can get hit by a car and get seriously injured or die. I tell them if they are playing out on the street unsupervised that we live in a dangerous neighborhood and bad people live here and bad people drive around looking for unsupervised kids to kidnap and they will torture and kill them and their parents and the cops and no one can do anything to help them if they get kidnapped. I tell them if they get hurt on our property our property manager will tell their landlord and their landlord will kick them and their family out of their apartment and they will be homeless because no one will let them live in any apartments or houses if they get kicked out and their parents will need to pay a lot of money to the landlords. I kinda blew things out of proportion while making it sound like I was super concerned about their safety. They told me about how the cops told them to not play on our property anymore and I asked them why they are here then. They didn't have an answer. At that point, their mom came out looking for them and I told them to not play in our complex again because everyone who lives here is complaining to our landlord about them and that if our landlord hears about them again she will tell their landlord and they will be homeless.

Mean and far stretch from the truth? Possibly. Necessary to scare them straight? Definitely. I just like the fact I came out there wearing my Nevada state flag shirt and my loud cloppity clop boots when I busted them in the act. I told them if I wanted I could call RPD right that moment and have them arrested. Seeing them shaking in their skin was kinda priceless. I hope they stop playing here and don't come back. And I hope their parents take a more active role in watching their kids.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Married White Female Seeking The Rifle Of My Dreams...

Some girls go to bed at night and pray that they meet Mr. Right and he comes into her life, sweeps her of her feet and they live happily ever after. What can I say? I've found Mr. Right. We sort of stumbled together, had a child, and happily ever after would imply the end of one's story and ours is just beginning. So I guess when I go to bed at night, I'll pray that I find Mr. Right Rifle. I know, it sounds a little warped, but really, I love my Mauser. I like shooting the .30 Carbine. I'll shoot an AR but I find it a little boring. I'm just looking for a rifle who can make me giddy thinking about how he looks, get butterflies in my stomach whenever I think of shooting him, and swoon when I hold him in my arms. I want sparks of magic to fly when I shoot him and I want to loose my breath when I strip him down to clean him. I want the Rifle of My Dreams and I have no idea where to start. I don't think I have ever been at such a loss with where to find this Mr. Perfect Rifle. Dear Mr. Right Rifle, please answer my ad. I'm looking for you...

Married white female seeking the rifle of my dreams. I want a rifle that is moderately heavy. Preferably a wood stock, but if synthetic, I'd like something green. Blued barrel. I like bolt action, but I'm not object to a semi-auto. Something not too long, but not too short, either. Iron sights are a must. Mr. Right Rifle, I know you're out there. Could that be you?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Death of Instincts

Now days such a heavy emphasis is put on tactical shooting. It's all around you. When you go to gun shows, you see several booths with the latest gadgets and gizmos to add onto rifles and pistols, to reviews of various black rifle and polymer pistol options. Places like Frontsight Firearms Training Institute and LMS Defense teach people on a level of training pretty much consistent with military and police. Even the average person is being taught how to shoot in tactical situations in classes. Shooting organizations have tactical obstacle situations in competitions. Long story short, shooting has drawn away from marksmanship and into the realm of tactical obsession. Forget about target placement, it's all about hitting body mass as fast as possible and wearing black 5.11 gear. OK, well, maybe not that extreme. They still do hope for good marksmanship, but there's more of an emphasis on speed and least amount of body exposure.

My theory is this: no matter how much you train with tactics, it is basically setting you up for hypothetical worst case scenarios and leaves you feeling more paranoid and confused than if you just rely on your instincts to help you in a situation. Don't get me wrong, it's fun doing some tactical drills sometimes, but in my mind, I see uber tactics on the same level as I see baby books. You don't need to read a baby book to know how to deal with your pregnancy or raising a child. Sure, it puts some insight into things, but if you are going to rely solely on the book, then when a new obstacle presents itself, you are lost without your beloved book. I kind of feel like it's great to train in tactical situations, but really, fundamentals plus instincts are really your best friends.

I believe in using stances that create a natural point of aim. Our bodies are built in a way that when we learn what our personal natural points of aim are, we become effective and more stable shooters. We don't have hands that go flailing about to recover from recoil but the alignment of our body creates what can be compared to a building built to stand an earthquake: a structure of stability that will withstand great pressure from various angles.

If you practice the fundamentals and go slow, the speed will come. The movements will be automatic. Your shots can be precise. Your instincts will be able to quickly asses your location and surroundings to help you make a split second decision on how to respond to your situation. It's not an issue of having a tactical gun with laser beams and flashlights and black cargo pants and mock turtlenecks. It's about knowing what you're doing so that everything comes naturally to you. Your gun is no longer a weapon, but an extension of your body that you will use in conjunction with your instincts to go from prey to survivor. Speed will come.

You will know is the right thing for you to do. While it is taught in CCW classes that you will be judged based on what any right minded peer would do in your circumstances, why would you train as if you're military or police when your peers more than likely are just average people like you. It makes one wonder if an excessive obsession of a tactical lifestyle could hinder you in a civil lawsuit. It is a thought to ponder when you consider how you will train when it comes to a skill that could save your life one day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dominating Cross-Eye Dominance

I am a cross-eye dominant pistol shooter. I shoot pistols because I can. I shoot rifles, however, because I like to. I never had any formal rifle training and recently, when I did, I learned there that there is no such thing as cross-eye dominance in rifle shooting because your dominant eye determines the hand you shoot with. Well, I can't be a left handed shooter. Aside from the fact I am so right handed I absolutely refuse to learn to do anything left handed, I am more determined to try and train my right eye to become my dominant eye than to try to be a lefty. I have been walking around confusing people I know by wearing glasses with the left eye taped over in hopes this will strengthen my right eye and so far no luck.

Today we went out shooting and it was just not a good day. I have been beating myself up for the last two weeks debating the issue of whether it is my marksmanship that is off or my eye. I had been studying at home the targets of the last time I shot as well as doing dominant eye tests to see how far off I am from my targets when focusing with my left and right eyes. I derived a theory with the dominant eye thumb thest that if I am on target with my dominant eye and then switch over to my weak eye, my thumb jumps about 6" to the left. Coincidentally enough, when I was looking out of my right eye on a target and shoot at something, it would jump 6" to the right.

Despite the wind, I thought I would put a little test in action. Normally, when I shoot the .30 carbine, I would align my sights halfway up on the target and they would be on level with the X ring, just off to the right.

Today's test involved moving my sights over about 6" to the left of where my groupings were to see what would happen. When I did that, I was level with the target and closer to the X ring.

I'm pretty sure this method is a pretty much unorthodox way of handling shooting, but here's the deal: my fundamentals are all there. I'm positioned properly. My husband was there with me to make sure of this (in addition to collecting brass and dealing with misfeeds so I can stay focused on the task at hand.) I'm doing a proper trigger pull and I have what I consider to be for me a great technique combining trigger pull and breathing to fire my shots. My sights are aligned, but my sight picture is off. Very off. And this is really the only way I can get a proper sight in because of my eye! Deep in my heart, I believe I am doing everything right because I can get the shots I want, but that's only if I offset my target and compensate for my eye. I suppose one day if I ever had to deal with a situation where I need to prove my marksmenship, I'll probably keep this a secret, but for now, I find it works. And hopefully, a few more days or weeks or *cringe* years of walking around with the taped up glasses and I'll be a right eye dominant gal and everything will be good and right in the world. Till then, if you're not as determined as I am to train your eye, I suppose there's nothing wrong with learning your offset compensation distance and just running with it. It's worth a shot.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Your Kids Are Only As Good As Your Parenting

Apparently, the little chat RPD had with the parents of the kid's next door did nothing yesterday. Shortly after RPD left, there was a loud noise and we looked outside and saw nothing. This morning, I took out the trash and saw the kids' basketball hoop stand thing in our dumpster. So someone on that property came onto our property after being told the laws and being told NOT to trespass and threw their stuff in our dumpster (trespassing, illegal dumping). I shook my head in disappointment and walked up the driveway with Lulu to take her potty as the second part of the trip downstairs.

As we were going off, the kids were outside already and saying stuff. I didn't listen to what they said, just an in one ear out the other thing and walked down the street. I turned the corner with Lulu and on my way back home, I saw what looked like their parent's Jeep coming down the street. I did a double take to see if it had the dent on it like their parent's does but it was too hard to see as the car passed. I put two and two together as I did not see their parent's car on the street when I got back and once I got upstairs I saw their parent's driving back to their spot to park. I feel like this family is harassing us because we want them to watch their kids. Sorry, but your 9 year old tried to break into my friend's SUV with a tire iron yesterday. That goes beyond the realms of "kids will be kids". That goes into CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

My neighbor next door had the back window of his Jeep busted out two weeks ago. Apparently he told the kids to stop going into our dumpsters and told them he puts cat poop in there. He didn't see who did it but now suspects it was them as he saw the kids with the tire iron in the street. Seriously, those parents need to stop saying stuff like, "It wasn't my kid," and just grow a pair and realize it's kids they're dealing with and if their kids don't respect them, they won't respect anyone or the law and they'll just be breeding future criminals. Who knows what these kids have done that hasn't been seen? Are they the ones tagging up our street now? Did they put a nail in my tire when it went flat? Did they bust our neighbor's window? Who knows? There's no proof, but there sure is a lot of suspicion.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Neighborhood Kids At It Again

Charlie got his tonsils and adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears 2 days ago and wouldn't you know it, I thought that would ruin his birthday. But just as things were going well and Charlie was super happy, he gets his birthday ruined by the little unsupervised neighbor kids. And they were trying to break into the car of one of our guests! Seriously!? We called RPD out and two cops showed up. Sure enough, the mom of the kids says, "It wasn't my kid, you can't prove anything." Lovely RPD, God bless their souls, says what the state statue is about anyone 8 years old or over can go to jail because if you're old enough to know better, then you shouldn't do something wrong. Anyway, they came back and followed up with us all that jazz and told us if anything happens to call them back. As they left, the kids were thinking they'd pull a fast one on us and try to tell the cops they didn't do anything and the cops, gotta love them, said, "If someone sees something happening and you're on the scene, you'll be questioned," that whole wrong place wrong time thing and maybe you should avoid being in wrong places to not be looked at as guilty, "You got away with it this time but next time you're going to jail." They pretty much scared the kids. The good thing is we can call RPD on them even if they're playing in our driveway because it's trespassing (what I've been saying all this time!) Anyway, long story short, these kids are under strict surveillance. RPD is on to them. They better shape up and those parents better start doing their job and watching their kids or their kids are gonna wind up in the slammer like MC Hammer. Our neighbor across from us gave them a talking to about when they go in the trash and he told them he put cat poop in there. They stopped going into our trash but his car window got busted about 2 weeks ago. He didn't put two and two together but he has his suspicions now. Great.