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.

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