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The Pocket Dump- Part 3

A few weeks ago, I was at an indoor IDPA match and I overheard one of the other shooters telling a young lady who was there shooting, “This is what you would do in a gunfight.” He proceeded to show the young lady where to stand while shooting the stage. Not only was advice to crowd cover, but to also stick the muzzle of the gun into a room she had not yet cleared.

I couldn’t help but ask why he had asked her to do that. His response was, “That’s what you would do in a gunfight.” How do you know? “That’s what we do in IDPA.” Now, I should tell you this guy is a HIGH level IDPA shooter and is a fantastic shooter but he has no training for anything but competition. He confused rules of a game for tactics.

We can debate all day about Glock vs. Springfield, Smith and Wesson vs. Colt or 9mm vs. .45 ACP, but does it really matter what you carry if you really don’t know how to use it? You can carry a gun all day, every day, but unless you have physical fitness, common sense and training, your pocket dump is empty. Over the last 14 years as a cop, I’ve never had to fire a round while on duty (or off) to defend myself, another person, or a piece of property. I have, however, had to go hands on several times and also had to chase a lot of suspects. Physical fitness is a key component of law enforcement and if you’re truly serious about your concealed carry, it’s a key component of your life. If you are ever physically attacked, there’s at least one gun involved in the fight….yours! When was the last time you tried to restrain someone of tried to stop someone from restraining you? Physical confrontations are exhausting mentally and physically and there are no time outs. You are more likely to be involved with hands on confrontations and you need the physical stamina and strength to endure such encounters. But, let’s say you are involved in a mass shooting. What then? Are you not going to try to help get your family and others to safety? Are you able to pick up and carry your kids while you run to cover? Are you able to drag wounded to safety? Are you able to run after a suspect to identify their vehicle and possibly get a license plate number? Can you hoist yourself up a wall? Can you push a car out of the road to clear a traffic lane? If you can’t do these things, you need to take a serious look at your fitness routine. You may be the fastest guy on the trigger at your local USPSA or IDPA match, but are you going to be able to run, jump, push, pull, carry and fight?

Common sense is actually a rare commodity. Knowing when to use a weapon is probably more important than how in some circumstances. Common sense dictates you don’t go to high crime areas, get yourself involved in drug deals or gangs and that alone lowers your risk of being in a violent crime exponentially. Common sense also says just because you have a gun, doesn’t make you invulnerable to attack. I watched a short video today of a defensive tactics instructor talking to his class. Everyone in the class looked like they had been in at least a scrap or two. His advice was so simple and effective. If some guy came up to you and said, “What are you looking at?” He advised to reply, “Well, I was looking at your shirt. I really like it. Where did you get it?” If someone asked, “Are you looking at my girl?” Reply with, “Yes, she looks a lot like a girl I went to school with. Is her name (insert random name here)?”

Ego has gotten the best of a lot of us. Ego usually wins over common sense, unfortunately. So we have to do something to fix that. Put your ego aside. I hate to break it to you but there’s always someone tougher, bigger, meaner, faster or just better than you. Don’t allow ego to get you into situations where your concealed firearm may be your only way out.Training, or the suggestion they need it, is almost a shot to the gut for some people. The internet is full of tremendous shooters who have put in a lot of time and effort to hone their skills of one second appendix carry draws with Glocks that cost more than my first motorcycle. But, do they have the training and skill to defend against an attacker?

Think about the concept of a liberal arts education. The idea is to expose you to every subject to make you a more well-rounded student, thinker and individual. Those internet celebrities who have the sub second draw from appendix carry may not be well rounded. Ask yourself if you have any training in boxing or martial arts? How much training do you have shooting with a flashlight or in low light conditions? Training is going to give you a better understanding of tactics, your equipment and your own limitations. Investing in your training is probably more important than your gun. Why spend all the money for a custom 1911 if you can’t fight with it? And, yes, there’s a difference between being able to shoot and fight.

Invest in yourself. Put your ego aside and seek out training, work out and use some common sense. Your life depends upon it.

Rich Portwood