I used to be one of those people who claimed to know exactly how I would react if I had my firearm with me in certain situations. Like most people, I felt that I knew myself better than anybody else knew me. I had it on good authority, my own, that I’d never freeze under any circumstance, that I’d always know exactly when to shoot, that I had ice water in my veins.
I probably don’t have to tell you that I was terribly wrong. I decided to participate in 3 different scenarios at the Forward Movement Training Center. All three training scenarios opened my eyes as to what I needed to work on as a firearm enthusiast.
The first scenario had me waiting in line at an ATM. It was at night, dark, with very few people around. Suddenly, a car pulled up. A man with a knife jumped out. He rushed to the woman in front of me and screamed, “Stay out of it!” While I backed away, the man forced the woman against the wall. He began pushing a knife into her stomach.
The training gun rested in my hand. I could have easily pulled the trigger but I stood there, frozen, unable to do anything at all. Finally, something clicked in my brain. I heard a voice say, “If you don’t do something, she’s going to die!”. That’s when I raised the training gun and took a shot. The shot flew harmlessly to the side. It had no impact on what was happening.
While feeling the embarrassment of letting someone get stabbed to death in front of me, the instructor at the FMTC told me that it happens a lot, freezing in place. He consoled me just enough for me to want to perform better in the next scenario.
In the second scenario, I pulled up to a house in the middle of the night while a man ran out with a shotgun. I responded to the threat by raising my gun. The man dropped the shotgun and then raised his own hands. Then, he stated that someone was inside. Another shot rang out, hitting the person with his raised arms. That’s when I took two shots. Only one shot was a hit. But I was proud of myself after the second scenario. I hadn’t frozen. I had done as I had been taught to do.
Scenario 3 had me checking up on a friend who had missed a lunch date with me. Upon entering my friend’s house, I saw that she and her husband had been tied up and gagged in the middle of the living room. I drew my weapon. I looked around the room. From behind a wall came one of the attackers. He immediately dropped his firearm, raised his hands and went to his knees. As I started towards him, I heard a shot from behind me. I had made the mistake of not assuming that there might be another shooter somewhere close to me. I turned quickly. I even managed to get a shot off. Turning back to the first shooter, I noticed him reaching behind for a gun. I got off three shots this time. Only one was a hit.
Although my reaction time had improved mightily from Scenario 1 to Scenario 3, I remained disappointed with myself. I pride myself on being a decent marksman. But I had missed on many of my shots. All in all, my experience at FMTC is one that I will never forget. It showed me that there is always room for improvement when it comes to responding to an attack with my firearm.
As a Brit living and working in the USA, her views on gun ownership and the second amendment have evolved over the years, allowing her to fully understand both sides of the gun control debate and she regularly speaks on the matter to help others understand why she feels the second amendment must be protected and why she chooses to be an advocate for the shooting sports.
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