A Trip to the Range, Musings on Background Checks

Kim and I went to the range today for some ballistic therapy–it always makes me feel so relaxed, and with another class coming up and the end of her voices.com contract coming, plus a few key auditions in the works, it seemed like she was getting stressed out as well. I also purchased a new pair of Pro Ears Gold muffs, and I wanted to try them out. They allow me to hear with amplified sound, and at the same time cut damaging noise to acceptable levels, so instead of having to take off my ear protection or shout to hear myself, I can just talk and work normally without damaging my ears. They worked great and were worth the expense.

We set up the steel targets and did some plinking with the .380 Autos. At first neither of us could even hit the target, but as we settled in we both got much better. I’m actually kind of a stickler for the practice, and I’m very particular about how we go about it. I feel like it improves our handling and reaction time, and Kim is so cool about doing what I want her to do. Guess what? It shows in her skill level.

I put one target at 12 yards and one at 15 yards with a knockdown at 10 yards. Then I start a random timer and we shoot to get two hits on the far target. With that complete, we drop the magazine and put in a fresh one. That’s the hard part-changing the magazine while still staying in a fighting posture, not jamming anything up, and getting on to the second, closer target for two more hits. To finish the round we knock over the knockdown target. It’s a great drill for self-defense against two attackers.

The timer counts the shots, so there’s no need to stop it at the end, just stop shooting and review the times. It really encourages a quick draw and good handling of the pistol, plus it forces you to aim so that you don’t have to waste extra shots. Kim did one string in 24.13 seconds with six shots, meaning she only missed once. I did a five shot string, but it took me longer to aim so that I only accomplished a 14.57 time on that one. After missing completely with our first magazines, it was nice to have a string with no misses. Also, it’s proof of how difficult small pistols are to aim and fire, and how important practice is. The P238 is a very small pistol used for concealment, and aiming and running it is tricky, but man those Sig Sauers are great guns when you know how they function. Muscle memory is important, and I have to work on putting the safety back on before I reholster. My best time was an eight shot string (I was almost sprayin’ and prayin’ on that one) but I managed a 11.35 with a fast draw and reload. That’s the best I’ve ever done.

Now I’m back at home with a little writing to do and a couple of Sierra Nevada Octoberfests to drink and two pistols to clean. I love that Kim and I go to play together, and I’m feeling much less stressed out. I cannot recommend ballistic therapy enough, nor can I overstate how much I think everyone who is willing should be armed.

I do want to say that I wish we would pass a law requiring universal background checks. I read a dissenting opinion on the Truth About Guns blog. It goes something like this: 1-why create more beaurocracy, 2-what if I am falsely accused of being incompetent, 3-what if the government uses that info to come to my door and take my guns, and 4-my favorite: that background checks have only stopped about 50,000 gun sales, so what’s the point? Plus, what if I want to sell a gun to my neighbor? Here’s my answer to those: 1-I’ll deal with a little more red tape if it means the Adam Lanzas of the world can’t touch things that are designed for one thing only: to kill people. I am proud of the fact that Kim and I are law abiding citizens, who were able to get concealed weapon permits. I was glad to go through the red tape. I think everyone should have to do it, and if you can’t pass, maybe you shouldn’t have a gun. 2-You can be falsely accused of many things in life. It’s a pain, but when it happens you have to clean up the mess. It’s part of living in a society with rules, and especially important when we’re dealing with something that, again, is designed for only one purpose: killing things. 3-If the government is going to come to the door and take your guns, to my mind you are already at a point where the Bill of Rights and the Constitution have been suspended, and you have more important problems to deal with, such as, am I ready to fight back? 4-If the federal background checks have stopped ONE person guilty of domestic violence or stopped one person with murder in their heart from buying a gun, they have done their job. Finally, If you want to sell your gun to your neighbor, or give it to your wife, go down to wal-mart and spend the money to do the background check. It’s a gun.

Oh yes, and another complaint, the “these background checks only keep law abiding citizens from buying guns, the bad guys just steal them or buy them on the street.” Yeah, that’s true. Guess what? I don’t mind an us against them mentality. I would like an armed militia of citizens who have gone through their background checks and practiced and carry weapons to deter the bad guys. That’s the point of the second amendment. In fact, the whole point of the United States was supposed to be that we are intelligent and good enough to handle our own problems in a law abiding way. It’s exactly what has the power to stop the bad guys, and the bad guys know it. I want less cops and more citizens looking out for one another. How about that?