Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Dictionary

ImageI like dictionaries. I have an assortment of them on my desk, several scattered around the house, and one on my bedside table. Dictionaries, and I’m talking about real ones, the older the better, are essential to learning any combative art, especially firearms.

“Practice,” is marked in my dictionary. A practice is a habitual action or performance. Make it a practice to maintain visual contact with your environment, looking for any potential problems. You practice various combative skills until you can perform those actions under any type conditions and without conscious thought. You practice reloading your pistol until it becomes an automatic and habitual action.

When faced with a confrontation and avoidance/escape are not options most people think about “fighting” – to contend with, battle or combat. You want to “defeat” your opponent, defined as overcome, frustrate, or repulse. In a fight you’re forced to struggle. Defeat the threat as efficiently as possible.

“Art” is another of my favorite words. An artist creates. In a confrontation we create a response to a threat, usually in a short amount of time. Art should also generate a response from the viewer, in this case the threat. Our art should change the threat’s mind about what they thought they were going to do or inflict the physical damage necessary to stop them from carrying out their intended actions.

“Talk” and “communicate” are two combative terms, and it’s important to distinguish the difference between them. Talking is speaking, delivering a speech or transmitting information. “Stop,” you yell at the threat, “leave my house now!” You are talking to the threat, telling them what you want them to do. Communication is to converse, sharing and exchanging information. In a time of trouble you have to communicate with partners, armed or not, in order to coordinate your actions, or with family members or bystanders. After a confrontation you’ll have to “use your words” to justify why you did what you did. Keep in mind this should only be done after communicating with your lawyer.

Using the proper terms is important when explaining what you’ve done, especially with someone who may not be familiar with firearms. Take “point-blank” as an example. Point-blank range is the distance I can aim at the center of the target and without making any sighting adjustments for elevation fire and still hit the target. This distance depends on target size, the weapon and the distance at which the sights are zeroed, and the type ammunition being fired. Point-blank range can be several hundred yards and tells us nothing about the actual distance involved.

Some might say this column is “moot,” and they would be spot on since the definition of moot is to discuss and debate a topic. Firearms are lethal weapons, very powerful. Words carry a lot of weight as well. Knowledge of both is necessary to learn how to use them properly.

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February 16, 2012 - Posted by | General Training

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