Sep 032012

Many people think of a gun as some great equalizer where the user  can be an old grandma, who simply has to aim and pull the trigger to deter the threat from a much bigger and younger attacker. In California, which has some of the strictest gun laws, ironically citizens upon attending a safety course, and being “vetted” by a criminal check, can purchase a hand gun without demonstrating their ability to effectively hit their targets on a range. The common held belief that deploying a weapon is about pointing and shooting like it is a camera, is quite erroneous. Even though countless people do train on ranges shooting paper targets honing their marksmanship skills across the USA, very few people actually posses the speed, agility, and quickness to deploy their weapons in real life situations.

In a real life or death situation such as a home invasion, the gun owner has to first assess the threat, run to where his or her gun is,  unlock it, arm it, acquire the position of the bad guys, position him or herself between the criminals and protected family members and eliminate the threats with accurate shots all within a minute or less while most likely having an extremely high heart rate.

If you were paying attention, the operative words were ” extremely high heart rate”. When the heart rate spikes, the fine motor skills such as shooting diminish. All of the hours spent on a gun range are useless unless an individual practices operating their firearm under duress. Obviously one can’t fire off rounds in their own home, but what one can do is practice all of the steps prior to discharging his or her weapon. The neuromuscular and anaerobic conditioning of reality based drills and fitness training will benefit the gun owner if a life threatening criminal attack shall occur.

Even police officers are not immune to overly relying on static training at the gun range when their time should be better spent mimicking the physical demands of responding to a crime. Recently, the NYPD responded to a shooting outside the Empire State Building, many bystanders were shot by police officers who lost their accuracy after running to the scene.

If gun owners had to pass a physical fitness test, qualify at the range under realistic shooting scenarios, and attend a course on pre-attack indicators, prior to purchasing a firearm, the incidents of wrongful deaths would surely plummet.

Fitness saves lives!


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