None of us ever really knows exactly how we will react in a high stress situation. Experiencing a mass shooting like we saw last week in Dallas, Texas, is something in which very few Americans have ever found themselves. As a retired Deputy Sheriff from Southwest Florida, I think back to situations I was involved in and wonder how I ever did the things I did. At sixty-seven years young, I know if I were asked to do some of the things today I did back then, I would say, “Get someone else to do it, or call the cops!”
However, even at my age, there could come a time where I might be thrust into a situation in which I would not have a choice. Something would have to be done. I would have to choose between fighting and dying. Back when I was a cop, I responded to everything from the mundane to the horrifying. But, I never responded to a mass shooting or a bank robbery in progress. There were some bank robberies, but by the time I got there, the bad guys had flown the coop, and the danger was over. I did help catch a bank robber once. I just happened to be in his path of flight from the bank. The idiot used an air-powered nail gun to rob the bank, but he didn’t have it hooked up to an air hose!
We learned, as Deputy Sheriffs, there was never really a “routine call” to which we would respond exactly in the same way every time. Oh sure, there were policies and procedures we were required to follow. We had to respond to whatever we were dispatched to while driving in a safe manner. We were required to treat the public with courtesy and respect. We were “supposed” to treat the bad guys with respect, too.
There were times, especially on the night shift, when we discovered, or were dispatched to crimes in progress. Domestic disturbances, bar fights, neighborhood disputes, business burglar alarms, and prowlers were the common, every-night “routines.” To maintain our Florida Police Standards Certificate, we were required to attend a minimum amount of training each year. Most of those “refresher” classes were more administrative than street-level training. But, there were some really good training classes, such as one series entitled, “Street Survival” and “Surviving Edged Weapons.” Another class was “Use of Non-Lethal Weapons,” and included training in the use of Tasers and Cap-Stun which is a professional grade pepper spray. Then, of course, there was the required qualifying with the pistol and shotgun, twice a year. If you were assigned to a specialized unit such as the “Special Response Unit” or the “Dive Team,” there was specific training for those officers.
Situations could arise for which you had no training. There was always a possibility of suddenly finding yourself in a highly stressful predicament for which there was no book training. When I was an FTO, Field Training Officer, the rookies were required to ride with me or another FTO for a total of fourteen weeks. During that time, the rookie would be exposed to all kinds of calls. But, the rookie and I might never get a call to respond to a bank robbery in progress. I instructed the rookie to try to imagine all kinds of dangerous situations, and plan for how he or she would handle them, then discuss those plans with a training officer.
It’s the same for the concealed carry citizen. If you are going to carry, you really do need to attend a firearms training class. I don’t know how often I have heard both men and women say, “Oh, I know how to shoot a gun.” BALONEY! There is a lot more to shooting, and especially gun safety, than pointing the gun and pulling the trigger.
If you are going to be a responsible concealed carry citizen, please get trained in concealed carry, gun safety and home defense tactics. I’ll bet you could not find a successful doctor, lawyer, engineer, or almost any professional who never attends advanced training seminars. If you are going to be a responsible citizen who practices their 2nd amendment rights, get concealed carry training. Get trained and get refresher training on gun safety. After being trained, practice shooting drills using “dry fire.” If you don’t know what shooting drills are, find out from a certified firearms instructor, and do your homework!
Paul Foreman is a retired Deputy Sheriff from Lee County Florida. As a Deputy Sheriff, he served as a Field Training Officer in the Patrol Division. Paul is a Certified Firearms Instructor, First Aid, CPR & AED. For firearms training Paul can be reached through E-Mail at Captureman@PaulForeman.com or his web site, www.Paulforeman.com
By: Paul Foreman