By: Paul Foreman
Last month I heard about just two of many news stories of young teens who listened to their parents and followed a carefully thought out plan in case of an emergency. Do you have a plan? Have you rehearsed a plan to follow in case of any disaster such as a home invasion, tornado, fire or medical emergency?
This past week in one of the senior centers, I was giving one of my programs about firearms safety. The discussion came up about what to do if you wake up during the night and found someone breaking into your home. One lady stated that she would just “shoot the guy.” I told her that might not turn out to be so easy to do! What if he has a gun? Are you just going to stand there in your living room and shoot him? What if he does not just stand there and let you shoot him? What if your gun is in the night stand down the hall in your bedroom? Is the gun loaded? Do you know how to load it? When is the last time you ever shot the gun? Is the ammunition so old that it might not even work anymore?
Now I could go on and on with a few dozen more “what if” questions. You need to be asking yourself at least the questions I have mentioned here and have the answers! Many of the answers will depend on the layout of your home, the strength of your doors. A very important part of your plan will depend on if there are other family members in your home. Have you thought about your shots missing? Where will missed bullets go? Is there be someone sleeping in another room, in your line of fire? There I go again, more “what if questions.” In a dangerous situation, these are some things which you need to plan for ahead of time. As the bad guy comes crashing through the sliding glass door is not the time to stop and think about it!
When I was a training officer for the Sheriff’s Department in Florida, the rookies had to ride with me for their 14-week training period after they finished the academy. When they completed the field training, they were turned loose on the world. Well, what if the whole time the rookie was in training with me, we never encountered a bank robbery in progress? The answer to that was to rehearse different scenarios during that training period. Numerous times we would make use of an old abandoned building, or even an abandoned house for more realistic training.
That is what YOU need to do too! In my firearms classes, we train with some targets that present various scenarios. For instance a target has a picture of a bad guy with a gun pointed right at you! Ok, that one is easy. How about you see the bad guy with a gun, BUT your children are in the bedroom right behind him? How about you are coming out of the shopping mall and a bad guy is coming at you with a knife, but behind him are dozens of other shoppers? These are just a few of the possible incidents that could happen to you. What would you do?
Several times, I have had students tell me they have a gun stored on the top shelf of a closet. I ask them, “Is it loaded?Are you ever going to be able to get to your gun, find the ammunition, load the gun and then confront the bad guy?” The first half of the class is all about SAFETY. I teach you how to check to see if it is loaded or not. I teach my students, using “dummy ammo” or fake plastic bullets before we ever get into using live ammo. I want my students to be able to be very familiar with their gun, before we go out to the range and shoot. When driving a car and someone pulls out in front of you, do you have time to stop and think, “Let’s see, that I think this is the brake, there’s the gas pedal, and I am pretty sure that’s the clutch.” Guess what, you just wrecked! It is the same with you handling a gun in an emergency. Everyone who owns a gun for self protection should be trained!
By: Paul Foreman