Recently I was at the hermitage for a quiet day, part of which was putting out a few rounds from the Glock into my homemade dot targets. The pattern was about the same as it had been previously at 27 feet, all 15 rounds in the space of the palm of a hand. But this time it is the same number North or South, East or West, which isn’t anything to be proud about, as there should be no directions, just 10-X every time, right? But at least the grip is as it should be with no predominance in any direction.
This was all done with what my practice had morphed into, that is, looking away from the target, spinning about at the screams of some imagined altercation while assessing the situation (type of threat, delivery system of the threat, opportunity), unholstering the gun, shouting some commands drawn from that assessment, drawing the gun up (it already being chambered) and pulling the trigger as soon as the front iron post comes into view IF that’s what the assessment still entails, what with circumstances changing even radically every nanosecond, including what’s next to or behind the target. These were all double taps.
But then I added something, just to make the adrenaline flow a bit more freely as it would in the time of some always totally unexpected crisis. In the picture at the top, also 27 feet out, you’ll see two juice bottles side by side on the stump. That represents a hostage situation. When the guys train up for such things, as you can imagine, they are totally disqualified for one stray bullet, as that would defeat the purpose. One just has to be better than that. One has to be the best. I’m far from that. Obviously. But one has to start somewhere. So, up the juice bottles went. The idea is that under pressure at the maximum distance one might expect there to be while still being in the dynamic of such a situation, one hits only the one and not the other, and that the one one is hitting is actually hit. To miss both is just about as bad as hitting the hostage, as you’re not likely going to get a second chance unless the first one hits where it needs to hit. In the meantime, it’s all over for the hostage. Things to practice also include closing the distance if this won’t spook the hostage taker, all the while angling to gain a clear shot and a clear backstop.
The reason to train for such an eventuality that will pretty much never ever arise, it that in training for the more difficult one is training for the less difficult by default.
Any classroom training for such an event consists of 99.99% of the instruction being aimed at why never ever to shoot no matter what in such a situation, which is the same thing that is said also to law enforcement, the SWAT team crowd, et al. But then it is mentioned that it might just be the case that in the it-never-happens-anyway situation, you might just “have to take the shot” regardless of the safety of the actual hostage, though taking every precaution that the hostage not be hurt, which also includes putting oneself at risk. The idea, in that case, is that the perp must be neutralized, even if there are innocent bystanders round about the perp along with the hostage and also in back of the perp in the line of fire. In that case, the situation would be, for instance, that the perp is shooting quickly and with success at many people, killing as many as he can. But that’s the moment you wish you had practiced up for the more difficult case as a way to practice up for that which is easier. You don’t want to miss. You don’t want to have to take more than one shot. Anyway, that never happens. Anyway, I’ll practice for it.
As it is, the local Graham Star newspaper just put out a front page story on a possible budding terrorist in these most remote of back ridges of our national forests. It’s a bit of a joke, but at the same time it’s not. Here’s the evidence of a fevered but not lacking in reason mind of a terrorist:
O.K. He’s an amateur, thinking he’s clever. This was at the dumpster site. This could be an attempt at terrorism, but I really doubt that. I think what’s happening is that a prescription druggie guy rooting around inside the many dumpsters at the site in search of discarded but still potent prescription opioids is sick of competition from other druggie guys rooting around the insides of the dumpsters. So, he’s created some sort of booby-trap meant to take out or at least hurt a fellow dumpster diver.
However, that kind of meanness, paranoid about everyone coming into the dumpster site, thinking that any of them could be there to steal “his” opioids in the dumpsters, might just accost those who are there to recycle and dump their trash: “Gimme your meds, or else!” That kind of thing instantly turns into a hostage situation if the wife is taken and he then notices that the husband is there. Dumpster sites are not lonely sites. They are pretty heavily trafficked. This is actually not an unlikely scenario, especially since the perps will be extra nervous what with talk of upping the penalties for dumpster diving (which usually results in all the contents of all the dumpsters being spread out over the lot so as to more easily comb through the rubbish for the drugs.
And we might be thinking, what a bad guy that terrorist druggie bad guy is. But did not our Lord allow himself to be taken hostage by our sins? Did He not lay down His life for us? Thank you, dear Lord. Thank you for saving us bad guys, us really bad guys.