22 Oct 12

“The Rifle is the Weapon of Democracy.”

Edward Paul Abbey

At an Urban Rifle Course on the East Coast last weekend, I, as always, challenged students with:

“How fast can you successfully engage that threat?”

Go too fast, and you miss, and an opportunity is lost. Too slow, and you unnecessarily squander valuable time that can’t be made up!

The most important asset of any Operator is his ability to correctly judge the speed at which he can fire his rifle and expect success. Operators who thus intimately know their personal “Goldilocks Zone” hit reliably in every circumstance, going at just the right speed to hit, while not succumbing to the temptation to exceed their ability and run the trigger too fast. It is a lot like playing Blackjack!

Operators need an ability to quickly judge distance, size, intervening objects, exposure times, and other circumstances that contribute to the difficulty, and danger, represented by the target. Easy targets need to be engaged and dispatched more-or-less instantly. Difficult targets may require a change in posture, shooting technique, an expedient rest, or even unilateral disengagement.

Most of all, an Operator needs the competence to immediately, but correctly, size-up tactical situations, identify pivotal opportunities, and the courage and confidence to act decisively at the critical instant, never wasting time lamenting about what he doesn’t have, nor about the “unfair” nature of the circumstances. Put another way, Operators spend their time finding a way to win, not looking for an excuse to lose.

“Good tactics” doesn’t mean taking no risk. It means taking the best risk, at the critical moment, with inadequate information, fearlessly acknowledging everything the term “risk,” implies.

Courage, daring, and caution, in exactly the right balance!

Serious rifle training exercises these critical skills like no other activity!

“The beauty of doing nothing is that you can do it perfectly. Only when you do something is it almost impossible to do it without mistakes.”

Thomas Sowell