William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Thursday, 8, October, 2009

People ask me why I take my class to the range.

Filed under: Boom,Teaching — williamthecoroner @ 09:22

Particularly when I submit the ammunition bill for reimbursement.  I do it for several reasons.  First and foremost, firearms are a contentious subject.  Many of my students have never picked up a firearm in their lives.  I, myself, did not until a colleague in residency taught me.  Many people have a quite irrational fear of firearms.  Personally, I’m more frightened of chain saws.  I know how to handle a firearm safely.  I cannot say the same for a chainsaw.

Secondly, I find shooting to be an enjoyable pastime.  One has to concentrate on safety and proper procedures to get the bullet on the target.  I find it quiets my mind, and forces me to concentrate on one thing and one thing only.  I understand why some Zen practitioners use archery.  We both are trying to reach the same state of being in the moment.

Then, of course, it is difficult.  There is always pleasure in taking a difficult task and doing it well, be it a chess game, golf, cards, magic, carpentry, what have you.  Humans are weird, we and our fellow primates sometimes like to make things difficult for the fun of it.  Golf is the perfect exemplar of this behaviour.  Personally, I think a golf course is a waste of a good rifle range.  But it is hard, and therefore it’s fun.  To each their own.

Finally, it is a skill that can be used for self-defense.  More eloquent people than I have pointed out that firearms are a force equalizer.  And that the police, well intentioned though they may be, have no duty to protect anyone that they do not have a “special relationship” with.  [One doesn't want a special relationship with law enforcement, it means one is in custody, and therefore cannot take care of oneself].  I’m a big fan of insurance and preparation so I can take care of myself if (God forbid) bad things happen.  I have insurance, fire extinguisher training, and emergency supplies in the car and the basement.

As Oleg Volk said recently:

Violence may not be exactly common but it happens from time to time. Just as I like having air bags and seat belts in my car just in case defensive driving isn’t enough, I like having some means of stopping purposeful evil from having its way with me and mine. And since I can’t be everywhere to look after my friends, the next best thing is to provide them with the skills necessary to fend for themselves. “Teach a man to fish” approach. Since I am no professional trainer, at most I can give someone a taste of the ability and they can get more serious training later on.

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5 Comments »

  1. You are right about the pleasure of taking a difficult task and doing it well. There is something to be said about the enjoyment of practising and seeing yourself getting better at a hobby (or a job skill) I had that feeling when I was learning glass blowing. I didn’t have the physical skill set, but I had the creative one. The person who did best in the class felt he didn’t have the creative skill set, but was a cabinet maker and had the physical skills.

    Comment by anj — Thursday, 8, October, 2009 @ 13:11 | Reply

  2. Excellent post- Bottom line, you are providing input to classes, and at the same time giving them a look into an ability to protect themselves. I would bet if you asked EVERY person who carries a weapon for self protection, every one would tell you they hope to NEVER use that weapon to defend themselves or their loved ones.

    Comment by Old NFO — Thursday, 8, October, 2009 @ 16:17 | Reply

  3. Sadly, a lot of people do not know that law enforcement has no duty to protect us or come to our aid in a timely manner.

    Comment by Katie — Thursday, 8, October, 2009 @ 18:19 | Reply

  4. Just out of curiosity, what emergency supplies do you keep in the basement?

    Comment by Sparrow — Saturday, 10, October, 2009 @ 19:14 | Reply

  5. I was a Police Officer for 10 years and I always wanted the public armed. Why you may ask and that is a very good question. There have been a few times when you had an Officer Down call. An armed citizen was always the Police Officers best friend here is why. You have back up right there!

    Comment by John-in Florida — Thursday, 15, October, 2009 @ 04:22 | Reply


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