On the first weekend of November, I shot my last major “run-and-gun” match of the year, the Citrus Challenge IDPA tournament (www.idpa.com) mentioned earlier in this blog. This past weekend, I shot what I expect to be my last major “stand in one place and shoot the damn gun” match, a Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (www.gssfonline.com) event in St. Augustine, Florida.
Had a great time at both, learned lessons at both. At Citrus Challenge, it was reinforced for me that when you get old, the “running” slows down before the “gunning.”
At St. Augustine, I was reminded – not for the first time this year, or ever – that if you want to perform well at a tournament, you really ought to train for it. Entered in five “gun categories” at the Glock Shoot, each of which consists of three shooting stages, I shot my average on the cardboard targets but was sloppy and off-pace on the steel plate stage. I haven’t shot the “Bianchi Plates” all year except at four matches, and it showed. Pace is particularly critical on reaction targets. I had come back from a deposition in a fatal shooting case on the opposite coast barely in time to get caught up on work mail, and put the guns into the car before the match.
Another lesson: my job requires me to do some shooting almost every week, and that at least keeps you consistent. In this case, the consistent performance gave me a “gentleman’s C” overall grade that kept me from having to go into therapy or anything, but also showed that consistency can be the key to mediocrity.
On the plus side, my Significant Other is on a roll. The preliminary results show that she was high female in the Civilian event.
My final lesson: I should model on Frank Butler. He was the 19th Century marksman who challenged Annie Oakley to a shooting match. She kicked his butt; he saw his future; and he devoted the rest of his life to being her manager.
Of course, Ms. Oakley may have been more manageable than my Significant Other…
I’m writing this on November 9, the anniversary of kristallnacht, and there’s no better way to remember what that means than reading my friend (and yours, if you support gun owners’ civil rights) David Codrea, here: http://www.examiner.com/article/jewish-gun-group-remembers-kristallnacht-on-76th-anniversary. In it he links to a very important essay by another friend, a man I’m proud to have had as a guest lecturer at one of my classes, Rabbi Ron Mermelstein: http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/kristal.htm. First published in 1998 by Jews for Preservation of Firearms Ownership, it is as timely now as it was then. Perhaps more so, since in the interim we’ve had more gun prohibitionists claiming, with revisionist history worthy of Holocaust deniers, that the Nazis didn’t disarm the Jews and the Jews never could have fought to save themselves from genocide.
Monday will mark the Marine Corps Birthday; the USMC was founded in 1775. This coming Tuesday will be Veterans Day. I don’t need to remind anyone here how much sacrifice those days of memorialization represent, sacrifice rendered in the name of the freedoms we now enjoy and hope to keep and even expand upon.
Over the centuries and much in the memory of living Americans, the butcher’s bill has been high. May those good people not have been killed and maimed in vain.
In the tiny, cramped “pillbox,” Charles Gautier wields his customized Glock 34 9mm en route to winning the Citrus Challenge.
For a few years now, the Central Florida Rifle and Pistol group in Orlando has been running a major International Defensive Pistol Association match that has earned a reputation as one of the best on the national circuit. Because it’s held the first weekend in November and I’m usually teaching in Arizona at that time, I had never been able to attend, but a change in schedule this year made it possible. I’m glad it did.
Every stage was challenging, from the deceptively simple draw-and-shoot of the first challenge we all faced, to events with disappearing targets so fast that, literally, you could blink your eyes and miss seeing at least one of them. Most of us thought the most demanding event was the one that crammed you into a tiny little pillbox with only three little gun ports to shoot from at an array of nine or so targets across your front. At least one of the big guys needed help getting out of the box when he was done shooting.
The range safety officers were most fair with penalties and scoring. Not a “range nazi” in the bunch from what I saw.
People as old as me shouldn’t have to be backing away from armed robbers with a heavy-ass Courier’s Case handcuffed to one hand, but the Springfield Armory XD(m) 9mm helped me do that. I consider it Elder Abuse…:-(
I got to shoot in the same squad with the guy who turned out to win the overall match, Charles Gautier. I had met him before – very knowledgeable and helpful shooter – but hadn’t seen him in action until last weekend’s Citrus Challenge. His speed, smoothness, and accuracy were a pleasure to watch. Keep an eye on this guy at next year’s World Championships in Puerto Rico.
The shooters I run with, several of whom are my graduates, made me proud. Among other honors, they captured two divisions with one-two finishes. Deon Martin was champion in the .45 auto part of things, Custom Defense Pistol division, and John Strayer was right behind him for second overall and First Master. Deon won with the new Glock 41, and John was shooting a 1911. In Stock Service Revolver division, Michael Dukes captured the Division Champion title, unseating defending champ Allen Davis, who was second overall among the six-shooter stalwarts and First Expert. Fast-rising Anthony Wojtyla won high Sharpshooter in Stock Service Pistol with his Glock 9mm, and a “bump” up to Expert class. The old guy here managed to take the Distinguished Senior title, which is kinda like “high geezer.”
IDPA is a great shooting sport, and a relevant one. Info is available at idpa.com, where you’ll also find a link to Central Florida Rifle And Pistol which has monthly matches, and links to other clubs all over the country, at least one of which is probably within striking distance of you.
Republican control of both houses of Congress is huge for all in the gun owners’ civil rights movement. The key thing from my point of view is Congressional approval of Federal judges and particularly new Supreme Court justices the lame duck anti-gun President is expected to appoint in the next two years. The specter of Eric Holder sitting on the Supreme Court is no longer something we need to shudder before.
On local fronts, Charlie Crist, a waffler on more than the gun issue and an opponent of Stand Your Ground rights, missed his Bloomberg-funded bid to topple pro-gun Florida Governor Scott, and Illinois gun owners will be better off with their new Republican governor than they were under the ferociously anti-gun Pat Quinn. A Republican governor has to be an improvement for gun owners in Maryland, too.
Election Day made another specter, that of President Hillary Clinton, a little less substantial. According to TV reports this morning, more than 30 of the Democrats she and her husband campaigned for were trounced.
There were disappointments, though. In Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper managed to stay in office by less than 1.5% of the vote, thanks to a heavy turnout from the Yuppie enclaves, despite it being proven in public that he had lied to his constituents and his state’s own sheriffs about his ill-conceived, Bloomberg-inspired “assault weapons ban.” And, in a triumph of Bloomberg purchasing power and propaganda that would have made Goebbels weep in envy, Washington state voters approved the egregious 594 initiative criminalizing ordinary lending of guns between law-abiding people.
Looking at it as a gun owner, I’m not so much into the Republican versus Democrat thing. I’m a registered Independent, and in most elections vote for candidates from both parties according to the individual rather than the party. Yet we can’t escape the fact that the Democratic Party itself has published strong anti-gun planks, and the Republican Party has not. I’ll take a proven pro-gun “D” over a waffling or unproven “R” anytime, but the Republican sweep is, in toto, something our side has every right to celebrate.