Monday, March 22, 2010

Naval Jelly

I broke through the rust yesterday. This time I have no targets to share, only my impressions of a most positive experience.

On a spectacular early-spring Sunday, I joined 25 other students at a small gun-rod-bow club in the wooded hills 15 miles southeast of here. We spent 12-plus hours in classroom instruction and live-fire sessions, guided by three active-duty law-enforcement officers.

I was fortunate to do much of my range work under the hand of the county sheriff department's SWAT commander, quite the teacher. His good-humored insights eliminated my head-scratching, and by day's end I was putting defensive rounds on target with deliberate speed and confident accuracy.

Practice is essential, but inevitably our skills suffer when we breathe only our own fumes. As I've said before -- and as I was reminded again yesterday -- professional training makes all the difference.