Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist
Those were the words softly spoken in my ear... "You Killed Everyone, You Fail".
Simple... to the point. Everyone: Dead.
Let me go back to the beginning...
This last weekend I was taking another course (I had one seminar in already - this was another basic course) in Israeli Tactical Point Shooting with Pistols. We were working on Targeting, target identification, shooting accuracy, shooting and moving and other basic tactical skills with handguns.
My instructor was a decorated member of the Israeli Special Forces and Security professional who flew over here to give a series of seminars in the above mentioned skills.
In this particular phase we were working dealing with clearing rooms and making sure that we were firing from maximum covered positions. For this drill our guns were not loaded and all Ammunition was carefully out of the way.
So.. what happened? Well, the instructor told us to turn our backs while he set up a room with various targets inside. Then on his call: "Shots Fired", we were to race to the room and shoot whoever was a threat (the targets had various pictures of people on them, some with weapons, some who just looked suspicious). I was second in line.
The First person broke for the room - his trigger clicks signalling the shots. I heard the instructor say "Sorry, but you are dead" to him at the end. Then it was my turn.
On the call "Shots fired" - I broke for the room, drawing my pistol and charging for a point to not only have cover, but, for a point that could give a clear firing solution. I got that - hit my first target, and entered the room, going to one knee and firing as I went. With the Instructor yelling "FIRE, FIRE, FIRE" in my ear (to simulate pressure) I opened up on everything and anyone. They all died. I didn't even think twice about it - in that moment and in that second I was going to shoot anything that moved. Then after successfully firing on everyone, I yelled "Room Cleared". And that is when I heard my instructors voice softly telling me... "You Killed Everyone - You Failed"
I was dumbfounded... I couldn't imagine what I did wrong. I used my cover to perfection, dropping in the middle of the shots gave me an advantage, what... what had I done wrong? AND THEN IT HIT ME... I looked at the targets... Two of them (out of five) didn't have visible weapons. They had their hands in suspicious poses and in clothing BUT they were unarmed as far as I could tell. I would have killed potential hostages, I would have been just like the terrorists.
All of us... each one of us had failed the test by either killing the hostages (me and three others) OR by being shot not killing a terrorist. And this made me think... Here I am, training with police (there were a couple in class), ex-military, at least one security professional and a host of other people and I would have been almost as bad people doing the hostage taking. Because no matter what my intent... the hostages would have been dead anyhow.
And then I thought ... "My G-d, how can anyone not be in favor of Gun Control??? How can anyone ask that kids and teachers be slightly trained and then allowed to carry loaded weapons into a school?" I thought, "That is insane". I mean I have 32 hours of seminar time with active handling of a loaded weapon PLUS 3 years of martial arts and I would not have made the right decisions. I need a lot more training before I can even come close to addressing this situation.
YET, the NRA, their supporters and Conservatives seem to think that they, or their poorly trained but heavily armed citizens would never make those kinds of mistakes. It's all one thing when you see it on T.V. or see it in movies. You can pick out your targets. BUT.. in real life it's different. The pressure is enormous AND in this drill I wasn't firing live rounds OR being shot at. I just wanted to be successful and "save the day".
But Guns and being hero are not like you see on T.V. Handguns are notoriously inaccurate beyond 10 meters (give or take). Even the best operators make mistakes with loaded guns. Imagine a pressure situation with people running everywhere, screaming, shots flying.... How would some non-professional make any kind of sound decision?
Might they stop a massacre from happening? It certainly is possible. Probably though, while they might shoot the gunman, they would also probably shoot a few other people as well. Not always, but, I would bet that the numbers would be high.
Guns are not toys and they are not for people who want to play "John Wayne". They may or may not help you in a home invasion, and if you have a gun in that situation you might just as easily shoot a family member as well as or instead of a robber.
I realize from this class the awesome power of a gun in the hands of someone who knows how to use it (I am just beginning). This is not something that should be widely available to just anyone without severe controls, as well as checks.
Maybe in our heads we are that brave hero from stage and screen and we all think we would do the right thing. We all want to be that person and honestly, there is nothing wrong with that... BUT, real life has a way of telling us that we might NOT be that "Hero".
One day, we might wake up and hear: "You killed everyone. You Failed".