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Posted by on in Guns

Flinching with a gunWhy is it we can't always shoot as evenly as this picture?  Sooner or later, someone will watch you shooting and say those  fatal words, "You're flinching!"  Or you feel yourself tense up when shooting and see the shots go low.  "I'm flinching" you think.  "Don't flinch," you tell yourslf, as you see your shots going lower and lower on the target.  "Dont' flinch!" echoes in your mind with each shot, and you curse afterward, "I flinched!"

 What is a flinch, anyway?  It is your body's reaction to an anticipated shock.  The shock can be the loud noise of a gun firing.  The shock can be the gun's recoil.  The shock can be pain you experience when you shoot.  Whatever has caused the shock in the past (that past can be in your current shooting ssession, or long, long ago) your body knows it is coming again, and tries to protect you by clenching many muscles involuntarily.  This usually results in your hands moving the barrel of your gun downwards and the shots go low.  It happens to handgun shooters and long gun shooters.

 As a teacher, I've seen it happen to many students.  The number one cause, in my experience, is sound, so the first thing I will suggest is maximizing hearing protection with both foam in-the-ear plugs and high quality, well-fitted muffs. 

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Posted by on in Guns

gunquestionmarkWhat do you think?  Do you believe that, in Massachusetts, where a firearms safety class is required for anyone applying for a firearms license, that that class should include firing a real gun on a real range, or is classroom-only training sufficient?

You don't have to be a shooter or a gun owner to have an opinion on this topic.  Think about this.  Someone in your family decides to obtain a firearm for personal protection.  They find a half-day course that covers gun safety, laws, the parts of various types of guns and ammunition.  They see and handle some guns here, but don't fire them.  They do fire a training aid that looks like a gun, but "fires" a laser, like a laser pointer.  How confident are you that they are now prepared and qualified to protect themsleves and anyone else who might need protection?

What if they took, instead, a full day class that included not just safety and legal issues but also some actual firing of actual guns on a real range.  Wouldn't they be better off?  Wouldn't you have more confidence in their abilites?

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Posted by on in Guns

cat-in-doorway2

Cats are smart, tactically aware animals.  Most cats love high places - the top of a bookshelf, the top of a door, a railing over a high balcony, the top of the highest cat furniture you have.  They have evolved to prefer heights, because from there they can more easily scan the ground for anything that might be edible prey, and they are more protected from things (wolves, foxes, and so on) that might want to eat them.

 I had a cat who would usually sleep in my bed with or without me, and would typically curl up with her head toward the door.  Was this another tactical position, tuned by generations, so that the cat's ears, eyes and nose remained pointed in the direction from which danger could come, while keeping her back to the side or corner from which no surprises would appear?  I always thought so, and marveled at her innate ability to use her surroundings for her safety.

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