This evening was spent at the gun range with Range Master Nick Roberts. He has a very impressive knowledge about guns that he has accumulated over many years. I hope to have the opportunity of take his concealed gun course someday.
The first thing I did was to do a couple of scenarios in the VirTra simulator. Basically is simulates actual scenarios in a 360 degree environment to give you an idea what a real situation might be like. In both scenarios I was involved in the scene escalated to a shooting and if it has been real life I would have been dead. The simulation is real enough that the body responds as if you were in an acute stress environment. It is a great way to train for those kind of situations.
When I was in the U.S. Navy, on watch I would sometimes have to carry a gun. Once a year I would go to the gun range to shoot and as long as I hit the target a few times I would pass. Being in an actual acutely stressful environment where guns are being fired was something I had no training for. I had wrong assumptions about how I would react in such a situation, which I learned after doing 2 different scenarios in the VirTra simulator. In the 2nd simulation I was so focused on one area that I never saw the person who appeared on the side and fired shots.
Things can happen so fast and get out of hand in a few seconds. Sometimes the only thing that police officers have between them and death is a few seconds to make the right decision. The officer sometimes has to make split second decisions in an almost impossible to manage situation. In an high stress situation things can go wrong really quickly and mistakes can be made.
The second part of my night was a tour of the gun vault. All I can say is wow they have some pretty awesome guns in their vault. They had two different Thompson Machine Guns one from the 1920’s and one from the 1940’s in the vault. I got to hold both of them. All of the guns owned by police officers in the U.P.D are maintained and fixed in a shop in the vault. That is also an impressive operation. They have a lot of different varieties of guns that they maintain and fix.
Live Fire Range
I was able to shoot a machine gun in semi-automatic and in automatic mode. That was an awesome experience. There is just something about holding all that power in your hands and then pulling the trigger. It has been a long time since I shot a gun. I had forgotten how much I enjoy shooting a gun on occasion.