Newsflash: We Have a Dependency Problem.

I’ve written more in the last month than I have in the past 2 years. It’s not that I have any earth shattering knowledge to share or any secrets to success that I can sell you. It really all boils down to what I’m seeing in our society and how it’s affecting me. Being that it’s an election year, there are many hot button items right now. Every news story or major event is turned into a platform for someones agenda. Obviously I’m a little more connected to the gun related issues, so I’ll try to stick to the 2nd Amendment.
But there is a huge problem with that…
None of the gun issues are about guns… they are about continuing to create a society that is dependent on something (or someone) else… most notably it is the government. Guns… we’ll protect you. Insurance… we’ll provide it for you. Jobs… who needs those, we’ll feed you. A place to live… we’ll continue to allow generation after generation to live in government housing. Education… we’ll create the standard that you need to meet (and we will mandate the material to get you there). College degree… if you go into the job we want, we’ll pay for it.
I’m not sure when this began…but the spirit of our country has been squashed. Largely, people no longer live the American Dream. It’s so much easier to just let somebody else do everything for us. I know this is a tough pill to swallow, but our country is at a major crossroad. Either we step up and start working toward making things better… or we sit back and let it all get worse. One of those options is WORK… it will require sweat, exhaustion, probably even some disappointment along the way. The other option is EASY… sit back and let someone else do everything for you, take what is given and don’t complain or question it. Is it really easier in the long-run though?
Folks, I don’t have all the answers. Honestly, I really don’t have any answers. I just know that we all need to work hard and take care of ourselves… take care of our families… help each other and try to leave the world better than we found it. I leave you with these words from Marine, Major Doug Zembiec, the Lion of Fallujah, KIA – 11 May 2007.

“Be a man of principle. Fight for what you believe in. Keep your word. Live with integrity. Be brave. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Serve your country. Teach. Mentor. Give something back to society. Lead from the front. Conquer your fears. Be a good friend. Be humble and be self-confident. Appreciate your friends and family. Be a leader and not a follower. Be valorous on the field of battle. And take responsibility for your actions. Never forget those that were killed. And never let rest those that killed them.”

When Tolerance Doesn’t Work

Ok folks… I’ve gotten tons of messages about my last post. Many of them have been supportive, others have been from people shocked at what I had to say, very few landed anywhere in-between. Most people only get the ultra-opinionated version of me and never get to see that there is a more rational side.

I closed the last post talking about tolerance and learning to love one another. I truly believe that this is the only way to a long term solution for our country. BUT… what happens when tolerance doesn’t work? What happens when other groups of people aren’t tolerant of our culture? Lets face it… there are cultures and religions filled with people that want to kill us. Whether it is because we are Americans or Christians or whatever – they want to destroy us. I can be loving, tolerant and accepting right up to the point you want to kill me and my family… then it’s a whole different ballgame.

Did you know that the police are not required to protect us? The courts have continually ruled along these lines. You can look up Warren v. District of Columbia in 1981 for more details. If you’re depending on the police to keep you safe, don’t. Here’s the deal… even if the police were required to protect us, they can’t be everywhere all the time. It is our responsibility to protect ourselves. We have become a society dependent on someone else for everything (but that’s a discussion for another day).

In order to defend yourself and those you love, you need to make some decisions:

  • Will you stand up for yourself or depend on someone else to take care of you?
  • Have you considered what you are willing to do in a critical situation?
  • Could you take a life in order to save your life or those you love?
  • Are you equipped and seeking out the proper training?

Watch this video from NOLATAC and then decide if you are where you want or need to be. If there is anything we can do to help you out, let us know. We’ve got dates for Basic Pistol and Carry Permit classes posted for the next few months. Don’t forget that we can also help you with any FFL needs you may have.

A Response to Terror in Orlando

Breaking two years of blogging silence for this…so read up.

I want to take a minute and share some thoughts I have in the aftermath of the Orlando Terror Attack. Yes, I call it an act of terror. Politicians are already lining up to turn this tragedy into their next talking point to promote an agenda. Standing on the graves of the victims is not the way to move toward a solution.

People call for tougher gun control laws. Check the crime rates in Chicago, New York City or Washington DC. Try to explain to me how their tougher laws are working out. If you’re reading this and don’t know, those cities have some of the toughest gun laws in the country… but also are home to the highest gun crime rates in the country too. I hear cries to bring back the Clinton Era “assault weapon” ban. Again, look at the statistics. According to current FBI stats, in 2014, there were 8,124 homicides with ALL firearms. Here’s the wrinkle that politicians don’t want you to find… only 248 of those were with a rifle. That’s not just AR’s… that is all rifles. I’m also hearing a fistful of people call for “No Fly – No Guns” type regulations to prevent those on the “No Fly List” from purchasing guns. At first glance, this seems to make some sense but on further examination, it also falls short. There is a serious issue with stripping someone of their rights without due process. If you break the law, go to court and are proven guilty… then you have to suffer the consequences. The process of going to court and being tried for you crimes is one of the pillars by which our country is formed. Without this system in place, the door is opened for punishment without oversight. This process, or lack thereof, would open the door for rights to be stripped at the whim of politicians or other agencies and organizations. While this process might work now for gun control, it might insight a riot in the future if it is applied to gay rights.

Let’s take a look at another factor. The Islamic connection with many of the recent terror attacks worldwide. I do not believe that all Muslims are extremist. I believe this in the same way that not all gun owners are murders. What I do believe is that there are Imams and other leaders in the Islamic world that are pushing a radical agenda. “We will attack Florida” and “Gays must die” are just two quotes from prominent leaders in their community within the last few months. The political scientist, Samuel Huntington, once wrote that “Islam has bloody borders.” In an October 2001 interview he went on to explain, “Islam, like any great religion, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. People like bin Laden can seize on things in the Quran as commands to go out and kill infidels. But the Pope did exactly the same thing when he launched the Crusades.”

There is no denying that this attack was a direct result of intolerance and hate. As with any of the recent attacks claimed by ISIS or other Islamic groups, they are attacks on the western world and more directly Christians. Ah… but Muslims aren’t the only ones to carry out harmful acts for their beliefs. Christians are guilty here too. I think Christian culture is often guilty of persecution towards others though, as opposed to acts of terror. We have become an intolerant society. If we don’t support an ideology, we vilify it as opposed to trying to seek knowledge or understanding.

America, it is time to wake up. You cannot legislate ethical behavior. You cannot legislate a moral compass. You cannot legislate love. Too many people are trying to fix our problems with more legislation. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but criminals will break the law regardless of what obstacle you put in place. It is time to take responsibility for ourselves and hold people accountable for their actions.

As a society we need to learn to love one another. We need to learn to live with the differences in our lifestyles. Just because I disagree with your lifestyle doesn’t mean that we can’t live in harmony together. Just because I’m a proponent of the 2nd Amendment and carry a gun doesn’t mean that I’m the next mass terrorist. I carry a gun because I love my family and friends. As a society, we can’t depend on the government to protect us all the time… we have to be willing to do that for ourselves. Get proper training, have a plan and learn to love one another.

“It’s not you, it’s me.” A shift in focus…

You need to know something about me – I (Caleb) am a research junky when it comes to all things security, firearms, etc.  Since we began One Shot two years ago, I have relentlessly pursued the best way to teach, train, and encourage those who come to us for training.  I consider this a major responsibility and my time in front of people is short – every moment must count.

After taking a Combat Focus Shooting course with industry great Rob Pincus, I knew it was time to make a change in the focus of our classes. Instead of teaching the basics alongside a precision shooting emphasis (stacking as many shots as you can onto the same spot), we are shifting to more a practical defensive shooting focus (stopping the bad guy using the least amount of time and energy). Grant Cunningham, a seasoned CFS instructor, explains the difference in this article.  If you’re not a big reader, skim the first three sections and you’ll get the idea. 

The most popular class we’ve taught is the NRA Basic Pistol Course, nearly 100 people have attended that class over the last two years.  Note: We LOVE the NRA and are retaining our Instructor and Safety Officer certifications through them, no change there.  I couldn’t go any longer, though, without making this shift in our curriculum. The new course is the ultimate mix of basic shooting fundamentals with a focus on defensive shooting in everyday life applications.  If you’ve taken the Basic Pistol course in the past – this is the same material but with more intentional time and a different application on the range. So many former students have indicated on surveys that the range time was the most-beneficial to them, you helped us make this decision!Image

Defensive Pistol: Level 1 is still the best place to begin if you are an inexperienced or slightly experienced shooter.  Afraid of guns? Start here.  Been shooting for years but want some formal training on operation of your pistol? Start here.  Check out the course page for the topical outline and other details.  Dates are being posted soon and a waiting list has been started – get in line! 

Thanks for listenin’,

Caleb

(If you are a former One Shot Basic Pistol or Carry Permit Class grad, watch your email this week for a special offer.)

What Type of Gun Owner Are You?

As I scrolled through pictures posted by friends and family from Christmas, I came to an interesting realization. There are several different types of “gun people” that exist. I’ll try and describe several of the types and you can decide which group you fit into. You may fit into several of these groups, if so decide if this fits your ultimate goal as a firearms owner.

First you have “the collector.” This is the guy that owns dozens (possible hundreds) of guns. He probably is a carry permit holder and is a staunch 2nd Amendment supporter. Unfortunately, this guy rarely (often times never) seeks out any training. Because of his vast knowledge of firearms… he doesn’t feel the need to go and seek out any kind of training. He might go to the range (or to a friend’s property) and shoot a few times a year or try out a new gun purchase, but that is all. All his friends think he’s good to go in a critical situation, but in all reality this guy is a huge liability. He hasn’t prepared himself, mentally or physically, for a situation in which he would need to use one of his collector’s items to protect himself.

Next you have “the hunter.” This guy is the ultimate outdoorsman. He hunts and fishes all year long. His wife can tell what month it is by what camo he wears and the fresh game they have for dinner. There are mounts on every wall and multiple rifles/shotguns in the safe. The hunter will also have a high probability of having a handgun carry permit, but he too rarely practices with the pistol he carries on his hip. He shoots all the time, there’s no need to go anywhere to get training on how to shoot a gun! (Is my sarcasm thick enough?) He too is believed to be the go to person during a critical life saving situation. The hunter has prepared himself to execute with a firearm in the woods, but has he practiced putting his pistol into use to save his family?

Thirdly we have “the competitor.” This guy has a carry permit and practically lives at the shooting range. He cuts the X out of the target every time he goes to practice. There are probably all sorts of guns in his safe, similar to that of the “the gun collector.” He travels to compete in different types of shooting disciplines like IDPA, IPSC or USPSA. All his friends strive to shoot as fast and accurate as he does. But has he prepared mentally to put that gun into use against a real person that shoots back? Has he thought about how different tactics are required in a real life gun battle, as opposed to gaming it in a competition? How much time has he spent working with a trained professional learning how to take his skills and apply them to a life saving situation?

Somewhere sprinkled in the world of gun owners we find “the hobbyist.” This person may own one gun or several guns. They probably practice shooting once or twice a month. There is also a good chance they have a carry permit as well. He tries hard and means well, but his/her efforts are misguided. Unfortunately with targets being designed the way they are… he is constantly trying to shoot smaller groups. Getting all the shots in the X-ring or as close as he can is the goal. He never takes into account that in a critical situation – he won’t have all the time in the world. He won’t be able to get a perfect stance or a perfect sight picture. There has been no desire to find the balance between speed and precision. One without the other is all in vain when it comes to preparing to protect your own life or the lives of your loved ones.

Lastly, there is another type of gun owner, “the defensive shooter.” This person can be any of the other types of gun owners. The greatest factors differentiating this category are “mindset and training.” The defensive shooter has the proper mindset to respond in a critical situation. Notice I said “respond” not “react.” Anyone can react during a life saving situation, but have you prepared yourself to respond? Do you know what you would do? Have you planned what to do with your family? The defensive shooter also seeks out additional training. He may not learn anything new and life changing during this training, but he tests himself under stress to reinforce the skills that he has developed. Being a student of the gun is the ultimate goal for the defensive shooter. He wants to know that he is as prepared as he can be when everything goes wrong around him.

Which type of gun owner are you? There are others too. Are you the person that bought a gun to keep in your nightstand so you can feel safer at home? Do you carry a gun in your purse, just in case… but you’ve not been to the range in 2 years? People, don’t fool yourselves. Don’t let your pride or your ego or possibly even your fearfulness get in the way of being able to protect yourself. It’s often times said that shooting a gun is like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget. I’ve not ridden a bike in several years; I certainly wouldn’t want to risk my life according to my bike riding abilities. Why would you risk your life to your gun handling skills?

If you are unsatisfied with the type of gun owner you are… make a change in 2014. If you got a gun for Christmas, make the decision now to prepare yourself in 2014 to be able to protect yourself in a critical situation. Hopefully One Shot can assist you with you training needs. If not, let us know and we will do everything we can to support you or point you in the right direction for quality training.  We are currently setting our own personal training schedules now for 2014 involving travel to several defensive shooting schools in our region. Contact us if you are interested in more information.  

Part 2: What is the best gun for a lady?

If you have been fortunate enough (wink wink) to attend one of our NRA Basic Pistol Courses you’ve heard both Caleb and I’s soapbox about girls and guns.  We cringe every time a lady says “this is what the guy behind the counter recommended I get” right before they show us their first gun they JUST purchased. They are often pretty and pink and small – every woman’s dream!  A dream, that is, until they shoot the pretty, small pink revolver or tiny .380 semi-automatic. Three times we’ve been with ladies on the range who are anxious to shoot their cute new guns for the first time.  Two of the three ladies got to 5 rounds fired but all three of them said the same thing after shooting: “I’m never shooting that again!”  SO – there are two things that I’d like to point out:

1: Ladies should NOT default to revolvers or cute little guns that would fit in their pocket.

2: Choosing the right gun for a lady is simple and fun.

Purchasing a gun is an investment.  A controlled explosion is going off in your hand which may result in saving your life or the life of someone you love. Seriously, worth the time! Here’s how we recommend you determine the right pistol for you:

  1. Take a Basic Pistol class so that you can figure out what the heck is going on.  Learn for yourself how a gun works – why is it so dang loud!?!? Learn HOW to shoot correctly, how to aim, how to hold it, etc. We haven’t had a student yet – male or female – who doesn’t walk away from our class able to load, shoot, and unload a pistol.  Revolvers or semi-automatic, either one!  Does the man in your life already know everything he needs to know?  Leave him behind and come to class!  The last thing we cover in this course? WHAT TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN SHOPPING FOR A PISTOL!
  2. Shoot as many guns as you can to figure out what you like/don’t like. You may like the grip of one pistol but not the recoil, or you may really like 9mm but know you want something small enough to carry comfortably in your purse. If you have a friend with a bunch of pistols, hit them up for a range day.  If you don’t have a buddy who’s loaded (literally), this is where I give a local gun range, Coal Creek, a little credit.  On any Tuesday (free range time for ladies), you can go there and for one $10 rental fee and the cost of ammo (which you must buy from them), you can shoot many different guns from their rental case.  They have a decent selection of Glock, Smith & Wesson, Ruger and others.  I (Sarah) love to meet women there and help them in the process of deciding what they like and what they don’t like.
  3. You can purchase from a store, buy new online, or buy used online through a reputable website. We can help you navigate that process also and advise you regarding fair pricing, etc. As a licensed Federal Firearms Dealer, we can process the transfer on any internet gun purchase or may be able to get you a better price.

What is the best gun for a lady? The answer is as different as the lady doing the shopping.  It doesn’t have to be scary – it can be fun with a little preparation!

Be safe!  Happy gun shopping, ladies!

Part 1: What is the Best Gun for a Lady?

We get asked all the time: “What’s the best gun for a lady?”

Ladies, let’s gather around my kitchen table for a moment and chat.  Whether you are young, old, married, single, plump, or thin; you are in charge of protecting yourself. YOU. Often the men in our lives try to nudge (or PUSH/DRAG) us into the gun/shooting/personal protection world. It’s sweet…really!  They want us to be equipped to protect ourselves. They want us to be around a very long time, regardless of what tricky situations we may find ourselves in (downtown late at night, shady grocery store parking lot, broken down car on the highway, etc.).  Other times, there is no man in your life steering you, just your gut instinct that you need the ability to protect yourself. It’s simply impractical to carry a baseball bat everywhere you go, right?!?

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When you decide to get a pistol (via peer pressure or self-motivation), there are a few basics you need to consider when deciding whether to get a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol. (If you want the expanded version of these tips call me for a private session or join one of our NRA Basic Pistol courses!)

  1. Revolvers ARE simple. Yes, they are so simple. Put in a cartridge (bullet), pull the trigger, repeat.
  2. Revolvers usually hold 5-7 cartridges and are not easily reloaded if additional ammo is needed in the heat of the moment.  It can be done if you want to make speed reloading a new hobby.
  3. Semi-automatic pistols are a little more complicated.*
  4. Semi-automatic pistols usually hold 6-20 cartridges and are quite simple to reload if needed.
  5. BOTH revolvers and semi-automatic pistols can be found in pretty colors if that’s a deal-breaker.
  6. There are a ba-jillion options for HOW to carry both kinds of pistols – in your bag, in your purse, between your ta-ta’s, etc. The sky’s the limit!

*Other activities I would describe as “complicated”:

  1. Making dinner while talking on the phone
  2. Shaving your legs in a stall shower
  3. Responding to a child who just face-planted while riding his/her bike
  4. Beating level 65 on Candy Crush
  5. Driving a car

Bottom line: you can SO do this!  We want to empower and educate you so that you can make the best decision possible when you choose to purchase a pistol.  Watch for a post later this week with specific steps to choosing the right pistol.

Leave your comment below: Ladies, how did you begin shooting?  Tell us about your first experience!

I DON’T CARRY A GUN FOR A LIVING

“I just need to learn to shoot for home protection. I’m not going to being carrying a gun for a living.”

     I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this from friends and students. Let me break something to you… if you carry a gun for protection… You ARE carrying it for a living! If you ever have to use that gun to protect yourself or others, you are doing it to save your life.  Prepare yourself for some truth in love…

     People tend to think that only military and law enforcement officers need to have “advanced” training using their firearms. Again let me break something to you… the only difference between you and a police officer is that they are duty bound to enforce the law – you are not. We both carry firearms to protect ourselves and be able to go home to our families at night. Gun owners, and especially carry permit holders, should be trained to be just as proficient with their firearm as the police.

     Gun owners can be found everywhere screaming about their 2nd amendment rights. The internet, news stories and bumper stickers abound with gun guys fighting for their constitutional rights. Unfortunately I don’t hear many of those people mentioning our responsibilities as gun owners. Whenever you have a right, you also have responsibilities that are part of the package.

     It is our responsibility, as gun owners, to be trained. No, I’m not talking about going to the range and shooting at paper targets. I’m not talking about shooting at cans behind the barn, either. I’m talking about truly learning how to run your gun. When was the last time you practiced drawing from your holster and shooting? Did you put any time constraints on yourself? When was the last time you practiced stepping off line and shooting? It’s a lot harder to hit a moving target… have you practiced that lately? Did you ever think about what you might do if you got injured? Can you run that gun with your support hand? How about reloads… have you practiced reloading that gun with your spare magazine? Do you even carry spare magazines?

     I think you get the point. Many gun owners think that they can go to the range a couple times a year and that’s good enough. Folks, YOU ARE WRONG! If you ever have to use your gun to protect yourself, you are responsible for every round you send down range. Can you tell yourself with 100% certainty that you can own that? Shooting at the range with static paper targets is a lot different than a real gun fight. You will develop tunnel vision and you will lose all fine motor skills. It is your responsibility to prepare for that situation. If you don’t, you are doing a disservice to yourself and those you love. Don’t think that you are prepared because you can shoot tiny little groups at the range.

     If you want to get serious about training, contact us or someone else qualified to help. If not, please leave your guns at home.

P.S. We offer classes for every level of experience in a comfortable, non-intimidating environment.  865.406.7633 / oneshotknoxville.com

“I know how to shoot.”

Typical Target

Nice target, right?  Most of you reading this would say that your target looks similar to this after a few rounds at the range. We see targets like this in class all the time. It’s about average for the majority of shooters out there. I want to take a few minutes to examine how people identify themselves as capable of protecting themselves with a handgun.

These three targets were all shot from 6 yards with a Glock 22:

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Which shooter would you say is the best? Everyone would agree that target A is the best, correct? It displays a tight group at center mass.  BUT – what if I told you that all three of these were shot by the same person? They were!  Each target represents a different set of circumstances:

  • Target A was shot under ideal conditions… no rush, no stress, just trying to be as accurate as possible.
  • Target B was shot in sets of 2, while drawing from the holster. We made it more realistic to an everyday situation by drawing from the holster and shooting in sets of 2… adding a little stress… when someone means to do you harm, you won’t slow down to get that perfect sight picture.
  • Target C was also shot in sets of 2, while drawing from the holster, but this time in was in a dimly lit range. This was much more realistic to a majority of the situations when you might have to use your gun… bad guys love the night time.

I’ve heard all the stories…

“I grew up with guns in the house. My dad and uncles and brothers all shot, so I know how to shoot.”

“My dad taught me how to shoot when I was a kid. I used to shoot at shotgun shells with a pellet gun, so I know how to shot.”

‘My uncle’s cousin took me to the range to teach me how to shoot 12 years ago. I shot a bullseye my first shot, so I know how to shoot.”

Folks… I grew up with a mom and younger sister, there were makeup and tampons in the house, but that doesn’t mean I know anything about either of them. My dad taught me to shoot too, but if you’ve not touched a gun since you were a kid, you might need a refresher… unless you plan on using that pellet gun to save your life. And finally, I don’t really care how well you shot 12 years ago… how well did you shoot yesterday, or last week, or last month. If you are not practicing; you will lose any skill that you might have acquired over your lifetime.

I don’t want to seem harsh, but too many people have a false sense of how well they could protect themselves or their loved ones if the need were to arise. One of my greatest fears is to hear about a friend getting into a bad situation where they were not able to defend themselves. In that moment… you will not rise to the occasion, you will not be superman… you will fall to about half of the skill that you have mastered.

So what? Get out and shoot, go to the range, come take a class…take ANY class!  Don’t fall victim to a misconception of your own abilities.

Oh… the group of targets shot by a single person, were shot by a Knox County officer. He spends a large percentage of his training time practicing for low light situations. The target at the top of the page… the one that most of you recognized from your last trip to the range… that was shot by Kailey, my 7 year old.