I wish that I could say that this is the first time that I have been targeted by Facebook, but unfortunately it is not.
In November 2015, I posted a very similar article titled “Facebook Censorship” READ HEREand another in January 2015 when I hosted Facebook Giveaway. READ HERE
This morning, I received notice again that I was being locked up in “Facebook Jail” for “Violating Community Standards”.
Did I post something that promoted violence, hatred, racism, or threaten any class of person? HELL NO! I apparently violated Facebook’s “Community Standards” by posting a photo of four Elite Tactical Systems Group Clear Glock Magazines against a white background.
But not only did I receive a 24 hour jail sentence, I was also asked if I wanted to unpublish my page while I removed anything that violated the “Community Standards”. READ COMMUNITY STANDARDS HERE.
I have read the community standards. Nothing that I have done or posted has ever violated the Facebook “Community Standards”.
I do not see how posting an image of inanimate objects can violate the Facebook “Community Standards”, but an image like this does not:
Read the article by DailyMail from the UK (Article HERE). It would appear that an image of a Police Officer being murdered does not violate “Community Standards”, but an image of some magazines does? Here is Facebook’s response from the DailyMail article:
Apparently Facebook does not like successful pages that promote the 2nd Amendment. And by not liking these successful pages, they shut down their 1st Amendment Rights as well. My Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/zero7one) currently has 502,143 “fans”. This is not one of those pages that show half naked women to build a fan base to this level within a few months. I have been working on building this page for well over four years. Thousands of hours have been put into the creation and maintenance of this page and as I read the “Community Standards”, it has never been violated.
Where do I go from here? It would be unwise of me to put all of my eggs in a Facebook basket. I have an Instagram and Twitter account as well as this webpage. If my Facebook page went away it would not be the end of ZERO7ONE, but it would definitely cause a huge blow. If Facebook keeps up with the “warnings” and an inevitable “Ban and Removal”, I will need to have a solid fail-safe backed up in the works.
Maybe a Class Action Lawsuit for Harassment from all of the Pro-Gun Facebook Pages that have been unrightfully banned or suspended would get their attention. Then again, who has the money to go up against a company with Billions to throw at their attorneys just to crush the “little guys”. What Facebook does not understand is that they have created a platform for businesses that rely on it to make money, then they take that resource away with no remorse.
In light of yesterdays tragedy in San Bernardino, this is something that EVERYONE should read On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs by LTC (Ret)Dave Grossman at least once in their lives. It puts society as a whole into a perspective. What are you? A Sheep, A Wolf, or A Sheepdog. I have been a Sheepdog for the past 18 years and will continue to be one until the day I die.
You do not need to answer this publicly, but be 100% honest with yourself. Are you a predator that preys on the weak and victimizes your fellow man? Are you the weak that is victimized without a clue what threats are around you? Or are you a protector that can protect the “flock” as well as yourself and refuses to become a willing victim? If an imminent and unsuspecting threat were to slap you in the face right now, which category would you fall into?
Everyone in the world falls into one of these three categories. You are either a predator, a protector, or the prey. With governmental elections coming upon us, what characteristic do you want the leader you are voting for to be?
If you have read this far and have not clicked on the “hotlink” above, make sure you read this article.
Is Facebook back at it again with their censorship? I would truly like to see the exact guideline that was violated for this post to be removed. I guess it is okay for groups that spout hatred towards a group of people and promote the downward spiral of our nation, like the “Anti Police Terror Project“, but a photo of a gun, which is a right protected by the United States Constitution, is somehow violating a “Facebook Community Standard”.
I guess when you have over 300,000 Followers on a FB page, that does not sit well with those who want to see you fail. I will not stop posting because someone “reported” one of my photos.
14 Years Ago Today I was driving to my PT (Physical Training) formation on Fort Lewis in Washington State. I had listened to the radio on my way into work every day. Every day but this day. On September 10, 2001, I had installed a new CD player in my older car and was enjoying some music on my way into work. It was a typical Washington September day. The sun was out with a slight chill to the air and everything was primed for a “good day”.
That suddenly came to a screeching halt as I walked up to my company’s barracks as I went to check in on my soldiers. There was a heavy sense of panic going on when one of my soldiers frantically came up to me and said; “Sergeant, PT has been cancelled, get to the IOF.” Still not hearing the news, I asked my soldier what was going on. He said; “We are under attack on the east coast.”
Without getting into the nuts and bolts of what my job at the time entailed, we’ll leave it that I was in the Intelligence field. Yes, I know, Military Intelligence is an oxymoron. I have heard it all. My heart was set on being an 11B, but my brother, who was one, made me promise to avoid that route. I had to honor my big brothers request, so I opted for what I felt was a promising route for post-military life.
Almost everything that we had focused on at the time was linear military v. military formations where lines were drawn in the proverbial sand and each side wore a specific uniform. Though the asymmetric warfare that was about to come was not a new concept for US forces, it was not the norm, especially for my unit, which had prepared for threats in the Pacific region.
During the next few months a lot had changed. America was at war in Afghanistan and the military was buzzing with transformations. I was stop-lossed for the first of two times in October 2001 and the end game for this fight was nowhere in sight.
Emotional may not be the best word to describe every time I hear or see a recap of the events of this day. Emotional, maybe in the sense that I get pissed off. Pissed off that someone had the gall to come to our front door and mess with my family. I swore two oaths of office and have spent the past 17+ years protecting and serving those who I have sworn to protect. It becomes personal when someone gets in the way of your duties and though there was noting personally that I could have done that day, you still feel like you have somehow failed.
Though the atrocities of September 11, 2001 scarred this great land, it did, at least for a short while, do something for our country that has since fleeted away. A sense of Patriotism. American flags were flown proudly everywhere. Soldiers and First Resonders were thanked and deemed heroes. People were proud to support the Troops, Fire Fighters and Police Officers. The American people had realized their vulnerabilities and appreciated their safety net.
So I have to ask; “What happened?” Where has all of the support gone? Have Americans become tired of supporting? Has the country been so blinded by the mainstream media’s arrogant agenda that we have forgotten what happened 14 Years Ago Today unless they want you to remember once a year for ratings? Is there so much hatred of our fellow countrymen that the terrorists do not have to attack us at home anymore because we are doing it ourselves? I love this country, I always have and I always will. I am however, embarrassed and disgusted with how My Fellow Americans are acting.
Regardless of Race, Religion, Age, Gender, Sexual Preference or Political Beliefs, it is time that we need to STAND UP UNITED on our own accord before it takes another Emotionally Significant Event like 9/11 to force us to.
I’ll leave you with the song that my Basic Training Drill Sergeants had us wake up to every single morning. We need more of this today, now more than ever.
I want to start this post off with a disclaimer. I am not a 3 Gun Expert, nor am I a master craftsman, but I do enjoy tinkering around until I get the result that I want.
I was first turned on to 3 Gun Shooting by my good friend, Kris. We shot our first match a few weeks ago and I am trying to delve deep into the world of competitive 3 Gun Shooting.
This is the first of what I hope to be a short series of the build of my 3 Gun Shooting Cart.
Let’s start off with what I used for my first match….
I was in dire search all over the area for a used and inexpensive baby jogging stroller, but was unable to find one in time. Knowing that I needed to be able to transport a rifle, a shotgun, and assortment of ammo and magazines, I had to come up with a makeshift solution in the interim.
Looking around, I found my old golf pull cart that had been sitting in the garage for a few years. I added a few pieces of PVC piping for the barrels to fit into and a bungee cord to hold the long guns in place. It worked, but I still had the issue of carrying around a few hundred rounds of ammo around in a backpack along with spare magazines, water and all of the other goodies needed for the day.
The golf cart worked, but not well enough. I was still on the hunt for a baby jogging stroller. The jogging stroller, in my opinion, is ideal. It folds up nice for transport, is lightweight, sturdy and has oversize wheels that are capable of maneuvering over various terrain.
My #1 goal in looking for my first cart was price. I did not want to spend an exorbitant amount of money and I was on the search for one around $20. I checked Craigslist and OfferUp regularly, but ultimately I was able to find one (pictured above) at a yard sale that included a car seat with base for $60. I was able to finagle the cost of the stroller, minus the seat, for $20.
The first steps that I took were to strip down the jogging stroller of all unnecessary portions of the cart. (Bear in mind that each make and model of jogging stroller is different.) I removed the seat and the fabric storage area and discarded them both as I would not need them later. Some jogging strollers do not have a substantial frame on the bottom portion to allow for a shelf to be built. Fortunately the one I found did. If you find a jogging stroller that does not have a substantial frame, you may want to opt to keep the fabric storage area.
I broke down the stroller as far as I could to clean and prep it for paint. I planned on keeping the rain cover and to dye it black with Rit Dye. Unfortunately the rain cover functioned as designed and repelled the dye, so that step was scrapped and the rain cover was discarded as well.
Once the jogging stroller was broken down as far as I could get it, I painted everything matte black and reassembled it.
This is where I am at now and I have to say that the matte black is starting to look very good. I will update the progress as more time has been put into the cart.
I am happy to announce two new contributors to ZERO7ONE.com, Chris Tran and Steve Coulston. Both Chris and Steve are both great, down to earth, guys who definitely know their way around firearms. Both of these guys put in many hours working with Defense Marketing Group as well as other media outlets and are a huge asset to have around.
Chris’ Facebook Profile speaks volumes about him. He is a full time police officer for a large municipality in the Pacific NW and has written review content published in Guns & Tactics Magazine, Tactical News Magazine and Blacksheepwarrior.com. Chris provides a great No-BS approach to his reviews that will appeal to those who want an honest review on reliable gear without having to take out a second mortgage to pay for it. Regardless of what Chris says, he truly is a Ninja masquerading as an “everyday citizen”.
Steve Coulston, a United States Navy and Special Warfare Combat Crewman (SWCC) Veteran, has been handling a wide variety of firearms for over two decades. Steve is a gentle giant who provides detailed and easy reads on his reviews that he has had published on Guns & Tactics Magazine. You will not be bored nor disappointed with the quality of work that Steve produces.
I have the distinct pleasure to call both Steve and Chris my friends. They have both gained public recognition and are becoming household names within the firearms industry. However, they do not let their fame go to their heads as they both remain extremely humble, grounded and dignified. These are the guys who you want to be beside you during a firefight and go have a beer with afterward.
Keep an eye out for content from them in the future.
Recently I hosted a giveaway on this webpage which consisted of several variations of entering and/or tasks to complete. One of these tasks was to “Like” the sponsor’s Facebook page. Including the ZERO7ONE Facebook Page, there were 33 pages to be liked. The giveaway ran from Dec. 10th until Dec. 31st. On or about Dec. 28th I received a bombardment of messages and emails saying that users had been “banned” from liking Facebook pages due to my giveaway. This concerned me.
One of the first messages I received (pictured above) advised the user; “You’ve been temporarily blocked from liking Pages on Facebook because of the amount and type of Pages you’ve liked recently. We’ve also cleared all of your likes from the past 30 days.” This user was also restricted from liking any new pages for the next 30 days.
It was not until I had received another message from a user that stated that they had been “banned” because they had liked too many “Pro-Gun” pages. I have yet to see this email for myself, but it is concerning about the “type” of pages that Facebook is tracking or not allowing mass “Liking” of.
So, I started to do a little research and asked for the followers of my Facebook page to let me know if they had been effected by it and if they could send me a screen capture of what they had. The response was overwhelmingly sad with how many users had been affected by this and the “Liking” portion of the giveaway was taken away out of fairness to the users. This “ban” did not effect the entrants for the first 18 days of the giveaway and only effected those who entered in the last 3 days or so.
I wanted to know if my followers or I have violated any of Facebook’s terms, conditions, policies, procedures, rules, regulations, codes, bylaws, or any other thing set forth in a myriad of pages upon pages tucked away in the bowels of Facebookland. I also wanted to know if Facebook had anything publicly written on their page or anywhere else that I could find to show their stance against pro-gun supporters.
Through hours of research and receiving messages from others, this is what I discovered:
Facebook has Community Standards.
Facebook wants their users to have the power to publish their own stories and they appreciate diversity. However, if you have a story to be told that involves violence and threats towards someone, that is against the terms set forth. I get it….you threaten violence against someone or a group of people you cannot post that on Facebook. I completely agree with that. However, why are there still many pages on Facebook that talk about killing the Police? Do a search for “Kill Cops” and see what results you get.
“7. You will not post content that is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”
Again, I do not see how the typical pro-gun user or company has violated these terms….so this must not be what we are looking for. How many pages and groups out there on Facebook call for violence and riots to further their stance? Lawfully protesting is a right of the people, rioting and looting is not.
Facebook has Principles.
As related to their “Principles”, Facebook says; “We are building Facebook to make the world more open and transparent, which we believe will create greater understanding and connection. Facebook promotes openness and transparency by giving individuals greater power to share and connect, and certain principles guide Facebook in pursuing these goals. Achieving these principles should be constrained only by limitations of law, technology, and evolving social norms. We therefore establish these Principles as the foundation of the rights and responsibilities of those within the Facebook Service.“
So if a Pro-Gunner has not broken a law, it must be because of “evolving social norms.” But who’s social norms would that fall under? I completely understand that my social norms are not the social norms of everyone, but I am not discriminating.
Facebook has Rules of Page Content.
Yay! I found something about Firearms in the rules!!!!!
But wait, Facebook says;
“A. Pages promoting the private sale of regulated goods or services (including firearms, alcohol, tobacco, or adult products) must restrict access to a minimum age of 18.”
Private sales? Sheesh, in Washington State we can’t even do that without going through a FFL now. Yes, I am sure there are a few groups on Facebook that promote the private sale of firearms and I can see why Facebook has this stance. Do I agree with it, no. Can I understand why, sure. Is someone “Liking” a Pro-Gun Facebook page a violation of this rule….don’t think so.
Facebook talks about Regulated Goods.
“It is not permitted to complete transactions involving regulated goods on our platform. If you post an offer involving firearms, alcohol, tobacco, or adult products, we expect you to make sure you’re following all applicable laws and consider carefully the audience for that content. ….”
“Complete transactions”? I read that as “If you complete a sale of….” Still, don’t see a violation here by clicking “Like”.
Advertise on Facebook.
….but do not advertise weapons. Again, this is Facebook’s choice and their house, so I get it. But I don’t see a violation of the “Liking” a page here either.
So why did so many users get messages from Facebook like this:
And the reasoning behind it being this:
Abusive behavior? What is abusive about doing the #1 thing to do on Facebook, “Liking” something. Isn’t that what Facebook was built around? “Liking” and “Sharing”?
I became curious if this was a restriction on everyone and not just “Pro-Gunners”…then I received a golden nugget from a concerned follower who had been “banned from liking” himself.
Here is his Facebook Message and follow up emails:
“I just video taped my wife liking 116 vegan pages. She got a pop up after number 115 that told her to slow down or she could be restricted. I did not get such a warning when I liked the less than 20 pages for your give a way. I will let you know tomorrow if she gets restricted.”
“I didn’t start recording her until she was past 88 but it shouldn’t matter as she added another 26 pages before they warned her. I never got a warning and if I’m not mistaken, the companies you had us all like totaled less than 25. Anyways, she is still randomly liking liberal stuff and Facebook has not cut her off yet. I will let you know if they do. My notice of restriction came less than 24 hours after signing up for the contest and liking the other pages. My wife said that she will do it all over again tomorrow and this time I will start recording at number one. “
….email from the next day….
“My wife is still able to like pages today. I believe that your fans including myself were restricted because of Facebook’s anti gun stance. I am going to see if she can continue to like liberal type pages tomorrow and if so I will record it for you. I was restricted in less than 24 hours for liking the pages in your contest (20 or less maybe), my wife “liked” over 100 vegan pages in under 15 minutes yesterday and has liked another 30 or so today randomly throughout the day. I will keep you posted on whether they cut her off or not.”
….and later the same day….
“They still haven’t cut her off from liking pages. I’m about to have her start liking pro-gun pages to prove our point.”
Here is the video if you want to see for yourself…
So there you have it. I have not been able to find anything that specifically says in Facebook’s long list of terms and conditions that prevent a user from “Liking” a specific amount of pages in a given sitting or even between a certain time frame. So why were “Pro-Gunners” banned from “Liking” pages after they “Liked” just over 30 when one of our follower’s wife was able to like well over 100 “Vegan” type pages?
I would truly hope that a company as large as Facebook would have some diversity and understanding of the Constitutional Rights and the “Equality” that they talk about in their “Principles”.
I am going to put a challenge out there to everyone. If you can find something specifically on the Facebook page in their policies, terms and conditions, or anywhere else publicly available on their page, let us know. I must be dated on or before this post was published.
Additionally, if there is another social media outlet available that does not promote or tolerate an anti-gun sentiment, please also share that as well.
And for those who were effected by this ban, I apologize for the inconvenience that this caused you. Future promotions will have little if any to do with Facebook other than the sharing of where to go to enter.
After 17 years of service in the Military (7) and Law Enforcement (10), I have come to learn a few things about cultures, society, and the general evilness of human beings. As Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman has explained, there are Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs. I am not going to try to explain it better than LTC Grossman, but if you have not read the article, click the link to get a gist of society as a whole.
I am a Sheepdog, a protector of the flock. I defend the sheep against the evil wolf that intends on preying on those who cannot or will not protect themselves. Most of the sheep do not like the Sheepdog because he keeps the flock in order and guards against chaos. The Sheepdog does not seek out violence, but will resort to violence when the wolf intends on doing the flock harm.
In today’s society there are many who intend to do the flock harm. This does not always come in the form of physical violence, but sometimes in the form of propaganda, race baiting, political agendas, and grossly misinforming the flock of non-truths for the furtherance of their ideals or agendas. Preying on emotions and feeding off of misinformation is a wolf-like tactic. You do not have to be physically harmed by the wolf to fall victim to one.
What does all of this have to do with whether you support Law Enforcement or not? As President Bush stated in 2001 in response to the fight against terror; “You’re either with us or against us….”
The same is true with Law Enforcement. You are either with us or against us. Now I am not so naive to know that there are not times where Law Enforcement officers are wrong or do something that is illegal. In those instances, they should face the same court systems as the rest of the citizens we are sworn to protect. There are bad apples in Law Enforcement as there are bad teachers, bad doctors, bad clergymen, bad judges, bad media reporters, and bad ________ (fill in the blank). But grouping all of Law Enforcement by the actions of an extremely small number is like saying that all Muslims are bad because of 9-11 or all professional athletes are doping. It is ridiculous to think this way, so why does Law Enforcement get such a bad wrap?
Is it possible that a lot of the hate and anger stems from a lack of understanding of the Law Enforcement culture? Is it possible that the world that we live in and the rules we live by are different in a way? A typical citizen has the option of running away from a bad situation to avoid violence. Law Enforcement officers have a duty to fight evil, not run from it.
There is almost always a lot of criticism after a Law Enforcement officer is involved in a shooting. Things are said like; “Why didn’t they shoot the gun out of their hand?” “Why don’t they shoot to wound?” “Why did they shoot him in the back?” “Cops are racist. If the suspect were white, he’d still be alive.”
The ignorance of the general public, at least the one’s who post comments like this blow my mind. Then again, I live in the Law Enforcement world where we live by a set of rule and policies that some will not understand. And then there are some people have never even spoken to a Law Enforcement officer in their life. These people typically only get their opinions from the media or from a friend or family member that “got a ticket once” and how they were wronged without taking responsibility for their own actions.
However, even with all of the negative media that Law Enforcement has received recently, there are still plenty of great people that fully support Law Enforcement. But why don’t we hear from them? Is it because they have not been wronged? Is it because they think that we are just doing our jobs?
I genuinely appreciate the support from those who believe in what we do. Somewhere, somehow, these people were educated that Law Enforcement is around to protect the flock while defending against the wolf. They probably were not told by their parents at a young age; “You better behave or I’ll have this officer arrest you.” They were raised by a family that taught them what was right and wrong, how to learn from their mistakes, and to take responsibility for their actions.
So, what is the problem between citizens and Law Enforcement? I do not believe that it is a race issue. Though the likes of certain “race baiters” who shall not be named would like you to believe that is the case.
I have a challenge for everyone who has a negative opinion of Law Enforcement. Do a ride-along or participate in a citizens academy. Learn for yourself, not from the media. Gain your own opinions from your own experiences. There is a huge difference in the real Law Enforcement than what you will see on a TV drama or from some “reality TV show”.
I do my best to take some extra time and talk with the “good citizens” in the area where I work. It is not because I think that they deserve more attention or to get more service from me. It is for me. It is for my sanity. It is for me to realize that there are good people out there and they are the reason I put on the uniform each day. I did not become a Police Officer solely to fight the wolf. I did it to protect the flock. However, fighting the wolf is part of the job and I am ready.
I’ll leave you with some numbers to ponder. As of the writing of this article, per the Officer Down Memorial Page, Law Enforcement Officer’s killed in the line of duty for 2014 is up 10% from last year for a total of 114.
Here is a break-down of the causes of these line of duty deaths:
Everyone who has picked up any type of firearm, will pick one up in the future, or who is currently carrying one on their person while reading this should know the four fundamental firearms safety rules. Those rules are set in place for a reason and they should be followed at all times. For those who have forgotten or have never heard of them before, I’ll list one of many slight variations:
Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
Never point your gun at anything you are not willing to shoot.
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you are ready to shoot.
Be sure of your target and the backstop beyond.
As one of my Department’s Firearms Instructors, these words are recited at the beginning of EVERY single firearms training session. EVERY single session. Is it because cops are forgetful or because we are babying them? Absolutely not. It is having that information ingrained in their minds every chance we get. I am a strong believer that during a real-world, serious life threatening incident, we fall back on our training. If you have not been trained to do something, you will most likely not, under the stress of the incident, be able to create a new way of doing things. This is why training is so important. This is why stressful training is so important. And this is why training doing things more than just standing on a line firing at a piece of paper is so important.
So how does training the four fundamental firearms safety rules apply to a real-world incident. Back in 2009 I was face to face with a drive-by-shooting suspect who I had located in the trunk of a vehicle. Unfortunately I had located him through the interior of the car when the seat was pulled down. The suspect had come out with his hands up and empty, then in a desperate attempt to flee, the suspect lunged between the driver and passenger seats, placed his hand on the brake, started the ignition, and placed the vehicle in drive. It is amazing how quickly someone can complete this task when they are motivated. Knowing that my life was in danger if he were able to drive away with me in the vehicle, that he was a drive-by-shooting suspect, and he was trying to flee, I was fully in my legal rights to end the situation with a few well-placed shots.
However, this is where my training and lack of training came in. In the few split seconds when this occurred the one lingering thought in my head was; “I’m not clear to shoot.” The sole reason that I did not shoot was because there were three fellow officers standing directly on the other side of the suspect and even with a brace contact, the rounds would have had the opportunity to travel through the suspect and into one of my partners. That was not a risk that I was willing to take. The suspect did end up starting to drive away as I was still in the vehicle. I was able to get out safely and one of my backstop officers was able to put some rounds on target and the suspect was taken into custody a short time later.
Back to the brace contact. Remember when I said; “If you have not been trained to do something, you will most likely not, under the stress of the incident, be able to create a new way of doing things.”? I have been trained in several different methods of brace contact shooting to include holding the slide with my off-hand, bracing the rear of the slide with the palm of my off-hand, and using the thumb of my shooting-hand to brace the rear of the slide. All are very effective and have varying degrees of discomfort. However, during these training sessions we were only taught the brace contact while shooting straight ahead, while standing. We were never trained to conduct brace contact shooting while shooting downward, which would have been the prescribed method of the day if it had been in my mental firearms “toolbox”.
On to the actual fundamentals:
Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
This should go without saying, though we still hear about accidental shootings on an all too regular basis. If you are unsure if it is loaded, check. If you don’t know how to check, ask. One of the most common places to have a negligent discharge is when breaking a gun down for cleaning. Especially with guns like a Glock where you have to press the trigger in order to break down the firearm, ensure it is clear first. We have many clearing stands throughout our range and regularly enforce the use of them.
What about toy guns? Toy guns are not “real” so I don’t have to treat them as if they are loaded, right? Wrong. Developing poor habits with “toy” guns translates over to poor habits with “real” guns. There are only a few exceptions to this rule and tight controls must be in place in order to prevent an accident from occurring.
One of those exceptions is with paint-marking rounds during Reality Based Training Scenarios. There are many different safety checks that must be done before conducting this type of training and those safety standards not deviated from. Another exception is when using a “red” or “blue” gun. These “guns” are not actually guns, but chunks of plastic formed to resemble a gun. Not to say that you should start twirling the gun on your finger or acting immature and reckless with it, but it also has its place in a training environment where you should be able to act out scenarios safely without the worry of firing off a negligently fired round. Along with the “red” and “blue” guns go brightly colored training bolts, such as the ones offered from Blade-Tech, that deem a firearm incapable of firing as well as training guns incapable of firing, such as the Glock 17R. Even if you are using these types of guns for training, you should always have a “Two Person Integrity” (TPI) check in place to ensure that a live round or the capability of firing does enter the training environment.
Never point your gun at anything you are not willing to shoot.
This rule is one that I think needs to be reworded a little. The fact that a person is “willing” to shoot something or someone does not mean that they are legally able act upon their willingness. At least for the Law Enforcement world, I feel that this rule should read something like; “Never point your gun at anything you are not legally justified to shoot.” I am not a wordsmith and I am sure that someone else can come up with something a little catchier, but I hope you get the point.
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you are ready to shoot.
This should be a no-brainer, but time and time again we see negligent discharges caused by involuntary actions. I could come up with some gee-wiz methods and not-so-scientific research to prove this point, but I don’t have to. Read the thorough research by Roger Enoka and Christopher Heim and you will get the point. Trigger Finger Indexing is taught for a reason. The only time your finger should be on the trigger is when you are actively pressing it to the rear while consciously making the decision to shoot.
Be sure of your target and the backstop beyond.
Again, this is another rule that I would like to slightly modify. I would like it to read something like; “Be sure of your target, the backstop beyond, and what is in front of your target, for the type of ammunition you are currently using.”
The first two are obvious, know what you are shooting at and what may be behind it. The third comes into play when you are in populated areas, i.e. a shopping mall. There may be some distance between you and your target and the “sheeple” walking around don’t realize that you have a threat in your sights, though they will walk directly in the line of fire between you and your threat. Keep these people in mind.
As for what type of ammunition you are using vs. what your backstop is, it is all situation dependent. If your backstop is a dirt hill, the concern may not be there, but if your backstop is the exterior wall of a residence, you may want to take that into consideration. The same is true for cover. If your threat shooting at you has a handgun, your piece of cover may not need to be as robust as if your threat is shooting at you with a high-power rifle.
In conclusion, be safe, ensure others are safe, don’t hesitate to correct others that are not being safe, and set an example that others will want to model after. If you are a Firearms Instructor, your students will watch your every move and will mimic your actions. If you are acting unsafe, your students will as well. There is a Zero Tolerance Policy with Firearms Safety.
Maybe it is my overwhelming sense of patriotism or maybe my prior service in the military that makes me realize the honor of being in the company of such men. American heroes, like Ed “Doc” Pepping (pictured above), truly make me appreciate the sacrifices made by those who came before us.
For those who don’t know who Mr. Pepping is, he was a medic with Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, who was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for his actions in Normandy in the days following D-Day during WWII.
Does “Easy Company” sound familiar? It should if you watched the HBO Series “Band of Brothers”.
I suppose that the older I get, the more I appreciate history and especially the fleeting history that still lives through men like this. I will always take whatever time I can get with these heroes and patiently listen and hang on to every word they have to say.
It was a distinct honor to meet Mr. Pepping at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas a few years ago while he was signing his book. Given the opportunity I would love to hear more stories he has to share.
If you wold like to know more about Mr. Pepping and his story, check out the blog that his son, Matt Pepping, runs in honor of his father’s heroism.