Tag Archives: Failing

My thoughts on the death of Eric Garner

Since everyone else is throwing in their 2 cents, why not me?

I posted this in a thread on a certain message board-that-shall-not-be-named, but I think it sums up my feelings pretty well on the matter. I’ve also included some additional comments below made by other commenters that add some clarity to the issue, IMHO.

Me:

“Not on the police’s side with this one, although [LE board member] makes some valid points I will reuse to play devil’s advocate/troll my liberal friends. I think the whole thing goes down a little too fast to honestly call it resisting in my not-a-cop opinion. I totally buy that they didn’t mean to kill this dude, but the default response for someone who doesn’t want to go to jail for selling loosies shouldn’t be to go hands-on after 2 seconds of deliberation. This would be equally fucked up if it happened to a white guy, but I doubt everyone would be up in arms over that. This fits the current narrative too well to be ignored or judged on it’s own merits after Ferguson.

I haven’t been following the case at all, so maybe someone else can clear this up for me; have there been any statements made, or perhaps any sort of prior complaints about the officers involved to make anyone think this was racially motivated? Or is it just the usual hippie response when anything happens between white cops and someone with skin tones from the other end of the crayon box = “SEE! THE SYSTEM IS RACIST, MAN!”

It seems like just regular old injustice to me, barring some comment I’m missing where a LEO clearly says to “choke the black one.” I think this whole thing sucks, but I’m sick of the media/hippie commentators injecting a racial element to everything when this seems like a run-of-the-mill incident of cops responding poorly while trying to enforce a shitty, stupid law, with extra unfortunate consequences this time.

It’s unjust because of what actually happened, not because of some imagined racial angle.”

LE dude:

“Officers prior complaints mean nothing unless it is exactly the same situation, and by that I mean literally exactly the same.

If this cop is accused of choking another large black man to death over loosys, he is going to jail. But the chance of that is about as high as a Republican NY mayor.”

LE dude, again:

“If an officer works in a black area and arrests black people who he may have to rough up during an arrest, eventually he will look, solely from the angle of his IA record, to be a jack booted racist. Where in reality that doesnt hold water in court, never has, never will.”

Another guy:

“I’d really not have much issue with this at all if it was a more clear cut case of resisting. If the determination has been made that someone is getting arrested, and they resist, there’s really not any other option than to force them to comply. And if, in the course of the ensuing struggle, someone winds up dead from a combination of stress and pre-existing medical conditions, well…that sucks but it’s not really anyone’s fault. But you have to give them a chance to resist before you go hands on for resisting.

I don’t see how this is a racial thing though, and it bothers me enough that it’s being used that way that it’s really tempting to just use that as an excuse to automatically support the cops side. Have to remind myself that this is a separate issue, and the dead man is not responsible for the manner in which opportunists decide to dance in his blood.”

Tuesday, Range Day

Enjoying this morning’s cool weather (71 degrees! although it was 81 when I finished), I took the opportunity to drive out and do some shooting in the desert as I’ve been itching to reshoot Dot Torture.

What followed was a comedy of errors:

1) My first attempt resulted in 35/50 from ~3m. It was difficult to diagnose any specific failing over the others, but I was very disappointed with my shooting from the draw using my usual AIWB holster*, especially considering this was something I worked on last week. This was maddening.

2) I used the better part of another box of ammo to work on my draw. From concealment, my splits were hovering around 1.83 seconds. I switched to my Blade-Tech OWB holster and got down to 1.36. Still too slow, as I’d really like to get these numbers down to 1.5 and 1.0, respectfully. Something else that needs more practice…

3) I had previously used the Surefire shot timer on my old iPhone 4S. It never worked very well for me and the entire phone gave up the ghost over the summer. In need of a replacement on short notice, I got an iPhone 5C only to find that the Surefire app is no longer offered in the iTunes store. I downloaded the Innovative Applications shot timer app over the weekend and today was my first time trying it out. Performance was spotty at best, no matter how I tried to dial in the sensitivity. This was not aided by the unusually strong winds (more of a brisk breeze, really, but still sufficient to blow over my target stand in the middle of a string). TANSTAAFL, so I guess I will finally be needing to pick up the real thing.

4) Shooting the drill two more times didn’t lead to any better results, but it did burn up the rest of my ammo. Infuriated, I compounded my errors and shot even worse when I tried again. Looks like I’ll putting in my order with Freedom Munitions sooner rather than later.

5) Upon reaching the 1,100 round mark, my G19 appears to have entered the terminal stages of “late model third generation Glock extractor syndrome.” One FTE in the first 700 rounds, two FTEs in the next 200, and today FIVE more, with four of them being classic stovepipes. In all cases, the ammunition used at the time of the failures has been Federal or American Eagle 115gr FMJ. The gun will be sidelined until I can replace the extractor, ejector and spring loaded bearing. More on PMCS issues in a later post.

6) After picking up my brass and packing away my range bag and target stand, I began to drive away only to find that I had left my shooting table folded up and leaning against the passenger side of my truck. Alerted by the sound of it sliding off the rear quarter panel and hitting the ground, I saw it in my side mirror and was able to stop in time to retrieve it. It was just a little extra kick while I was still mentally down from my performance.

As much as I would like to attend some high volume professional training, I feel like there’s currently just too many things I suck at to get the most out of such an opportunity and justify the cost, both in terms of time and cash outlay. It can be difficult not to feel disheartened about shooting after days like today, but I try to stay upbeat (a day on the range beats a day spent doing most anything else), take away the things I need to work on (re: all of them) and be more diligent with my dry firing routine in order to continue showing improvement.

*I practice on the range with a Dale Fricke Archangel but I carry in an RCS Vanguard 2. I find the VG2 more comfortable for sitting, bending, driving, and other daily activities, but the Archangel allows reholstering and doesn’t risk burning my junk after a long string of fire. Both have roughly the same angle for the draw, so I don’t feel too bad about using different gear to train with, and I still practice dry fire repetitions with my carry setup.

Thursday, Range Day

Phoenix has been having unseasonably cool weather lately (at least when we haven’t been experiencing Biblical flooding from <3″ of rain), which has worked out great for my shooting schedule. I usually drive about half an hour out to the desert on Tuesday or Thursday mornings when I don’t have classes to shoot a couple boxes of ammo and try to work on whatever I suck at (which is most things).

I’ve mostly been shooting steel lately because it’s fun and the immediate feedback is helpful, but it doesn’t stress the same level of accuracy as shooting paper. For reference, my 1/4 scale TacStrike silhouette is roughly 110 square inches. Compare that to the black of a B-8C at 24 square inches and it’s easy to go fast and get away with a crappy trigger press or less than perfect sight alignment and still hear the clang of a hit, even at 25m. Paper is less forgiving, as I was reminded today.

I promised myself that I would start off shooting Dot Torture and I did, cold, with all draws from concealment using my Dale Fricke AIWB holster. Dots #1-4 went alright, only dropping a couple points on #4 (even though these all should have been easy hits). The next row down is when it all went to hell. To see why and learn what I need to work on, take a look at the target below:

I unfortunately threw away my original target out of shame, but I can still get something out of the template. Poor grip and a worse trigger press resulted in dropping three gimmes on dot #5, and contributed to missing several follow up shots on #6-7. On the bright side, I only dropped one on #8 because I forced myself to take time and pay attention to something I don’t normally do (weak hand shooting). But then it was right back to a crap shoot for #9-10. Although my reloads were decent by themselves, I sucked hard at getting back on target afterward and it hurt me.

In the spirit of every AAR I hated sitting through in the Army, here is today’s:

Improves:
1) Work on my grip so the gun isn’t slipping around between shots, which costs first time and then hits when I tried to compensate
2) SHO and WHO shooting
3) Target-to-target transitions

Sustains:
1) Draws were reasonably fast (I didn’t use a shot timer), but still kinda sloppy
2) Reload mechanics were sound and I was able to get the gun back up quick (I just couldn’t hit anything once I did)
3) Slow fire on #1 was one ragged hole, so keep doing whatever I did to get that

Instead of running it again, I decided to work on these for next time and go to the rifle since I wanted to confirm my zero after removing and reinstalling the optic. Even with the stock QRP2 mount I didn’t notice any shift, but then I started getting into it (the way Jeff Gonzalez just described here) and kept shooting ten shot groups until I’d gone through sixty rounds of Prvi XM193.

Finally, I spent another fifty rounds of 9mm split between Bill Drills to the circle and practicing draw-to-first shots on the 3×5″ box of a FAST target. This was a good way to end the day:

Even a mediocre trip like this was pretty fun despite the frustrations involved. Hopefully I’ll have some improvements to show next week.