Friday, June 20, 2008


I spent this week at the Academy teaching cadets how to shoot. I've done this before, and every year I do it I find new and interesting things. Well, mostly interesting, often frustrating, and sometimes down right discouraging. This year really seemed to try the patience of all of the instructors. I could spend pages and pages going over all of the lapses of concentration, stupidity, safety violations and inattention, but that's not what this post is about.

In the end we managed to qualify 22 out of the 24 students and by Friday their skills had really improved. We all got a lot of thanks from the cadets and it got me thinking about who taught me how to shoot.

I started shooting when I was about 9 or 10. My dad took me out and I started to shoot pistols with him. I went to the police academy and learned more, but none of those people really taught me how to shoot. Sure they showed my the basics, and gave me a few pointers. I went on to read books, watch videos, and even take classes from a variety of instructors, but I never "really" learned how to shoot until I went to Firearms Instructors School. I had the great fortune of being in a lane all by myself on the end of the line with my instructor Jim Baugh.

In 5 days I learned more about shooting then I had in 30 years. He changed my grip, my stance, and they way I looked at the target. In the end I walked away with about 50 years of shooting experience, and to this day most of what I teach the new kids is exactly what Jim taught me. Unfortunately, Jim died in the line of duty of couple of years ago. So I started this post to say thanks Jim for everything you taught me and I hope it makes you smile to realize that I'm taking all that knowledge you passed on to me and sending it down the line.

For the few of you that happen to read this blog take a minute to say thanks of your own to the person who taught you how to shoot, and when you get a chance, pass it on.

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