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General Thoughts and Comments On Your Training
Safety is our primary objective at PraireFire NV. Everything we do is built around a safe training experience for you, our student. Safety is the responsibility of everyone on the range. True, the staff is conducting the course and we are the experts. However, if you witness something that appears unsafe, you also have the responsibility to holler “Stop!” We will immediately correct the problem and quickly get back to the training. There is certainly no embarrassment in giving the “Stop!” command. It simply shows you are paying attention.
- Four Universal Firearms Safety Rules
There are many different versions of “gun safety rules”. You will see all sorts of rules in the owner’s manual of a new gun, on the back of every box of ammunition, and posted at the public range. Some of these lists are 15-20 items long and impossible to remember. At PraireFire NV, we simplify gun safety into four, easy-to-remember rules.
- Rule 1: Treat every weapon as if it were loaded. Even if the weapon is actually unloaded, treat it with the same respect you would a loaded weapon. Just that respect will generally prevent a negligent discharge or “ND”. A negligent discharge means firing the weapon when you didn’t intend to.
- Rule 2: Never let the muzzle (the front of the weapon) cover (point at) anything you are not willing to destroy. The fact that the muzzle exists means it is always covering something. When the weapon is in your holster, the muzzle is covering the floor. When the weapon is sitting on the nightstand, the muzzle is covering the adjacent wall. Are you willing to “destroy” the floor or the wall? The answer is “Yes” because that is what the muzzle is covering. I realize that you don’t intend to shoot the floor or the wall, but if you did, it would certainly not be catastrophic. Conversely, what if the muzzle were covering your hand, your leg, or a family member? That would be absolutely unacceptable and the results would be tragic. You need to be what we call “muzzle conscious” and never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Rule 3: Keep your finger OFF the trigger until you are ready to fire. When you plan to actually shoot the weapon, your finger is obviously on the trigger…that’s the way the gun operates. At all other times, your finger is OFF the trigger. Watch any action movie or TV series and count the endless violations of this rule.
- Rule 4: Be sure of your target and what’s in line with your target. On the range, this rule is very easy to follow. All the shooters will be on the same firing line, you will be shooting at a row of identical targets, and the bullets will impact a large, earthen berm just behind the targets. It doesn’t get any easier than that. However, on the street, it’s a different story. A confrontation on the street often takes place in a chaotic, low-light environment, against multiple adversaries, with innocent bystanders nearby. The first question you need to ask is “Is this the right guy; am I about to shoot the correct person?” If that answer is “Yes”, then you need to know if someone is possibly in the foreground who is about to step in front of your weapon and accidentally be hit. Lastly, you need to know what is in the background behind your adversary. Your bullet may well penetrate right through bad guy and continue down range. You need to know what that bullet is going to hit. You need satisfactory answers to all three of these questions BEFORE you press the trigger. It goes without saying that once you fire that shot, you cannot alter its course…and you certainly cannot get it back. You need to be absolutely sure of Rule 4 before you press the trigger.
These safety rules are very cleverly designed. First, they are easy to remember and apply. Secondly, you must violate two of the rules before anybody gets hurt. Violating just one of the rules is bad news, but nobody bleeds. You must actually violate 50% of the rules before anyone gets injured. For example, if you point a gun at a loved one (violating Rule 2) but your trigger finger is straight (obeying Rule 3), nobody will get hurt. (Your loved ones may hurt you later!) If you fire the weapon unintentionally (violating Rule 3) but the muzzle was pointing in a safe direction (obeying Rule 2), nobody gets hurt.
The bottom line is, obey the Four Universal Firearms Safety Rules and everyone will be safe, all the time.
It is very rare that PraireFire NV sees a student who is so chronically dangerous and/or disrespectful that we need to dismiss them from the training. It has happened only a couple times over the last decade. However, for the safety of everyone involved, PraireFire NV reserves the right to terminate the training and dismiss anyone who is unwilling to abide by the Student Code of Conduct.
- Your Individual Pace of Learning
At PraireFire NV, we have fine-tuned our curriculum over the years so that everyone benefits, regardless of your existing skill level. Whether you are an experienced shooter or brand new, we will work with you on exactly what you need. If you are more advanced, we will help you perfect every aspect of your technique. As the course progresses, even the experienced shooter will be challenged. If you are brand new, we will concentrate on one technique at a time to make certain you are comfortable with it before we move on. If appropriate, we can work with you one-on-one. We will work with you patiently and consistently for four days. If you start to feel fatigued or overwhelmed, simply speak up. You are always welcome to sit out for a relay, or revisit skills which may still be giving you trouble. However, we can only assist you if you give us feedback
There is no such thing as a “stupid question”. The only “stupid question” is the one that goes unasked. Feel free to interrupt at any time, whether we are in the classroom or out on the ranges. I’ll go one step further and say it is actually your “responsibility” to ask a question when something is not clear. If you attempt to progress past a misunderstanding, you won’t do very well from that point forward. Speak up!
PraireFire NV trains literally thousands of students every year. We make a sincere effort to satisfy each and every one of those students and we are very successful. I am completely certain you too will love your training experience at PraireFire NV. However, if you find something that you feel falls short of your expectations or needs attention, please tell us. Please tell us right then! We will make every effort to correct the shortcoming immediately, on the spot. It doesn’t help anybody if you send an e-mail two weeks after the fact describing a problem which could have been fixed. We want you to be happy right now!